For many people, Memorial Day weekend means more than just three days of vacation — it also kicks off barbecue season. Granted, there's a bigger cause at work — honoring our fallen heroes. But in the U.S., that's usually accomplished with grilled meat and adult beverages.
To honor the food traditions that go along with the unofficial start of summer, Planta South Beach will be offering a plant-based Backyard BBQ lineup during dinner service from 5:30 to 11 p.m. Thursday, May 23, through Saturday, May 25.
"The idea was to create a sensory experience of nostalgia," says Planta's chef de cuisine, Benjamin Goldman, of the special dishes.
"Memorial Day recognizes all the soldiers who made a sacrifice for our comfort, and to celebrate their heroic actions, we can all remember a time when we barbecued with our families and friends during the holiday weekend," Goldman says.
"The smell of smoke and taste of mesquite makes me think of happy memories with those I love and care for, and because I can't be with them I'm bringing it to you."
Planta's Memorial Day weekend menu will feature items such as a jalapeño-cheddar corn bread ($11); black and bleu burger with shiitake bacon, lettuce, tomato, and cashew nut bleu cheese ($22); a Southwest burger with pepper jack “cheese,” lettuce, avocado smash, shaved onion rings, and BBQ sauce; corn “off the cob” with white queso, chives, and dried miso ($9); and Buffalo cauliflower with cashew nut bleu cheese and scallions.
Be sure to order a side of shaved onion rings and fire-pit beans to go with your meal, and don't forget to save room for the coconut cream pie dessert special ($14).
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"At Planta, we like to emulate classic comfort foods that people are going to recognize and crave, and we’ve done something similar with Backyard BBQ — drawing inspiration from dishes like buffalo wings, corn on the cob, and burgers, and making them our own," says Goldman.
And for those used to the traditional store-bought burger and hot dogs? "Well, we don't have a charcoal grill and we won't be serving the traditional-style hot dog and hamburger," says Goldman, "but we're going to do our best to make it damn close to the real thing... if not better."
The regular menu will also be available, so you can opt for plant-based sushi, pizza, or pasta if you want to switch up your celebratory eats.
Planta. 850 Commerce St., Miami Beach; 305-397-8513; plantarestaurants.com.