vegan restaurant review south florida

All posts tagged vegan restaurant review south florida

Gourmet Greenhouse – Hollywood, Fl

Published October 2, 2012 by Vegan Derby Cat Party

I decided since I didn’t have a theme for this month, I could maybe do mini-themes? So, at least my 1st two posts will be from raw vegan south Florida restaurants that I had eaten at a while back, and totally forgotten to tell you about! 🙂 Then I may stay on high raw posts for a bit, so it would seem that I have a direction. Maybe.

So my friend Jake says he likes this place because it’s weird. And really, the setting is strange…

Gourmet Greenhouse is located behind a costume shop, in a metaphysical center off of Hollywood Blvd. In order to gain access to the restaurant, you have to park around the back, walk through their garden area, take a trip across the gift shop, and finally climb a staircase in the back. The restaurant is located on the second floor overlooking the aforementioned garden. When we got up there, we found we were the only patrons, and nearly alone. We made our presence known, and the one person staff came out to greet us and give us menus.

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He brought us this tasty nut pate and carrot sticks right away. Unfortunate[for Thomas]ly, it was made with cashews, so Thomas was left out, and I gobbled it all up by myself.

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As it turns out, this place isn’t all raw. The menu was about 50/50 raw and cooked foods. Thomas ordered the Portabello Mushroom Sandwich [sic] $8 (Perhaps to get even for the cashew spread? Yes, we both have a food sensitivity, and mine is grody mushrooms!) It came with sautéed onions smothered in spicy mango bbq sauce, served with crackers and a pickle. He liked it, but we didn’t find the sauce to be very spicy. A good or bad thing, depending on your palette!

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I had the Raw Yellow Squash Spaghetti and Almond/Flaxseed Meatballs with a side salad $8, which was really tasty! I thought the prices and serving sizes were really reasonable, especially compared with other such niche restaurants in the South Florida area. In fact, if it weren’t so out of the way, and open so few hours, we’d probably have been back more often.

Who knows, maybe we’ll pay them another visit before we leave for Seattle? Oh, and speaking of that, I haven’t done a single thing to prepare. I fly out of here on October 30th, so my real them for VeganMoFo is blogging while simultaneously preparing for our move to Seattle. Which means that since I’ve now gotten my 2nd post ready and taken care of, I should really go work on my closet, and stop looking at antique china on eBay! 😀

Gourmet Greenhouse is located at 5809 Hollywood Blvd. Hollywood FL 33021. (954) 518-0551. Open for lunch Tuesday through Saturday, 11 am to 4 pm.

4th Gen Market Raw Mock Tuna Wrap & Raw Treats

Published September 30, 2011 by Vegan Derby Cat Party

I decided to do another fancy Friday lunch of goodies to-go from 4th Generation Organic Market in East Boca. Today I picked up the raw vegan mock tuna wrap, the raw carrot cake bar, and some orange chocolate chip macaroons to share with one of my co-workers!

The walnut based tuna wrap was really nice and fresh, and tasty.

The raw carrot cake bar was super dense, and had creamy frosting too, so I just had a bite, and saved the rest for later. Nicely spiced the way carrot cake should be.

I’m glad I saved the raw orange chocolate chip macaroons for last. Mine was excellent and just bursting with fresh orange flavor from the zest. I ate the whole thing, even though I really meant to save half!

I always enjoy a trip to 4th gen. Though the prices and the richness make it an only occasional indulgence. Next on my list to try is the raw pizza, which comes highly recommended. It’s in the prepackaged food area in front of the refrigerated cases, in case your interested. 4th Generation Organic Market is located at 75 SE 3rd Street, Boca Raton, Fl 33432, right off of Federal Highway, south of Palmetto Park Road.

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Udipi Cafe, Sunrise, Fl

Published August 26, 2011 by Vegan Derby Cat Party

Udipi Cafe was actually Thomas’ find, though I had seen it listed on happycow.net before. We were heading over to Tate’s comics, which is just a little north of here, and he went through the trouble of looking up some veggie places that were close by. It’s a good thing he did, because we were starving.

