Friday, June 30, 2006

Home on 8th

We recently went to Home on 8th at 391 8th Ave between 29th and 30th St in Manhattan. Home on 8th is a Chinese restaurant that isn't strictly vegetarian, but has a vegetarian (mostly vegan) menu that's as big as (if not bigger than) their non-vegetarian menu.

Soy Drumsticks
These were okay. They were softer than usual and had no seasoning- just lightly fried soy meat on a stick with duck sauce. Nothing extraordinary but still inherently tasty. I remember liking them better before; maybe this was just an off day. -Ev
These were similar to most fake drumsticks you can find at NYC vegetarian restaurants. Their outer texture was extra crispy, which was cool. Their inner texture was a little more soft and mushy than most fake drumsticks, which I wasn't into so much. It seemed to me like they tasted more like chicken than most fake drumsticks I've had, which was actually a little weird. They were good, though. I'd order them again. -Jim

South Asian Red Curry
What my appetizer lacked in fireworks, this meal made up for. That's a little misleading because you're probably expecting me to say how spicy and fiery this was, but it wasn't spicy at all. This was a delicious, comfy, coconut curry. I usually can't handle the idea of finishing coconut dishes because they can get heavy, but this was perfect. The veggies were soft but still had good bite. There was the perfect amount of soy meat. The best part was the broccoli- specifically how well the broccoli soaked up all the delicious sauce. The sauce was at once pot-pie-ish and cheese-like, all with an undercurrent of coconut goodness. I would definitely get this dish again. -Ev
This was like Thai comfort food. Really good. -Jim

Ginger Spiced Soy meat with Fresh Garlic & Sautéed Spinach
This dish was a spinach-lovers dream. Like, to the point where you might not like it if you're not a hardcore spinach-lover. The dish consisted of some pieces of ginger chicken, which had a very satisfying texture and a sweet flavor, and about a pound of spinach. There wasn't really a sauce or much added flavor in this dish, which worked for me at first because I was in the mood for something simple and light. But halfway through it got a little old and I started adding soy sauce. To be fair, I have jaded, salt-addicted taste buds, so you might not need to add soy sauce like I did. This was a good dish, but it was a lot of the same thing. Terry from the PPK was with us and she got almost the same dish only with bok choy rather than spinach. Personally I prefer large quantities of bok choy to large quantities of spinach, so I would probably get what Terry got if I could do this over. -Jim

The Bottom Line
From their Mexican wrestler decor (mixed with an impressive Bruce Lee doll collection) to their wide variety of soy stylings, Home on 8th offers yummy, filling food for a decent price. I order lunch from them all the time and have yet to be disappointed by a dish. It's also convenient for going out with people because they have both a vegetarian and meat-eaters menu. You should know they give you a choice of white or brown rice, but the brown rice is $1 extra. I should also add that Home on 8th is all about the soy- pretty much every dish has some type of soy meat, bean curd, or tofu in it. Lastly, ask your server if there is egg in your dish. They specify in most cases, but we've been surprised before so it's better to be safe than hungry. -Ev
Home on 8th isn't fantastic, but it's consistently good and there's a nice selection of vegan options. The best part about this restaurant, though, is the location. It's tough eating vegan in midtown, and this restaurant is an oasis of soy for vegans who are working or hanging out in that area. -Jim

Friday, June 23, 2006

Peking Duck Forest

We recently stumbled upon Peking Duck Forest in Forest Hills, Queens at 10712 70th rd. As you can probably guess from the name, this is not a strictly vegan or vegetarian restaurant, but the dinner menu had a whole page of vegetarian entrees, so we decided to give it a shot.

