As downtown Lakeland continues to watch the construction of Posto 9 — it’s hard to miss on days like today when a concrete truck is blocking Main Street by Munn Park — owner Marco Franca continues promoting his restaurant with creative photos, colorful murals and new-to-Lakeland ideas about tipping and shared valet service. This week he’s whetting appetites by releasing some menus — sans prices, unfortunately — and a video promoting his executive chef.

The menus are described on the restaurant website as “inspired by the best seasonal foods the Southeast has to offer focused on modern Brazilian cooking techniques.”

Franca is still targeting a Dec. 1 opening. The menus he released this week cover dinner and desserts. Separate menus are being prepared for lunch, Sunday brunch and the less-formal food lineup at the rooftop bar. Here are the new menus followed by my take from a vegetarian perspective.

For several years, my contributions to a local food blog focused on letting vegetarians know what they could order at local restaurants. I’ll continue that tradition here.

I don’t know if it says more about the time or place in which we live that the Posto 9 dinner menu notes gluten-free dishes but not vegetarian-friendly items.

That said, there are enough non-meat options that vegetarians won’t feel left out. There are a lot more options for pescetarians — those who eat seafood but no other animals.

Like most restaurateurs, Franca notes his chefs can accommodate vegetarians or people with other dietary restrictions by altering many dishes. “Once you arrive (or when you make a reservation on OpenTable) at Posto 9, you should let the wait staff know of any dietary restriction,” he says.

First the good news: No animals will be harmed in the making of any of the desserts. Eat up.

Also, all the sides except Biro Biro rice, which includes bacon, are meat-free, as are all the couvert (items offered for free at your table) other than paté.

Main dishes are meat-heavy. Those that are veg-friendly without alteration are hearts of palm risotto, baiao (which can be ordered with meat or without), vegetable moqueca and grilled vegetables.

The grilled veggies are prepared on the same surface as meat products, but Franca says, “Our grill is heated at 800 degrees, eliminating any cross-contamination risk.”

Next are the ones:

  • One of six salads is meat-free.
  • One of nine appetizers — roasted hearts of palm — is meat-free.
  • One of six raw bar items — a cheese board — has no meat.

Skip over the sandwiches and grilled petiscos. All contain beef, pork or chicken.

The Ledger’s Eric Pera attended a press conference where the menu and some of the new dishes were presented. Here is a slideshow of photos from the event he posted to Facebook:

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Barry Friedman founded in 2015 as the culmination of a career in print and digital journalism. Since 1982, he has used the tools of reporting, editing and content curation to help people in Lakeland understand their community better.

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