I finally made it over to Rawk Star Café in my old hometown of Palm Harbor!  And though it shows a small locale, next to a vitamin shop and Domino’s Pizza on the side of US19N and Tampa Road, it is a little patch of sunshine.  It’s very modern and clean and minimal inside, an absolute delight to look at.

I was of course greeted by Karen’s friendly smile and sweet demeanor.  I have visited twice, and both times were alike in that you are always greeted with a smile and with great energy!  Adam greeted me the second time J  The first time there I ordered the pizza with rawghetti and a slice of the Macha Crème pie to go with a Hibiscus tea.  The pizza was awesome, loaded with veggies, and loaded with flavor.  I told Karen that I didn’t like olives, and she said there were sundried olives on the pizza.  Though, I usually like olives on pizza I was even more interested when she said that they were sundried.  So I told her to pile them on.  They were really tasty.  Even more so than regular black olives on pizza.  The flavor and richness of the pizza hit the spot.  The rawghetti was also flavorful with plenty of cashew cheese on top for loads of cheesy flavor.  Though the pizza and rawghetti were nice, I would be a liar if I didn’t admit to the Macha Crème pie being some of the most amazing dessert I have had.  It was rich, creamy, and absolutely tasty.  Not overly sweet, but I got just enough of a dose of sweetness to satisfy my sweet tooth.

The other pleasant surprise about the pie was that I took my entire first meal to go, as I was on my way to visit my grandmother at a nursing home on Tampa Road.  She happened to be complaining about the tasteless food there, and I offered her some of the pie as she wanted something sweet.  Now, before I tell you what she said, let me preface it by saying that my grandfather was a Master Pastry Chef and Master Baker who also taught at Johnson & Wales Culinary Arts Institute in Rhode Island for many years.  So in essence, my family knows good food, especially good desserts.  My grandmother took a bite and said ‘mmmmmm… that’s really good, what is it?’  Knowing her propensity for full fat, fully dead food, I told her it was a crème pie dessert I picked up.  She was none the wiser, and got a taste of raw food goodness!

For my second visit to Rawk Star, I enjoyed the DLT with Avocado.  It was a wrap, with avocado, tomato and the lettuce I can’t recall the type, but it started with a D if that helps J  The wrap was a collard green and it came with veggie chips.  Boy oh boy was it filling and delicious.  The heartiness of the collard green and all of the veggies made it one hefty wrap.  And it was delish!  Then I had to share a slice of the Macha Crème pie again, as I was there with my mom.  And she enjoyed it a lot as well.  Adam even hooked us up with a few scoops of the chocolate ice cream on top.  I can’t say enough good stuff about Rawk Star.  The staff is friendly, everything is super fresh and I haven’t had a bad meal there yet! (nor do I ever believe I will!)  So if you’re in the neighborhood, I absolutely insist you stop by and grab a smoothie, a sit down meal, or just an order to go.  You won’t be disappointed!

Sublime Restaurant was just TOO good not to revisit while we were in Fort Lauderdale.  And there was also the $40 special (I am pretty sure it was $39.99) for an appetizer, entrée and dessert (with a glass of house wine included.)  That is a really good price no matter where you go to eat at this level of establishment.  You could have the usual S.A.D. food for probably half that price at Applebee’s or the like, but if you want food that is actually good for you and our planet, then you usually pay a bit higher.  Sublime could definitely increase their prices for what you get there, but hey!  Why would I complain!  So we again sat at the bar and met Spencer yet again.  Since we enjoyed talking to him, as well as his drink recommendations, we decided to just sit at the bar and enjoy our dinner there.  So we ordered the Eggplant Rollatini and the Frito Miso as appetizers.  I wasn’t too sure about the Frito Miso, even though we’d been told by EVERYONE (wait staff, Spencer, Nanci herself, and the other customers) that it was THE BEST appetizer I just usually don’t do ‘sweet chili sauce’ because it’s not my thing.  And then it was deep fried, and it seemed more like a heavy Asian food.  I don’t normally like anything that is fried anymore either.  But I took one bite of Frito Miso, and entered food heaven.  I don’t know how it topped the Gardein ‘cheeseburger’ sliders, but heck I ate my half of the Frito Miso as slow as possible to savor each bite.  The black and white sesame seeds really accented the taste and just sent my tastebuds into overdrive.  Man oh MAN was that amazing!  (And you too can make it yourself if you’ve got the frier available, and a cookbook from Sublime *which you can purchase at the hostess stand for just $20)

