Tag Archives: vegan restaurant review

4th Generation Organic Market, Boca Raton

11 Jun

I decided that I was going to pick up some dinner for myself on my way home from work yesterday, and had a wonderful light bulb moment when I remembered that 4th Generation Organic Market existed, and right there in east Boca no less. It’s easy to forget about this place, because it’s just tucked away off of federal, but they have a lovely little cafe nestled in the back of this small market with LOTS of vegan offerings. I’d been here twice with my mom, but not for quite a while. We just tend to get into grooves as far as places to lunch.

I picked up a raw falafel wrap (I was craving falafel) and few other things to try.

I bought a couple of raw vegan “mozzarella sticks” $1.99 each. (Made with macadamias, probiotics, salt, onion, nutritional yeast, flax seeds, basil and oregano.)

These were about the size of my ring finger, so pretty pricey for the portion, but also pretty tasty. They definitely got the mozzarella stick taste they were after.

Here’s my raw hummus n falafel wrap, $9.99. (Made with zucchini, flax, salt, cayenne, sunflower seeds, sesame, tahini, lemon juice, lemon zest, cumin seed, parsley, cilantro, garlic, sea salt, celery, extra virgin olive oil, and hemp seeds.)

I’d had this before, and it was really good. It also had lettuce, tomatoes, and sprouts. I only wish it came with a side of tahini sauce!

I also picked up two different dessert items. I’ve been craving cookies a lot lately and always enjoy a good coconut cake, so they were easy decisions to make.

The oatmeal raisin sandwich cookie was super good, $2.49. (Made with teff, sorgum, millet, quinoa, agave, coconut oil, potato flour, baking powder & soda, vanilla, oats, raisins, soy butter, powdered sugar and lemon.)

The little bit of lemon in the frosting was a nice surprise and complemented the flavors nicely with some brightness. It was only after I tasted it that I read all the wonderful ingredients. This was A+.

Organic Coconut cake, $5.99 for a HUGE piece. (Made with spelt flour, vegan butter, agave, coconut milk, coconut oil, confectioner sugar, coconut extract, coconut flakes, baking powder & soda.)

I didn’t realize until after I took a few bites how great the ingredients were. (and that’s when I went back and read the cookie ingredients too.) I was expecting one of those ridiculously sweet first bites that sort of turns me off when I choose to indulge in cakes and such. This was such a nice surprise, delicious, moist, so much coconut flavor, and subtly sweetened. This is the way I’m intending to bake from now on, when I do. No more straight up sugar in my treats. Absolutely NOT necessary!

If you’re local, I highly recommend adding 4th Generation to your lists of spots to grab snacks, sweets and/or a casual lunch or dinner. If you want to dine in, they have a little bit of seating next to the counter. They’re located at 75 SE 3rd Street in Boca Raton, just south of Palmetto on the east side of US-1/Federal. Open Monday – Saturday, 8-7, and Sunday 9-6.

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

Sunday Dinner @ Darbster – WPB/LW

18 Apr

You’ve heard me sing Darbster‘s praises before, and this time is no exception. I got to taste some new things this time including a raw entrée and raw dessert. And when I say taste, I really mean FEAST!  I had quite a lot of food. So much, in fact, that I had to forgo my after dinner plans, and get dessert boxed to go! : )

I started with the quesadillas. I hadn’t had quesadillas since before I went vegan and these were delish! They were a combination of Daiya cheddar & mozzarella and roasted red peppers, in a green (spinach?) tortilla. They also came with lots of vegan sour cream, guacamole, and fresh salsa. Mmm! I loved these! I am a sucker for mexican every time, so it was good that I ordered this so I didn’t have to order the enchiladas [again!] to get my fix. (Though the “steak” tacos were calling to me.)

Quesadillas $8.95

Instead I ordered one of the specials – Raw Tuna Club on Flax Seed Crackers with an organic salad & tahini dressing. This was really fantastic, and way more than I thought it would be. An almond based “tuna” made with raw vegan mayo, onions and seasonings, with “bacon” (dehydrated something!) fresh tomato, avocado, and sprouts on flax seed bread. Really awesome. (It totally beats my fake tempeh tuna!) The salad had greens and lots of sprouts and the dressing was great on the shredded carrots.

