Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Vegan in Miami, Part Three

Last post about the delicious vegan food I found in Miami last weekend when I was in town for the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies convention.

Some folks from our Memphis Flyer crew stayed out a little late Friday night, and on Saturday morning, Hannah (my co-worker/hotel roomie) woke up with a major craving for carbs. On the second day, I'd spotted a place down the street that served bagels with roasted garlic hummus. So we threw on some clothes and trudged down the street in search of breakfast before the morning conference sessions.

Sadly, the bagel joint was closed on Saturdays! With my dreams crushed, we continued on. I couldn't imagine that I would possibly find a decent vegan breakfast in the touristy part of town by our hotel. And sure enough, menu after menu looked disappointing (omelets, bagels with cream cheese, no hummus in sight). But then we stumbled onto this cute little French bistro called Cafe Bastille.

Hannah (pictured above) glanced at the menu and said, "You can't eat here."

"Oh, but I can!!" I exclaimed, as I pointed to the French Breakfast on the brunch menu (homemade baguette, preserves, cafe au lait). I'd just have to make sure they left the "lait" out of my "cafe." For extra carbiness, I added a side of Breakfast Potatoes.

Saturday was the day before Bastille Day, and I felt perfectly French as I spread my fresh fruit jam on this crispy-yet-tender baguette. And those potatoes! They were seasoned with herbs de provence and sea salt. This meal was way better than an old bagel with hummus.

Before the afternoon conference sessions, we found a little time to lounge at the hotel pool, which overlooked the ocean. Yes, I have freakishly strange looking feet. I've come to terms with it.

We had mid-day Bloody Marys from the pool bar, cause why not? Hair of the dog, no? Bloody Mary mix typically isn't vegan, but I requested a vodka-tomato juice cocktail with olives and limes. Almost just as good.

There was a conference cocktail party at the Miami New Times offices on Sunday night, but I wanted to grab some dinner beforehand. Hannah had plans at some uber-swanky meat place, so I split off and went to dinner on my own at the all-vegan Choices Cafe.

I found this place on blogger Emily Nolan's My Kind of Life blog. Check out her vegan Miami dining guide.

Choices was my kind of place. Just a tiny, casual sandwich and salad cafe with a lunch counter and a plethora of vegan desserts. There seemed to be more employees working there than customers dining, but they were all quite friendly.

The menu here was huge (the pic above was just a small portion)! I hated only having time to try one dish, but having read the reviews beforehand, I knew the Mentil Lentil Wrap was a customer fave. So I ordered that. Lentil-beet meat, Daiya cheese, black beans, quinoa, plantains, avocado, on a hot, grilled wrap.

I couldn't leave Miami without having something remotely resembling Cuban food, right? The black beans, plantains, and avocado lent this wrap a Cuban taste. The melty Daiya held it all together. And that lentil-beet meat was just healthy enough to make up for the fact that I was eating a giant wrap followed by dessert.

Ah, yes, dessert. On the server's suggestion, I chose the Five-Layer Pie.

I asked her twice what the five layers were because I knew I'd need to remember for this post. And I still can't remember the fourth or fifth. There was coconut, chocolate chips, pecans, and I'm not sure what else. But it tasted like the Magical Coconut Cookie Bars from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar, which are one of my mom's favorite desserts. Loved every bite of this!

Well, that's it for Miami. I'm glad to be back in Memphis, but I sure do miss the ocean and the palm trees.


Cadry's Kitchen said...

Herbs de Provence on potatoes! That sounds just heavenly. I have to remember that. It looks like you had a great time in Miami!

rebecca said...

I've made bars similar to that before and I remember that one of the layers was coconut milk "caramel"

Abbie Tumbleson said...

I need to make a trip that is something like a "vegan tour of the south" before too much time passes! I love your breakdown of your trip to Miami and I am also a lover of the carby breakfast.

Montana is also lacking in palm trees.

Anonymous said...

I went to Choices cafe before and it was delicious. Those wraps are so good and very filling! said...

You managed to fit some pretty great food into a short trip and I'll definitely be hitting up Choices when I make it to Miami!