Next Dave & I switched and he was ooo-ing and aahh-ing at the Eggplant Rollatini so I was really excited to try that.  Now, I was always a cheese person when I ate the S.A.D. but there hasn’t been anything that I’ve had that was like a ricotta.  Oh boy oh boy was that Eggplant Rollatini good.  So cheesy and flavorful.  It was almost like having stuffed manicotti.  But better for me and OH so delightful!!

Onto the dinner: I ordered Mushroom Ravioli and Dave ordered the Quiche Lorraine.  I have to say that I was horribly skeptical of the Quiche.  My Mom always made killer Quiche Lorraine, and when I became vegan, she made it vegan for me and it was still awesome.  *We had it for our housewarming party and no one knew it was vegan!*  So out came the main dishes and both looked amazing.  I absolutely fell for the mushroom ravioli.  Again, what a treat with the creamy taste and the mushrooms what a delight.  And it wasn’t heavy at all.  I just really liked it.  I didn’t really want to swap with Dave except that it seemed he had entered food heaven and didn’t want to swap with me.  So that peaked my curiosity.  We swapped and then I again entered food heaven.  The quiche was the best I have ever had.  (I’m sorry Mom!!  But you raised me to tell the truth!)  My Mom definitely gets best ‘local’ quiche from me, but holy moly, Sublime blew it out of the park.  It was SO rich, SO cheesy and SO tasteful.  At this point I had determined that I wanted to move into Sublime, I would sleep on the floor of the kitchen just to get a meal from Sublime once a day.

Last, but certainly not least, we got our desserts.  Dave got the ice cream Sundae and I ordered the infamous Coconut Cake.  The Sundae was by far the best ice-cream I have had since becoming vegan.  But we were FAR too full to have the coconut cake.

We boxed that up and took it back to the hotel for a midnight snack or breakfast.  Well, since we’d had dinner fairly early, about 9 or so we were both wanting to have something sweet.  That coconut cake was ecstasy.  Now I am known to have a bit of a sweet tooth and for me, that coconut cake was by far utter baked perfection.  I have always been a great cook and an even better baker.  It’s in my blood, as my grandfather taught cake making as well as pastry courses at Johnson & Wales Culinary School in Rhode Island.  But since I went vegan I haven’t exactly done well with baking.  Vegan Heartland (who you can find both on Facebook and Twitter) had a recipe for ‘Vegan Screw Up Cake’ which I screwed up further by not having ingredients and having to swap and the first time it was awesome.  But Nanci Alexander must have had me in mind by putting the recipe for the Coconut Cake in her cookbook.  I could have kissed her for the taste of this cake!  So, I urge you, take the time to go to Sublime.  Your tastebuds deserve it.  And you will not regret it!

October 8th 2011 our vegan food experience in Fort Lauderdale continued.  We made our way to Green Wave Organic Café for lunch.  I ordered the cheeseburger and Dave ordered the open-faced hummus sandwich.  We both started off with some tomato pizza flavored soup.  It was wonderful.  It was a lovely and very flavorful.  We both preferred one another’s meals to the one we ordered.  I liked the cheeseburger, but the vegetables on the open-faced hummus sandwich were so fresh and flavorful that I was in love!  I also tried some new tea and had a Blueberry Lemon Tea for lunch.  It was an absolutely delightful place, very clean and bright inside.  And the family that runs it and served us was wonderful.  The prices were great, they had a nice selection and everything was presented so beautifully.  The other thing I liked was that they offered a pretty large selection, for the small size the café itself is, of natural foods and supplements to purchase.  I would definitely head to Green Wave Café again, as it was time and money well spent.  And there was far more lovely food we have yet to try on the menu!