Raw Tuna Club on Flax with organic salad $14

The Grilled Steak Ciabatta sandwich, which came with perfectly cooked, seasoned fries. It was extremely delicious in a completely different way. I know Darbster uses Gardein, but I don’t know where they get these nice big patties of it. Excellent!

Grilled Steak Ciabatta with wasabi mayo, arugula, and tomato $14

Onion rings $2 ordered with an entree or $4

Maybe it was that we ordered too much food, or that the french fries were just so awesome, but I didn’t dig the onion rings as much this time. They have a light, airy tempura type coating. They just came out a little too greasy today. (little puddle of oil in the bottom.)

And now for the dessert that I almost didn’t get to eat. I was full, but determined, so I had it boxed to go. I had a hard time deciding between the chocolate mousse ganache cake and the [gluten-free] raw organic blackberry torte, but in the end, the adorable swirled blackberry torte was packed into a little box to enjoy later. Much later. Hours later I was finally able to enjoy this delicious creamy treat. You’d never guess that this was a raw dessert. Really. It was sort of like a creamy cheesecake. (Lightbulb! was that strawberry cheesecake I had there before really a raw torte, by accident? The texture  was very similar!) Regardless, wonderful and flavorful with a yummy nutty crust that will leave you wanting more!

Gluten-Free Raw Organic Blackberry Torte $9

This was a really great way to spend a nice Sunday evening. The weather was perfect, and the patio doors were open. Darbster does “Doggie Sundays” at dinnertime. This means you can bring your pup in and get a 20% discount on your meal! Pretty neat. Too bad we can’t dress Boris as a dog and take him. He’d give himself away in a minute; he’s too darn vocal.

Oh! And I solved the mystery of – Wow, Darbster must be on the very edge of West Palm. IT IS! I noticed driving up yesterday that the sign for the city limit is literally right next to Darbster’s patio area! Hah ; )

PS- they changed their menu presentation to a little bit fancier one…

Nice!

If you live nearby you should definitely do yourself a favor and check out Darbster. Tell them Ty from cameraphonevegan.com sent you! I still haven’t met Chef Seth, but one day! Apparently Sunday is his day off ;  ) Check out their website for all the info & specials.

Angelica Kitchen, NYC

4 Apr

Anytime I’m in NYC, you can bet I will be making at least one stop at Angelica Kitchen. (Read my previous review here.) It’s a fantastic macrobiotic, vegan place near Union Square, and it’s always awesome. In fact, the biggest problem I have every time I go there is NOT ordering the Sam or I sandwich, which is absolutely amazing. This time though, I was able to curb the urge and try something new, and I’m so glad that I did.

The Saturday norimaki…

Rolled vegetable sushi, served with wasabi, pickled ginger& lemon-shoyu dipping sauce (ingredients vary daily) 6 Pieces $8 / 9 Pieces $11.50

Kass wasn’t feeling so hot, so she didn’t partake in the sushi, but here is a pic of  her lovely sprout salad!

Mixed Sprout Salad… A refreshing toss of snow pea shoots, sunflower sprouts & seeds, and mint; mixed with cabbage, daikon & carrots in a cool mint vinaigrette. Adorned with toasted peanuts, onion sprouts & watercress. $8.75

Here’s the marinated tofu sandwich. I’ve had it before and it is delicious, but I still prefer the Sam or I sandwich. The picture doesn’t really do the tastiness justice.

Marinated Tofu Sandwich… Lemon herbed baked tofu layered with roasted vegetables, a smear ofparsley-almond pesto & lettuce. Served on choice of mixed grain orspelt bread. $8.75

And now onto my AWESOME selection! : D

Olé Man Seitan… Homemade seitan & roasted vegetable mix folded into a warmwhole wheat tortilla; dressed with spicy traditional mole sauce (peanuts & chocolate), & lime-jalapeño tofu sour cream;garnished with pimento. $14.50

This was incredibly good, and HUGE. The seitan had a great texture and the filling was really flavorful. It was just fantastic.

