New York Vegetarian – subjective disses and raves

Pure Food & Wine

54 Irving Plaza
NYC, NY 10003
t: 212 477 1010

last night we ate in this rather pricey raw food vegan restaurant and it was as if the meal happened in two totally different restaurants. The first course was excellent and felt natural and inspired. we took two salads featuring excellent combos of flavors, innovative and exiting. especially the cashew blue cheese blew us away. the main course however was trying too hard. the tamale looked brilliant, but the raw food really felt forced here. it tasted fine, just nothing like an actual tamale. raw food has never appealed to me much, here it felt pretentious. if they would just stuck to innovating instead of trying to re-create known dishes in raw food version, maybe it would work for me… huge minus points for the flash website as well.

tonite (wednesday) we try out highly recommended:

Dirt Candy

430 e. 9th st
NYC, NY 10009
t. 212 228 7732

Much better and even a little less expensive Dirt Candy offers creative, lacto-ovo vegetarian food. it’s still quite pricey, but it was a real pleasure to eat there. the ingredients could be more seasonal and to make it to my top list of vegetarian restaurants they would have to go much lighter on the garlic. the “Mushroom” dish really stood out for me, as well as the chocolate beet cake for desert. the place is small, but has a very nice interior design. nice bloggy website.

Today (thursday) we will go for lunch in a korean vegetarian place in korea town:

Hangawi

12E 32nd street
NYC, NY 10006
t. 212 213 0077

fantastic food, really delicious and presented in a creative way. this has been my first time eating Korean food, a cuisine i knew nothing about – except kimchi. the starter was something they call porridge, an oat based soup with corn or pumpkin flavor. then a ginseng salad, with actual pieces of pleasntly bitter ginseng. the main dish came in a sizzling hot pot, part of the cooking process completed on the table. the restaurant looks and feels like some sort of monastery, very simple wood design. you check your shoes at the door and sit on low tables with a foot room bellow. highly recommend it!

and today (friday), indian vegetarian:

bhojan

102 Lexington Avenue
New York City, NY 10016
t. 212-213-9615

this is a very decent vegetarian restaurant serving an indian lunch thali at a very good price. not more, not less. indian food is challenging fare though, and I can’t seem to deal with it well anymore. but that’s another story.

best falafel in new york? let’s see about that today (saturday):

taim

222 Waverly Place,
New York City, NY 10014
t: 212.691.1287

well, we went there, but it was closed for pass over. so we’ll have to try some other time. we instead went to dos toros taqueria for one of the worst burritos I ever had, despite the fact that this list called it the best burrito in new york city. hmm.

we went to taim last night, and let me just say this, if this really is the best falafel in new york, new york is a sad place. these falafels were awful, much too humid, crumbling apart, weirdly spiced. best burito AND best falafel were fail? hmm, starting to doubt if new york is a good place for vegetarian food. it used to be, but not anymore.

today (monday) we will try a vegetarian thai:

pukk

71 1st ave
NYC, NY 10002
t. 212 253 2741

pathetic. worst thai food I ever ate. sad.

but luckily in the afternoon we went to brooklyn to find:

Mimi’s Hummus

209 Cortelyou Road
Brooklyn, NY 11218
t. 718 284 4444

this place serves fantastic hummus and israeli food, I totally loved it. the hummus is super creamy and nice and gets decorated with either lemon-garlic chickpeas, fava beans, mushrooms or tahini sauce and even with meat. I am starting to suspect that it is better to go eat in a good non-vegetarian restaurant that serves vegetarian food, than to go for the vegetarian restaurants…

today, tuesday, we will try our luck with:

wild ginger

380 Broome
NYC, NY 20013
t. 212 966 2669

Wild Ginger serves very nice, creative vegetarian asian food, the lunch deals are great, a la carte is a little pricey. most dishes come with brown rice, others are served with coconut rice. they do serve mock meat dishes, but the quality of the tofu seems to be good. The location is nice, right on the cusp between china town and little italy.

conclusion

And the winner is … Mimi’s Hummus. in fact we’ll go there again this afternoon for our last dinner in town. dirt candy is nice, they serve good quality food, creative vegetarian kitchen. but the menu is so limited that it seems impossible to go eat there a second time. it’s also quite expensive. mimi’s hummus is not a pure vegetarian place, but their hummus is truly fantastic, comes in combos.

About Jan Zuppinger

Jan Zuppinger has been writing this blog since 2002. He likes to grow vegetables. He likes to eat them too. He has opinions on everything, but sadly no one cares. Jan Zuppinger is not joking, just joking, he is joking, just joking, he's not joking. *click.