What do you do after leaving the only home you have ever known and backpacking alone around the world? Twice?
Well, if you are Guy Braverman, you open Screaming Carrots, an organic, plant-based restaurant in Hallandale Beach.
Being a restaurateur is far from the life he planned, both geographically and from a business perspective. After circling the globe, Braverman, who was born and raised in Israel, settled in Taiwan, where he met wife Lek and had three children. Together they ran a successful jewelry-making business for 20 years before moving to New York in 2010.
Shortly thereafter, his entire life changed following a Fourth of July barbecue spent indulging in meaty food, drinking, and smoking.
At the age of 40, Braverman suffered a heart attack.
"That was it," he says, matter-of-factly. "After that I never smoked again, never had meat, dairy, or eggs again, and I don’t touch alcohol. It improved my health in such a dramatic way that I have to share it with other people. I can’t just keep it to myself."
Unlike many who transition to a vegan diet gradually, Braverman, now 44, transformed overnight — and he never looked back.
"The change was rapid," he says. "It was only a matter of a week before I started feeling better."
The Braverman family flew the snowbird trail to sunny South Florida where they landed in Parkland and began the hunt for a suitable spot for their restaurant.
After searching from Miami to Palm Beach, they settled on the Hallandale Beach Boulevard location, conveniently located just off I-95.
"This was a decision that was sort of based on energy," Braverman says. "We walked in and just felt that this place has the right energy. It is close enough to Miami and close enough to Fort Lauderdale."
Braverman’s brother, a chef in Israel, traveled to Florida to help out during the first month when Braverman admits he may have lost some customers because of a painful learning curve.
"I don’t consider myself in the restaurant business yet," he says. "I'm more in the 'Spread the word about veganism' business."
And spreading the word he is. Open only since January 2016, Screaming Carrots now has a line out the door during lunch hour.
"The response is just beautiful," Braverman says. "I would not have expected it to grow this good this quickly. Within a
Braverman is grateful to the customers who stood by him during his growing pains, as well as other vegan chefs who have dropped by to offer both advice and emotional support throughout the difficult start-up process.
"I have a core group of customers that come here every single day, seven days a week," he says, crediting his organic produce and flavorful ethnic spices for making his food so appealing.
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Screaming Carrots serves all-day breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with a lengthy menu of Asian and Mediterranean-inspired dishes, including entrees, soups, smoothies, sandwiches, salads, homemade bread, and desserts.
Screaming Carrot's creative offerings include schnitzel; stir-fried tempeh with green beans and Thai basil; Spanish paella with tofu and saffron; and tofu scramble made with sprouted tofu, baby spinach, and mushrooms, served with a salad, fresh bread, and homemade jam.
Screaming Carrots, 826 W. Hallandale Beach Blvd., Hallandale Beach. Call 754-400-9614 or visit screamingcarrots.com. Open seven days for breakfast, lunch, and dinner from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., but closed Mondays during summer.