For dessert, Kass and I split one of their spelt fig newtons. It was subtly sweet and about double the size of a regular fig newton. With desserts it’s best to leave your cravings for sugar and fat laden sweets for another place. Their desserts are generally “healthy” tasting, so just expect that.

I should also mention that they don’t serve coffee or alcohol either, but it IS a BYOB place with no corking fee. So you’re more than welcome to bring whatever intoxicating libation you prefer. We didn’t, but I saw one table with what looked like a nice 6 pack of specialty beer.

Definitely check out Angelica Kitchen if you’re in the area. And try their awesome cornbread too! They have three different kinds!

Angelica Kitchen only accepts cash and is located at 300 East 12th Street, open daily from 11:30 am to 10:30 pm.

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! : )

Darbster – WPB/Lake Worth, Fl

27 Jan

I am very pleased to tell you that I finally got up to Darbster. Although the address says West Palm Beach, it must really be on the very edge, toeing the line of Lake Worth, because it’s south of Forest Hill Blvd. Regardless, a yummy, and completely vegan experience!

Darbster is a sort of outdoors place. Even the inside seating is really a walled and covered outdoor patio. The temperature outside had dropped to around 66 by the time we got there, so it was nice that there was a table left inside. (In fact, shortly after we were sat, the last table outside came in, and they closed the sliding glass doors.) They have both air conditioners and heaters scattered throughout that they must use for more extreme weather shifts. There are a couple of high tops and seating around the bar as well. Speaking of the bar, they have beer and wine, this Organic Peak Pomegranate Ale ($6) was pretty tasty.

I was immediately thrilled to see that they had onion rings, and started with this side as an appetizer. Months after going vegan, I was saddened when I it dawned on me that most onion rings are dipped in egg along with that batter. Ditto for eggplant parm. So I ordered them gleefully.

Onion rings…  with a sandwich $2.50 or $2.95 without

Darbster uses Daiya cheese and Gardein products for it’s meat substitutes. I’m glad they use Daiya, and I think most vegan places should, but we stayed away from the dishes that we thought were the ones I could easily make at home, like the philly cheese steak sandwich.

I was really anxious to try the rawvioli. I almost forgot to order it in all my vegan restaurant excitement, but grabbed the waitress shortly after placing our order. She wasn’t afraid to let us know that we were ordering a lot of food, and I assured her that I’d take whatever I couldn’t finish home!

This dish ended up being [essentially] a nice salad. The beet “pasta” had a nice crunch, and it was really tasty. The filling was yummy and the salad was nicely dressed. I’m not sure that this would fill me up as a meal on it’s own, so I’m glad I ordered the palm cake sandwich too.

Rawvioli Beet Pasta w/salad…  lunch $10/dinner $12

I had read a bunch of reviews online before the trip up, so I knew that everyone raves about the palm cakes. It’s funny, because for the last couple of years before I went vegan I had really wanted to try a crab cake, even though I never ate seafood. I’m pretty sure it’s because I kept seeing them on the food network : ) Well, anyway, I never did end up eating one, but apparently this pan fried heart of palm cake is it’s vegan stand in. It was super delicious (didn’t taste anything like seafood!), and served on a huge whole wheat bun. Then also had a palm cake ceasar salad as a special, and I know they sell them as appetizers at dinner time. (It actually came on a bigger plate with a little bit of lettuce, but I had to transfer it to a smaller plate because there were too many plates on the table!)

Palm Cake Sandwich with aioli and lettuce… $6.75
(it says and red potatoes on the on-line menu, but not so in person!)

One of the specials was gluten free eggplant lasagna. In fact, this was the last lunch special portion of the day, and according to the waitress, the envy of the other patrons. It was really good.

Gluten free Eggplant Lasagna… I don’t remember how much this was? $10 or $12?

At this point I was pretty full, and boxed up half of my palm cake sandwich for later; I wanted to save room for dessert! I ordered strawberry cheesecake. I had read reviews about their awesome carrot cake, but happened to be carrot caked out, and skipped it. Then I got nervous that I made the wrong choice. I didn’t want one of those vegan cheesecakes that tastes like tofu : P  Well, this cheesecake was SUPER delicious, didn’t have any tofu taste at all, and had a really good grahmmy, nutty crust. It was more of a multi berry cheesecake, and had a softer consistency than I expected. The piece was a generous size for sharing.

