Tag Archives: restaurant review

Juice & Java, Boca Raton, Fl

20 May

So ever since I found out about Juice & Java from Toni’s suggestion last week to read this review, I’ve been pretty excited to check it out. Most of their locations are in Miami, but they happen to have one about 5 minutes from my house! I immediately emailed them to find out if the soy cheese they use is vegan, and they got back to me promptly to let me know they use Follow Your Heart brand, which is. My mom and I had almost dined here a while back, but it was too packed the day we went, and we were on a time constraint. Luckily today I got out with time to beat the lunch crowd, and I’m so glad I did! I left my phone at work, accidentally, but was able to snap some pix with my mom’s.

First of all, they had SO many things that I could eat and that sounded delicious, that I wasn’t even sure where to begin. Which is a rare occurrence at a non-vegan restaurant. Their menu is huge and the wait staff is really friendly. You can pick-up/take out or sit down for service. We did the latter.

I settled on the Falafel Quinoa Specialty, $8.95, which has baked falafel, a side of tahini sauce, and organic quinoa tossed with hummus, cucumbers, and tomatoes. There were also some sunflower seeds in the mix. It was delicious, and I was happy to have my falafel without it having been deep fried.

My mom ordered the Black Bean platter with a sweet baked potato (your choice of side), which is served with avocado, (?, not present, I realize now, but it says so on the menu!) tomatoes, red cabbage, cucumbers and carrots, and a side of dressing $7.95. I was glad she went for the sweet potato, because I thought it sounded good, and she gave me half! Her black beans were pretty good too! ; )

We both really enjoyed our meals, and were full with our servings. I had been trying to see if they had the vegan cupcakes (Bunniecakes) when we first arrived, and sure enough they brought  out  a glass case filled with mini ones while we waited for our food. They had about 4 or 5 flavors, some gluten-free, all nicely decorated. I asked the waitress for her recommendation, and she said I should try the red velvet.

Red Velvet mini cupcake (gluten-free) $1.50 . I had only had red velvet cake one other time, and hadn’t been that enthused  about it, but respected her guidance. It was really good, very moist, and the [vegan] cream cheese frosting was superb. At only $1.50 I really should have taken a few home, but I enjoyed my morsel, and went happily back to work.

Juice & Java will definitely be getting my repeat business. They are so well priced ( & close!) and have such an extensive menu that this makes for an easy place to go to with any crowd. They’re located by the Town Center Mall at 21316 Saint Andrew’s Blvd, Boca Raton, Fl 33433 (contrary to the address on the website, which says State Rd. 7, do they have two Boca locations?) and open 7 days, 8am to 8pm, 561-852-2230.

Darbster for Chef Seth’s 1 year anniversary

19 May

Last week my lazy, don’t feel like cooking, night coincided with Chef Seth’s 1 year anniversary at Darbster. I had seen artichoke fondue on the menu that day too, and the weather just happened to be perfect for some al fresco dining. It was dimly lit outside, and my phone was dying, so I apologize in advance for the less than stunning photographs! ; )

The artichoke dip was made with cheddar & mozzarella Daiya and served with what I think were gluten free chips? Delicious! I literally scraped every little last bit of this up. I used to LOVE fondue, as well as artichoke dips, so this was a little bit of both. I’ll definitely be trying my hand at one of these at home!

For dinner, I had the “steak” tacos. I had been wanting to try these since my last visit, and also had a craving for beans & rice earlier in the day, so this was the perfect meal, served with salsa, vegan sour cream, guacamole and a side of black beans & brown rice. (Even though I’m cuban and my family loves white rice, I always avoided it. It wasn’t until I discovered brown rice that I got to love the combination.) SO GOOD! The steak bits were really flavorful, and Chef Seth explained that all that extra goodness comes from the marinating that they do with all their Gardein.

I also got to try one of the dinner specials, the Cantonese Chick’n dish. It was pretty amazing. The sauce was wonderful, and again, the chick’n was well seasoned and not reminiscent of it’s straight out of the freezer counterparts.

