Best Vegetarian Restaurant

Posted on 30. Nov, 2002 by in Reviews

This was a very easy category to judge, what with Consciousness Blossoms being not only the best, but also the only vegetarian restaurant in the entire Bay area. Yes, while other restaurants and cafes have dropped the vegetarian banner and jumped on the bandwagon of the free-range chicken eating, Volvo-driving counterculture, Consciousness Blossoms quietly follows the path of peace and nonviolence in all things, especially eating. But don’t expect a namby-pamby menu of bean sprout shakes and weed salad. Consciousness Blossoms serves bountiful food with real flavor, from crisp, Belgian waffles with real maple syrup to three-egg omelets with European-style home fries at breakfast, and bold, sandwiches like the vegetarian reuben or BLT (made with surprisingly satisfying soy bacon) for lunch. Heartier appetites will appreciate the meaty Neatloaf, a mix of proteins, from nuts to soy, baked in a loaf and topped with barbecue sauce. Owner Tilvila Hurwit has created a space that offers delicious food and a peaceful place, dreamily decorated with blue tables and chairs, as well as the artwork and music of her teacher, Sri Chinmoy. And true to her own commitment to feed both body and spirit, Tilvila makes the restaurant available for free meditation classes, on an ongoing basis. These classes are nondenominational, and all are welcomed. Peas be with you.

Consciousness Blossoms, 3390 Tampa Road (727-789-1931). Serving breakfast and lunch. Monday through Saturday. This tiny little cafe is a true shining star. Not only is it the only entirely vegetarian cafe in Tampa Bay, it’s also one of very few restaurants to receive a 100% rating from the health inspector. You’ll find light, healthy, delicious food served in a calm, relaxing atmosphere, all inspired by the philosophy of meditation teacher Sri Chinmoy. For breakfast, try big, bountiful omelets, served with herb-dusted home fries and tasty, multi-grain toast. For lunch, try customer faves like the portobello wrap, meatless meat loaf, or the vegetarian Reuben, made with grilled tempeh, red onion sauerkraut and Russian dressing.

Creative Loafing, Tampa

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