Photos by Carina Ost

Mi Vida Cafe: Tofu Sandwiches, Beet Tartare, and Veggie Heaven

If you think your resolution to eat healthfully in 2014 means snacking on bland food at home, think again. Mi Vida Café adds some serious flavor to vegan food and serves it in a charming café.

The restaurant welcomes you with a cute courtyard and tables leading the way to an inviting and colorful interior. Signs recommend the obvious but often-ignored option of positive vibrations over cell-phone vibrations. You just get to sit, relax, and delve into the extensive healthful menu.

The writing on the wall reads, "It's not just Mi Vida, it's yours too," and you get to indulge in the creations of chef/owner Daniela La Gamma. The menu is a vegan passport around the world -- from eggplant a la Italiana ($9) to sizzling seitan al chimichurri ($8.50).

On a recent visit, I tried the beet tartare ($10.50). Forget the beef -- this dish features shredded baked beets infused with a vinaigrette on a bed of fresh cucumbers, topped with sprouts and freshly grated horseradish root. It's moist and flavorful. I didn't even miss the raw beef or raw egg.

Grate it.
Grate it.

For an entrée, I had the lemon-herb baked tofu sandwich ($14). This vegan monster of sandwich has tofu as the star, with mushroom gravy, arugula pesto, roasted peppers, and portobello mushrooms accompanying it on a spelt bun with a green salad on the side. This tofu sandwich is meaty far beyond the bean curd and dense bun.

If you want to live a healthier life in 2014, head to Mi Vida. There is a chef creating vegan masterpieces to satisfy all of your cravings, from tacos to pizzas to seitan sloppy joes, in a respectable and flavorful way. With food like this, you can keep your resolutions on a roll. Bonus: You get 10 percent off when you bring your own containers for take-out orders.

Follow Carina on Twitter @CarinaOst

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