Thursday, July 30, 2009

Dry Creek Peach and Produce Jam

Up north of the Golden Gate, in the wine country of Healdsburg, lies a hidden gem of stone fruit production: Dry Creek Peach and Produce. As the name implies, the specialty here is peaches, and Dry Creek is the ONLY certified organic peach farm in the county. Of course, none of this would mean a damn thing if the peaches weren't delicious, and boy are they... or so I've been told. I know I should drive up to their store (open noon-5 in July and August) one day and get some fresh peaches, but I just haven't gotten around to it. With a road trip not in the cards, I got the next best thing - or maybe it's even better - the jam!

Someone at Dry Creek has kids that go to one of the schools where I teach flute lessons, and so I and a fellow foodie colleague went in on an order of this beautiful jam. Made exclusively from Dry Creek peaches and a little organic sugar (okay, there's probably some pectin in there too), this is some of the most amazing stuff I've ever had the pleasure of eating.

The setting: A cold and foggy night in San Francisco.
The plot: I come home from walking in the spritz and put my bag of peach jam on the counter. I'm cold, wet, and feeling generally hateful toward our summer weather. I take a jar of the jam out and admire it's deep orange-y yellow hue. I take off the lid, inhale deeply, and immediately I know I must taste. I grab a piece of Alvarado Street bread, and slather on the goodness. With first bite, my eyes close, and I am instantly transported somewhere warmer, sweeter, and far more wonderful than my kitchen.
The aftermath: All other jams have been ruined for me. This is the only stuff I want from now on. I want it on toast, on muffins, and definitely in place of that grape gook on my PB&Js. It really is like biting into the best ripe peach you ever had, only sweeter, brighter, and better.

I can't recommend this stuff more highly, y'all. 'Nuff said.

In other news (she wrote, clearing the jam residue from her brain) the husband I are going up to Farm Sanctuary tomorrow and will be spending the weekend at their Country Cabin. I am so excited to meet the animals, bask in the sun and warmth, and explore the area. Full report to follow right here come Monday, so stay tuned.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Coconut Milk

Always on the lookout for ways to make breakfast more perfect, I've been trying a bunch of different non-dairy milks lately. Wanting to move away from soy, since that shizzle is in everything these days, I've been happily downing my cereal with hemp milk for some time now, and I love the unsweetened stuff from Manitoba Harvest. Organic, creamy, delicious, and full of essential fatty acids. Yippee!

Then the other day I saw that those wacky folks over at Turtle Mountain - makers of the revolutionary coconut milk yogurt and ice cream that I adore - started selling plain, unsweetened coconut milk. Don't get it twisted; This is not the coconut milk that you get out of a can and use to make your Thai curries. This is drinkable, smooth, goodness for your cereal.

Now, I only use unsweetened milk on my cereal, so that's the only variety I tried. Less sugar means less calories and better for you (I also add sweetness with bananas and berries) but it can also mean a nasty-tasting breakfast. Not so with this stuff. I was also afraid it would taste too overwhelmingly like coconut. Again, not true. All you get here is a cool and creamy way to start your morning, complete with all the medium-chain fatty acids you could want - and all for 50 calories a pop! Gotta love it.

While I still love my hemp milk, and I've even been getting into almond milk, this is another great dairy alternative. With so many out there, it's amazing that people are still suckling cow teet. (Ick.) Cow's milk is made for baby cows, and I'm doing just fine sticking with my nuts and seeds, thanks.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Cafe Claude... and more!

It's way too easy to curl up inside on a San Francisco summer night, what with the cold and the fog and the town being overrun by European tourists. But last night, when the fogged rolled back in, we decided to give this summer weather the proverbial finger and go out anyway! "Fog be damned!" we said, as we made our way down toward Union Square. We wanted tasty nibbles, wine, and good music, and we knew just where to go: Cafe Claude.

