Tag Archives: reviews

SCV On the Road – Ft. Lauderdale

There were two restaurants that stood out while we were visiting Ft Lauderdale, Pizza Fusion and Sublime.

Pizza Fusion – 1013 N. Federal Hwy. Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304 (954) 358-5353

Pizza Fusion is a small eco-friendly chain with locations both in the US and abroad. Their pizzas are all made with organic ingredients and they offer both vegan and gluten free items.
Nick and I ordered the Very Vegan which is topped with vegan cheese, crimini mushrooms, tomato sauce and garlic with the traditional crust (both the whole grain and traditional crusts can be made vegan). We got a large pizza which was more than enough for two people. The cheese wasn’t stretchy, but it did melt well, so I’m going to go out on a limb and say it wasn’t Daiya or Teese, perhaps it was Tofutti? Regardless the pizza was delicious.
If the Very Vegan isn’t your thing, you can create your own pizza with soy cheese, your choice of sauce and your choice of veggies. Pizza Fusion also offers a vegan salad, cane sugar sodas and a vegan/gluten free brownie. The service at their Ft Lauderdale location was good. The servers where friendly, informed and accommodating. So if you’re looking for good vegan pizza in Ft Lauderdale make sure you check them out. Check out their website for other locations before you plan your next trip.

Sublime – 1431 N. Federal Hwy., Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33304 (954) 615-1431

Sublime was my first experience with vegan fine dining. The restaurant was founded by Nanci Alexander, founder of the Animal Rights Foundation of Florida (ARFF). 100% of Sublime’s profits go to organizations that promote animal welfare and the vegan lifestyle.
The menu at Sublime is entirely vegan. While we were visiting they had a special going for couples that included an appetizer, two entrées and a dessert, so we made sure to take advantage.
Nick and I shared the Frito Misto as an appetizer, I had the “Steak” Sandwich with sweet potato fries as an entrée and Nick had the Broccoli Cheddar Quiche which came with a kale salad, for dessert we had the Apple Crumb Pie a la Mode. Nick’s mom, Linda, and his brother, Mark, also had the couple’s special. Mark got Black Bean and Tomato Soup as an appetizer, Sublime Picatta as his entrée and he and Linda split the Coconut Cake. Linda and Ed (Nick’s dad) got the Vegetable Platter as their entrées: bbq tofu, mashed potatoes, grilled asparagus and marinated cucumbers; and sweet potato fries, mashed potatoes, grilled asparagus and marinated cucumbers respectively.
Everyone but me had been there before, so I let Nick pick our appetizer. The Frito Misto was amazing! It’s breaded cauliflower with a sweet chili sauce and sesame seeds. It disappeared pretty quickly since it was so good and though it was a good appetizer portion, I was left wanting more. When it came to entrées I went with what I felt was the safest option. The “Steak” in my sandwich was Gardein which has a very meaty consistency and is flavorful, but since I’ve had Gardein before I wasn’t completely blown away. The sweet potato fries, however, were cut steak style and were probably the best sweet potato fries I’ve ever had. Nick’s quiche made me want to try making my own quiche again, because I forgot how good quiche can be, especially with the advances that have been made on the vegan cheese front. It was made up of broccoli, garlic, shallots, tofu and cheddar “cheese” and it was a nice sized piece. I was also able to sample Mark’s soup, which was a very basic soup which we all felt required something more (either more seasonings or additional veggies like corn or peppers), as well as the almond cookie which came with his and Linda’s Coconut Cake. The almond cookie was sweet, crunchy and divine and made me want to try every dessert on the menu. When it came to my dessert I went with the safest option once again. The Apple Crumb Pie had currants in it which made it better than basic apple pie and it came with just the right amount of ice cream.
Everyone in our dining party was satisfied with their meals. Mark said his Sublime Picatta made with Gardein was so delicious he preferred it to traditional veal picatta and both Linda and Ed were happy with their vegetable platters, as the asparagus was large but properly cooked, however, Ed did mention that the marinated cucumbers could have used a little more marinating time because the ones towards the bottom of the bowl were better than the ones at the top.
Finally the service at Sublime is exceptional. Our waiter was well informed, he was willing to answer questions and he engaged us every time he visited our table. He made sure out drinks were never empty and that we had everything we needed. He was also rather entertaining as he was a bit dramatic and had an odd sense of humor (at one point he made a Hannibal Lecter joke).

I’m looking forward to visiting Sublime again and trying something new!

Sublime is a busy and popular place and despite it’s large size, we had to wait about half an hour for a table, so I recommend making a reservation if you want to dine there. You should also check out their book section by the host/hostess station which includes the Sublime Cookbook, as well as other vegan cookbooks and animal rights books.

Drew’s Eatery

Last night Nick and I went to check out Drew’s Eatery, one of the four restaurants participating in Mercy for AnimalsChicago Vegan Week Campaign. We checked out their menu online before heading over and unlike some of the other restaurants participating, Drew’s has a wide variety of vegan options on their menu and it’s not something they’re just doing for vegan week, it’s something they do year round!

When you’re walking along Montrose you just might miss the small restaurant buried in a row of restaurants and bars across from Welles Park. The signs in the window advertise that they have vegan and vegetarian options, as well as their use of local, organic and sustainable products.

Drew’s menu includes both cheese and ice cream from Chicago Soy Dairy, seitan from Upton’s Naturals and baked goods from Sweet Dreams Bakery. Their sausages are Tofurky brand and their Not Dogs are made by Soy Boy.

Nick & I were impressed by the detailed information in recycling and biodegradation info they had throughout the establishment.

