A meat-loving friend just married a vegan and, what with honey being an animal product, their honeymoon has been less than sweet. It got us thinking about the carnivore-vegan/vegetarian couples out there, hungering for a romantic Valentine’s Day dinner they can both enjoy. So this omnivore ventured forth in search of venues that fit the bill.
Fill a picnic basket with small-plate edibles from Turkish figs to man’ouche (Lebanese-style pizza) at Al-Salam Middle Eastern market. Warm flatbreads emerge from the market’s brick oven and are sold in packs of four for $1.50. You can order your man’ouche on the spot with toppings ($2 each) from Arabic cheese and black caraway seeds to za’atar, an earthy blend of thyme and oregano from Jordan. A mélange of olives bathe in Palestinian olive oil ($4.99 a pound), and there are 12-ounce bags of raw pistachios ($10.99) and cashews ($6.99). The Saudi Arabian dates are forbidden-fruit sweet ($6.99 a pound). Roll them in flat bread for Middle Eastern pasteles.
From the waterfall walls and round banquettes to the dim lighting and wine flights, Sublime is a fine-dining destination. The lush menu is filled with vegan interpretations of carnivore favorites. The frito misto ($12), an appetizer of crispy cauliflower draped in sweet chili sauce and sesame seeds, is reminiscent of General Tso’s chicken. The raw mein is made with zucchini that goes through a “spiralizer” to become a zucchini noodle that’s combined with julienned Napa cabbage, red pepper and carrots in a ginger miso dressing ($13 small, $21 large). For dessert, the Chocolate Nirvana ($11) is a generous slice of chocolate cake with Kahlúa butter crème topped with dark chocolate ganache.
Located near Carol City High School, the smoky walk-up SB’s BBQ Pit offers soulful, Thanksgiving sides perfect for virgin vegetarians. The collard greens, imported from Fitzgerald, Ga., are texturally perfect with a tasty, vinegary kick ($1.99 small, $3.99 large). The gooey macaroni and cheese glistens in a sauce that includes Monterey jack ($2.99 small, $3.99 large). The tangy potato salad with eggs, relish, celery and mustard is the yummy glue that brings it all together ($1.99 small, $2.99 large). And the cooks promise: No fatback. (Closet carnivores can smuggle the spicy, savory, half rack for $13.99.)
Bring Organics Back offers a lunch delivery service that takes the agony out of finding tasty dishes to satisfy skeptical carnivores. Carni-veggie couples will enjoy chef Chad Cherry’s luscious grilled vegetable muffeletta, an Italian loaf stuffed with eggplant, zucchini, green bell peppers and onions. The red and green vegetarian cabbage rolls are stuffed with savory plantains, eggplant, Spanish radish, corn from the cob and heirloom red and yellow tomatoes. Meals are accompanied by a salad or daily side. Chef Chad also prepares rich sweet potato and coconut custard minis ($3 each), and he promises a dessert to delight raw foodists will be on the menu for Valentine’s Day. All meals are $10, and there’s no delivery charge.
Carnivorous herbivores will love The Fed (pictured), the new tavern on Biscayne with a meat lovers’ menu that’s cheerfully adapted for vegetarians. There are decadent, honey-brushed cheese biscuits ($6) and a veggie pot pie crowned with flaky puff pastry that couples can share ($22). Tear through the crust to find wild royal trumpet, chanterelle and oyster mushrooms bursting through a potato parmentier along with candied tomatoes, heirloom carrots, pearl onions and sweet peas. The roasted beet salad is a rock band of flavors — scarlet Florida orange, Harvest moon goat cheese and buttered pecans ($10). Owners Aniece Meinhold, Alejandro Ortiz and Cesar Zapata Dias (the chef), source their greens from small farms in Loxahatchee. Meinhold, who is a sommelier, created a thoughtful wine list (most bottles $75) plus a funky beer selection. And for dessert — beware of the warm, sticky, pecan bun ($9) that’s not for the tofu-at-heart.