Saturday, July 19, 2014

The World's Weirdest Restaurant, Probably

Florida. The place we went for lunch did have a quinoa burger on the menu but the burger was held together by cheese, so I just ate some of Bob's fries and made a green salad when we got back to the hotel. I was using the little grinder top on the pink salt and accidentally pulled the whole top off and half the un-ground pink salt came pouring out on the salad. So I made two salads, but ate one. Good stuff.

Okay. Dinner. We went to the vegan restaurant here in Ft. Lauderdale. First, using Google Maps to get there, we ended up at a fast-food Mexican restaurant called "Lime" with a picture of a lime as part of the logo. We assumed, of course, that Google Maps had taken us to the wrong place, until we noticed that half a block away was the restaurant we were looking for, "Sublime," with a picture of a lime as part of the logo. They did not appear to be affiliated. So, that.

Sublime is a cavernous building, reminiscent of restaurants in a Vegas casino or a gentleman's club. (Trust me.) There was loud music playing outside the restaurant but there did not seem to be any playing inside. The windows were covered in waterfalls and there was a large flat screen over the bar featuring famous works of art that changed every five seconds. One whole side of the dining room was covered in mirrors. The decor was 80s fancy but appeared to be all brand new. It was much darker inside than outside. Most of the clientele were seated in large parties of six or more.

The items on the menu were a reminder that "vegan" is not synonymous with "healthy." A small plate of corn meal /basil triangles was brought to the table first. These tasted like cornmeal and basil. And, yeah.

Knowing that the next few days would likely be meals of dinner salads, I ordered vegan not raw.

We asked about the most popular dishes and ordered accordingly. First we had the "frito misto" which was cauliflower florets, deep fried, covered with orange chicken style sauce and molded into a tower. We also got the soft pretzels, these were puffy pretzel sticks accompanied with hummus and an onion dip. Our entrees were mac and cheese for Bob, this was molten hot to the point of being inedible for ten minutes, Jeff got the raw thing on the menu, a zucchini noodle thing that tasted like asian cole slaw, and I got tacos that were deep fried sticks of tofu in tortillas with salsa and cabbage, served with black beans and jasmine rice. These were good, like fried fish tacos except with rectangles of pale, flabby tofu standing in for the fish.

Between dinner and dessert, our server brought over two dinner napkins folded into large triangles and ceremoniously draped them across the table at right angles. Then she carefully set down spoons and forks laid at specific lines along the edges of the napkins in a pattern. I will totally be doing that at home from now on because napkin art.

Dessert was fantastic. The guys shared an ice cream sundae and I had a life changing piece of coconut cake and coffee. Of course coffee.

I was uncomfortably full by the time we rolled out of there. I would not be surprised if we drove by there again today only to see that the restaurant had vanished, as if it was never there and we had dreamed the whole thing.

What I ate today:

• coffee
• banana
• Brazil nuts (What can I say? I'm a creature of habit.)
• cantaloupe, honeydew, strawberries, grapes
• Blue Print Juice - kale, apple, lemon (Whole Foods)
• fries (Burgerfi)
• green salad - spring mix, avocado, olive oil, Himalayan pink salt
• cormeal/basil triangle (Sublime)
• sweet and sour fried cauliflower (Sublime)
• fried tofu taco (Sublime)
• coconut cake (Sublime)

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