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Monday, May 16, 2011

Consciousness & Columbia

In the Great Blogger Black-Out of 2011 (gosh, I hope there isn't another one this year), my last entry about Consciousness Blossoms and the city of Dunedin was devoured. I hope Blogger found it delicious. Rumor has it that Blogger is working to bring back those missing entries, but I'm not counting on that, so I'm going to revisit my meal at Consciousness Blossoms, and throw in another Tampa meal for you to feast your eyes upon.

Consciousness Blossoms is located in Palm Harbor, Florida. I had heard great reviews on their breakfast menu, but breakfast isn't usually my thing, so I was excited to make it out there on a Friday night, the one night they are open for dinner.

Their menu is very sandwich-heavy, which means it's very bread-heavy, but I was happy to read that they offer gluten-free millet bread. Good to know for next time. But since I was there for dinner, I went with their special. When in Rome, right? The special includes soup, which was tomato peanut on this night (the other, vegetable soup wasn't vegan). It had a little kick to it, but was delicious! Great flavors.

I'm not a fan of most mock meats, so for the special, I subbed out the mock duck in exchange for tofu. I love mah tofu.
This dish is how I would define comfort food. It reminds me of a dish I would prepare at home, if I ever had the time to actually cook a whole meal these days. It was simple and delicious and just what I needed.

If you're curious about the mock duck, here ya go.
There were mixed review on the "duck." Some people hated it, some people thought it was okay, and I think just one person at the table liked it. I tried it, and it was... different. I was happier with my tofu, though.

Two ladies at the table ordered sandwiches, which looked lovely. Here's the Buffalo Tempeh...

and the Rueben with soy cheddar

Though there were mixed feelings on the mock duck, I think everyone was pretty satisfied with their meals. I would be interested in returning.

Last Sunday was Mother's Day, but also my best friend Kate's birthday. She and her husband came up to Tampa and I met them for lunch at the famous Columbia Restaurant in historic Ybor City. The Ybor City restaurant is their largest location, and probably their most ornate. This restaurant is absolutely gorgeous, but I only have pictures of the food to show you (this time).

At first, I was just going to go with a bowl of black bean soup or gazpacho but, in the spirit of "Go Big or Go Home," and for the sake of the blog (the things I'll do for you readers), I went with the one vegan entrée on their menu.

The Vegetarian "Cubana," which is vegan as-is.

What a great plate! Can I just say how much I love asparagus? I love it a lot. And the roasted little cherry tomatoes were pretty great, too. The platanos and the yuca reminded me of some of my meals in Jamaica.
The tostones were kind of dry, but mixed in well with the rice and beans. This was a perfectly filling meal, but paled in comparison to my delightful dining companions.

And like I said, this restaurant is impressive in its beauty. Even though there are limited options for vegan eats at Columbia Restaurant, those limited options are still good, and it's worth it just to sit in this gorgeous restaurant.

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