Green Wave Cafe Saves Beet Reporter's Disastrous Vegan Adventure in Broward
After an hour's drive, we pulled into the parking lot of a large strip mall on Hillsboro Boulevard. The storefront was dark. As we approached, sure enough we saw a "closed" sign on the door, along with a letter that said something along the lines of "We are closed today. Please vote for us in blah blah blah contest." No excuse for being closed. And, although the restaurant (which appears to also be some sort of spiritual center; according to the site, it offers meditation and yoga mornings starting at 6:30) maintains a Meetup page with a detailed calendar, a Facebook page, and a decent website, there had been no indication that it would deviate from its "open seven days a week" policy on this particular Saturday night.
As of now, I will certainly not be voting for Nuage in whatever contest was mentioned on that obnoxious sign.
We were far out of our South Beach territory, but we were equipped with smartphones, so we went to the next place on our list of vegan spots in Broward. Tropitaste is described as a vegetarian Caribbean restaurant, and it was in Lauderhill, kind of on our way back toward the Beach. This time, we called ahead, and found out they were open until 11 p.m. Our enthusiasm renewed, we headed over.
|Tropitaste in Lauderhill|
It was set up Baskin-Robbins ice cream shop style. And upon looking over the menu board, that started to make more sense. This "vegetarian restaurant" was apparently 90 percent ice cream parlor, offering about 20 flavor options - and no, not soy- or almond milk-based ice cream. Cow's milk- and white sugar-based ice cream. There were also copious smoothie flavors available; confusingly, these were all made with soy milk.
The place looked to be in a state of disuse. We were the only guests inside at 8 o'clock on a Saturday night. On the front counter sat random knick-knacks and a tower of Caribbean DVDs. And in the center of everything was a glass-front cooler that was entirely empty, showcasing nothing.
It took me two full minutes to locate the "real food" menu board, and when I did I was disappointed. Soy curry chunks, soy turkey, and some other fake meat were the three options. And when we asked, the kind woman at the counter informed us that they were mostly out of anything but the turkey.
"No curry then?" I asked.
"We probably don't have enough even to make a small," said the woman.
I pictured a nearly empty pot of curry-stewed soy chunks having sat on a low burner all day, or in a cooler waiting to be scraped up and reheated. I looked to my friend who started his career as a fifteen-year-old line cook in questionable kitchens all over Boston. His shiny, fearful eyes seemed to dance with roach-infested flashbacks.
"Let's go," I said. He quickly agreed. (I later stumbled upon the restaurant's inspection history, and was doubly happy we bolted.)