I recently got a gift certificate for my birthday for this quaint restaurant in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. (900 NE 20th Ave., Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304)
When my husband and I arrived, the first impasse was that there was no free parking. In my estimation I always have to factor in time and cost as I make my choice for a restaurant. I enjoy having a parking place within walking distance to the place, especially on a hot day. However, this was not the case.
…but in the end, I thought it was delicious!
The short jaunt was well worth it, though, as the atmosphere is adorable, truly—the furnishings and decor is really typical of the culture, which was traditional Israeli.
As you may notice by the look of this small restaurant below, there is no table service. I was a bit disappointed by that. I like to be served when I eat. I lose the sense of enjoyment, when I have to order and pay for my food up front before I ever taste it. This was my next point of contention. When my husband and I inquired about possible mistakes about veganism on the menu, we were met with a bit of confusion about what a Vegan actually is and what one would eat.
In my estimation, if you are going to open a vegan/vegetarian restaurant, you really need to know the culture of it and the parameters of each. For instance, they had baklava as a vegan dessert. Of course, I believed them, because I thought, why would they go to the trouble of specifying each item as vegan or vegetarian if they didn’t know the difference? Maybe they used agave instead of honey (I was hoping). However, as my husband and I have realized over the years, we must, must MUST ASK EVERY TIME!
This particular time, we were met with a sullen face, “A lot of vegans say it is okay to eat honey!” Of course, he was met with my quizzical glare.
“Okay,” I responded, “What else on the menu can we find that does not have eggs, honey, milk products of any kind, and that is also completely plant-based?” (The manager of the restaurant didn’t even know if the pita bread was vegan.)
Beyond all of this, I was overcharged, I was served the wrong dish, but in the end, I thought it was delicious! So, what do you say to this? The owner came out to do damage control, which was great and well-needed, as the manager decided to take a job interviewee while we were eating. I want this place to survive, but I would love for them to make the necessary changes to make this a great place, not just an “okay” place!
The owner was great, offered us a free lemonade drink that he made with special herbs. It was great, but had tons of sugar in it that gave me a buzz that I couldn’t shake till well into the morning hours. I had wished he had been honest about how much sugar he had added. He said, “Just a bit.” He could have easily used a sugar substitute, which again is part of not knowing the culture of vegans. We enjoy healthy food, not sugary-laced food that has white, refined sugar in it.
All in all, this gets a *** stars out of 5.