Archive for July 20th, 2011

July 20, 2011

Cinebistro at Dolphin Mall has a Secret Weapon: Chef Justin

by ashley

by Ashley Morgan

Jessica and I have a taste for the finer things in life: food, wine and movie theatres that are not only 21+ (to keep the rifraff kids out) but also provide plush seating with waiter service. While these things all come at a premium, who really can put a price on comfort?  And Cobb Cinebistro at the Dolphin Mall in Miami, FL certainly knows it. Paying double the normal movie ticket price will bring you not only a movie sans crying babies, but also uniformed servers at your beckoning call, bringing you foodie delights from wonderful Chef Justin and his crew, along with great bar service. “But Ashley,” you say, “there aren’t any real vegan or vegetarian options on the menu!” To that, my dear friends, I send you to Chef Justin.

As head chef at the Cinebistro in the Dolphin Mall, all he needs is a short e-mail requesting an item for your diet and he’ll promise to whip you up something special while you’re visiting. Now, I’m not sure that he really wants me posting his e-mail out there in cyberspace for all the spammers to get ahold of, therefore I leave you with the contact form to Cinebistro (which is how I found him originally anyway) and they will forward it to him right away. Click here to send them an e-mail.

For $10.00 (a steal!) Chef Justin specially made me a veggie sushi roll, each piece enormous enough for three bites. I was starving, so I also ordered a hummus appetizer (on Jessica’s recommendation – I told you she likes the finer things in life, she comes here all the time). The sushi roll was so fresh and delicious, better than any other vegetable sushi I’ve ever had. The hummus is also amazing, so much so that I ordered extra pita to eat every last drop that was on my plate. I’m a salt-a-holic, so the saltiness of the olives they use as a garnish really make the dish spectacular.

Next time you are looking for a great date spot or girl’s night out, Cinebistro is certainly the place to be.

July 20, 2011

Spiny, spiky, oozy – fruit? And as a vegan meat replacement?

by ashley

by Ashley Morgan

Is it an alligator? It is a lizard? A dinosaur??

No, it’s a jackfruit! The largest tree-born, and arguably most delicious, edible fruit in the world. And when I say large, I mean it. The jackfruit can grow up to a whopping 80 pounds. That’s over 36 kilos of heavy, sweet fruit. While I have seen the jackfruit for much of my life in Florida and throughout the Caribbean, I only recently found out about its use as a meat replacement. And since I really can’t stand many “fake” meats, I knew that I needed to make a dish to see how it tastes.

Ripe, the jackfruit’s texture and flavor is like a banana, mango and pineapple all mixed together. Super sweet and perfect without any dressing. But, unbeknownst to me, the younger, green fruit has a very mild taste, meaning it will absorb flavors almost as well as tofu. What I found out after taking these photos (and making a couple recipes that you will see posted soon) is that, unlike when eating the ripe fruit, the younger fruit can be cut up in its entirety. Just peel off the skin, cut it, marinate it and eat. The ripe fruit you actually peel out the individual pockets of fruit, which are good for eating raw. Don’t try eating the green jackfruit raw, though. It doesn’t taste good and can possibly give you a major stomachache.

I bought my jackfruit from a locally-grown farm here in South Florida. I didn’t want anything too extravagant (and consequently ridiculously expensive) but rather a modest fruit. Well, apparently a modest jackfruit is 9.8 pounds, the smallest they had available. After paying $18 for one fruit, I brought it home and began examining it. I had eaten ripe jackfruit before, but never had the delight of cutting and peeling it myself. Even before peeling the stem began oozing its white liquid on everything, which consequently is actually used as caulking in some Asian countries (yes – it is that sticky and thick). So be prepared for a sticky, messy endeavor if you are trying this yourself. To counteract the stickiness, have a small bowl of oil at the ready for coating hands, cutting boards and your knife.

Cutting the jackfruit is easy, as long as you have a large enough knife. Remember this while purchasing, you’ll need to have a pretty big knife to go through some of the larger jackfruit. It’s possible without, but it creates a lot more work. If you’re eating it ripe, just cut the fruit in fourths, peel away the hard tethers, pull out the seeds and eat the soft fruit. If you’re making a recipe with green jackfruit, I’ve now learned all you need to do is peel off the outer skin and cut. You will still need to take out the seeds, however. In either scenario, the seeds shouldn’t be discarded. Keep them and roast, they have lots of health benefits and are great when added to a trail mix (which, by the way, I have a great recipe for that I’ll be posting soon).

There are a multitude of recipes out there for jackfruit, Asian and otherwise. I’ll be posting a few of mine over the next few days, which include a couple Latin recipes that are completely unique. If you have any questions about the jackfruit, or are looking for a place to purchase in South Florida, please let me know and I’d be glad to help.

 

 

July 20, 2011

Cobb Cinebistro Asian Rice Bowl

by jem614

By Jessica Michael

On Friday Ashley and I (who are avid Harry Potter enthusiasts) went to Cinebistro to watch the last installment of the Harry Potter Series.  We regularly choose Cinebistro for these blockbuster hits because it means that we avoid the lines and they don’t allow children in after 6pm.  Another bonus is that you can pick your seats when you purchase online.

Cinebistro is also good for their restaurant fare.  They don’t serve just boring hot dogs, nachos and popcorn (though popcorn is on the menu), they serve regular restaurant meals.  Just be aware that it’s not a cheap night out though you can get away with spending under $70 for a couple if you’re very careful.

Ashley and I surveyed the menu the day before to see what vegetarian options there were for entrees and there was only one: a lonely, simple pasta dish. This is pretty standard for restaurants, I’m finding.  Instead of just accepting it, I called and Ashley emailed and we were able to get a couple of options added for us for the evening.  The chef was extremely accommodating and even sounded happy to make us something different.
I chose the Asian Rice Bowl that tasted like it had shitake mushrooms and balsamic seasoning.  It was a tangy, luscious party on the tip of my tongue.

It had all the bushy green veggies on top that made it healthy and vibrant and a hot sauce on the side in case you’re into that kinda thing.  Inside were quartered Brussels Sprouts, Broccolini, and Shitake Mushrooms.

I also have a “standard” menu item that I always order when I go to Cinebistro because it is delish and that is the Hummus Bean Dip with pita bread (ask if they will give you extra bread because I promise you that you will run out of bread before you run out of dip).  Just beware because they charge you $3 more if you order extra bread.


Our overall experience for dinner was amazing.  The waiters are always extremely friendly and willing to serve you.  Please tip them well because they do their jobs in under 30 minutes and have to wait till the next movie to be able to make more $$.

If you go, ask for Chef Justin’s Vegetarian Asian Rice Bowl and tell them Veg On the Run sent you!

Four Carrots!

For more information on Cobb Cinebistro and their locations, please go to http://www.cobbcinebistro.com/

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