Tucked away on Claude Lane, a little alley between Grant and Kearny as you walk along Sutter, this hidden treasure has consistently good music (Thursday-Sunday nights), a great bustling bistro atmosphere, and even some good vegan eats.

Last night, served up alongside some straight ahead jazz standards, and the divine Abraxis blend of Robert Sinskey, we had the butter lettuce salad with whole grain mustard and chive vinaigrette, and the celery root soup with pesto:

The whole grain mustard on the salad was full of vinegary tang without being overwhelming and was very well suited with the, well... buttery, butter lettuce. Delicious, but the soup stole the show. It was smooth and creamy and comforting, with the pesto adding the perfect salty sweet hint of basil and garlic that the celery root needed. Point being that both dishes were way tastier than these photos make them look. The lighting was pretty dim, making for difficult pictures. However, when it came to our tamarind sorbet dessert, I decided to use the flash:

This sorbet carried the plum-like, earthy sweetness of tamarind perfectly, and topped with a few strawberry slices, it was a most awesome way to close out our meal. Eating frozen dessert on a night with temperatures in the 40's is just another way to give a big F.U. to the weather. It's summer everwhere else, after all!

And now for the "...and more!" part of this post. When I got home, I was still a bit hungry and decided to indulge in one of the candy bars I got from Go Max Go Foods. I went with the Jokerz bar, a vegan version of Snickers, and let me tell you, this is not for the faint of heart. Super sweet chocolate surrounds peanuts, nougat, and caramel, and will take you right back to your pre-vegan days. There's no doubt this is junk food, vegan or not, but it was nice to know no animals were harmed in the making of my sugar coma.

Believe it or not, the sun is actually out right now, so I'm off to enjoy it. More good eats, and a very animal-friendly trip, coming soon....

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Madeleine Bistro

Ok folks, here it is - the soy cream of the crop. This is, without a doubt, the best food I've ever eaten in L.A. In fact, I'm craving the mac and cheese right now, but I digress. Ever since reading about their awesome vegan brunch (beignets, donuts, waffles, french toast.....omg) I've wanted to go to Madeleine Bistro, but for one lame excuse or another, have never made it. This time I was determined! In fact, I was determined to make it to brunch. A change of plans made that impossible, but I soon found out dinner is also a culinary experience to relish, love, and flat out obsess over after the fact.

When we first arrived, I was unsure what to expect. The website definitely gives a fine dining vibe, while the location (store front on Ventura Blvd.), though not totally contrary, definitely takes it down a notch. Not to fear! The food coming out of the kitchen is refined, gourmet, and most importantly DELICIOUS. The menu is large, and we decided just to get a bunch of different things and try as much as we could. First up, soup and salad:

Here we have a sublimely smooth corn and lemongrass soup with an oyster mushroom wonton, and a wonderfully refreshing grilled artichoke salad in lemon-rosemary vinaigrette. People, the flavors partying on our tongues were unreal. There was definitely yum-noises coming from our table. With a start to a meal like this, we knew we were in for a treat. Next up, a bit more corn:

On the left is the 'study in corn' which includes a little shot of the soup we already had (happy to have more of that!) cornmeal fries, succotash, an a corn brulee. The latter was so sweet it felt like a mini-dessert and I was just blown away by how flavorful and diverse corn could be. Iron Chef should totally make corn a secret ingredient! Anyway, on the right we have yellow corn grits with haricorts verts. How they manage to make green beans and polenta taste so ethereal is beyond me. After a moment to let that linger, we moved on:

This chicken fried seitan with mashed potatoes and gravy was so savory, so comforting, and so lip-smackin', that I dare any KFC-devotee to try it. We could convert thousands away from Kentucky Fried Cruelty overnight! And, speaking of comfort food, this Kaesepaetzle (German Mac and Cheese) was out of this world. A larger portion would have been coma-inducing, and yet I found myself wanting more and more. Cashew-based cheese never tasted so good, especially when covering free form pasta and topped with smokey mushroom "bacon." Heaven.
And yet, the best of the main course dishes was yet to come:

