Lunch bell: Our favorite lunch buffet is delicious, healthy and raw

Feb 15, 2018
Alfresco lunch: The center's dining hall offers indoor and outdoor seating. ( Liz Balmaseda/The Palm Beach Post)

My favorite local all-you-can-eat buffet offers no mac and cheese, no carved meats and no decadent desserts. Still, I can’t get enough of the spread at the Hippocrates Institute in suburban West Palm Beach. It’s surprisingly varied in options and flavors. 

There, in a health-focused retreat that sprawls across 50 acres of tropical foliage with an often crunchy, new-age vibe, is a vegetable feast created by the talented executive chef Ken Blue. His house dressing alone – a blend of liquid aminos, lemon juice, garlic, ground mustard seeds and cayenne, emulsified with a veggie oil blend – is addictive. 

Vibrant veggies: The lunch buffet at Hippocrates offers a feast of locally grown sprouts, greens, fresh and fermented vegetables and dressings. (Liz Balmaseda/The Palm Beach Post)

Yes, the buffet is all raw and vegan and it offers nothing hot (unless you count the extensive selection of hot teas). But the flavors! On a recent day, in addition to its heaping bowls of organic greens, sprouts galore, beets and other fresh veggies, the buffet offered an ode to Asian flavors, from pad Thai to kimchi. 

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You may not find the info on the institute’s website, but here’s the scoop: The lunch buffet, which is open daily from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. and costs $25 per person, is open to the public (as is the spa and salon). You can enjoy your lunch in the sunny dining room or patio, or you can pack your buffet lunch to go. When you arrive at the gate, let them know you are there for lunch and the guard will direct you. 

Lush walking paths wind through the grounds at the Hippocrates Health Institute in suburban West Palm Beach. (Liz Balmaseda/The Palm Beach Post)

Hippocrates Institute: 1466 Hippocrates Way, West Palm Beach; 561-471-8876