Bean Curd & Corn Soup
It was a hot, humid day, not the kind of day on which you find yourself craving soup. Nevertheless I ordered some and I’m glad I did. There’s not much to say about this soup because it was so simple. It was corn and soft tofu in a starchy, salty (but not too salty) soup. That might sound boring but it wasn’t. It was extremely satisfying and I could see myself ordering this again next time I’m there. -Jim

Steamed Vegetable Dumplings
These dumplings were amazing, I liked that I could perform my usual dumpling-eating ritual (take a little bite off the top, pour sauce in, and eat the rest) and the dough was thick enough to keep everything inside. Even better was the fact that what was inside was delicious. What stood out most was the seasoning; each bite was a different taste. I think I detected fennel, but whatever it was, it was yummy. The veggies were super-shredded and very fresh. Even the dipping (or in my case pouring) sauce was of a higher quality than those found at other Chinese restaurants. -Ev
Yeah, I loved the flavor of the filling too. It was almost like a curry flavor. Very unique. -Jim

Bean Curd and Cashew in Spicy Sauce
This delicious stir fry consisted mainly of tofu, mushrooms, cashews, peppers and pineapple. The sauce was like a thick, spicy sweet and sour sauce only it was also very savory at the same time. It was almost like they took all of the different Chinese sauces that I like and combined them into one, only I would expect that to be gross and this totally wasn’t. Also, I’m usually not too into pineapple in a stir fry, but it really worked here. The pineapple matched with the sweetness of the sauce but also contrasted the savoryness of the sauce. The combination of textures and flavors in this dish really worked and I was really happy with it overall. -Jim

Sautéed Dried Bean Curd and Vegetables
So good! I was expecting your run -of-the-mill shredded stuff with brown sauce. Boy was I surprised. Right away I could see how fresh and tasty this dish would be. There were black beans and a variety of spices to really kick up the flavor, which changed with each bite- sometimes sweet, sometimes spicy, sometimes savory, sometimes all three. The bean curd was very firm and cut thin. Again, the veggies were fresh and cooked perfectly. I thought the mushrooms were especially incredible; they were fat, firm, and soooo flavorful. It will be hard to resist ordering this again next time. -Ev

The Bottom Line
We literally went into this restaurant on a whim, and I’m so glad we did. I definitely look forward to coming back here. Everything was fresh and delicious. Nothing was oily or gross. Peking Duck Forest is Chinese done well. You can certainly find more authentic Chinese cuisine down in Chinatown, but I do feel like this was probably more authentic and definitely more tasty than your average American-Chinese cuisine. Another nice thing about this restaurant is that the portion sizes are tremendous. We ate with two friends of ours and, out of the four of us, three of us brought home food that we had for lunch the next day. -Jim
A great discovery. This was the first time I felt I was eating Chinese cuisine rather than Chinese food. The dishes were fresh and delicious and had exciting flavor combinations. I've been craving it since we've eaten there. -Ev

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


We went to Blossom for lunch on Saturday. Blossom is located in the Chelsea area of Manhattan at 187 9th Ave between 21st and 22nd. Note that some of the items we ordered for lunch are also on the dinner menu, but the dinner versions of these dishes might be slightly different.

The Satay is definitely a contender for the best appetizer. The seitan was grilled to perfection; it was juicy, tender, and had delicious deep-charred bits. The sauce was a rich curry and worked especially well with the super-hot chili sauce on the side. Speaking of the super-hot chili sauce, it tasted like the most perfect, sweet, fresh, red pepper you’ve ever had only liquified and made really fiery. So yum! But the highlight of the dish, for me, were the noodles. The noodles were soft, chewy, delicate, and drenched in the most delicious sauce that tasted just like coconut curry. There is no way any description I write can do justice to it but know this: if I had to swim through a pile of these saucy noodles with my mouth open, yes I would drown, but I would die happy. Thankfully there are no villains forcing me to do such a thing and I can just order this every time I go to Blossom. You should too. -Ev
I agree that this was a totally bitchin' appetizer. The combination of creamy peanut sauce and smokey, grilled flavor made the skewered seitan really mouthwatering. It was tender but not too tender, and the pieces were small enough that I didn’t get the sense of rubberyness that can be a problem sometimes in huge chunks of seitan. The sesame noodles were fantastic too. They were creamy and tasty and they had some scallions mixed in to give them some bite. -Jim

