• books and books: vegan in south beach

    September 29th, 2008quarrygirlflorida, more restaurants (not LA)

    recently i took a trip to florida, and in addition to soaking up sun and bobbing around in the ocean, i made it a point to visit as many vegan eateries as i could. over the next few days, i’ll bring you stories of meat-free food from ft. lauderdale, downtown miami, and the beach areas…starting with south beach, which is where i stayed.

    i did a lot of research before visiting florida on sites like happycow and found that there weren’t really any vegan restaurants near my hotel—i was pretty much resigned to the fact i would have to drive over the bridge to try out the really good places. so imagine my surprise when i was walking down lincoln road, a trendy little street of shops and restaurants reminiscent of 3rd street promenade, and spotted a menu propped up on a stand with the word VEGAN clearly labeling an entire list of items. the vegan-friendly menu belonged to books and books, a hip little book store that also functions as a café. of course the husband and i had to try it out. the result was pure delciousness.

    black bean and hummus sandwich $6.95

    black bean and hummus sandwich $6.95

    while the menu had a lot of vegan options, many of them contained bell peppers, which i absolutely hate. one tasty dish, however, that could be easily made without peppers was the black bean hummus sandwich. black bean hummus sounded way too good to pass up, and i was right…it was soooo freakin’ yummy. i inhaled it in like 4 seconds, but from what i remember, it was pretty damn perfect. the hummus was thick and substantial, not as runny or mushy as normal hummus, so it made for a hearty sandwich filling. the black beans added so much flavor and an unexpected crunchiness to the chickpea puree. plus, the sandwich was piled high with crispy cucumbers and juicy tomatoes. a very good find.

    vegan chicken sandwich $9.95

    vegan chicken sandwich $9.95

    the vegan chicken sandwich was also quite lovely, but definitely not worth $3 more than the hummus sandwich, which i preferred. the fake chicken was nicely grilled, but it did taste like it was probably a frozen patty to begin with. that’s not bad, though, for an omnivorous restaurant in miami beach. i’m just stoked they have vegan options at all, let alone actual fake meat! the vegetables were also scrumptious on this sandwich: a big thick slice of avocado, tomato, and mixed greens all added fresh flavor to the succulent little piece of chicken.

    while so many other things on the vegan menu sounded amazing, these sandwiches really hit the spot for quick and satisfying light lunch. the side salad was quite tasty as well, boasting tons of dark leaves, a mound of shredded carrots and a zesty vinaigrette. plus, the sandwiches came already cut in half so they were perfect for sharing. we pulled our favorite trick: ordering 2 and then swapping halves.

    besides the fact that the food is pretty awesome, i urge you to support books and books for boldly dedicating an entire section of the menu to clearly-marked vegan items. it was so lovely to sit in the sun, amongst all the shoppers, in a city with few vegetarian restaurants, eating food i knew to be vegan at a “normal” café. the servers were also unbelievably helpful and friendly. one even mentioned that during breakfast hours, any egg dish can be made vegan by subbing tofu or modifying the ingredients. sweet!

    so if you ever head down to miami beach, check out books and books. great atmosphere, super service and a bunch of vegan options. and they do have a lot more than just sandwiches, but lemme tell ya, the sandwiches are damn good!

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7 responses to “books and books: vegan in south beach” RSS icon

  • Sounds like heaven… my two favorite things combined into one: a cool bookstore and vegan food!

  • How exciting! Can’t wait to see it all!

  • foodeater – i was too lame to even check out the bookstore! haha. but yeah, the idea is lovely. god i need to start reading again. ho hum. 🙁

    lex – SUBLIME AND BEEHIVE. stay tuned.

  • thank you 🙂
    go for the mac and cheese. it’s killer. better yet, make the prosciutto and put it in the mac and cheese! damn. i just thought of that…now i want to make it.

    your twinkies are definitely getting done some time this week. i start a new catering order on the 7th, and i want to make them before it begins.

    i just ate a big macro and strawberry cupcake at m cafe…time to zone out in food coma.

  • that looks awesome! how fun finding vegan foods in ostensibly non-vegan places 😀

  • I went to the cafe at books and books and i really enjoyed the vegan chicken sandwich. I’m actually going to go back to get another one before i leave. It came with a salad and a mustard and brown sugar dressing that was delicious. I also got the vegan platter. It was alright but not as good as the sandwich. It came with black bean hummus (which was good) a couple slices of tofu (tasted plain and kind of mushy but not completely horrible) corn (cold but good) some cold sweet potatoes, and some sort of bean mixture but i didn’t try it because I’m not a fan of plain beans.
    This place was the best vegan restaurant i have been to in south beach

  • So i went back to get another chicken sandwich and there was a snail on the lettuce. My fiance lost his appetite. At least they took it off our bill.

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