For the past few weeks I have been taking a class to help me pass my Professional Engineer examination at the end of October. Classes took place from Thursday through Sunday from like 8am to 5 or 6pm. Yes, painfully early. Since the class location was far from home, and eating Chipotle everyday can get boring quickly, I set out to try a different place that was preferably vegan.
As luck would have it, Green Bar & Kitchen was only a 13 minute drive. It’s a quaint, cozy and inviting restaurant with lots of natural light coming in. Clean cut and orderly. I noticed the menu was short of options but the guy at the front counter assured me their menu is small but well executed. Great, I thought until I noticed a lot of the house specials (and some of the sandwiches) were made with fake meat products. I have an issue with fake meat. I think it should be eaten very sparingly. The main point of eating vegan is to explore the endless possibilities of a plant based diet and not attempt to substitute the real thing with the over processed, “who knows how many preservatives and other stuff is in it”, type of texture that allows us to imagine we are eating the flesh of an animal. Who knows what a soy bean has to go through to become a chicken cutlet. Occasionally, I will eat tempeh because it’s processed differently than soy meat or tofu. Still, it comes in a package so I only eat it in case of emergency or a severe craving.
This restaurant does not offer organic foods. They do offer locally sourced ingredients but in no way does that guarantee me that the local farms use organic practices. Maybe if they posted the names of their local partners I would have more peace of mind. Without knowing where it came from, there is always the risk of consuming herbicides, pesticides, and genetically modified (GM) foods, particularly soy products. Approximately 90% of soy is genetically modified so the probability you are eating GM soy is about 100%.
Here is what I had…
Living Lasagna (Raw) – Zucchini pasta, sun-dried tomato marinara, macadamia ricotta, basil pesto, olive oil – When the guy at the counter told me they have a limited menu but everything is made really well, he wasn’t kidding. This lasagna was delicious. It was raw and you could taste the different flavors and textures between the ricotta, the zucchini, and tomato sauce. The ingredients were really fresh and the sun dried-tomatoes in the sauce definitely added a little extra to this really delicious dish.
Coconut Thai Soup – soup was very good in consistency and flavor though I think it had too much lime. If you are looking for a hot, creamy soup with a nutty and tart taste, then this is your soup.
Chocolate Brownie with Chocolate Chips – chewy and moist, a little crumbly but real chocolate taste. I made a mess eating this.
BLT with Avocado – A long time ago, a group of us packed our passports, left Miami for the day, and headed to America, ahem, Fort Lauderdale to try this restaurant. It was Sunday brunch and the menu had a lot of breakfast items that looked yummy. A lot of the meat eaters in the group were very skeptical but when they tried the BLT, they all raved about it. Since I had such great memories of this sandwich, I wanted to eat it again. I was disappointed. Maybe my expectations were too high. I remember the tempeh bacon being a bit crispier and not overpowering the rest of the sandwich. The tempeh bacon was cold, soggy and too thick. I had to take one layer off my sandwich. The double layer of thick tempeh bacon slices was too much for the rest of the delicate items in the sandwich. Well, the massive amount of iceberg was not delicate. For one, iceberg is not the greatest lettuce; it lacks flavor and nutrients. I think it is used mostly to add crunch. Loading a sandwich with too much iceberg is not only distracting it makes me suspicious as to why you have to put so much of it. I think the only saving grace to this sandwich was the amazing sauce spread on the bread and the $2 extra I paid for the avocado.
Curry Lentil Soup – Mildly spicy, appetizing and filling for being a cup serving.
Bunnie Cakes Chocolate Doughnut – I’m not going to comment at this time since I would like to write about it in a later post. I was really happy to find Bunnie Cakes at other retail locations.
On the second day I came to have lunch and to take a coconut soup to go. The Lady that helped me had no idea what was in the coconut soup and didn’t make an effort to find out. She was not very friendly to me but super friendly to what I can safely assume was a regular behind me waiting in line to order. She even came out to check up on them in the patio but not a peep to me. Luckily, the guy that delivered my food was very pleasant and recognized me from the day before, which was really nice.
Overall the food was made well (except for the BLT, I hope they change it a bit) and the restaurant was clean and presentable. I am not a regular there so I am left to assume service is hit or miss but nothing extreme enough where I would not want to visit again. Though I am very grateful more conscious restaurants are popping up in nearby areas, I probably would not be inclined to go out my way to visit again since I’m a little iffy about the lack of organic ingredients. I definitely would go if my friends wanted to try it out.