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Sandwich options for the meatless among us are sadly lackluster. Grilled cheese, PB&J, BLT minus the B? We're missing the creativity, the oomph, the drive for tantalizing flavor combos found in meatier selections.
Luckily, even in meat-crazy Miami, vegetarian choices are expanding as we speak. And there are several sammie shops across the MIA that offer options so scrumptious you won't even miss the meat.
On that note, here are our five favorite vegetarian sandwich options. Eat up, herbivores.
5. Roasted Pepper and Eggplant Provençal at the Cheese Course
Any good cheese aficionado is familiar with the mouthwatering Cheese Course chain, a bastion of dairy temptation with branches across South Florida (and beyond). This gourmet shop and eatery offers a massive selection of salads, sandwiches, and cheese trays for discerning palates.
A newer addition to their bistro menu, the roasted pepper and eggplant Provençal (#19) includes a colorful, vibrant mix of fresh goat cheese, tomatoes, marinated artichoke hearts, red onions, garlic, extra-virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, greens, and capers.
Courtesy of Billy Siscas/The Alibi
4 The Rabbit at the Alibi
Ahhhh, the Alibi. Arguably the best bar food in Miami. This add-on to locals watering hole Lost Weekend offers an expansive menu of late-night eats including truffled tater-tots, Philly cheesesteaks, and one hell of a vegetarian sammie.
The Rabbit, as it's so affectionately known, was the brainchild of owner Billy Sisca's vegetarian wife. It features provolone cheese melted on multigrain bread, lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, spicy pickle (made in house), carrots, and Alibi vinaigrette.
Courtesy of Marilyn Morales/Specialtea Lounge
3. Olive You at Specialtea Lounge
Ever since the cozy, charming Specialtea Lounge hit the 305 in 2009, it has taken to wowing foodies with its impressive selection of fresh eats, creative drinks, and killer customer service.
The vegan "Olive You" features homemade olive tapenade, sliced black olives, mozzarella cheese, organic spring mix, organic spinach, and locally grown tomatoes.
Plus, the oh-so-accommodating owners will make any salad, wrap, or panino on the menu into a vegetarian/vegan dish by substituting a vegan textured vegetable protein for meat -- at no extra charge.
Courtesy of Talia Capistrano.
2. The French Vegetarian at 1909 Café
1909 Café knows hoagies. This Bird Road gem serves a crazy selection of sandwiches (and salads) stuffed with everything from smoked marlin to pineapples to prosciutto (not together, natch) to, most important, veggies. They boast a whopping six vegetarian options. Color us impressed.
Our favorite is the French Vegetarian, a flavorful blend of horseradish mayo, Brie, lettuce, tomatoes, artichokes, onions, alfalfa sprouts, and vinaigrette.
Courtesy of Michelle Duncan/Purple People Eatery
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1. Club Med at the Purple People Eatery
Purple People Eatery has been a hard-to-miss addition to our street-food scene. Offering fresh, offbeat gourmet eats (the mac 'n' cheese won Best of Miami 2012), this plum-colored purveyor parks itself at various outposts around Miami, informing fans of its movements via Twitter.
The Club Med sandwich is the stuff of vegetarian legend. It features a delicious mix of veggie bacon, kalamata olives, red onion, cucumber, radish coins, sprouts, tomato, baby arugula, feta cheese, hummus, and avocado sauce stuffed into a pita. Like, wow.