Southern Sol Garden BBQ at VShops Serves Vegan Southern Comfort Food

Barbecued goodness from Southern Sol.
Barbecued goodness from Southern Sol. Courtesy of VShops
Classic Southern eats with a plant-based twist are coming to Coconut Grove. Southern Sol Garden BBQ will be the fifth concept to join the lineup at VShops, the vegan food hall in Coconut Grove.

Southern Sol is scheduled to open Saturday, September 8, and will serve staples such as baked mac 'n' cheese, coleslaw, brown sugar baked beans, collard greens, buttery grits, cornbread, and barbecued faux meats and even drumsticks.

"Alex Cuevas has been vegan for over 30 years, and he has traveled all over the world seeking plant-based food options during his stays," VShops president Lori Zito says of Southern Sol's founder. "Although the foods he experienced from different countries and regions were all inspiring in some way, none captured his heart like the great American South."

Influenced by visits to vegan restaurants in Georgia, Louisiana, Texas, North and South Carolina, and other Southern states, Cuevas sought to create his own version of vegan soul food for Miamians.
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JalapeƱo cornbread
Courtesy of VShops
The menu was inspired by comfort foods of the South, particularly barbecue, Zito says. Guests can create a customized plate with a choice of proteins and sides, plus selection from a few stand-alone dishes.

Southern Sol's signature dish, for example, is a bed of organic greens topped with raw organic onions, raw organic shredded carrots, plantains, house-made ranch sauce, barbecued tempeh, and mac 'n' cheese. Prices are not yet available.

In addition to Southern Sol, VShops lineup also includes Choices Cafe, Neo's Blender, Next Generation Pizza, and Ice Dream Parlor, and more concepts are on the way.

"We will continue to grow, and though we initially had anticipated six to seven concepts, our plans now include ten independently operating food concepts," Zito says. "These will continue to be rolled out over the coming months, and we expect all ten concepts to be operating by the end of 2018."

VShops is making an impact on all kinds of eaters, she adds. "It has created an opportunity for vegans to feel safe bringing nonvegans without the risk of disappointing them. And for us, the biggest win is when the nonvegan friend comes back on their own. The ripple effect can slowly change the world."

Southern Sol Garden BBQ. 2895 McFarlane Rd., Coconut Grove; 305-414-0330; Opening Saturday, September 8.
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Hannah Sentenac covers veg food, drink, pop culture, travel, and animal advocacy issues. She is also editor-in-chief of
Contact: Hannah Sentenac