The Purple Elephant is right in Northport, my weekend town. Down by the marina, this place has a kind of beachy, surfer, casual hang vibe with a menu that has a section entitled “Vegan” and another entitled “Not Vegan.” Vegan comes first, which I love, and there are some crazy, creative choices that are all delicious.
We recently heard that The Purple Elephant needed some extra support due to some issues with the village. Within 24 hours, hundreds of letters came pouring in and even more people signed a petition asking the village to keep the place open. There is a meeting at the end of the month and hopefully our voices will be heard.
I have eaten great meals at this place including two in just the recent. A few weeks ago, I reconnected with a girl that I went to junior high and high school with. Even though we weren’t friends in school, we are friends on Facebook and on her birthday, I wished her a happy birthday. Then I noticed that she likes the same yoga studios I do and practices energy healing. We clearly have loots of stuff in common so I decided to reach out. We met up for lunch and shared the Burnt Ends Quesadilla (which is strangely addicting) and a fantastic watermelon salad which I have now recreated in my kitchen a few times. See recipe below.
Then we went on Saturday night for dinner and had these crazy good dishes.
Buffalo Cauliflower Salad: crispy cauliflower tossed with spicy Buffalo sauce, baby greens, avocado, tempeh, red onion, grape tomato and secret vegan Bleu Cheese dressing.
Rainforest Burger & Yucca Fries: a seared brown rice and black bean burger with baby greens, tomato, red onion, avocado, vegan cheese on a toasted Ciabatta roll.
“Burnt Ends” Enchiladas: baked in white corn tortillas with roasted ancho tomato sauce, vegan cheese, rice and beans.
Here is my version of the salad my friend and I had. These measurements makes 2 bowls but make a bowl just for yourself with however much you want or make a big platter for guests. The combo is a definite winner. I added chives and pine nuts because I always have to add my own touch!
1 cup watermelon
1 small cucumber
6 mint leaves
1 small head of Romaine lettuce
2 tablespoons pine nuts, divided
Salt, a pinch
Dice up the watermelon, cucumber and slice the avocado. Chiffonade the mint leaves. Thinly slice the chives.
Shred the Romaine lettuce and arrange into two bowls. Top with the watermelon, cucumber and avocado. Sprinkle with mint, chives and and a tablespoon of pine nuts on each.
Squeeze 1/2 of the lime onto each salad. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Enjoy!