When we travel we try to always find out if there are local vegan eateries, and we often go out of our way to dine at them. We consider it both a joy and an adventure. So when we returned last week from Ecuador, where – in Quito at least – it appeared that every vegan restaurant in the city was either closed for Carnival or shut down for remodeling (a phrase that usually indicates closed forever despite its claim) we were already salivating at the thought of visiting one of our favorite places in Miami on the way home. We landed, went through customs, checked into the hotel to drop our bags off and since the room wasn’t ready headed straight there.

Om Garden is the kind of place that you may not notice from the street but you never forget once you’ve been there. The food is creative and delicious and you always run into interesting, friendly people, including the owner and staff. Dining there made us doubly happy to be back in the US. We love to travel but we also always love coming home. Especially when you find a place that serves raw broccoli capable of making you swoon. We don’t even like raw broccoli, but Om Garden’s broccoli salad is transcendent. It defies the laws of flavor and physics simultaneously.

Many of our culinary finds abroad have been equally delightful, such as the wonderful surfer owned Natural High Cafe in Puerto Rico and the gastronomic wonder of Joia in Milan, Italy where they even serve a vegan green egg. Check out their amazing cookbook to see for yourself, but you’ll have to buy it there – since it’s not available online. Closer to home we stumbled across Lovin’ Spoonfuls in Tucson Arizona when we were in town for the Gem & Mineral Show. They serve delicious food that you can actually even order online from BuyKind and have delivered right to your door almost anywhere in the USA. All of BuyKind’s featured restaurants have great food and it’s brilliant the way they package and send it.

We want to support these places because we enjoy them and we need to support them because otherwise they could go the way of a wonderful vegan restaurant that we discovered in Paris, La Victoire Supreme de Coeur (Supreme Victory of the Heart). It has been replaced with another ubiquitous Parisian foie gras tribute cafe. Both the food and the ambiance were incredible. Dining there was a pleasure for all of the senses, and yet, it failed…

It is a sad loss, but one that will continue to happen if we don’t do everything in our power to support and endorse the businesses that deserve our patronage. So go to vegan restaurants and stores whenever and wherever you can. What better way to honor the memory of  La Victoire Supreme de Coeur than to try and create the supreme victory of the heart that they dreamed of. Enjoy delicious new flavors and encounter like minded people, while also receiving the satisfaction of knowing that your support is helping to perpetuate businesses that are striving to make our world a better place – with both kinder and healthier hearts.