When we walked in, it was around 5, and it was clear that we were some of their first dinner customers for the day. This actually worked in our favor because the host/waiter was able to take time to discuss the menu with us. Udipi is ENTIRELY VEGETARIAN. I noticed that some of the entrees on the menu were clearly marked vegan, but it was harder to discern what else was from the rest. He helped to explain the menu, but after figuring out our main dishes, we were still at a loss for an appetizer. If you’re not really familiar with Indian food, the descriptions are not enough to go on, because a lot of them sound similar. We decided to go with the sampler. He explained that it came with paneer, and I said that was okay, as long as he pointed out to me where it was and if any of the sauces were non-vegan.

First came this wonderful soup. I don’t really know what was in it, but it was delicious and Thomas’ bowl had a piece of squash!

Next came our sampler. To my surprise and pleasure he announced that they had made a totally vegan sampler for us and skipped the paneer. Again, I’m not sure what everything was but the rings were onions, and the little pieces of bread had slices of potato. The long skinny green bean looking ones were actually chiles, and I ate the small one trying to figure it out. I got it when the heat started to build. Thomas ate the larger one, and I guess it wasn’t as spicy. The doughnut shaped one was made from lentils and the big round things and fried cake were the best. The sauces were all delicious. A mint and a coconut, and savory and sweet ones. I’m sorry I don’t know more about it to give you better descriptions, but this trip has piqued my interest.


Assorted Appetizers varied combination of medhu vada, potato, samosa, vegetable cutlet, pakores served with multi kinds of sauce $9.95

Then came all of our food. Our two entrees on either side of what we figured was a shaved fennel something, because we had a similar “slaw” if you will, at Mary’s recently! It came with an enormous amount of white rice, which I pushed over to Thomas, and I ordered some bread / Chapathy soft, thin baked whole wheat $2.95, not pictured.

Thomas’ on the left: 16. Tofu Mutter Makhni Kajoo ( Jain, Vegan) cubes of tofu, garden fresh, green peas, whole cashews cocked in tomato basil sauces $10.95

and mine on the right: 17. Tofu Ya Aloo & Channa ( Jain, Vegan) chunks of tofu, idaho potatoes & chick peas cooked in mild spicy sauce $10.95

Both of these dishes were incredible. I really liked the sauce on the left. It was sweeter, but I also really liked mine, and we both love chickpeas, I think we both agreed that they both should’ve had them! hah. We stuffed our selves silly and still had plenty for leftovers. Everything was wonderful and fresh and our server was very helpful and patient.

I would definitely recommend checking them out! I can’t wait to go back and explore some more. I especially love that they were able to accommodate me without a big explanation! YUM & YAY! : )

Beehive Juice Bar – Miami, Fl

Published July 29, 2011 by Vegan Derby Cat Party


And now for Day 2 of eating vegan around Coral Gables… This was actually the 1st spot I had planned on visiting. My friends had happened on it a few days before and loved it. I looked up the reviews on yelp.com, and decided that anyplace that had seitan empanadas needed a serious visit from me! I got out of work a little early Thursday, and was able to get to Beehive around 4 o’clock. (They close at 7pm.)

Unfortunately, some other empanada eating patrons had also gotten there before me because they were long gone. Carlos (the outgoing chef who mans the counter) told me that if I was ever down that way, to call ahead, and they’ll set some aside in the oven. Apparently they go quick, and people tend to stock up!

But I’m getting ahead of myself… let me start at the beginning. First, you really need to know where you’re going, because even if you do, you may miss it. I had to go twice around the strip mall before finding the vitamin shop store front. Inside it’s a crowded little store of health store merch, vitamins, powders, dry and canned goods, etc. In the very back is the juice bar and cafe area, a little counter space with stools to sit about 7.

Before I could even say a word, Carlos was handing me soup samples in little plastic cups and explaining that one was squash and the other lentil. The lentil was a little bland and completely congealed, but the squash was tasty. (This is when I asked about the empanadas.) The guy to my right immediately made room for me to sit down, and suggested I try the seitan and mushroom pie that he had just finished devouring. Carlos launched into explanations of all that was available, but despite my serious aversion to mushrooms, I decided to follow the local’s suggestion. I also got the potato salad to go with it.

Seitan and Mushroom Pie w/ Potato Salad

It was actually completely delicious, the potato salad especially, and maybe it was the fact that I was starving, but I ate every last little mushroom.