Even after all this food, and stuffing myself thoroughly on it, I was still going to order dessert, only in a box to go! But before I got to figure out which, they brought out sliced pieces of Chef Seth’s [surprise] anniversary cake, complete with chocolate ganache strawberries on top. Thanks for including me in your celebration, guys! : )

Darbster is located at 8020 South Dixie Highway – West Palm Beach, Florida 33405. Open Wednesday through Sunday. Telephone – 561-586-2622

Candle 79 – NYC, Upper East Side

30 Mar

So, FYI, the top searched blog post on this entire site is my review of Candle Cafe, Candle 79′s more casual, and slightly less expensive sister restaurant. So I’m really pleased to finally get to tell you about Candle 79! It’s a really lovely, upscale all vegan restaurant located in the upper east side of Manhattan. I decided on it because of its super close proximity to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. (Candle Cafe is just a little further south.) I originally planned on having brunch, but once I got there, found the lunch menu more tempting.

Upon arriving, they asked if I had reservations, (nope!) but it wasn’t a problem. It was about 2pm on Sunday, and it was just slowing down from the brunch crowd.  I was seated upstairs and enjoyed the quiet & luxe ambiance of the purple velveted walls and gold leafed mirrors.

Everything sounded delicious, so it took a little while to make selections. I ordered a really delicious ginger tisane tea to drink while tending to my arduous task, ; ) It came as a loose tea steeped in a personal size teapot. The server also brought some wonderful banana mini muffins to nibble on.

After a tough decision on appetizers, I ordered the chimichurri seitan. I’d had it at the Cafe before, and it was amazing, so I had pretty high expectations. It did not disappoint! The texture of the seitan was perfect and it was SO delicious. It had all of that wonderful smokiness that I remembered with the fantastic flavors of the chimichurri and 79′s extra sauces.

GRILLED SEITAN CHIMICHURRI,  horseradish cream, red pepper coulis…  $10

Deciding on lunches was an equally difficult task.

BLACK BEAN-PUMPKIN SEED BURGER with mixed lettuces, avocado, polenta fries, and chipotle ketchup…  $14

This was really, really good. Especially the more you got into the burger and past the oversized bun! There were caramelized red onions that made every bite incredibly tasty, and the polenta fries were so satisfying. It was like eating savory fried cornbread. The chipotle in the ketchup was not easily discernible.

STUFFED AVOCADO on baby greens, stuffed with quinoa, zucchini, cucumber, english peas, grape tomatoes, radishes, toasted pumpkin seeds, and drizzled with a chipotle-avocado dressing…  $16

My salad was spectacular, albeit a little small. The waitress said it was really meant to be a starter salad more than an entrée salad, which makes you wonder at the $16 lunch price. For $4 more you can get tofu or tempeh added to a salad to make it more substantial, though because we had the seitan first, I ended up getting quite filled up. It had a wonderful variety of different tastes and textures, and the dressing was delicious!

I was pretty stuffed after this, but wanted to try dessert. The MEXICAN  CHOCOLATE  BROWNIE with caramelized bananas, vanilla mole ice cream, toasted pecans, chocolate-ancho sauce  $12, sounded awesome, but I was just too full, so I ordered the HOUSE MADE ICE CREAM & SORBET SAMPLER chef’s daily selection $9, instead.

From Left to right: Peanut Butter ice cream, I can’t remember what the sorbet selection was, and Dulce de Leche ice cream. The peanut butter was absolutely the winner! It tasted less like peanut butter and more like vanilla ice cream infused with fresh roasted peanuts. Superb! The sorbet was super sour and mouth puckering, and quite a contrast to the super sweet and creamy Dulce de Leche.

If you have the opportunity to go to either Candle 79 or Candle Cafe I highly suggest you do so! The food is just amazing, the service is excellent and they have either 79 if you want a more upscale dining experience or the Cafe if you’re feeling a little more laid back. I think it would be difficult to order something bad at either location, and they have plenty raw and gluten-free options too!

Candle 79 is located at 154 East 79th Street at Lexington Avenue, New York, NY, is open M-F for lunch and dinner and Sat & Sun for brunch, and take both credit cards and reservations.

