Maximina Santi wants Las Vegas to be more friendly to people with dietary restrictions without compromising flavor or quality. So, Santi, who earned a certificate in plant-based nutrition from eCornell University, is taking her popular meal prep company — The Heavenly Vegan — and opening a fast casual healthy restaurant in Southwest Las Vegas. The all-vegan restaurant of the same name as her meal prep company, is set to open the first week of February. Santi believes its going to fit the needs of an underserved population in Las Vegas.
“Many of the dishes will be whole food, plant-based and geared towards people with restrictive diet,” she says. “The majority of food will be oil-free.”
But, don’t expect every dish to be oil-free.
“I’m a foodie,” she laughs, “I like to occasionally indulge in sweet treats that are refined sugar-free or a really dreamy burger with vegan Thousand Island. I have to have some fun and it’s ok to indulge once in a while if your mostly eating right.”
Santi, who has enjoyed success with The Heavenly Vegan, garnering celebrity clients over the years, decided to open the restaurant to bring “healing and healthy fast food options and awareness to the community.”
“I want to be the place where people who are on restricted diets who can’t find a place to eat can go,” she explains. “It’s driven from my own healing journey. I remember I couldn’t eat anywhere being gluten-free, refined-sugar free and low-fat. I couldn’t get a real, sustaining meal that was going to nourish me.”
The Heavenly Vegan aims to meet that need, offering not only the meal prep items she’s come to be known for, like her carrot cake pancakes and quiche in a grab-and-go setting, but also will serve new items made in-house.
Expect the vegan restaurant in Las Vegas to feature soups, salads, wraps, sandwiches and paninis, smoothies, toasts, wellness bowls, sauces, dips and snacks, gourmet raw vegan dishes and many of her signature client favorites such as her house-made cheeses, plus desserts in a cozy 22-seat setting.
“I want to be a part of the movement to bring gourmet plant-based, fast casual dining for the busy person to Las Vegas,” she says.
Santi plans on offering a selection of gluten-free eats, plus “naughty” items like nachos which she promises will be a guilty pleasure for customers … with minimal guilt. She also plans to offer cooking classes and events, speakers, private fine dining events and more in the space.
The Heavenly Vegan is located at 6070 S. Rainbow Blvd. Stay tuned for hours/days of operation.
Diana Edelman is the founder of Vegans, Baby. She previously lived and worked in Thailand where she spent years working for an elephant sanctuary and has traveled around the world speaking about the realities of elephant tourism. She is a public speaker who has appeared at SEED Food + Wine, VegFest Puerto Rico, VegFest Toronto and more, a journalist and entrepreneur. Diana is also behind the Vegas Vegan Dinners at James Beard Foundation’s James Beard House.