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the "Bigger Macque." It may look familiar, what with its two no-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, onion, cashew cheese...... but I assure you this is so much better than the real deal. That being said, great pains have been made to recreate the hellish original in frightening detail. I swear the pickles are exactly the same, the onion dice precise to the millimeter, and the special sauce identical. I was in awe. I wanted to eat it over and over again. In fact, I ate so slowly, in order to savor every last morsel, that my last bite was cold. Still, so delicious. Why all vegans aren't flocking to Madeleine like Mecca just for this burger is beyond me. Yet, there was still more mind-blowing goodness to be had:

Up first, the light, creamy, and spot-on-sweet strawberry shortcake. Best I've ever had, yes, but generally I'm not one for fruity desserts. I like 'em chocolatey and rich, so when I saw there was a chocolate souffle (with vanilla ice cream no less!) on the menu, I knew it must be mine. How they get it to rise can only be decribed as culinary magic. I sat there analyzing it and trying to figure it out the whole time I was eating until a little voice inside my head said, "Just enjoy." Boy, did I. Decadent, yet light, this melt-in-your mouth dessert is one I will remember for a long time. The perfect end to an amazing meal.

Throughout all of this eating, I was becoming increasingly pained by my lack of future plans to visit L.A. Then came a glimmer of hope: The waiter informed me that they are hoping to open a second location in San Francisco in the next year! I get giddy just thinking about it. I'm pretty sure I could single-handedly keep the place in business myself, but I know it would do so well here even without me. If the restaurant gods are good, you'll find me at Madeleine Bistro SF in the near future. Until then, there are plenty of other good eats to be had in this fair city o' mine. Stay tuned....

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Real Food Daily

There is one place I always always go when in Los Angeles, and that bastion of vegan goodness is Real Food Daily. The menu is huge, the ambiance homey and welcoming (I love it even though the redness in the lighting makes for horrible food pictures), and everything I've ever ordered has been delicious. This includes the best nachos evah - covered in cashew cheese, guac, beans, salsa...mmmmmmm. I'm already sad I didn't order them this time around. But, in the words of my governor, "I'll be back."

On this visit, I was feeling the need for some healthy stuff. (Note to self: Go to RFD first on future LA trips so you still have room for nachos and burgers.) Having missed out on my huge daily salad for a few days, I decided to get some nutrition via the "Basic 5". To create said dish, the diner simply picks 5 things from the long list of "basics" along with a sauce. The only catch is that only one item can be a protein. My choices? Brown rice, 2 helpings of steamed greens, blackened tempeh, and a side of salad greens in house dressing. My sauce of choice was peanut:

The savory, yet slightly sweet sauce was divine with the smokey tempeh, and the greens were cooked to perfection; Still verdant and not at all soggy. Some not-too-sticky brown rice and my bright and refreshing side salad rounded out this masterpiece of a meal.

Meanwhile, my husband chowed down on another favorite of mine - the Club. This dream sandwich is seitan, tempeh bacon, avocado, lettuce, and tomato, all on toasted white bread and served with a big yummy glob of the best vegan potato salad you ever did try. Why is there no RFD in San Francisco?

To finish things off, I split this heavenly concoction of chocolate upon chocolate. Aptly named "The Blackout", I was happy to have a partner in crime to help me devour it. So rich, so decadent, so close-your-eyes-and-moan chocolatey. On second thought, it's a good thing there's no RFD in San Francisco. I don't think my waistline could handle it.

As for the others I was dining with, everyone enjoyed their meal fully, as have all the others I've taken there over the years. Seriously, if you live in L.A. and haven't gone, you're missing out. Hopefully, I'll see you there next time I'm in town. I'll be the one with the nachos.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Border Grill

Time to talk about L.A. eats! I'll go in reverse chronological order because it also means I'm saving the best for last. :) Read about the Border Grill now, but stay tuned for even yummier stuff coming up...

