Viitals–Tampa Vegan Bakery

Hello friends.  It appears that blogging has taken a back seat to my very busy life.  No, I’m not sorry.  Something had to give.  And it wasn’t going to be my morning walk with Lucky, daily sweat sessions, or dinner with the hubs.

As you may recall I set up a plan to stay sane among a very busy work-travel month in July.  I didn’t quite listen to all my suggestions – I still check email the second I get up – but I did make a conscious decision to get up 30 minutes earlier each day.  That little change has allowed me to get more done each day.

Here it is now the end of August, and I’m about to embark on yet another adventure.  My travels will take me to Chicago; Portland, Maine; D.C.; Las Vegas; Los Angeles; and New York City.  Wow.  Do any readers have vegan-friendly restaurant suggestions or must-dos for the cities I’m going to visit?  Not that I’m going to have much time to frolic around town, but it’s good to know my options.

Let’s get down to business. My trip to Viitals Bakery + Café.

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I found out about Viitals from Groupon many months ago.  I quickly jumped at the chance to get half off vegan baked goods.  Who wouldn’t? Too bad I let the coupon expire before I got to stuff my face with $20 worth of cupcakes (for only $10!).  My body says thanks and wants to remind the general public that just because a cookie is vegan, doesn’t make it healthy.  I have to remind Dave of that often.

But that isn’t always true.

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At Viitals, there is a small, but varied selection of vegan baked goods – cookies, cupcakes, macaroons, muffins and breads.

I was looking for a meal not just sweets when I landed at Viitals.  After reading less than stellar reviews online, I was prepared for what was to come.  I decided to give them a try anyways and decide for myself.  Plus, any restaurant that caters to vegans deserves my business.

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I arrived at Viitals which is situated between a deli and an upscale pizza joint in a strip mall off of Dale Mabry.  The atmosphere is crisp and clean – a nice mix of modern and comfort.  There is free wifi and a nice selection of health books to browse as well.

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I studied the menu online before my arrival, so I knew exactly what I wanted – the Unexpected.  Kinda ironic, eh?

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The owner warned me that the sandwich was small, but I knew this already as an online reviewer warned me too!  I asked for a side salad, chips, fruit, anything, and he told me to go next store for a salad.  Mm, okay.  What’s with the big salad on the front page of your website?

I decided to eat the sandwich sans side and then come back for a treat.

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The Unexpected wasn’t anything exceptional.  When I eat a sandwich I prefer it overflowing of fresh vegetables versus being lost among the bread.  Unfortunately this was the later.  The bread was rather sweet which makes sense considering Viitals is a bakery.

The Unexpected wasn’t quite filling enough for me to call lunch over, so I went back for round two.  Next up, was a coconut-poppy seed macaroon.

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I’m not one to count calories, but I always like to know what’s in my food.  One great thing about Viitals is that the nutrition information is listed for all of their items. So for 160 calories, 5 g of protein and 5 g of fiber, this little treat hit the spot.  I could have used a few more consider my sandwich was only 270 calories.  I’m not very good at math, but 270 + 160 = way too little calories to consider this lunch a done deal.

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So, I went home and made a smoothie.

While I can’t say I’ll be back to enjoy another meal at Viitals, I will be back for a cupcake.

Eat well,
Carolyn

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