I am a happy girl, because a wonderful new fully-veg restaurant has opened not a mile from my house. Mi Vida Cafe is located on NE 72nd Street and Biscayne, in the small space next-door to thrift store Divine Trash. You may sit inside and watch your meals being prepared as we did, or there are some tables out front. In a few weeks they're planning to open up even more seating in the urban garden out back.
MVC has a board of daily specials. The regular menu has an extensive list of fresh juices and smoothies, several starters, and six main entrees. The day I went, the specials were: Raw Spaghetti al Pesto, Spicy Kale Chips, Raw Carrot Cake with Coconut Icing, and the soup of the day was Raw Celery & Sunflower Seed.
Raw spaghetti al Pesto, $9.
Photo by Lauren Reskin
To start we opted for the spaghetti, which was whole, raw zucchini extruded into angel hair-esque strands in front of our eyes and mixed with a fresh, dairy-free pesto. As we sat and ate and made yummy noises, Chef Daniela brought out some of her handmade seitan and began seasoning it with chimichurri sauce and pan-searing it. I can unequivocally say it was the best seitan I've ever had in my entire life.
For our entree, we ordered the Canelones De Verdura, which are sort of savory pancakes wrapped around a delicious mixture of garlic, olive oil, tender baby spinach, ground cashews and more, topped with a tomato basil sauce. They were created in front of our eyes (in pancakes made from scratch by Daniela the night before) and tasted heavenly.
We barely had room for dessert, but managed to split a sumptuously moist vegan peanut butter cookie. As my omnivorous dining companion said afterward, "I was expecting a nice meal, but I wasn't expecting to be wowed like that." Wow, indeed.
MVC boasts the kitchen has "no microwave, no frying, no preservatives, no GMO food, no hydrogenated oils, and no high fructose corn syrup." They also are buying produce from local distributors, and you can truly taste the freshness. I legitimately want to try every single thing on the menu. Also worth mentioning is that they open at 8 a.m. (!) on weekdays and you are welcome to call in your order for a morning juice or take-out for a work lunch. Their prices (especially on the entrees) could stand to be $1 or 2 cheaper but that is my only gripe. Mi Vida Cafe is a welcome addition to the neighborhood, and even if you don't reside nearby all those into forward-thinking vegan dining should take a ride or a drive and go support this great new restaurant.
Canelones de verdura, $14.
Photo by Lauren Reskin
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Mi Vida Cafe
7244 Biscayne Blvd., Miami