There's no meat on the menu at Brickell's new Crate Plant-Based Kitchen, Bar & Lounge, but carnivores will still find plenty to love. The 152-seat eatery has a lineup packed with hearty plates such as nonmeat versions of bacon cheeseburgers, Buffalo wings, and chicken tacos, and guests can wash it all down with fresh signature cocktails.
The menu was created by chef Christopher Baugh and lists everything from superstacked burgers to big salads to indulgent desserts. Think Buffalo "wings" with a side of ranch ($9.50); a caesar salad with organic greens, basil, croutons, kalamata olives, cucumber, and crispy “chicken” strips ($12.50); the Comeback Kid sandwich, with smoked tofu steaks, chipotle mayo, pickles, sprouts, lettuce, and “bacon” bits ($10.50); and a Reuben with grilled tempeh, sauerkraut, avocado, cheese, and Thousand Island dressing on rye bread ($13).
The 3,700-square-foot space offers indoor and outdoor dining. It's open for lunch and dinner, and has an after-hours, retro-style lounge.
Though the fare is all vegetarian, everything on the menu can be made completely vegan upon request. "For example, we offer vegan cheeses, as well as a cashew citrus sauce instead of sour cream citrus sauce," Baugh says. "Guests can mix and match and substitute the nonvegan ingredients for vegan ingredients."
Desserts are freshly made every day by pastry chef Sarah Baugh and include options such as caramel apple cake ($6), a chocolate chip cookie ($2.50), gluten-free carrot cake ($7), and a cookies 'n' cream cake ($6). Juices, smoothies, tonics, and coffee are also available.
Signature libations include the Crate Vice, which combines a frozen piña colada, a strawberry daiquiri, and grenadine ($13); the Brickell Vice, a mango and strawberry daiquiri ($14); the Daisy Maria, with Aguardiente Antioqueño and lemon-lime soda ($11); and the Good Night Ladies, with gin, Aguardiente Antioqueño, and lemon-lime soda ($11).
The diverse dishes were dreamed up by Christopher Baugh based on his international and stateside travel. "I wanted to develop the menu from all my favorite foods and flavors experienced over my entire lifetime," he says.
"It’s an eclectic selection from the various cities I have visited, including throughout India, all of Asia, and Bali, where I have been living. Having lived in San Diego for a while gave me a love for Mexican food, which the city is amazing for. I’ve also had a love for the American veggie burger. I was raised vegetarian and vegan by my grandmother and mother, who were both excellent cooks — who gave me the inspiration I needed to become a vegetarian chef.
"So far, the feedback from everyone has been amazing, including the mainstream omnivore, as well as animal and plant lovers alike," he adds. "Vegans especially love the menu because we offer vegan alternatives with the cheeses and sauces I use.
"You really don’t have to be a vegetarian and vegan to love the dishes we offer. Many meat lovers have been in to the restaurant already and are astonished with how genuine the plates taste, which is great to hear, as we try to keep the flavors as rich as we can so meat lovers also become constant fans of the menu."
Crate Plant-Based Kitchen, Bar & Lounge. 901 S. Miami Ave., Miami; 786-534-2538; cratemiami.com. Sunday through Wednesday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Thursday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 4 a.m.
Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.