While visiting my hometown of Fort Lauderdale, Florida last weekend, in addition to having great stir-fry and a lot of quality time with my family, I also ventured out to explore. Along with my sister and niece, I went to two places that I’d never been before: A local Farmer’s Market and a very conscientious Pizza place!
A ‘Mom & Pop’ Market
My parents and sister are always talking about Marando Farms, a Farmer’s Market that they go to in Fort Lauderdale. This truly is a ‘Mom & Pop’ shop as it’s actually owned by a very nice couple that live in my sister’s neighborhood.
Marando Farms specializes in local and organic food – including a large selection of produce, farm fresh eggs, and a number of locally made products including dips & spreads, soups, jams, and cookies. They also offer a monthly CSA program available in full and half shares.
In addition to shopping, we also enjoyed walking around the grounds of Marando Farms. We viewed the nurseries, and Charlotte got to pay her regular visit to the various animals in residence.
Unfortunately, September isn’t a very good month for produce in Florida. When we visited the market, it was 90 degrees and the sun was beating down, making it difficult to be outside for both people and plants. My sister said that the market has even MORE to offer in the winter season, including more produce growing onsite and periodic events including live music and vendor provided samples. I hope to check it out again next time I visit home, when the weather is cooler!
A ‘Good’ Pizza
Then, it was time for lunch. We headed over to Pizza Fusion, a pizza place that distinguishes itself by caring about both the environment and their patron’s health. Their menu offers a number of organic, vegan, and gluten-free options, and the company has a number of environmental initiatives including the use of hybrid cars for delivery, eco-friendly cleaning products, and biodegradable to-go containers & utensils. They make pizza you can feel good about eating.
For drinks, my sister and I had their house-brewed Green Tea which was delicious! For the little one, we ordered an Organic Juice.
We started with an order of the Flatbread and Dip Trio. The dips included a Garlic & Artichoke Spread, an Olive Tapenade, and their Organic Marinara Sauce. I liked that our server made it a point to tell me that the artichoke and olive dips weren’t vegan (I still eat some dairy, but know that strict vegans would appreciate his mention!). Of the trio, my sister and I had different favorites – I loved the Garlic Artichoke Spread, whereas she couldn’t get enough of the Olive Tapenade. However, we both agreed that we had wished the Flatbreads were more crisp, and neither of us were impressed with the Marinara – it was a little bit too sweet for me.
For our entrees, we each ordered Personal Pizzas which were completely customizable, including options for Regular, Multi-Grain, or Gluten-Free crust and choices of cheese that were Regular, Organic, or Casein-Free Vegan. The list of toppings was also extensive, including a number of Organic options which were listed in bold.
I ordered the Spinach Artichoke pizza on the Multi-Grain crust with the Vegan cheese. While the artichokes were conventional, the Spinach, Roasted Garlic, and Marinara were all organic and the crisp multi-grain crust was delicious. I also thought it was the perfect size for one person – 6 x 9 inches. I finished mine and felt satisfied but not stuffed. My sister, a lighter eater, had a small slice of hers to bring home for her husband to try. The only down side for me, again, was the marinara sauce – the sweetness didn’t match with the savory flavors of my pizza. Next time I would want to try the Barbecue Sauce or Organic Pesto.
Overall, while the pizza didn’t blow me away, if I worked in downtown Fort Lauderdale, I know I’d be making many repeat visits for that crispy crust & so many healthy options.
I’d love to hear from you!
What would you put on the Pizza of your dreams?
What are your favorite Eco-Friendly Businesses?