Tag Archives: vegetarian

Cafe Evergreen. 801 Tamiami Trail South, Nokomis FL 34275 

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It’s true. I am not posting nearly as often as I once did. There are multiple reasons for this that all stem for the same source…I have a one year old. Going out to eat doesn’t happen very often anymore…because I have a one year old. When I do get out for a treasured, rare, date night with my husband, I never seem to find the time to write about it…because I have a one year old. When we go out as a family, it’s usually to places we’ve been before, or where we know the owners…because I have a one year old.

Today was different. Today was a VERY special day. It was the first day in over a year that I took an official day off from my one year old. Now don’t get me wrong. I loooooove being a mom. I loooooooove spending time bonding with, playing with, and taking care of her, but OMG, today was glorious.

First on the agenda was to finally go for lunch at Cafe Evergreen. I’ve heard such great things about it and the menu is incredible….sooooo many pescaterian options that sound amazing.

When I sat down the friendly waitress made some suggestions at my request and they were ALL appealing. Clearly I’m going to need to make a few more visits. I told her why it was a special day for me and she was totally supportive and amused, and stayed to chat a bit before she left me to ponder the menu options.

The manager came by soon after with a complimentary edamame appetizer which was a nice touch- although I didn’t love the strong seasoning they put on it. I prefer my edamame done classically with just a pinch of sea salt.

When the waitress returned for my order I told her that I was taking her recommendation of the Roasted Beet Reuben and I chose the Arugula/apple/almond salad as my side. She had mentioned to me that she’d never had beets (?!?) before that sandwich and that she really loved it. Beets are one of my very favorite foods, and lately I’ve been on a huge sauerkraut kick, so it didn’t take much to convince me.

As I reveled in my aloneness, I let my mind wander to this blog and how I used to find such satisfaction in writing entries. I looked forward to this moment of writing and reminiscing about my meal, and vowed to make more of an effort to stick with it even with the challenges that motherhood has brought. I decided right then and there that there would be more of an  effort to take ‘me’ days, and that those days would surely include more trying restaurants by myself like I used to in the ‘old days’.

My meal came out looking delicious and I dug right in. WOW. That sandwich was shockingly good. Fresh, lightly-toasted, marble rye, warm, sweet, roasted, beets, melty Swiss cheese, tangy sauerkraut, and thousand island dressing. These are things that I wouldn’t have guessed would taste so so so good together but seriously, it was one of the best flavor combos I’ve ever had. The salad was simple and perfect with a light, creamy, dill dressing that complimented the whole meal beautifully.

When the waitress came to check on me I raved about my lunch, so happy that I’d finally gotten down to Venice to check this great cafe out. She joked with me that given my day-off-rose-colored glasses, situation, it probably wasn’t too hard to impress me.

Well, maybe she was right…but this really was an absolutely perfect meal.

Lunch with a large side of freedom.

I’ll be back for sure.

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Candle Cafe: 1307 3rd ave. New York, NY

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I avoided trying Candle Cafe for a long time because it’s the sister of Candle 79, a restaurant that I am, errr, less than fond of..see my review of it here: https://bigforkinmouth.wordpress.com/2010/04/22/candle-79-154-e-79th-st-new-york-ny/     It was my dear friend’s birthday though, someone I love to try healthy places with, and I’m always hearing from people I trust who adore Candle Cafe. I thought this provided the perfect occasion to give them a fair shot.

I’m SO glad that I didn’t write this one off! We were seated right away by the hostess and started looking, with wide eyes, over a menu that had WAY too many appealing choices on it. (this is a good thing) Everything sounded great, from the specials to the salads, sandwiches, entrees and smoothies…and I hadn’t even seen the dessert menu yet.

I settled on the special wrap of the day: An artichoke heart and arugula wrap with grilled lemon basil tofu, tapioca cheese, basil aioli wrapped in a spinach tortilla with a side salad and roasted tomato salsa. It was really SOOOOO good. YUM. The tofu was crisp on the outside and soft and creamy inside, the ‘diet’ cheese was flavorful and actually pretty interesting, the veggies were fresh and had nice texture to them and the basil aioli was sweet, spicy and delicious. The only complaint I had about this dish was that the side salad contained quite a few pieces of brown lettuce. Now, I understand that organic produce doesn’t always look as perfect as non-organic, but brown leaves are kind of pushing it as far as I’m concerned.

For dessert we shared (admittedly, I ate 80% of it) the chocolate mousse pie with a chocolate cookie crust. It was out-of-this-world. Kind of like a cheesecake, but somehow a bit lighter than that. It had a rich, dark chocolate flavor and a smooth consistency. No one is missing dairy here for sure!

The bill here was more-than reasonable and I really liked the casual, earth/animal-friendly atmosphere. The wait staff was super polite and attentive and the vibe was much more chill than it’s sister. I’ll leave Candle 79 for the wealthy UESers who can afford a $25 ounce of avocado. I will definitely be back!

>Good Health Cafe 1435 1st Avenue New York, NY

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Looks can be deceiving. I’ve walked past this restaurant a thousand times but never went in because it’s so plain and dark inside. This is the exact reason that delivery exists. Eating wonderful food in your own home turns it into a 4 star meal. Vegetarian bean tacos/enchiladas and amazing guacamole. Unbelievably creamy sweet potato soup. I decided to indulge in the ‘guilt-free, dairy-free, egg-free chocolate mousse cake’ and OHMYGOD it was, as my dear friend would say, INSANELY GOOD. Is this really guilt-free?? I kind of doubt it, but it’s so worth it anyway.
Yum.