Black-eyed Pea Cake
This tasty appetizer was a fried cake of yukon gold potato & black eyed peas. It had a very indian flavor to it which was contrasted by the tangy sauce underneath. The texture was great as it was crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. -Jim
A comforting dish with flavors made even comfier by the chipotle aioli (a.k.a. creamy mayo-like substance). This dish would be perfect at Thanksgiving dinner because it’s really heavy and starchy and savory. –Ev

South Asian Lumpia
This dish was excellent. The outside was so flaky and tender, like the batter of a mozzarella stick. Inside was more like a good samosa. The textures and flavors were all very smooth and comforting but then the mustard and the mango salsa cut in and perked things up. It was like a party in my mouth! Wouldn’t you like to eat a party? -Ev
I can’t help but compare this dish to the Pea Cake. The consistency and flavor was similar in many ways. Texture-wise, this dish had a crispier outside, and the textures of the filling ingredients were more pronounced. Flavor-wise, this dish was slightly less curry-ish and I swore I tasted a fishyness to it, like they had used sea weed in making it. Evelyn and my brother and sister-in-law (who we were lunching with) said they didn’t notice the fishyness, so maybe I was just hallucinating. The lumpia were served with mustard and a mango salsa, which gave the dish a tang and sweetness that worked well. –jim

Tofu Basil Polenta Mini-Tower
This attractively plated meal consisted of a layer of polenta upon which was stacked a layer of tofu upon which was stacked a layer of basil polenta. The tower sat in puttanesca sauce and there was some more sauce up on the top. The sauce was my favorite part as it was very olivey and capery (which I’m a fan of) with just a touch of spicyness. My only complaint about this dish was the lack of variety, both in texture and flavor. The tower had a pretty consistent texture despite it’s three separate layers. It didn’t have have much flavor so it basically served as a vehicle for the sauce. One small saving grace was the beans, which I eschewed at first thinking them to be just plain steamed string beans, but it turned out they were warm , crisp and a little bit salty and oily. Overall, this was a good dish but it wasn’t perfect. -Jim
This was really delicious. The olives in the sauce packed a real punch and made the basic fresh tomato sauce into something rich and intense. It reminded me of my grandma’s sauce. The polenta was very mellow and I found the tofu surprisingly ricotta cheese-like. -Ev

Seitan Medallions
I’m a big fan of the seitan at Blossom and this dish is a goodie but the other players in this dish are equally important. The broccoli rabe was delicious- not too bitter and cooked just right. The caper sauce was INCREDIBLE- thin with a ton of salty/savory flavor. And the mellow polenta was my favorite part. Polenta always throws me off because I expect to be eating mashed potatoes or couscous, but it’s really just so smooth and relaxing to taste. When paired with the caper sauce, I even liked it better than the seitan. -Ev
This was good. The only issue for me was that the seitan pieces were on the large side, so they didn’t absorb as much flavor from the sauce as they could have and a very slight rubbery consistency was noticeable. -Jim

Pineapple Crepe with Coconut Infusion & Vanilla Ice Cream
Terry & Erica (yay PPK!) & I were fortunate enough to try this earlier in the week. Considering the three of us were licking the plates and came short of mounting them in a fit of oral ecstasy, it’s not surprising that I ordered this again. The crepes were small and thin and filled with teeny tiny chunks of grilled pineapple. Resting on top was a perfect little dollop of vanilla ice cream. But underneath it all was the coconut infusion and two little dots of super-flavored pineapple syrup. The combination of all the textures and temperatures and flavors got my whole mouth involved; every little tastebud had something to savor and comment on. The coconut sauce was hot and silky and a little salty. The crepes were tender and chewy. The soft pineapple was both sweet and savory. The ice cream was so cold and creamy and smooth. And that sneaky pineapple syrup was rich and tart. I’ve joked around about the term mouthgasm before, but here it was really true. Especially following so many other delicious courses. -Ev

