I love Southern Florida for it's white sand beaches, turquoise waters, and warm sunshine, but it is also home to some seriously good vegan eating! In Miami Beach, I love The Cafe at Books and Books with it's separate vegan menu, Sushi Samba for their plentiful vegan offerings and willingness to veganize, and Pasha's for their healthy Mediterranean food. However, on this trip, I discovered a new vegan-friendly gem just a little ways north of the South Beach madness: Canyon Ranch Grill at (where else) Canyon Ranch Hotel and Spa. Warning: Going to eat a meal here will make you want to book a room...
First of all the view while you're eating doesn't suck, right? For real. Also, CRG clearly marks all their vegan menu items and will make adjustments to veganize something if possible. They also have all the nutritional information (calories, fat, etc) on the menu too. This is spa cuisine after all! I started with the green salad, which was so plentiful I felt like St. Patrick's Day had come early:
Mmmmm, greens. And the shallot vinaigrette was tasty too!
The husband had the roasted tomato gazpacho. It had a deep smokey flavor and got some nice crunchy balance from corn and other veggies. A real winner that I would suggest trying whether you're vegan or not.
For my main dish I got their veggie personal pizza without the cheese but with the addition of broccoli. A great tomato sauce and the bright flavor of the basil really made this dish. And the crust was oh-so crispy and full of whole grain goodness. :)
Next time I want to go for dinner when they have even more vegan items on the menu. Hopefully that won't be too far in the future...
And, of course, no trip to the Fort Lauderdale area (in case you didn't know Miami and Ft. Lauderdale are only about 30 minutes apart) is complete without a stop at Sublime. This huge (in both size and reputation) vegan oasis is a shining star on the vegan culinary map and this was my 4th or 5th meal here. Love at every bite.
Up first we each had our own Caesar salad. The creamy dressing is just perfection and the bagel chip-esque croutons are garlicy crunches from heaven. Love this salad.
For my entree, I got my fave - the piccata. Once made with seitan, and now made with Gardein cutlets, it is just scrumptious. I must say I preferred the pre-Gardein version, but the mashed potatoes and lemon caper sauce are just divine. As usual, I had to fight the urge to lick my plate.
My husband had the "steak" sandwich, also made using Gardein faux meat, as well as a healthy topping of Daiya cheddar. Even as a non-veggie, I was never a beef person, and I've never tried Gardein's version. I must say that this sandwich was too "meaty" for me. I mean it really tasted and chewed like meat, or what I remember anyway, and I almost couldn't get it down. That's a compliment I guess? I dunno.... but those sweet potato fries were BANGIN'. I could have eaten those all day.
And then there was dessert, beautiful dessert. We split the "Chocolate Nirvana" (a rich chocolate cake with Kahlua cream and chocolate ganache coating) and an ice cream sundae (three scoops of vanilla, chocolate shell, and peanuts). Both were even more amazing than you are imagining right now. We were so full but, well....
Yeah, that about sums it up! We're back in SF now and have some plans for good eats coming up in our own neck of the woods, so stay tuned!