Sorry to disagree with Kermit, but with the growing number of vegan and vegetarian places around town, it’s easy being green.

I recently spent a day being vegan and found myself thoroughly satisfied at a pair of local dining establishments. Although I am a carnivore, my husband is a lacto-ovo-pescatarian (meaning he eats fish, eggs, and dairy, but no meat or meat-based products), so we occasionally go completely vegan or vegetarian and I’ve found that there are some vegetarian places I love.

One of my favorite vegan places is the LA-based chain, Native Foods. Its gyros sandwich and fried “chicken” are guaranteed to win over even the most devoted meat-eater. Until the company opens a branch in South Florida, we have searched for a viable substitute. We may have finally found it.

PS Green Vegan Express offers a fast-casual dining concept (order your food at the counter and it is delivered to your table), with a few outdoor tables. The menu focuses on vegan dishes with a Mexican influence. Appetizers include everything from edamame or boiled peanuts to avocado toast and a variety of empanadas, tostadas, and falafel to simple, yet elegant soups, such as the rich coconut tomato bisque (which I tried and found delightful — and I hate coconut). If you have young’uns with you, they are certain to enjoy the chicken nuggets, pizza, or mac and cheese.

The main menu features a variety of sandwiches, wraps, and burgers, as well as quesadillas, tacos, and entrée salads. The vegan tofu sandwich tops ginger-tamari marinated tofu with avocado, veggies, and chipotle mayo. It is served with roasted potatoes, house salad, or brown rice, for $10.99. For those seeking something “beefier,” the Beyond BBQ steakhouse burger comes topped with sauteed mushrooms and onions. You may also create your individualized bowl or wrap by choosing from a variety of options, including proteins such as tempeh, jackfruit, chick’n or vegan chorizo.  There are also acai bowls, smoothies, and shakes. Main dishes are in the $10-$13 range.

Breakfast and brunch are also available all day. Pancakes are made with oatmeal flour, almond milk, and chia seeds. They are more like crepes than fluffy pancakes, but delicious nonetheless. There are a half-dozen oatmeal bowls, from plain to loaded with goji berries, banana, chia seed, cacao nibs, and hemp seeds.

I tried the Lumberjack breakfast which paired three pancakes with scrambled tofu (which I’m thinking I might like more than scrambled eggs), sweet potato hash, and veggie sausage links (which I’m thinking I don’t like as much as real sausage). Breakfasts are priced from $7 for plain oatmeal to $13 for the Lumberjack special.

The Fort Lauderdale location, next to Times Square Pizza, differs from the original location in Miami. The Miami restaurant serves a more expansive menu and features animal-based products, such as salmon and chicken.

Dessert options include brownies, coconut rice pudding, gluten-free chocolate cake, and carrot, banana, or apple cake.

We had already planned to stop at PAC Pastries in Wilton Manors on the way home, so we passed on the sweets, but I have to say they did look delicious. Service is friendly and eager to please and our food was delivered to us quickly. I’ll be going back.

Don’t let the lack of goodies on display at PAC Pastries fool you. This place is the real deal, you just need to get there early before they run out of product because everything is made fresh, and when it’s gone, it’s gone (at least until the next day, when a fresh batch is whipped up). And, to add icing to the cake, everything is gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan!

There’s a saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” the same might also apply to “Don’t judge a bakery by its web presence.” I was attracted to this place by the pictures of its goodies on Facebook, but I almost wrote it off after its Facebook page directed me to a non-existent website and then, when I finally did get to the website, most of the links were inactive as well. Therefore, I can’t give you a run-down on the menu (which changes weekly, if not daily).

Let’s just say, what they don’t know about the Internet is more than compensated for by the delicious treats they turn out of their kitchen. I am now addicted to the crumb-cake and brownie. The cashew-butter cup less so. It had an overwhelming flavor of coconut, and I’ve already said how I feel about that.

Counter service was friendly and well-informed and the prices are moderate for a vegan bakery; four nicely sized desserts cost $16.

PS Green Vegan Express

2306 E. Oakland Park Blvd., Fort Lauderdale

954-999-5474

psgreenrestaurant.com

PAC Pastries

2348 Wilton Dr., Wilton Manors

954-530-9783

pacpastries.com


Rick Karlin is SFGN's food editor. Visit SFGN.com/Food to read his previous reviews. Have a culinary tip to share? Email Rick at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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