I have fond memories of the Border Grill. I've eaten there a few times, and always enjoyed it, but my first visit is still my favorite. My bestest friend and I were walking around in Santa Monica in 1998. I was a poor college student. She, a waitress. However, when she saw the restaurant's sign her face lit up. This was long before my own Food Network obsession began, but my pal was already into it, and apparently the chefs at BG had a show called Two Hot Tamales (cute, right?). This meant that we had to go in and eat - even if it meant getting only guacamole and chips because it was all we could afford. Good guacamole then, good guacamole Sunday night:

Creamy avocado and fresh cilantro, tomatoes, onions and garlic. What more do you want? The menu has evolved over the years, but the quality and flavor of the food remains consistently good. One wonderful addition to the menu for us vegans is the note at the bottom which reads "We can make almost any dish with less meat or dairy upon request." They mean it too, and on this last visit I had the Border Vegetables sans dairy. It was scrumptious:

The brussel sprouts were outstanding, but everything else was yummy too. I cleaned my plate with the help of some of the chips that were on the table, mixing the beans in with a dollop of the amazing smokey salsa that comes with said chips. A hearty and satisfying meal, which isn't something you can normally get from an omnivorous kitchen. Next time you want to dine well with your others, Border Grill should be at the top of your list.

Coming Soon: A trip to and old fave... and a new-to-me restaurant that captured my heart!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Amici's Delivery

After driving 6 hours to get home from L.A., I thought about starting to blog about all the great eating I did when I was there while while I made a nice big pot of soup. Then I got tired and decided to write this short blog about the pizza I ordered instead. :) Forgive me.

So, long story short: I've wanted to try Amici's pizza ever since they changed all their soy cheese to the vegan Cheezly brand, but just haven't gotten around to it. Well, tonight I know what I've been missing.... and it is good. I got two small pies - their vegan pie, called the Asante, which has no red sauce, but is topped with broccoli, onions, spinach, basil, tomatoes and soy cheese.......

... and then their Margherita, which is sauce, tomatoes, basil, and cheese. That's one of the awesome things about Amici's - you can get any of their pizzas made with soy cheese instead of regular - even the meaty pies, though that would just be weird, imo.

Anyhoo, they were the closest thing to amazing that has been delivered to my house in a long time. I had never tried Cheezly before, and it's pretty great. Even the husband liked it. Cheese aside, the crust and toppings were perfectly cooked and seasoned. I am now one tired, though very satisfied, vegan lass. Oh, and I know I live close to the joint (about 8 blocks) but it still amazed me when my order arrived in 20 minutes. Hooray for promptness! Next time you're feeling too tired to cook, or even leave the house, call up Amici's and try some cruelty-free yumminess.

Next up, my L.A. eats. Must rest and digest first....

Friday, July 17, 2009

Dr. Fuhrman's Health Getaway

Our Miami trip culminated in my husband's departure to Vegas for a bachelor party, while I went off to put a long-planned surprise into action. My mom, a huge fan of Dr. Fuhrman, had signed up for his Florida Keys getaway long ago and really wanted me to join her. At the time I didn't think I could swing it, financially or time-wise. When I realized I could, I decided to sign up without telling her. With the help of their awesome staff, I was able to arrange it so she thought a car would be picking her up at the airport courtesy of the hotel. Instead, it was me! I wish I had a picture of the shock on her face. It was truly a moment neither one of us will ever forget.... and it only got better from there!

Dr. Fuhrman (between my mom and I, above) is a "nutritarian" which means he promotes eating only the most nutritional of foods. 99% of these foods are vegan, though he does allow for an egg or a small piece of fish once in a while. That's the only thing that gets me about him. But, in general, we're talking greens, veggies, fruits, berries, beans, nuts, and seeds. No salt, no oil. It may sound bland but the chefs were amazing, coming up with some of the tastiest food (super-healthy or otherwise) that I've ever had, and I left the week feeling lighter, cleaner, and better than I had in a while. The perfect thing after a week of gluttony in Miami!