Gone in 2 minutes flat!

It was a really nice experience, and I’m glad that Darbster seems to have established itself permanently. It’s a much better option than overpriced Sublime in Fort Lauderdale, both in price and in flavor. This will definitely be a place that I’ll enjoy much in the future. Darbster is open for lunch and dinner Wednesday through Saturday (but open Valentine’s Day Monday) and brunch and dinner on Sunday. They are dog friendly, and accept credit cards too!

Angelica Kitchen NYC, a review

21 Aug

i went to angelica kitchen once while i was living in new york, and was so pleased to be able to return. it’s a macrobiotic restaurant near union square and they have a good variety of appetizers, soups, salads, entrees, baked goods and desserts, as well as daily specials.

we started with the  Curried Cashew Spread ($4.75) An intriguing live blend of raw cashews, sprouted chickpeas, freshly ground curry powder & unpasteurized miso. Accompanied by crisp crudités. this was really good, and i’d like to try to recreate it at home.

and the Saturday’s Norimaki Sesame tofu, pattypan squash, broccoli, daikon, carrots, seasoned brown rice & walnut pesto. (6 Pieces $8.00/9 Pieces $11.50)


despite my trying to order something different this time, i couldn’t resist ordering what i had back in february… the Sam or I Sandwich Herbed baked tofu layered with marinated hiziki & arame, crisp grated daikon, ruby kraut, a smear of mellow sesame spread & lettuce. Served on choice of mixed grain or spelt bread. ($8.75) or get Half a sandwich with simple salad or cup of soup & kukicha tea. ($9.50) i highly recommend this sandwich : )


kassidy got the Three Bean Chili Piquant chili made with homemade seitan, kidney and pinto beans & lentils; slowly simmered with sun-dried tomatoes and a blend of chiles; topped with lime-jalapeño tofu sour cream. Served with fluffy Southern style cornbread & cucumber-red onion salsa. (wee $9.00 grand $11.50, wee pictured) kassidy enjoyed it and i had also had also tried this previously. they’re very generous with that amazing cornbread!

we also ordered a peach cobbler pie, not pictured, but it wasn’t all that great. overall it just lacked flavor.

Angelica Kitchen is located in manhattan, near union square at 300 East 12th street, 212-228-2909, open daily from 11:30am to 10:30pm.

wild ginger – bedford ave, brooklyn

18 Apr

my neighbor kassidy had been dying to take me to wild ginger, and finally friday i was able to meet up for a delicious “pan asian vegan” meal, and some pinot noir (actually, a lot.) we had a really lovely dinner. just one complaint… but i’ll get to that after the food!

Starters:


Pan-fried vegetable dumplings: these were really yum & so was the dipping sauce.

B-B-Q ribs: awesome! i had my eye on this item right away, and it tasted like christmas.

Scallion pancakes with home-made mango salsa. greasy, but incredibly good. the salsa helped freshen it up.

Miso soup: kassidy’s pre-dinner soup. she seemed to enjoy it.

Ginger salads: colorful ginger dressing topped salad. i love ginger dressing! i need to learn how to make it.

Entrees:


Sweet citrus soy protein: kassidy’s dish. super savory, and beefy like, over a bed of delicious kale and almonds.  it was very, very good. the brown rice that it came with had pine nuts mixed in.

Sweet & sour soy protein: i LOVED my dish. i used to love sweet & sour chicken, and this had the exact light batter coating of the original. SO, so, so delicious! really, i’m sad i will not get to eat this dish again. or at least for a long while.

Dessert: by dessert we were so full on food and wine! we didn’t even finish, a shame.

Pumpkin cheesecake: creamy, but with a little sour aftertaste. i thought it could’ve been more pumpkin-y.

Chocolate peanut butter soy ice cream: not as good as simply decadent’s, but still yummy and light.

Overall thoughts:

the food was excellent, dessert ok, and the service was fine… that is until the waiter stood behind kassidy until we were done with the check.

