Garden of Eatin

Most people's understanding of Rastafarianism is centered around Bob Marley and weed-smoking. But the series of daily practices of consciousness that comprise this syncretic religion are far more complex. Take Ital, the vegetarian diet to promote life energy. You can check it out at Garden of Eatin', a tiny restaurant that will make you feel like you're eating in the living room of a Rasta friend's home. Haitian-American chef Imanuel Tafari owns this bright yellow house filled with tables covered by red plastic tablecloths, a whirring fan, posters of King Haile Selassie, and a beautiful mecca of cafeteria-style offerings - some of the tastiest Caribbean vegan cuisine in all of Miami. The menu changes daily, and you can sample all of the day's soups, salads, main courses, and desserts for $6 to $12, depending on the size of the plate. Dishes are usually heavy on the faux-meat protein, mainly tofu and seitan; Tafari is famous for his ackee "fish" entrée, various curries, and ginger "chicken" legs that use a bamboo stick in place of bone. The refreshing limeade and gingerade ($2) are homemade, and drink flavors can be mixed to create your own concoction. There is a community feel to this tiny, one-room operation, with a diverse crowd of Rastas, artists, local office drones, and political activists grubbing away while reggae music plays in the background.