A small, aging strip mall in West Palm Beach may be the last place you'd expect to find Vanilla Ice taking a lunch break, but if you swing by the Vegan Cafe you might be lucky enough to catch him trying a new flavor of Pond Yum! spirulina popsicle.
Located just a few miles west of I-95, off Okeechobee Boulevard, Vegan Cafe owner Moe Senechal has filled his small shop with a wide array of health-focused fare, from fresh juice to fermented foods.
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Since opening in July, already a few local vegan-loving "celebrities" have stopped in to check out the small cafe, including Hippocrates Health Institute co-directors Anna Marie and Brian Clement. Located a few doors down from Rinaldi's and beyond a new La Brasa location, the clean space -- and clean food -- is a stark contrast to the meat and cheese laden sandwiches and slow-roasted chickens nearby.
Inside, the cafe offers an open area made bright and cheery with light blue washed walls. Several large tables allow for the lunch crowd to eat-in and enjoy a chalkboard menu of cold-pressed juices, smoothies and a serve-yourself soup bar that changes daily. There's also a short menu of raw, vegan eats. And, for the fully-committed vegan, the entire right wall is dedicated to shelves showcasing colorful jars of Senechal's own homemade, probiotic-infused fermented foods.
The menu offers a variety of vegan entrees ($5.99-$11.99) including several "stuffed" dishes, from a flash-baked tomato with raw spinach, sprouted quinoa, sprouts and seasonal vegetables, to the stuffed avocado or portabella mushroom caps. The nori roll features nothing but raw vegetables and sprouts given a hint of flavor with a special vegan sauce, then rolled in nori. A hearty vegetable meatball sandwich includes plenty of whole-grains and raw seeds, and can be served on a bed of greens and sprouts in place of a baked whole-grain bun. There's also pizza, pad thai made with raw zucchini or mung bean noodles -- even a curry dish offering a creamy blend of sweet potatoes, peas and garbanzo beans served over rice, sprouts and greens.
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