Sublime, Ft Lauderdale, Fl – Restaurant Review

Published July 12, 2011 by Vegan Derby Cat Party

Sublime.

The famous south florida vegan joint that’s had it’s ups and downs. I’ve been putting off a review of this place for a long time, mostly because of my many criticisms, and I hate to criticize one of the very few dedicated vegan restaurants in the area. I eat here once or twice a year, and generally avoid it because I find the food over priced, and a bit bland. From what I hear, this wasn’t always the case, and after realizing who the chef was that left them, I definitely believe it!

I have to say though, this last trip was a pretty pleasant experience. They’ve revamped the menu somewhat, and have finally reduced the ridiculous $40 price tag of their “caviar” pizza down to $17. (Though they also took the hummus pizza off, and that was pretty yummy.) I know all the profits get donated to the animals, but even so, I’ve always found their pricing not only off-putting, but prohibitive. (It’s no wonder people think only the rich can afford to follow a vegan diet!) We did manage to keep the bill pretty reasonable this time by ordering a bunch of smaller plates in lieu of entrees. Since our meal, I found out about the summer special they’re running currently, details at end. Now on to the food!

Two pieces (minus one bite!) of the complimentary polenta they give you at the beginning of your meal. It’s always good, and something nice to nibble on as you peruse the menu.

Edamame $6. roasted sea vegetable, sesame seeds, cracked black pepper

Okay, this was SO covered in salt we had to send it back, and get the salt on the side. I mean, insane amount of salt, other than that, nice flavors together.

Dynamite Roll $12, vegenaise, “cream cheese,” zucchini, capers, red onion, cucumber

Delicious! I also highly recommend the Florasian roll $11, which I’ve had before. The wasabi is really weak, though, just FYI.

Caesar Salad $8, romaine hearts, house-made croutons, Sublime’s lemon-dijon dressing

This is fantastic, but you’ll probably want to share it. The dressing is very heavy and it makes for a filling course. The flavors are right on, though, and the croutons make it special.

“Steak” Sandwich $16, gardein, “cheddar,” onion, romaine, pickle, special sauce, sweet potato fries

Ok, so we got mashed sweet potatoes instead of the fries, but I’ve had them before, and they’re terrific. This sandwich is pretty good, but not good enough to justify the price tag. The sauce isn’t very flavorful, and in my opinion if you’re charging $16 for Gardein on a bun, it better be really good bread and really good sauce. But $16, really?

Here’s another picture of the sandwich with the fries from when I went last year, for my birthday. (Darbster was closed!)

And here’s a picture of the amazing chocolate cake that we had then. One of the cooks in the back knew me, and personalized it, which was cool. : )

Pros:

Swanky restaurant in happening Fort Lauderdale. Great service. Some of the dishes are really good. I recommend the Frito Misto appetizer $12, which is a lot like the vegetable tempura at Darbster, and the Coconut Cake $11, which is divine. The “Wash your hands” song in the bathroom is really catchy.

Cons:

Your paying for the ambiance, so the food is really over priced. Some of the dishes are tiny or just bland. Stay away from the mac n cheese and skip the enchiladas. I think they could really up the food quality immensely by switching to Daiya or finding another better tasting vegan cheese. The crispy eggplant rollatini appetizer $11, is pretty good, but it is two itty bitty little pieces. The “Wash your hands” song in the bathroom is really catchy, and will be in your head for at least a week. Also, if you’re anti-social, heads up, the owner will always come over and engage you in conversation, at least once, but maybe even twice during your meal.

One more thing…

Maybe this review is really a plea. I would love to have a world class restaurant to go to. I’ve been to some of the best vegan restaurants in NYC, and let me tell you, if Candle 79 or Angelica Kitchen opened up locations down here, I’d probably be completely and utterly broke. (and fat!) For me, at a certain price point you really need to bring the food. Make some seitan, marinate some tofu, do amazing things with tempeh and millet and make me dream of your food. I love going to eat and thinking, how could I try to duplicate this at home? Instead of thinking, I could’ve made this [better] at home. I love food and I’m very happy being vegan. It would be great to have Sublime be a place that I could proudly take non-vegans to.  I really appreciate what they try to do. I just wish they’d take it to the next level.

Summer Special:

Tuesday through Thursday, $40 gets you soup & salad, 2 entrees and a shared dessert.

Also, another good way to check them out and save some cash…

Happy Hour at the Bar: Tuesday – Friday, 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Half-price drinks and appetizers, buy one, get one half-off.

Sublime is located at 1431 N. Federal Hwy., Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33304. Open Tuesday – Sunday, 5:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m Reservations can be made either at 954-615-1431, or through their website, but are not necessary.

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