Salad was the majority of what I ate at the getaway and the plentiful salad bar was filled to the brim with fresh ingredients, so that I could have something new every time. Above, I had some greens, some beans, and some cauliflower, all topped with an awesome blueberry dressing.

The simple desserts were definitely a highlight. Here we have banana and fig ice cream. Ingredients? Bananas and figs. SO good.

Dr. Fuhrman is a wealth of information and his lectures over the week taught me so much about how to better take care of myself. I highly recommend vegans and others alike read his latest book, Eat for Health. You may not be able to go on his healthy vacations, but it's pretty simple to incorporate more healthy choices into your diet all the time. Go fot it!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Ok, so I have to be honest. Part of the allure of visiting Miami is the fact that Ft. Lauderdale is only 30 minutes away. "Does it have better beaches," you ask? Not at all. "Better nightlife?" you inquire. Nope. "Wildlife? Music? Hiking?" you question. No, no, and NO. I love all those things mightily, but this is me we're talking about, and Ft. Lauderdale has, hands down, one of the best vegan restaurants in the country: Sublime.

So aptly named is this serene oasis, that I feel calmer just sitting down to dinner. Calmness, however, soon turns to excitement as I read the menu. So many choices all sounding so good; However is a gal to decide? Well, since I still count the seitan picatta I had at Sublime last year to be among the best things I've ever eaten, I knew I had to have it. Sadly, things were a little different this time around. I don't know if they've entered into some kind of partnership or what, but all the faux meats at Sublime are now Gardein brand. This means that this soy-meat took the place of my beloved seitan in the recipe. This saddened me because Gardein is not organic, which means they probably use GMO soy. It's also crazy-high in protein and super-processed. That being said, I've heard many carnivores, including my husband talk about how it's the closest thing to meat out there. Delicious? Yes. Scary? You bet.

Still, I ordered it - and isn't is beautiful? Lemony sauce covers the yummiest garlic mashed potatoes, and capers and chives just dance on your tongue. Protein aside, it really is outstanding.

It's hard for me to remember, but we ate other food as well, including a complimentary amuse bouche of pesto polenta triangles and a to-die-for artichoke with butter (had to be Earth Balance) and breadcrumbs. Unbelievable savory, earthy, goodness.

To end the night, the husband had the coconut cake with almond tuille and I had the ice cream sundae. Both were decadent, rich, and scrumptious. Needless to say, it was a great meal, but Sublime just didn't score as highly as it had in the past for me. I was much more impressed by my last meal at Millennium, and luckily, that's a lot closer to home! Still, I'll dine here happily whenever I'm in Ft. Lauderdale. It's a beautiful space with wonderful food and people. I'm just hoping they bring back some other protein sources to their menu. Gardein is great for new vegans just starting out, but us seasoned veterans can handle the more natural stuff.

Only one more Southern Florida post to come and then I can tell you about all the good eats I'm having in Los Angeles right now. A summer of travel means a summer of restaurants. I predict a cleanse come September.... :)

Monday, July 13, 2009


Time for another little break from Miami food talk to discuss the insanely good meal I had last night right here in SF... in my own 'hood no less! Okay, well it did take us 15 minutes to walk there, but once we got inside A16 we realized we would have come from much further. We're not the only ones either! This restaurant has been getting praised left and right lately, with chef Nate Appleman even winning the Rising Star Chef award from the James Beard Foundation. That's the Oscar of the food world, and it shows. Our food was outstanding, our service flawless, and the ambiance... well, it's still the Marina, but it was nice. :)

We were seated in the back and had the most knowledgeable server. She used to be vegan and knew everything they could make vegan for me - lots of choices. First up? We shared the inherently vegan romaine and chicory salad and the arugula, nectarine and fennel salad with walnuts (sans ricotta).

