Wednesday, February 9, 2011

vegetarian dines at mellow mushroom & sublime

two super good restaurants with two of some of my most favorite people in the world - javier and jessica garcia. married for almost two years now, javier and jessica are young, carefree spirits and an unbelievably kind duo. javi is one of my closest friends from high school and it's great to see him find someone like jess who carries the same outlook on life as him - simple yet refined (and always a little bit of crazy.) 

mellow mushroom in delray beach
monk in the trunk, kosmic karma pizza, cinnamon and honey pretzel

after an unpredictable adventure with the two to rescue an old cell phone held hostage from a disturbing character, our dining fates were immediately sealed when jess quickly learned we were very near mellow mushroom and realizing i had yet to eat there myself... she, i quickly found, was one of their regulars.

mellow mushroom is popular for their cheesy pies, draft and bottled beers and a funky, colorful atmosphere for everyone to come kickback and enjoy themselves. i was a little familiar with the concept but loved both their excitement to have me try one of their pizzas alongside a glass of 'monk in the trunk' beer. before i knew it we were immediately diving into the kosmic karma pizza with toppings such as mozarella, sun-dried tomatoes, roma tomatoes, feta, spinach and pesto swirling around the entire pie. javi and jess have actually started to make a sincere effort to live an all organic life and as a result, must change their choices in the food they eat - especially dining out. 

but the fresh pickings and the restaurant's infamous pesto on top encompassed by the warm, thick-crust put me in a 'winner, winner, chicken, dinner' mode - without the obvious unintended pun. they use whole wheat flour along with spring water and finish the crust off with parmesan. the monk in the trunk (an organic amber ale) was very drinkable and had a little citrus taste too that i really liked. mellow mushroom definitely does a great job combining unique ingredients on their pizzas that other restaurants tend to overdo. there was another pizza i want to try whenever i go back filled with grilled steak, portobello mushrooms, artichoke hearts and all the cheese my little heart could ever desire. 

the green, white and red pizza once before us had quickly vanished but as all respectable meals find themselves coming to an end, a little dessert always provides for fast comfort. javier placed an order of their cinnamon and honey pretzel, making jess the happiest girl alive and you could say the feeling was mutual on my end too. any type of doughy delight still steaming can never be a bad thing. just like the pizza, the pretzel was warm and the dangerously, delectable combo of honey and cinnamon soaked in the bread made me want to stick a fork in me and wave defeat - instead i found myself licking the remainder of the sugary syrup on the plate with my fingers and then throwing the white flag up.

the three of us laughed throughout the entire dinner about our escapades earlier and it was clear to see why they love mellow mushroom as it allows them to still relish in great food and feel organic in the process. 

sublime in ft. lauderdale
eggplant rollatini, mushroom ravioli and broccoli cheddar quiche

sublime is a nationally recognized restaurant because of their emphasis and pride in serving all vegetarian meals. believe it or not, my mellow mushroom mates from above are the ones i got to try their food with too and provided for another great evening of laughter alongside tasty treats. as i briefly mentioned before about them not eating meat, the two are also trying to eliminate all the bad crap (that we all usually eat) for good in order to maintain a healthier lifestyle. it's pretty inspiring to see the lengths they are taking in their overall life and i always find it fascinating with all the facts they share with me, as they are still learning themselves in going all organic.

sublime's menu isn't as complicated as a meat eater would probably like to believe and has a loyal following of vegans, vegetarians and all eaters alike. they even have a few classic dishes for the weary souls (mmm... javier!) such as the steak sandwich which is really made out of gardein (a plant-based food slow-cooked to taste like meat) or the sublime picatta - gardein cutlets served with a heaping of potatoes and veggies served over a lemon caper sauce.

us gals were excited to try anything because the truth is that no matter how much we are used to ordering a meal with meat, most vegetarian dishes will still satisfy you in the same way and wait for it... make you feel good about what you just ate! that's a tough one to fathom for some but our crispy eggplant rollatini (a little ricotta, a little mozzarella with butter and fried - boom!), mushroom ravioli with slow-roasted tomatoes (haaaaallelujah - yes, like the singing out loud kind) and broccoli cheddar quiche served with a kale salad all served for perfect examples that you don't need meat to enjoy a great meal. jess and i were elated with everything but i think it's going to take javier some more convincing. overall, dinner at sublime was well spent amidst the great company and truly tasty food. perhaps even another 'winner, winner, chicken, dinner' too... hey, at least i didn't make it the title of the post.