Okay, so when we first got to Ft. Lauderdale we struggled, HARD. We couldn’t find good health conscious places to eat right away, the first few places weren’t terrible, but I was really missing out on getting in any good nutrition. This was partially because Gavin was in a conference for work and I didn’t have my own car. For the first day or so I mostly relied on our grocery trip to Whole Foods where I got a few things I could have to throw together in the room.
ZEN BAR was our first find. I’m not going to lie I kind of felt like turning around when I first walked up to the entrance, it just seemed slightly…mysterious, if I may. As we walked in I was pleasantly surprised. It is inside
of a market, that is broken up into three little sections. We first walked into a small kind of grocery store with a lot of different types of health foods and baked goods. The second part of it is the juice bar. The juice bar has a lot to offer and everything is made to order. At the bar everything is organic and you can order superfood shots, smoothies, smoothie bowls, and cold-pressed juices. I got a juice called “Green Love”, which was a deliciously, fresh mixture of mint, kale, cucumber, pineapple and apple. YUM!
Outside the juice bar was what seemed like a small little farm with free range chickens exploring around, produce growing all over, and refrigerated goods, such as raw organic cheeses, free-range organic eggs, nut milk, bone broth, and yogurts. OH EM GEE, I found GOLDEN YOGURT!!! I was so so excited about this, I’ve had golden milk before, but never golden yogurt, which is organic yogurt with milk produced from grass-fed cows mixed with turmeric, black pepper, ginger, and raw honey. I thought this was coconut yogurt when I bought it because the majority of their yogurts were made with coconut milk, but I occasionally do eat raw, organic, grass-fed milk products, so I went for it anyways. Let me tell you, it was delightful, and a coconut version of this may or may not be my new recipe I post when I get home and have a chance to experiment with it. All in all, ZEN turned out to be so unique that it was my favorite find of the trip!
Market 17 is a farm to table restaurant, that’s perfect for a romantic date night, and also definitely a place you’ll want to splurge a little bit and have that glass of wine…or 2.5 to three :). The restaurant also allows you to make reservations to dine in the dark, I’m still not sure how I feel about this part exactly, but it’s definitely worth mentioning. Our meals were divine, definitely a place I will return to whenever I make it back to Ft. Lauderdale (AKA Gavin’s next conference when I get to go on another free vaca). I ordered grass-fed filet mignon, and let me tell ya, this place knows how to cook a mean steak. My meal also came with a generous side of roasted, local, veggies and the best mashed potatoes I’ve ever tasted, sorry Mom. Every meal is made from scratch and made to order, so they’ll work with you on any food allergies. I loved that they put a little “gluten allergy” sticker on my plate so the chef had a reminder to make my meal gluten free. This is a somewhat pricy restaurant, however, what is really cool is that they offer tasting portions, which are about half the size of a full sized entree. This was perfect because it was also half the price and I never eat a full sized portion anyways, it was the perfect size for me!
Fresh First is a completely gluten free restaurant. It’s an excellent place to grab a quick, filling bite for lunch. The menu consists of soups, sandwiches, salads, smoothies, juices and locally made kombucha on tap. They also have a dessert section that features baked goods and coconut milk ice cream. I ordered what our waitress recommended; a chicken burger with cranberry chutney and chèvre. I couldn’t tell you the last time I ate an actual sandwich, oh my word was it good. I didn’t know how I would feel about a chicken burger, I usually don’t like ground chicken or sausage because it usually seems like it lacks flavor, but this was excellent! The sandwich came with a huge portion of a fresh green salad topped with garlic dressing. I couldn’t have asked for a better lunch, the place impressed me so much that I even grabbed a brownie and kombucha on tap to go!
I grew up in the Southwest corner of Michigan, about a 45 minute drive south…
One of the perks of moving away from my little, beloved, corner of Southwest Michigan…