Sunday, June 30, 2013

A Shining Meal At Sublime

During my recent trip to Florida, I ventured to Fort Lauderdale to dine at one of my favorite restaurants, Sublime. This restaurant is truly unique, with a picturesque waterfall in the restaurant and classy ambiance. It lacks the traditional hipster vibe that so many Vegan restaurants have. I also feel great about dining at the restaurant since the food is not only 100% Vegan, but the proceeds benefit the restaurant's Foundation, which spays and neuters dogs and cats. 

We began the meal with a must-have: the Frito Misto ($11).

This dish was fantastic, as usual. The cauliflower was perfectly deep-fried and crispy and coated in a sweet and spicy sauce. The sesame and poppy seeds added a slight crunchiness, while the green onions added a lovely bitterness.

Next, I had my entree, the Reef Tacos ($15).

These were delicious. The tofu was coated in a wonderful crunchy batter and had a "fishy" flavor.  The slaw was very creamy and crisp. It had a superb saltiness to it, which contributed to the seafood taste. The rice and beans were very hearty and were well-seasoned. 

I tried some of my grandma's dish: the Thai Red Curry ($15). 

This dish was also very good. It was quite spicy and the red curry taste was very strong. The sauce was fairly creamy and had a slight coconut taste. The tofu and vegetables were perfectly grilled and was easy to chew. 

My grandma's friend had the Mushroom Risotto Cake ($16), which she also let me try.

As a mushroom loather, I was a bit nervous to try this dish. But I have to admit I was surprised that I actually liked it. The risotto was very creamy and had a rich flavor. It had a slight tanginess and the mushrooms had a meaty texture. 

For dessert, we all shared the Chocolate Nirvana ($9). Since everyone else was full, I ended up eating the majority of it. 

The cake was fabulous. It was moist and had a rich, chocolate flavor. The butter creme was light and heavenly and a great contrast to the more dense cake layer. The chocolate ganache was a superb finish, making the cake even more decadent. 

Overall, the meal was very good. Everything we had was very tasty and it felt great supporting such an amazing restaurant. During Black Friday, I had ordered a few $50 Sublime gift cards for $25 each, which made the meal half price. Regardless, the food was so wonderful and flavorful, I would have paid full price for it. I cannot wait to return again on my next trip. 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

A Distinguished Dinner At Darbster

On my recent trip to West Palm Beach, Florida, I dined at one of the few vegan restaurants in the area, Darbster. Since the food and ambiance are so fantastic, I actually dined there three times. The first occasion occurred on a stormy night. My grandma was reluctant to go, but the weather did not deter me from venturing there. When we got there, the rain had nearly stopped and there was a slight wait in the cool dining room.

Since we had eaten a late lunch, we decided not to order an appetizer. For my entree, I had the Tacos ($13).

The tacos were spectacular. They were filled with juicy tempeh slices, succulent tomato, buttery avocado, and slightly melty daiya cheese. The only think that would have made this better would be a nutty cashew cheese. The tempeh really stole the dish and had a wonderful assortment of spices and seasonings. The rice and beans made a great accompaniment and was very hearty.

My grandma ordered the Quinoa Loaf ($15).

This dish was very innovative and tasty. It was very meaty, yet was not heavy at all. The mixture of quinoa and vegetables had a lovely nutty flavor. The mashed potatoes had a creamy consistency and was well-seasoned. The gravy took the dish over the top, along with the tangy balsamic glaze. The fried onions on top were a nice touch and added a crunchiness to the dish.

Lastly, we had the Peanut Butter Ganache Cake ($8).

The cake was fantastic. It had layers of moist peanut butter cake, creamy frosting, and rich chocolate mousse. The culmination of the layers was very decadent. I liked that the cake was not too sweet. The chocolate syrup and berries were a superb addition and enhanced the already perfect cake.

Overall, the meal was very good. The food was a little pricy, but we did have a coupon that I received from Darbster's e-newsletter. With the coupon, we got the cake for free, which took $8 off the bill. Everything we had was tasty, yet fairly healthy. I felt really good after eating the meal and ready to take on the windy, humid weather.

Friday, June 14, 2013

An Exquisite Meal At Evo Kitchen

A couple of weeks ago, I ventured to Hollywood to dine at Evo Kitchen, a lovely restaurant which was formerly the beloved pizza chain, Pizza Fusion. The day I dined there it was hot outside, yet the restaurant was cool and refreshing. The waiter was attentive and noticed I was overheated from the short walk over from my car and brought me water almost immediately. I was happy to sit in the cozy restaurant and relax for a bit on the lethargic day.

For an appetizer, I got the Raw Veggies with Fig & Hummus Tapenade Platter ($7).

This was delectable. The vegetables were very crisp and fresh and took on the flavors of the dips very well. The fig tapenade was sweet and succulent, while the hummus was creamy with a slightly bitter tahini flavor. The portion was very good and filling.

For my main dish, I got the personal size BBQ Chicken made Vegan pizza ($10.50).

This pizza was fantastic. The BBQ sauce had a lovely sweet flavor, with a subtle smoky taste. The faux chicken was slightly chewy and very meaty. It absorbed the sauce perfectly. The red onions added a slightly sweet and bitter flavor, which was enhanced by the green onions. The Daiya mozzarella cheese was melted very well and was not too oily.

To finish off the meal, I had the Vegan Coconut Sorbet ($4).

I'm usually not a fan of sorbet, but I loved this concoction. The sorbet was very creamy and resembled ice cream more than the typical icy sorbet. The coconut flavor was very prominent, but did not taste artificial at all. The sorbet had a lovely sweetness, but was not too decadent. It was light and refreshing on the warm pre-Summer day.

I really enjoyed my meal at Evo Kitchen and loved the atmosphere. It wasn't too noisy and would make for the perfect place to get work done or just take a break from a busy day. Everything was very tasty and did not leave me feeling heavy. Since I had a $12 for $24 Living Social voucher, the meal was very reasonably priced, at about $15 total. I will definitely return to Evo Kitchen soon and hope they have another deal.