Chocolate Ganache Torte
Wow. Chocolate overload. It was like they took a cake with a decadently thick frosting and they switched the frosting-to-cake ratio. So there was a thin layer of cake on the bottom and a huge, ridiculously rich layer of frosting on top. But the word “frosting” doesn’t really do it justice. Eating this dessert was basically like eating a big truffle with a fork. And, just in case you need more chocolate, there’s chocolate ice cream. This dessert was delicious but HEAVY, so if you’re full from dinner, this might not be the dessert for you. -Jim

The Bottom Line
I’ve heard it said that Blossom is good but not quite worth the money (it is on the expensive side with lunch entrée prices in the low teens and dinner entrée prices in the high teens). Personally, I think there are other vegan NYC restaurants in this price range that are a little better, but I wouldn’t write Blossom off completely. They have some pretty unique dishes and I think that many of them are worth the price. My entrée wasn’t extraordinary, but I enjoyed the appetizers and desserts and I’m sure this isn’t the last time I’ll be eating at Blossom. –Jim
A fantastic meal. Not only did the flavors of the dishes match well in and of themselves, but the courses also worked nicely together. Blossom=awesome. -Ev

Wednesday, June 14, 2006


Last Thursday we went to 'sNice at 45 8th Avenue in Manhattan to hang out with a bunch of folks from the PPK community. We ate and were merry.

Side of Coleslaw
Jim was jealous that my sandwich was going to come with slaw so we got an extra side order of it. So frikkin’ good. It was just the right balance of creamy/vinegary flavor and the cabbage was crunchy and fresh. –Ev
I found it to be good but not great. My favorite thing about Coleslaw is the texture, and this didn’t disappoint in that department, but I thought the flavor wasn’t anything special. On the other hand, looking at the picture I find myself craving more, so I guess it couldn’t have been too bad. -Jim

BBQ Seitan Sandwich
I got the BBQ Seitan Sandwich with coleslaw. It came with salad on the side. ‘sNice has the best bread. It’s so yummy and they grill it so it’s all warm and toasty. The BBQ sauce was good but the seitan was a little tough. I think what saved this sandwich for me was the coleslaw on it. The pairing of the two worked well. I liked Jim’s Philly Cheesesteak better, though. -Ev

Philly Seitan Sandwich
As you can probably guess, this sandwich is a vegan take on the traditional Philly Cheesesteak sandwich. I agree with Ev that the toasted bread is one of the highlights of ‘sNice’s snandwiches (snorry). It seemed slightly denser than regular hero bread, but not too dense, and they toast it just right. The seitan was very satisfying and the onions and peppers were yummy. The soy cheese they use at ‘sNice seems to be your standard vegan soy cheese, meaning it “melts” a little weirdly and smells a little funky. If you’re used to vegan cheese, though, it won’t bother you. The only weird thing about this sandwich was the “salad” on the side. I felt like it couldn’t make up it’s mind whether it wanted to be a salad or a garnish. It was basically some mixed lettuce topped with red cabbage and a tiny amount of dressing. Not much flavor there. -Jim

Red Velvet Cupcake
I’ll say it now, ‘sNice has the best vegan cupcakes in the city. Though the chocolate cupcake with vanilla icing is still my favorite here, the Red Velvet is a close second. It tastes like a homemade cake only cup-sized, which I would imagine is the whole idea behind a cupcake. Their icing is hands-down the best I’ve had. Just thick enough, sweet enough, smooth enough. YUM! And they sprinkle on cute widdle baby stars. Make sure you grab some napkins though because these cuppies are big and there is no graceful way to eat them. -Ev

Ice Cream Sandwich
‘sNice not only makes you a vegan Ice Cream Sandwich, they let you choose the cookie. I went for the “Kitchen Sink” cookie, which had walnuts and chips and a bunch of other stuff in it. I’m not sure what to say about this except that it tasted like vanilla ice cream between two awesome cookies. If you can imagine that taste, then you can imagine this dessert, and you can understand why I’m getting it again next time I’m at ‘sNice. -Jim