VERY RUDE about hovering over you as soon as the check hits the table. he even went so far as to count out the tip as soon as we handed it to him, in front of us, and show it to the other server for approval! i don’t know if they have trouble with the hipster crowd, and are therefore suspicious, or what. regardless, it’s an off-putting ending to an otherwise wonderful meal. apparently this is something you can count on happening at this establishment. kassidy said this has happened every time she has dined there, and she has even witnessed them reprimanding a guest. she has sworn to not come back in the past, but the food is just too delicious.

final thoughts: well-priced, yummy food with serving sizes that are generous without being overwhelming. they take credit cards too.

Candle Cafe – NYC, Upper East Side

11 Apr

After checking out many different, pricey restaurants, I settled on candle cafe for tonight’s dinner. Candle Cafe is by the same owners as Candle 79, only slightly less expensive, and more casual and with a similar menu.

We got there about 7:30pm and our wait was 30-45 minutes, which I think is pretty reasonable for a Saturday night, anywhere. It’s a fairly small place, so it’s understandable.

Bar:

We were able to grab a stool at the bar, and the bartender was friendly, and let us know we could also dine there, but we wanted to wait for a table. The bar had wine, beer and juices. J ordered a beer while we waited. After a while, we also ordered some focaccia bread, and sure enough, our table opened right as the bread arrived.

SCARECROW GOLDEN PALE ALE – (England) Creamy balance of malt and hops. it was tasty and light, and came in a 17 oz bottle for $9, which I thought was well priced for the size.

Appetizers:

GRILLED FOCACCIA – Served with miso-tahini spread or drizzled with roasted garlic olive oil.

We got the garlic olive oil and honestly, focaccia it wasn’t, but it was delicious. What it reminded me of was the freshly grilled garlic bread you get at a cuban restaurant. OK, it was just like that, except on what looked like a ciabatta roll.

SEITAN CHIMICHURRI – Citrus herb marinated seitan skewers.

These were incredible, and honestly the thing the I wanted to try most on the menu. Being that they were cooked on a grill, they had a wonderful smoky, meaty flavor. The chimichurri sauce was SO delicious. I could have a meal centered around this offering very happily.

Salad:


GREEK SALAD – Romaine lettuce, cucumber, tomato, marinated chickpeas, bell peppers,red onions and olives with tofu feta. Served with a creamy herb vinaigrette.

Fantastic! I was very insistent on ordering this, and we were both really glad that we did. The marinated chickpeas were delicious, and so was the vinaigrette. The tofu didn’t taste like feta, but gave you the texture of it, still, yum! We only wished that the olives were pitted, to make eating them a little more elegant, but regardless, we polished off the whole thing!

Entrees:


PARADISE CASSEROLE – Layers of sweet potato, black beans and millet over steamed greens with country gravy.

I had a hard time deciding what to order, but I kept coming back to this one. Once I found out that the gravy didn’t have mushrooms, I was sure. It arrived a bit lukewarm, but the gravy was scalding hot, so after pouring it over top, it balanced out. It was served on a bed of tasty sautéed kale, which was also still hot. This was great! I wanted to eat the whole thing, but got full. So I have some leftovers for later : )

TUSCAN LASAGNA – Grilled zucchini, peppers and onions, tofu basil ricotta, tapioca cheese and seitan ragout topped with tomato sauce. Served with sautéed greens.

It was okay, not terrible, but not terrific. The tofu ricotta still tasted pretty bland. It also came on a bed of delicious kale.

We also got an order of fries (not pictured), which we shared. Nothing out of the ordinary here. The ketchup was awesome, apparently Muir Glen brand, according to our server.

Dessert:

Rice pudding!  : )

I’m not sure if they used brown rice or white, but this rice pudding was shockingly good! It came dusted with cinnamon, but the best part was the surprising very vanilla-y after taste. Clearly they use real vanilla bean in their pudding, as it was flecked with beans. It was great in conjunction with the vegan cappuccino.

Some of that night’s specials that also looked good [on other people's plates] were: the taco salad (huge!), which I wanted but was trying to not order mexican food [for a change], and the fettuccine, which had mushrooms (i don’t eat mushrooms) but also lots of other yummies like capers.

The service was excellent, and all of the staff was friendly, helpful, and courteous. I would definitely return.