With the new decade comes the arrival of more innovation and creativity. And tucked inside the Ponte Vedra Pointe Shopping Center is Ponte Vedra’s newest restaurant, McFlamingo, where after speaking with coowner Lea Osel, it’s safe to say that McFlamingo is taking the lead in innovation and creativity for a healthier and flavorful lifestyle.
McFlamingo’s mission is to “create a dining experience in which vegetables are an indulgence and are served in a delicious and hearty way, ”according to the eatery's website. The eatery offers a variety of vibrant and colorful dishes that are light on the stomach but heavy on the appetite.
“One of the things we’re trying to offer are having man-sized salads,” Osel said. “When we were looking at what’s already offered in town, my partner was starving still. He said, ‘There’s a way you can make a salad where a man also wants to eat and finish.’”
Osel’s partner is her husband, who has been a chef for over 25 years. His experience gave him the ability to create the restaurant’s menu through improvisation, without even testing the dishes.
“It just all came out of his mind,” Osel said. “He did a really good job, combining flavors that are different while making really healthy food taste really good. They’re hearty and full of different textures and flavors. Not every bite is the same.”
Osel also mentioned that every dish is prepared fresh every day.
“Compared to your traditional salads, these have so many ingredients, textures and unique dressings—like cashew tumeric lime dressing—and they’re huge,” said food blogger and restaurant influencer Nate Mayo, from “Nate Does Food.”
He also commented on McFlamingo’s lentil burger, saying it’s a “gateway drug” that opens the door to healthier options.
“We had a family here and the kids tried a sample and they liked it a lot," he said, adding that even though the impossible burger is a "fad" now, he still highly recommends it.
"A few favorite dishes are the juicy lentil burger, curried cauliflower salad and the brussel sprouts with tamarind, dates, crema, crispy grains and cilantro," she added to the must-try items. "The sweet and savory fusion flavors taste amazing! It’s a great way to reset after the holidays and eat healthy for vegans and non-vegans, as well."
In fact, Osel recommends the non-vegan dishes like the hummus with spicy shrimp, mahi mango ginger salad and the salmon sandwich.
“My son eats the salmon sandwich every time he’s here,” she said.
To wash it all down, Osel implemented a gluten-free and gluten-full craft beer selection, bubbly wines and prosecco on tap.
“I literally have been talking about having prosecco on tap for 10 years,” she said. “Finally, I made that come true, which is really exciting and has definitely been a fan favorite.”
McFlamingo is located at 880 A1A N. #12, in Ponte Vedra Beach.
For more information, visit www.McFlamingo.com