Dinner at Darbster

27 Feb

I’ve been meaning to put this post up for a few weeks, but sometimes things get hectic!

This was my fist time eating dinner at Darbster. I previously went there for lunch and could hardly keep myself from ordering the whole menu! (lunch review here!) Next on the list is brunch!

Vegetables Tempura with sweet chili sauce … $6.95   SO so so delicious! I was scraping up the last little bits of green with the sauce : )

Enchiladas… $11.95   These were AWESOME! I meant to get a raw entree, but once I saw enchiladas on the menu, I had to have them. The filling is just so good. I didn’t want them to ever end, even though I was definitely full, and still had to try dessert. ; )

Chik’n Francaise… $14.95  Now I’m not the type that loved chicken ever, so for me, I’m not the biggest fan of Gardein Chik’n because it reminds me of actual chicken. That being said, this was really tasty and the sauce was pretty wonderful!

Oreo Cheezcake…$9 (?)

Now the last cheezcake that we ate here was the strawberry cheezcake, and it was nothing short of amazing, so I expected to really love this. The waitress who served it apologized for the whipped cream being runny, but it was only a little bit, and tasted great. This cheezcake didn’t have the same creamy texture I liked so much in the previous one, and for me had more of a tofu taste. It still had that amazing nutty crust that I liked so much in the first one.

Next time I’m definitely going to try one of the raw desserts or the carrot cake that I’ve read is really good. I love Darbster and can’t wait to go back! They have a really cool promotion too for sundays! You get 20% off your bill when you bring your pup for Doggie Sunday! Darbster is located at 8020 South Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach, Florida 33405  (561-586-2622) and open Wednesday through Sunday. Check out Darbster.com for their hours!

 

Mellow Mushroom – Delray Beach

13 Feb

Guess what?! The Delray Beach Mellow Mushroom now has Daiya cheese! In fact, the website says they now have it at all of their locations.

Now I’m not sure how long they’ve had it, but I finally remembered that I should call and find out. The last time I went there they had just started with the non-vegan gluten free crust, but they hadn’t gotten Daiya yet. I made sure to befriend them on facebook and let them know that I was interested though! : )

Regardless, I headed up last night on my way to go see Timb and ZOMBIES! ORGANIZE!! over at Propaganda.

Hummus and Veggies $6.99

Mega Veggie pizza (sans mushrooms & banana peppers, it comes with a LOT of toppings) 16″  $25.49

veganized with Daiya cheese and without the butter cheese topping on the crust.

The hummus was fine. Nothing crazy here. Though it did seem like it was maybe lower in fat because it was on the drier side versus a really creamy dip, so if that’s true, I’m happy ; ) but that’s just a guess.

The pizza was SUPER delicious. I love their crust. It’s very multigrainy sweet tasting. I believe it’s also what they make their pretzels out of. (Which are vegan if you order them plain.) They have tempeh as a topping, and a tempeh sandwich that you can veganize. The also have several kinds of tofu like jerk and terriyaki.

Not only was the pizza awesome, but Mondays they have specials on some of their 100 beer selections! : )

Seasons 52, Fl

28 Jul

So I met up with my mom for lunch saturday at Seasons 52. If you don’t know about it, it’s a place that prides itself on serving seasonal cuisine, and everything is under 475 calories. They have locations in florida, georgia, illinois, pennsylvania, & new jersey. The best part is they have a separate VEGAN MENU, so make sure you ask for it! It’s not incredibly extensive, but it’s nice that you can go to a regular place, and they have all the options laid out for you.

I knew they had a vegetable plate there, but wasn’t prepared for how lovely it was! SO delicious.

almond tabbouleh, roasted herbed tomatoes, corn on the cob, a golden beet, red onion, mushrooms (which went to my mom!), asparagus, glazed carrots, broccoli, roasted red peppers and a delicious and well seasoned grilled tofu with a yummy fresh salsa on top. $13

What a great meal! Everything was so good, including the service. I was so pleased : ) PS- When I was talking to the server, she mentioned that they actually don’t use any butter at the restaurant.