Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Vegan Adventures in Miami - Om Garden

On Friday, I flew down to Miami Beach for a convention with The Institute for Integrative Nutrition. I was nervous about what I was going to eat, but I did some research ahead of time. I knew I wouldn't be able to stick to my elimination diet, so I decided to stay away from wheat and not worry about anything else. I did really well, and the only think that I noticed was itchy eyes and a little bit of itching in the back of my mouth from eating nuts.

I flew with my friends Jessica and Karen. Jessica and I shared a room, and Karen stayed shared a room in the same hotel with another friend named Laura. Jessica and I wanted to try Om Garden in mainland Miami and we invited Karen and Laura to join us. We had thought about getting a cab, but Laura had a rental car, so she drove us.

The restaurant is not much to look at from the outside, but experience as taught me that the places that don't look too pretty outside are the best. Om Garden proved my theory, as it was the absolute best food I have eaten in a long while. (And I eat some good food!) The waitress was extremely gracious and friendly, and when she realized we were from out of town, she made suggestions as to what we should try. Strangely, she said Jessica and I looked familiar and thought we had been there before.

She recommended trying the Om Plate, which is a sampler of some of their salads and appetizers, which Karen and Laura decided to do.

Karen's Om Plate consisted of Black Bean Hummus, Chickpea Hummus, Faithful Falafels, Mystical Mushroms and raw flax crackers.

Laura's Om Plate was Seven Seas Seaweed Salad, Thankful Tabouli (made with quinoa instead of wheat), Black Bean Hummus, Faithful Falafels and raw flax crackers.

Karen and Laura also split a Rainbow Roll, which was made with nori, carrots, beets, avocado, baby greens, cashew pate, mango, figs with balsamic syrup, and was served with a quinoa salad. Look at how pretty the dipping sauce is!

Jessica and I split the Chakra Cheese Plate, which was raw cashew cheeses, nuts, dried fruit and raw flax crackers. The cheeses were cashew, herb cashew and curried cashew.

Jessica had the Peace Pizza, which was pesto, mushroom, tomatoes, black olives and sun dried tomatoes and cashew cheese on a sprouted wheat crust.

I had the Sundance Pizza which was a raw pizza served on an onion and flax bread with herb cashew cheese, pesto, tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, black olives and avocado, and it was served with a side salad. I was full from the cheese plate, but I just couldn't leave any of this behind because it was so amazingly delicious, so I finished all of the pizza. I just couldn't find room for the salad though!

Let me reiterate that this was the THE BEST food that I have eaten in a while. We all raved about it to anyone who would listen for the entire weekend. If you are in the Miami area, you MUST try Om Garden. I'm sad because it's so far away from NJ that I know I won't be eating there again any time soon.

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