Green Bar & KITCHEN – An Organic, Vegan, Kosher Eatery In Ft. Lauderdale!

greenbar & KITCHEN
1075 SE 17th Street
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33316
greenbar & KITCHEN
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(954) 533-7507

 

by Andrea Medalie

After an intense workout, who doesn’t crave a thick and juicy burger? A veggie burger, that is! That’s exactly what happened to us the other night when my running partner and I had finished a 7-mile “hill training” run in the pouring down rain along the very steep and long causeway bridge. I could think of no other place than the Green Bar & Kitchen, an organic plant-based, non-GMO, mostly gluten-free eatery to satisfy our hunger in a healthy yet hearty way! gb&K is located at 1075 SE 17th St., in very popular and touristy east Ft. Lauderdale.

 

GB&K  Soft Serve 2

GB&K Card

 

Although we hadn’t been there before, I was familiar with Green Bar & Kitchen from the stellar review written in the food section of our local newspaper several months ago. Since we don’t reside near there, it’s been a bit tricky trying to coordinate our training/work schedule with their hours as they’re open from 11 am- 9 pm every night except Sunday when they open from 9 to 3 pm. Managing to make it there just before closing, we scored at this elevated fast casual dining establishment, with it’s wide array of plant-based (many raw) appetizers, salads, bowls, burgers, sandwiches, wraps, desserts, juices AND beer!!! Unfortunately, owner Elena Pezzo wasn’t there at the time but I was able to follow up with her later. Elena’s heart-warming and inspirational story can be found on her website, www.greenbarkitchen.com. She follows the Hippocrates philosophy, “Let food be thy medicine.” Elena had originally started her plant-based cuisine journey on a food truck called Zenergy with her life partner Charlie Grippo, who holds a raw food certification from the Graff Academy in Atlanta, Ga. and is now the Executive Chef of Green Bar & Kitchen. And did I mention the restaurant is certified Vegan Kosher (Pareve)?!!

 

GB&K  Certified Kosher

GB&K Certified Kosher

 

Upon entering, we were pleasantly surprised by the sophisticated “green” decor made from recycled/sustainable materials. Although the temperature was cold, especially since we were still a bit wet from our run, the atmosphere was rather warm and welcoming. We ordered our meals at the register, eyeing the dessert case in the process. However, we were told that the dessert items were made off premises by a separate baker with no listing of ingredients, so we skipped those for fear of hidden cashews, my running partner’s nemesis!

 

GB&K Decor

 

Having read about the famous GBK Burger Deluxe, $11.99, I ordered that without hesitation. We sat down on the funky bar stools and waited luckily, for only a few minutes for our meals to arrive. Made with brown rice, quinoa, chickpeas, roasted veggies, sunflower seeds, garlic, lettuce, tomato, chipotle mayo, all on a multigrain burger bun, it didn’t disappoint… perhaps maybe just its size. It didn’t seem as big as I am used to but then again, that could just be me simply suffering from America’s Gluttony Syndrome! The burger came with a side of homemade coleslaw and again…could’ve used a bowl rather than a ramekin…sorry…AGS again!

 

GB&K Deluxe Burger

GB&K Deluxe Burger

 

My running partner enjoyed the Smokehouse Burger, $12.99, similar to GBK Deluxe Burger, with the addition of parsley, spice mix, melted cheese, caramelized onions and barbecue sauce. We shared them both and LOVED them equally!!! Truth be told, we missed our beloved french fries, the perfect accompaniment to any burger! No spuds at greenbar & Kitchen. The joint may be a bit too healthy for this team of long-distance runners! My running partner washed down his meal with a rich IPA on tap called Crusher ($5.00), from our local Funky Buddah Brewery. There were many vegan-friendly bottled beers to choose from so I will grab one next time for sure!

 

GB&K Deluxe Burger 1

GB&K Smokehouse Burger

 

We couldn’t resist the only organic dairy-free, nut free soft serve frozen dessert ($2.99) in South Florida, made from soy and tapioca. Typically, I try to limit soy-based foods from my diet but sometimes it’s unavoidable and in this case, it was absolutely necessary to share two ample portions of creamy, fresh and flavorful vanilla and carrot frozen dessert (coconut-based coming soon). I mean, how often do you come across plant-based soft serve?? We earned our calories that night and they were so worth it! As for their tonic bar, their creative take on juicing renders some nutritious and refreshing-sounding beverages but we typically would rather eat our calories. Not to say we wouldn’t try them in the future, especially if we dine there for breakfast, lunch or their Sunday brunch. Same goes for their one-of-a kind probiotic-packed kombucha on tap!

 

GB&K Soft Serve Vegan Ice Cream

GB&K Soft Serve Vegan Ice Cream

 

The only regret I have is that we didn’t splurge and split either the kale salad ($7.99/13.99) or one of 3 bowls made with whole grains and veggies ($10.99). Guess we have to go back for more bridge training! Word on the street is that an amplified menu is just around the corner!!! It’s so exciting to see the green bar & kitchen holding its own amidst all the typical fast food chains, like a flower in the dumpster! Best of all, GB&K will be expanding to include the Green Bar Express in neighboring Galt Ocean Mile.

 

As this VeGAL would say…train hard, eat hearty! Gotta run for now!

 

Andrea “VeGAL” Medalie

Andrea earned an MS degree from The University of Florida and is a mom to 3 incredible sons. She works as an independent Speech and Language Pathologist within a diverse population in the Northwest Broward County, FL area. She LOVES to plan destination marathons (when budget allows) where she get to visit new cities and discover fab vegan/veg friendly restaurants/cafes/markets. Andrea has been a vegetarian for over 20 years, vegan for about 10. “It’s very exciting to see how society is beginning to truly embrace veganism for improved health, animal welfare and a greener environment!” she exalts. Andrea has developed a blog (book in the making) for vegan female endurance/hard core fitness athletes a.k.a.VeGAL (Vegan Girl AthLetes). Andrea’s territory is all of South Florida!  Contact Andrea Contact Andrea to review your favorite veg-friendly restaurants within her territory.

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