14 November 2011

Choices Vegan Cafe: The new Miami vegan hotspot opening Nov. 19

It all began when a 10 year old boy watched a video on factory farming. "That made me realize that McDonald's yummy hamburgers were actually sourced from animal suffering and death. I was done overnight. Although I could not describe or articulate myself well at that age, I knew I didn't want to be a part of that."

Today, over 20 years later and still fueled by a desire to reduce suffering, Alex Cuevas, that compassionate and intelligent little boy, has realized a dream. Alex is now the proud owner of Miami's newest hotspot, Choices Vegan Cafe. The restaurant has been manifested by the love and dedication of Alex, along with his business partner and brother Jorge Antillon Cuevas. These two remarkable brothers are on a mission to inspire happiness, kindness, and compassion while serving up healthy, organic, life-giving foods. When you walk through the doors, you can immediately feel the warmth and love that Choices exudes. And if the friendly, clean, inviting atmosphere is enough to get you in there, the food will keep you coming back for more.

Growing up in a Mexican family, I asked Cuevas if his family was supportive of his food choices at such a young age. "Family supportive? Well if you count allowing me to do it, but telling me that I was going to die of malnutrition, I guess you could say 'supportive'."

But today, due in part to his compassionate example I'm sure, his parents and both his brothers are vegan. And his mother's 'veganized' Mexican cooking has most certainly had an influence on the creative and mouth-watering dishes you can find on the menu at Choices. From fresh pressed juices and smoothies, to raw collard wraps filled with spicy walnut taco meat and the unique and flavorful VA Insane wrap stuffed with soyrizo, Daiya cheese and plantains, to sweet treats such as raw chocolate pies, cookies, and melt in your mouth SIN-a-buns, Choices has something on the menu to please every palate. In fact, they recently received a rave review from a skeptical carnivore.

But don't take my word for it. Choices Cafe is holding their Grand Opening this weekend on Saturday Nov.19th. And not only do these guys know how to make a mean veggie burger, they know how to have fun too! If you attend, bring your appetite and some dancing shoes. The night will boast food tastings, entertainment including live music and a DJ, and a contest offering a $300 cash prize. You can learn more, and RSVP, to this free event HERE.

If you can't make the grand opening, be sure to stop by this space of love if you are in Miami. Whether you're vegan, vegetarian, or carnivorous, I can guarantee you will leave with a full stomach and a smile.

Lori Zito | @LoriZito Lori is an animal-loving, life-loving vegan who is passionate about spreading the message of better health through a vegan diet. She works as a certified holistic health and nutrition coach, a yoga instructor, and a physical therapist. Learn more at her website Live In The Balance and follow her on Facebook.

Photo credit: cc:flickr.com/photos/alan-light