In a sign of the times, a small vegan café has opened a larger outpost, offering meatless burgers, wraps, soups and salads.
Choices Café doubles as a juice bar with cold-pressed fruit and vegetable juices and innovative smoothies such as the Miami Heat with mango, jalapeño, lime, plantain, ground flax and chia seeds and agave.
Owner Alex Cuevas works as a software engineer, dividing his time between Manhattan and Miami to fund his passion for healthy eating. He was born in Mexico and grew up in San Jose, Calif., where he and his brother Jorge, a partner, embraced the vegan lifestyle 20 years ago and brought it south.
On a recent visit, soup of the day was raw carrot-miso. Salads range from the Aztec Sun with a crispy lentil-beet patty on greens with avocado and pesto-chile sauce to quinoa with black beans, cilantro and pico de gallo.
Griddled wraps can be stuffed with pâtés made from lentils, garbanzos or spiced walnuts with additions of nopal cactus strips, tempeh, tofu, soy chorizo or daiya “cheese” with sprouts, avocado and veggies. “Sushi” has the same fillers but is rolled in nori seaweed and cut into slices.
"Burgers" on sprouted Ezekiel buns include lentil-pea patties, lemony chickpea “tuna” and grilled portabella, that can be accompanied with baked sweet potato “fries.” Finish with pumpkin cheesecake with date-pecan crust or raw cashew bites with coconut. It is good to eat this good.