The Bottom Line
I love ‘sNice. It has a nice open layout, yummy food, and friendly service. It’s one of those feel-good places you want to come back to again and again. They have tons of vegan food and great options for beverages. The one disappointment was our pre-dinner milkshake. It was meh. It was like your ice cream melted and you added some soymilk to it- not thick at all. But everything else was great and you should definitely brave the confusing streets of the West Village to check it out. (FYI- It’s counter service, so finding a seat can be tough.) - Ev
Word. I totally wish ‘sNice wasn’t way over on 8th avenue because I’d like to go there more often. The food is good, but what I really like is the laid-back, coffee shop vibe. They have everything from meals to snacks to desserts to coffee and tea, so ‘sNice is a good place to hang out no matter how hungry you are. -Jim

Rice Avenue

Last week we went to Rice Avenue at 7219 Roosevelt Ave in Jackson Heights, Queens. This Thai restaurant is not exclusively vegetarian, but you can get some great vegan dishes here. Don’t forget to ask them to hold the fish sauce.

Thai Spring Rolls
Most spring rolls I've eaten have the prerequisite shredded cabbage, maybe some carrots and mushrooms. These were instead filled with savory glass noodles. I've only really had glass noodles in summer rolls before so I'm used to them cold and chewy. These were hot and soft and whatever else was in there with them was YUM (I think mushrooms). The rolls themselves were perfectly fried and not too big. And as if that weren't enough the sweet/spicy chili sauce was AMAZING. It was perfect on that cold rainy night. -Ev
I wasn’t expecting much from these, but they were a pleasant surprise. The filling was surprisingly savory and flavorful and the dipping sauce was light but very tasty. -Jim

Mango Avocado Salad
We had a scare when this got to the table. The entire dish was sprinkled with white grainy stuff resembling cheese. We asked the waiter and found out that it was rice that had been toasted and ground, a unique touch for this unique and delicious salad. The three main ingredients were avocado, mango and onion, which is a simple but brilliant combination. The onions were sharp and crisp, the mango was soft and sweet, and the avocado was smooth and… um…. whatever word you’d use to describe the flavor of an avocado (all I can think of is “good”). The whole thing was pulled together by a sweet and tangy dressing. Overall, this was a creative and tasty salad. -Jim
The different flavors and textures worked well together and the ground rice in particular provided a nice grainy crunch. It was at once tart and sweet, crunchy and creamy. This would be really good on a hot day. -Ev

Tofu Ginger
The Tofu Ginger at Rice Ave is one of my favorite things. Not just one of my favorite foods. One of my favorite things. I know, you’re thinking, "I’ve had tofu ginger at Thai places before, what’s so special about this one?" My answer: It’s perfect. That sounds like I’m dodging the question, but I’m not. The unique thing about the Tofu Ginger at Rice Ave is not that there are unique ingredients or flavors, it’s that they get it just right. The tofu is fried to perfection. The veggies are tender but still very fresh and flavorful. The sauce (oh, the sauce!) is savory and salty and exploding with flavor and yet still somehow light and simple. Even the jasmine rice served with the dish has just the right amounts of fluffiness and stickyness. If I absolutely had to find something about the dish that I didn’t like, I’d say I could do without the carrots. Their sweet flavor clashes a little too much with the rest of the dish. I’ve found a workaround, though. I just eat all the carrots first. -Jim
This is one of those meals where every bite is a different explosion of flavors and each one of them is delicious. So good -Ev