Recycling Center

Drew’s offers items both a la carte and as combos. They also have daily specials posted and all of their vegan items are clearly marked. There were so many vegan options on the menu we had a tough time deciding what we wanted.

Lisa:
I ended up going with Combo #2, which included a hot dog or sandwich, a side and half a bowl of soup. For my combo I chose the Not Dog with the “The Phoney” topping sans cheese, which is basically a chili dog, along with a side of chips and half a bowl of Red Potato and Garlic Soup (the half bowl is the size of a cup). For dessert I got a scoop of Temptation Pumpkin Ice cream (They also had Temptation’s S’Mores, Chocolate and Dreamsicle when we went in)!

Notdog Phoney with Red Potato and Garlic Soup

Nick:
I got the Special of the Day, which was also a combo and consisted of the Not Dog, which I got with the “North Sider” topping (celery salt, relish, onions, pickle, tomato and giardiniera peppers), Chips and Pomegranate Lemonade from the Organic Drink Bar. I also got a half bowl of Red Potato and Garlic soup. For dessert I got a chocolate peanut butter shake.

Northsider Notdog with Red Potato and Garlic Soup


We were served by Drew, himself who made our food as we ordered it. He was very friendly and willing to answer all of our questions about ingredients and even showed us the packaging to the soy milk when Nick asked to see it.

Once we were done paying for our food we were directed to the organic condiment bar for traditional hot dog toppings and we found a small table to sit at and enjoy our food.

Lisa:

Phoney
I started with the organic Red Potato and Garlic soup and it was so delicious I wish I’d ordered a bowl instead of a cup (which is an option with combo #3). The Not Dog “Phoney” was good, but I was a little disappointed that the chili wasn’t spicy. It had good chili ingredients (tomato, beans, corn and onions) it just needed a little bit of kick to it and it would have been perfect. The chips were standard kettle style chips which I enjoy. But by far the best parts of my meal were the soup and the Pumpkin ice cream (they also were offering Pumpkin Pie Shakes!) I felt the pricing was reasonable considering that they use organic ingredients (our meals combined w/o dessert came to $17).
There were two other groups of people in there while we were there, both women with children, and the children seemed to be enjoying themselves in the “Kids Corner” which they can play in. Drew came out several times to check on everyone to see how the food was, etc. and he even held the door open for one of the women as she was leaving with her children. All in all it was a very pleasant dining experience and I look forward to going back!

Nick:

Northsider

It took me a long time to decide what I wanted. There are plenty of vegan options which is awesome, but because they are inserted all over the place in the menu it took a little bit of time to find them all and figure out what I wanted. After darting around and taking it all in I was going to get their Vegan Drew’Talian Sausage sandwich. Looking at the menu I suspected most of their sandwiches used name brand products so I asked if it was Tofurky brand and it was. Eating a whole one of these sausages can give me killer heartburn so I opted for a Northsider Not Dog instead. I got very excited that they used Not Dog brand veggie dogs. I’m originally from Buffalo, NY and Soy Boy, the company that makes Not Dogs, is also based out of Western New York and they are hard to come by in Chicago. A lot of people tend to prefer veggie dogs that try harder to emulate real hot dogs like those made by Yvves or Litelife, but personally, I like Not Dogs better with their unique flavor. I added a half bowl of Red Potato and Garlic soup to my meal and some Pomegranate Lemonade to wash it down.
I went straight for my soup because it looked really good and it was fantastic. I love potatoes and I love garlic so I knew this soup had a good chance of pleasing me and it delivered. The only drawback for me was the value. Lisa insists that the half bowl was a full cup of soup. I insist that it was 3-4 table spoons. For $3.00 it was tiny – especially considering soup is mostly water. I don’t seek out huge portions when trying to get the best value for my food dollar, but I didn’t feel that it was $3.00 worth of soup even if it was incredibly tasty. The Northsider Not Dog was excellent. Yes, its something I can make at home, but I had never had a “Chicago Style” dog and I enjoyed the combination of toppings and the wheat roll that it was on. The Pomegranate Lemonade was the only thing that left me disappointed in terms of taste. We all have different tastes and I felt that as far as lemonade goes, it was extremely watered down. I didn’t even opt for ice thankfully. I had room for dessert, so I got a Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Shake. It was a good shake, but there is stiff competition as far as shakes go in this city with Earwax, Chicago Diner, Pick Me Up, and Life on Mars all offering shakes using Temptation ice cream. I’d rank this shake above Life on Mars but below the rest.
One of the things that really stood out about Drew’s was Drew himself. He came off as genuine and personable. His restaurant is a form of living activism and though he’s not a vegan himself he opened a place of business that is as organic, local/sustainable, and environmentally conscious as possible. He’s open to new ideas and wants feedback. He was quite open about not knowing much about veganism when he opened the place but people kept requesting items and he’s learned on the go. He answered every question I had with enthusiasm and if I asked a question he had never gotten before he was inquisitive so that he could make sure he hadn’t missed an important detail. This combination of factors just draws willing support from people like me and I’ll gladly return just to continue to support a progressive business and watch it evolve.

Drew’s Eatery will be going entirely vegan for the day on Saturday, October 30th in honor of Chicago Vegan Week. Among items featured that day there will be 12 (!!) flavors of Temptation available. He showed us the list and we were excited about Triple Threat Chocolate and Blueberry, so make sure you pay them a visit on Saturday!

Drew’s Eatery
2207 W Montrose
Chicago, IL
773-463-7397
info@DrewsEatery.com