For vegetarians eating out with friends who eat meat could mean sitting at a steakhouse picking at a salad and a side of french fries. Hardly the kind of nourishment a non-meat eater needs. But now there is a place where compassionate eaters and the health conscientious can dine in delight, together.
Green Gables Café opened in October of 2007. New and small, patrons walked into the café for lunch and would scrunch up to the counter to place their order. But this didn’t discourage them from returning. The regulars kept coming back and people looking for some place new to grab a bite could mosey in. All organic and eco-friendly, with meat and vegetarian options newcomers often raise their eyebrows. Skeptics were quickly converted.
“People come here because when they eat here, they feel good,” says owner Laura Alfonso.
Ms. Alfonso is 26 years old and a graduate of the University of Miami. She was working for a non-profit organization when she was inspired by her mother’s idea to open a restaurant.
“My mother was a vegetarian for a long time. Growing up she always made a fusion of health conscious food with Latin gourmet. “
So Laura and her mother, Ana Rabel, went into business together. Two years later, they made the move to a larger location at 327 Alhambra Circle– two blocks away from the former. The new place has more seating and room for foot traffic. The walls are green, naturally. Ms. Alfonso used an eco-friendly paint that doesn’t pollute the air or give off the strong fumes that can be harmful to breath in. Local artists are invited to can hang their art for sale. Carlos Santos’ work currently decorates the walls.
Most items on the menu are less than $10 and made fresh daily. Veggie lover’s like to order the Organic black bean veggie burger ($10) served on a multi-grain bun with choice of cheese, lettuce, tomato, and roasted garlic aioli. A new take on the Cuban pulled pork sandwich is the Pulled turkey breast sandwich ($9) dressed with lettuce, avocado, and cilantro aioli on a warm baguette. Specials and soups change everyday.
“The soups are extraordinary, very, very good,” says Joseph Fadel. Fadel is an original customer, happy with the new transplant to a more spacious location. “I get pampered here. They’ve been able to balance and not just limit it to vegetarian dishes. They can customize dishes too.”
Most recently Ms. Alfonso’s younger sister, Cristina, joined the Green Gables team. Green Gables is a café with family at the forefront of its motivation
“I was raised to look at food as nourishment for the body. Being a family business and feeding the community offers a kind of nourishment that can be rare.” That is where Green Gables café really sets itself apart. The restaurant is more like an extended stay from home where good people welcome you in to enjoy simple, good food.
What: Green Gables Cafe
When: Open 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday. Closed weekends.
Where: 327 Alhambra Circle, Coral Gables Miami
Indoor/Outdoor Seating: Yes
Takeout/ Delivery: Yes
Cash/ Credit: Both accepted
For more information log onto www.greengablescafe.com