Being an herbivore can be boring, particularly in a less-than-progressive city like Miami. The "vegetarian option" at many establishments is a salad sans chicken or pasta with vegetables. Gag me.
But the Federal Food Drink & Provisions -- often categorized as a meat-lover's paradise -- is shedding those stereotypes. The Biscayne Boulevard eatery has an entire menu section devoted to meatless eats.
Co-owner Aniece Meinhold invited us to check out some of the veggie-friendly goods, so we sampled a few favorites. See snapshots and synopsis below.
It's worth noting that almost all items on the veggie-friendly side of the menu can be made without animal products -- so vegans have options here, too.
The colorful beet salad ($10) featured sweet pecans, mandarin orange slices, and candy-striped beets. It's paired with a yogurt dressing and goat cheese fritters with a hint of fennel. It's incredibly light and a nice palate cleanser.
Then there's the pumpkin stew ($8) -- a hearty autumnal dish if there ever was one. A spicy chili of sorts, it's a satisfying mix of pumpkin, black beans, ancho chili, chipotle, and crema.
Lastly, there's the truffled egg and buttered dumplings ($12). Comfort food at its finest, the buttery handmade noodles are topped with chanterelles and a billowy truffled egg. This tastes like a dish my grandma would have made -- though probably not as well.
In addition to the above, the Federal proffers brussels sprouts with molasses vinaigrette ($8), local creamy burrata (ask for it without the duck cracklings; $14) and southwest mac and cheese with poblanos and pumpkin ($8). And that isn't all. Vegans can call ahead for a whole host of options, including the chef's tasting menu -- a $35 per person edible tour.
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The menu changes frequently, according to chef Cesar Zapata. 40 to 50% of the dishes are new to any given season. That explains all the fall-inspired pumpkin love on the current menu.
Appealing to vegetarians isn't an afterthought at the Federal. Their dishes are thoughtfully constructed and combine complex flavors and satisfying ingredients. No more settling for side dishes or bland salads. Here, meat-free foodies have a home of their own.
Follow Hannah on Twitter @hannahalexs.