Both were very tasty but certainly not the stars of the show. Kudos to the chefs for giving the arugula salad a touch more salt to compensate for the lack of cheese. At least I hope that's what (s)he did, or else the real deal would have been way too salty. In any event, the nectarines were perfection. That, by the way, is in keeping with the seasonal, local, and organic approach of A16 - something you don't have to be a vegan to appreciate.

Next up I had one of the best pizzas I've ever eaten. Chewy dough, wood-fired, with a simple marinara sauce and topped with fresh, peppery, arugula. It was served with an adorable container of chili oil which conveyed an innocence that didn't exist within - this s@&* is hot! Deliciously warming as it was, I couldn't use too much of it. Plus, I was really digging the simple flavors of the pizza on its own. The crust dipped in the table's olive oil (comes, along with bread, as soon as you order) is heaven.

Even though it's not vegan, I had to show you my husband's beautiful gnocchi. If only the gnocchi themselves hadn't been made with ricotta this dish would have been completely cruelty-free. Husband claims it was still delicious. All I know is it was very pretty.

Last, but oh-my-god not least, we had a side of cannellini beans. These were not just any beans though. Creamy, savory, and downright decadent, these bread-crumb topped legumes just about stole the show. Amazing how something so simple could be so melt-in-your-mouth marvelous. Order them when you go. Trust me.

We'll definitely be back to A16, as it totally lives up to the hype. There's even some appeal to going sans reservation and waiting for a spot at the bar to open up as it seemed pretty fun up there when we were whisked past. Either way, if you're up for a superb dining experince (with or without 'others'), it's a great place to head.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Taverna Opa

Our experience at Taverna Opa can only be described as "unexpected." I guess I should have known from the name ("opa" means party in Greek) but when we walked into the almost empty restaurant at 7:30, I never would have guessed that in a half hour the whole place would be packed and waiters and patrons would be dancing on the tables alongside belly dancers. Opa indeed!

Not much for dancing on tables ourselves, we enjoyed watching the festivities and when we felt like shouting to each other over the din of celebration, it was mainly to comment on the super-yummy food. That was the other unexpected element. I just picked this place on OpenTable because the menu was vegan friendly and cheap, and I had few expectations of the food. I was pleasantly surprised, however, when some really great dishes appeared on our table.

Winner number one, and the best of them all, was the tableside hummus. This was unlike any other hummus I ever had, and that's really saying something! A mortar and pestle full of chickpeas, raw garlic, salt and good (like REALLY good) olive oil is brought to the table, and you mash it yourself. No tahini, no lemon juice. Only other ingredient is your own elbow grease, and that's really all it needs. Absolutely delicious. I will be recreating this some time soon in my own kitchen and think you should do the same. Most of the other dishes were pretty awesome too, and include your standard Greek fare like dolmas and falafel and sauteed greens. All were delicious, but there was one other stand-out; The Harvest Salad.Full of greens, tomatoes, red onions, roasted potatoes, chick peas, and topped with roasted aspargus, it was well seasoned, fresh, and downright yummy. Any vegan who walks in the door of this place and doesn't order it is a fool!

If you're like us, and you prefer to keep your partying separate from your dining, just head over a little earlier in the evening. On the other hand, if dancing and throwing napkins in the air is your activity of choice between courses, show up any time after 8. Your wild side, as well as your stomach, will be fully satisfied.