I sort of wish that I had just taken my food to go at this point. Sitting there for an extended period alone gave me way too much time to take in the environment. The condiment bottles at the counter were all filthy and covered in crumbs and crust. ALL the food was just out on the counter in open containers at room temperature. There were flies crawling over all the food and desserts. The bottles and jars on the shelves were dirty and the colander on the wall looked rusty.

I was still hungry and already there, so I ordered a Frozen Banana (&cinnamon) Custard. The longer I waited though, the more I wished I hadn’t. I avoided ordering one of the desserts on the counter purposefully after watching flies crawl all over both. Thankfully I saw that the leftover custard that was still in the machine (and ended up at the bottom of my glass) was at least the same color as the lady’s who was finishing her’s when I arrived, so not too old. This pretty concoction was passed across the counter by a dirty hand.

I wasn’t able to finish it. After hitting a few chewy bites in my custard and seeing some brown bits all I kept thinking was it was some unfortunate bug that wandered into the machine (even thought it was probably just banana), so I abandoned my dessert and paid up in a rush.

It’s really too bad that they are so obviously unaware of their lack of cleanliness, as the food really is good, very reasonably priced and all vegan. The entire meal was about $14 with tip, but I won’t be going back. A lot of the reviews on yelp had said the same thing, but I had hoped for the best. (And empanadas!)

Apparently the regular local crowd doesn’t seem to care or notice, but like I told Thomas, I was pretty sure he would’ve asked me to leave when we arrived, had he been with me. (He’s not as easily distracted as I am and would’ve noticed all of these dirty details a lot quicker!) I will say this, all the food agreed with me, and Carlos is very warm and welcoming. They seem to have a lot of regular business, the food is good home cooking style, and it’s a lot like going to visit your eccentric and not very clean uncle’s house and being fed.

If you aren’t a big fussy baby and want to check it out anyway, they are located at 5750 Bird Rd, Miami, FL 33155. And call ahead if you want to claim your empanadas! (305) 663-1300. Open Monday – Saturday 10am-7pm.

La Vie en Raw, Coral Gables, Fl

Published July 29, 2011 by Vegan Derby Cat Party

So I found myself in Coral Gables for a couple of nights last week. Thomas was working on the Univision awards show, Premios Juventud, and I got to do some vegan exploring around the city.

I had been planing to go somewhere else, but the headache/carsickness I encountered on my way down in rush hour traffic prevented me from doing so. This actualy worked out just fine because after searching for vegan places in the area, and found myself on La Vie en Raw’s website. Though their closing time said 7 pm, there was also a disclaimer to call for closing time, because sometimes they stay open until 10. It was 8 o’clock. The voice on the other end let me know she expected to stay open another hour, so I headed right over. It was about a 10 minute ride from where I was staying, near University of Miami. The parking was easy, and it was right on Calle Ocho (8th st) across from La Carreta!

What a wonderful little gem!

LVeR is a quaint little raw vegan restaurant with seating for 14. There were a few tables still dining, so I decided to have a seat. Local art adorns the walls, and the kitchen is all open, right in the center. There are two chefs, and I met Sabina Torrieri, who hails from Roma, which boded well for the gnocchi I ordered!

I was offered soup or salad as a starter, and chose the salad. It was very fresh and came very lightly dressed with a barely discernable carrot ginger dressing.

Then came the Gnocchi Della Nonna! Cashew gnocchi served on a bed of spinach and garnished with basil pesto, $14. This was more delicious than I could have imagined! It was really exquisite. I was so pleased with my choice.

I ordered dessert to go, a slice of raw chocolate pie $6. It seemed to be drizzled in agave, and topped with shredded coconut. It was good if you’re used to raw desserts, not overly sweet, and mostly nut based.

I also took a spinach “hummus” wrap to go for Thomas. I snuck a bite, and it was pretty good.

They also had some cacao kale chips, which she let me sample, and I took a bag a bag with me to work. Hah, they definitely got mixed reviews, but I liked them! 🙂

They haven’t put the new menu up on the website, so I’m including a pic here:

I had a really great experience here and they seem to have a nice rapport with the locals too. If I lived closer it would definitely be a regular spot to frequent. La Vie en Raw is open Monday through Saturday (call for hours), and located at 3808 SW 8th Street, Coral Gables, Florida, 33134. 305.444.3826.

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