A Guide to Vegetarian (And Even Vegan) Options From Miami's Food Truck Scene
With the animal fat freely a-flowin' on most local food trucks, what's a meat-eschewer to do? While Miami's mobile food scene continues to grow, it's still behind other cities' in its lack of vegetarian options. The Raaga Cart showed promise during Art Basel especially, but its owners have day jobs and it hasn't been seen around much since.
On a positive note, as we reported earlier this morning, a number of trucks are unveiling new test menu items for this Saturday's weekly Wynwood roundup. Those offering new items include Sakaya Kitchen, MexZican Gourmet, Latin Burger, the Fish Box, and Jefe's. But they'll need financial encouragement to make it a regular thing, so buy some veggie tacos or sides and support.
Meanwhile, the upcoming new Mac'n truck is 100 percent vegetarian (look for full details about it soon on Short Order). Beyond both of these developments, a number of meatless options are increasingly regularly available from the city's mobile vendors.
If purity's an issue for you, beware that some of these items might well share griddle space with searing flesh; but otherwise, here are some dishes worth trying. Of course, if your issue is an allergy or food intolerance, don't take this as a vouch of 100 percent safety and ask the truck chefs for details -- they're a pretty friendly bunch!
If there are any we're missing, please share in the comments below.
Best Bets for Main Dishes:
Miso Hungry's vegan plate, $8
Owners David Pastrana and Kimberly Kilmer have wisely decided to always offer a fully vegan entree option, and so far offer the only regularly appearing truck to do so. The current offering is a dish of firm tofu sauteed with local vegetables in a sweet soy sauce.
The Hippie from Montaco, $3
This taco skips the meat and cheese in favor of a filling of sauteed garlic ;mushrooms, black bean puree, salsa, and cilantro.
Various items from the Red Truck
The Red Truck features a strange mix of Cuban and Mediterranean food -- not a fusion of the two, just items from both traditional cuisines -- but the Middle Eastern items here serve vegetarians particularly well. Try the falafel sandwich (about $7), or the vegetarian platter of assorted mezze ($8).
Gastropod's current veg option (currently $5)
Gastropod always offers a rotating meatless option; past items have included curried squash and huevos rancheros. Right now, they've got a spinach salad with "Green Gawd" dressing, "stupid slaw," and crispy plantains.
Other Main Dish Options, With Egg and/or Dairy:
The beaner from Montaco ($3)
This taco is filled with black bean puree, sliced avocado, tomato, and cotija cheese.
The veggie pita from the Rolling Stove ($6.95)
The sandwich features a black-bean/brown-rice hash, along with cheddar cheese, slaw, and fried onions.
The American from Cheeseme ($4)
This is the only default meatless option, but can be beefed up a little bit with veggie add-ons like roasted red peppers, beefsteak tomatoes, and a grilled portabella mushroom (about $2 for each add-on).
The Italian, the Grilled Harvest, the Sweet Meltdown, or a build-your-own option from Ms. Cheezious ($4 and up)
All of the meatless options above are about $7, $7, and $6, respectively. If you want to mix-and-match your own bread, cheese, and add-ons, the base price is $4, with $1 each extra to add tomato and/or apple.
Best Vegan Sides:
Brussel sprouts or any veggie offered from Dim ssam a Gogo (around $3 or $4)
Sakaya Kitchen's mobile truck is mostly heavy on the pork belly, duck, and the like, but it is also one of the few to offer a selection of non-french-fried vegetable sides. The roasted, ginger-smothered brussel sprouts will make you feel if sorry you hated the maligned vegetable all those years. Any other green leafy from here is sure to be delicious as well ... as are the spicy tater tots, which violates our non-fried-potato statement above, but sometimes appear in a meat- and dairy-free incarnation.
Homemade chips ($2) and guacamole ($3), or sliced mango with lime and chili powder ($3) from Montaco
If you do cheese, you can also order an ear of their Mexican corn ($3), spiked with lime, chili powder, and cotija cheese.
Assorted Middle Eastern options from the Red Truck ($2 to $4)
Choices here include tabouleh, hummus, and baba ghanouj. If you do dairy/eggs, there's labneh (yogurt spread), spinach pie, and, uh, mozzarella cheese sticks.
Other Options (including those with eggs and/or dairy):
Tomato soup or sweet potato fries from Ms. Cheezious ($3 each)
Ms. Cheezious owner Fatima gives us the vote of confidence that the tomato soup is 100 percent veggie, with no chicken or other meat stock used to, uh, beef up the flavor.
Tomato-basil bisque from Cheeseme ($4)
...and, of course, white potato french fries can be found on pretty much every truck.
Feverish regularly offers a variety of dairy-free fruit pops (about $3 or $4), and the Dolci Peccati gelato truck as well offers sorbet, including a delicious strawberry variety with a balsamic sauce ($3 to $5).
All Other Desserts:
If you do eggs and dairy, pretty much anything from Sugar Rush will satisfy for about $3 (except for the maple-bacon cupcake variety which could pop up there), as will every treat from Divan Bakery & Coffee and, obviously, whatever dessert options are aboard the savory-leaning trucks.
Follow Short Order on Facebook and Twitter @Short_Order.
Get the Dining Newsletter
The week's top local food news and events, plus interviews with chefs and restaurant owners, dining tips, and a peek at our print review.