Thursday, July 9, 2009


I love Chinese food and, up until the recent addition of Heaven's Dog to San Francisco, I've been disappointed with the offerings 'round these parts. There's just something about East Coast (aka NJ/NYC) Chinese food that is very different, and in my opinion much yummier, than its CA cousin. We weren't sure what to expect from Miami Chinese food, but we went with what can only be considered the gold standard of Chinese cuisine in the area - Philippe. Located in the gorgeous Gansevoort Hotel, and brought to you by renowned chef Philippe Chow, you should only go if you have dollars to spend. This is fine dining at it's best - impeccable service, great presentations, the whole sha-bang. There's even an all glass wall so you can watch your chefs hard at work:As with just about any fancy-pants place, the staff are oh-so-accommodating, and they ensured me a vegan meal to delight my palate, even offering me a tofu entree not on the regular menu. Hooray! The husband has some prawn dish and we also got some vegetable dumplings to share. Here are the veggie items:

After eating, I gotta say, we weren't that impressed. It seemed like pretty standard Chinese food. Don't get me wrong, the atmosphere, staff, and ingredients are all top notch. There was just nothing with WOW going on like we experienced at Heaven's Dog. In fact, it really just made us want to go back there.... and we will someday soon I bet!

On the other hand, dessert of watermelon and mango sorbet was divine. So fresh and flavorful! And, while I got a pretty standard fortune in my cookie, my husband got the following, which definitely ended the meal on a high note:

So true, so true. It doesn't even matter that squirrel is misspelled. In fact, it kind of makes me like Philippe even more. All in all, it's over-priced for what you're going to eat, but if you want a lovely fine-dining experience and you've got the dough to spend on it, I say go for it... and let me know if your fortune comes true.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Sushi Samba

If there is one kind of food that's almost always a sure bet for vegans and others alike, it's sushi. My husband can indulge in all the poor fishies he wants, while I can nosh on veggie rolls galore. So, when we spotted Sushi Samba on one of our walks along Lincoln Road, we decided to give it a try. Little did I know just how happy we would be!

Starting off with edamame is a no-brainer for me, and these are served simply with sea salt and lime, just how I like 'em. Then, as we looked more closely at the menu, we knew we were in for something a little different, as this is a Brazilian/Sushi fusion restaurant. I never would have put the two together, but what do I know? Apparently not much, because the Brazilian vegetable roll is amazing! (sorry- no pic, I devoured it too quickly) It has grilled pineapple, hearts of palm, red ginger, and brown rice, all wrapped up in a collard leaf. Very unique and totally delicious. Sadly, it's the only vegan roll available, but there are tons of other good eats to be had at SS. The organic greens salad in carrot-ginger dressing and the roasted vegetables are both scrumptious:

The salad was bright and refreshing and rather large, which I appreciated, being a lover of the greens. The roasted vegetables, however, were perfection. Asparagus, carrots, zuchinni, and huge corn kernels simply tossed in olive oil and seasonings. Savory warm goodness that was a complete surprise at a place known mainly for their sushi. I think the lesson here is to always try new food and new restaurants - you never know what you might find and enjoy. And, of course, the lesson to all those vegans and others who find themselves in Miami Beach is to head to Sushi Samba, stat!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

DiLido Beach Club at the Ritz

For me, the best part of Miami is the beach. I could lay out on the soft white sand, taking intermittent dips in the warm turquoise water, all day. A girl's gotta eat though, so places to do so that also happen to be within walking distance of the sand are key! Not only does the DiLido Beach Club fit the bill, it's also super-yummy and vegan-friendly!

I ordered the fattoush salad (above), which includes greens, tomatoes, olives, and cucumbers in a herb vinaigrette, and comes half inside a hollow bread puff. The presentation makes it look kind of like Pac-Man is devouring your salad, which made me smile. I'm simple like that. I was already smiling though, because before the salad even arrived, a basket of different breads (all vegan!) along with some olives, olive oil, and hummus (below), had already been delivered to the table.Seriously, I could have sat there underneath the umbrella, nibbling on Mediterranean goodies, watching the ocean and the passersby all afternoon. Eventually, however, the pull of the waves beckoned me back to the shoreline. Fortified by my delicious lunch, I had the energy to swim for hours and hours... or at least until dinner. :)