I recently visited Miami and discovered an amazing little vegan restaurant: Vegetarian Restaurant by Hakin. This sweet little eatery serves some of the most delicious Caribbean American vegan cuisine to be found anywhere. I could have easily eaten every meal of my trip here and never tired of it. As soon as my mom and I walked into the restaurant, Hakin's winning smile and warm hospitality made us feel instantly at home.
While Mom enjoyed a tall glass of juice, (she never eats lunch, nor would she ever eat <i>vegan),</i> I indulged in an amazing lunch plate made up of Seitan BBQ Ribs, Curry Herbed Tofu, Herb Tomato Chunks, Quinoa with Spinach and Carrots, and Sautéed Bok Choy along with a glass of freshly squeezed Carrot-Beet-Apple Juice. From the very first bite, I could tell how much love went into the preparation of this exquisitely prepared meal.
Although I was quite full, Hakin tempted me with a slice of his Pineapple Tofu Cake. Ultimately I relented and agreed to try a small slice. Without hesitation, I can safely say that it was the most scrumptious pineapple cake I've ever eaten, even surpassing my own pineapple upside down cake, which up until now, I thought was pretty awesome. The heavenly buttercream frosting was sinfully rich, and the cake was sweetly moist and filled with little chunks of pineapple. I didn't think I'd finish the whole thing, but I polished it off in no time. I was really glad Hakin talked me into it!
With two plane changes and a 10-hour travel day ahead of me, I stopped by the restaurant hoping for a meal that would keep me filled and satsified for much of the trip home. I was treated to a most scrumptious breakfast of Blueberry Pancakes and Scrambled Tofu. I'm fairly critical when it comes to scrambled tofu, and I have a pet peeve about tofu scrambles that are either unimaginative or uninspired. I pride myself on making one hell of a killer tofu scramble, and Bryanna Clark Grogan recently turned me on to Julie Hasson's scrambled tofu, which is pretty amazing. So whenever I order a tofu scramble at a restaurant, I hold my breath and try to keep my expectations in check. Well, let me tell you, Hakin's tofu scramble was nothing short of spectacular. Amazingly, it really had the texture of scrambled eggs and it was perfectly seasoned, too. The blueberry pancakes were so yummy, I didn't even miss not having them with maple syrup. Just a wee bit of agave, and I was in pancake heaven!
This lovely meal kept me going for hours, but I was thrilled to have two of Hakin's empanadas to take with me on the trip. They were the perfect indulgence when hunger hit me at around 4 PM. I can't rave enough about the wonderful food, positive energy, and homey atmosphere of Vegetarian Restaurant by Hakin. The next time you're in Miami (or if you're lucky enough to live there), run, don't walk to this fabulous eatery. You'll be treated to one of the best meals of your life. Vegetarian Restaurant by Hakin is located at 73 NE 167th Street, North Miami, FL Tel: 305-405-6346 or 786-210-8787