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Manhattan Vegan

my vegan friends came to visit (too long if you are a militant non-vegan)

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Restaurants & Bars

my vegan friends came to visit (too long if you are a militant non-vegan)

melon | May 2, 2005 11:47 AM

Being an ominvore, I have trouble finding stuff for them, so here's what we did in case anyone else is having the same problem.

Kate's Joint. Our meals seemed to be of varying quality. Unfortunately, my most excited, die-hardest vegan seemed to pick the lamest item, some fried tofu "cutlets" that tried to look like wienerschnitzel but tasted like my napkin. I got lucky with a portobello mushroom / spinach/ fakin bacon / almost vegan cheese / veggie burger combo and a side of mashed potatoes. The gravy was surprisingly gravy-y but suffered from a bit too much rosemary. The burger was juicy, filling, melty, and savory,thanks especially to the spinach and fakin bacon. And the foo-foo fancy organic ketchup. (NB - I did almost get my eyes clawed out by the waitress when I asked to have my burger on bread instead of foccacia, so be careful if you're oversensitive like me) The fries that came with one of our meals were absolutely perfect and worth a trip even for a non-vegan - they are shoestringy and deep golden brown. Desserts were a nice effort, but texturally off. I think it must be harder to be vegan when baking.

We had brunch at the Organic Grill on 1st Ave. The staff there was so sweet and attentive I almost started to cry, but the breakfast seemed to lack a little oomph. May have just been a timing problem, I think if it were piping hot it would have been more delicious. French toast at neighboring table looked great, as did the special tofu scramble. Almost worth a trip for the service and earnest, purple hippie cuteness.

Finally we happened upon Teany, that Moby restaurant on the LES. They have a take out window, which was fortunate, because Teany was packed. (Side note: overheard one overstyled guest call his friend to inform him with great ceremony that he was wearing ALL WHITE that day.) At this point I was a little tofu-ed out, but still got the fake chicken salad salad. The chicken salad part was delicious, again even for a non-vegan. And I usually prefer the legume route over the fake meat route. Unfortunately, the doctored-up tofu was on top of a perfectly crisp and delicious garden salad with a lovely blood orange vinaigrette that ALSO contained smoked tofu, and I started to grow weary. Vegan companions seemed thrilled with their fake chicken salad sandwiches.

While I'm here, I might add that on another visit, we dined at Angelica Kitchen, which has been my favorite thus far. I had one of those hyper-healthy vegan-macrobiotic dragon bowls and had to be peeled off the ceiling afterwards. I recommend a dragon bowl for people who are feeling like they need a little break from the four food groups.

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