Vegetable Pad Thai
A tried and true dish at Rice Ave. You have to specify no egg and no fish sauce but there is no sacrifice of flavor. This dish has a lot of great veggies- scallions, broccoli, bok choy, carrots and little bits of firm bean curd. The sauce is more on the tamarind-y side which I like and there are tons of fresh bean sprouts and yummy crushed peanuts to go on top. Not only is Pad Thai one of my favorite dishes, but Rice Avenue is one of my favorite places to get it. (You can order Tofu Pad Thai as well which has soft-fried tofu cubes in it like in Jim's Ginger dish). -Ev
I'm not a huge Pad Thai fan (weird, right?), but the Pad Thai at Rice Ave is some of the better Pad Thai that I've tried. -Jim

The Bottom Line
I’ve been to a lot of Thai restaurants and Rice Ave is my favorite. The menu is a standard Thai Restaurant menu, so don’t come here if you’re looking for something wild and experimental, but do come here for food that is consistently outstanding. -Jim
Agreed. Not only are their dishes delicious, but the staff is super-friendly, and the food is cheap. Hooray for cheap! -Ev

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Red Bamboo Manhattan

Red Bamboo recently opened a new location in Brooklyn that we’ve heard good things about, but it was rainy on Sunday night so we didn’t feel like making the trip. We went to the Manhattan Red Bamboo at 140 w 4th street instead.

Tomato Soup
The soup of the day was a Tomato Soup, and we figured it would be the perfect thing for a rainy night. We were soo right! The flavor of the soup was salty and rich and just a little bit spicy. In the soup was onion, squash, celery and soy chicken and they were all just the right texture. A simple but excellent dish, I will definitely order this again next time it’s available. –Jim
I loved it too. I really enjoyed the thickness of the soup. -Ev

Grilled Bourbon Chicken
This is one of the top three best dishes at Red Bamboo. The soy chicken has the perfect texture and its taste is brought out by the grilling. The sauce is sweet, spicy, and smoky. The rice has immense flavor even though it’s just plain steamed basmati rice. The greens are tasty and keep things fresh. I have to confess, being the carb addict that I am, I asked for mashed potatoes instead of the steamed veggies that usually come with this dish. I recommend you do the same. The mashed potatoes here, while a little sweet, are delicious. They have bits of corn in them and the consistency is perfect. As a side note, if you don’t want all the extras, they offer the Grilled Bourbon Chicken alone as an appetizer. Any way you get it, it will be delicious, I promise. -Ev

Black Bean Ginger Stir Fry with Chicken
I wanted to try something new but I didn’t want to get too experimental, so I ordered the Black Bean Ginger Stir Fry and asked the waiter to add some soy chicken to it. Just look at that picture. Looks good, doesn’t it? It looks like it’s just bursting with Chinese stir-fry flavor. Sadly, it wasn’t. The mix of vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, onion, pepper, zucchini and carrots) and soy chicken tasted like… well, vegetables and soy chicken. There didn’t seem to be any sauce or additional flavor. There were black beans in it, and just a touch of spiciness, but otherwise it was very flat and bland. After eating for a few minutes, I asked the waiter for a side of soy sauce. I was excited when, instead of just bringing out the regular bottled soy that I expected, he brought me a small dish of a sauce that seemed slightly thicker and sweeter than regular soy sauce. It was almost like he was bringing out the sauce that was supposed to go in the dish in the first place. Once I added the sauce, I enjoyed it more. Unfortunately, it still wasn’t great. –Jim
Yea. Pass on this one. It was bland. -Ev

Soy Milk Shake
Red Bamboo and (sister restaurant) Vegetarian’s Paradise 2 both have the best milkshakes. Vanilla is my personal fave but you can also get chocolate, strawberry, or better pecan. You know how, when you watch Pulp Fiction, you really want to taste that frikkin’ milkshake? Now’s your chance. YUM! –Ev
Word. I love milkshakes and this was a good one. Good flavor, good consistency. -Jim

The Bottom Line
I’ll say about Red Bamboo what I just said about Kate’s in our last review: it’s a good restaurant and it has the comfort food I crave, but it’s hit-or-miss. In this case, Evelyn hit and I missed (though we both hit with the soup and the milkshake). The safest thing to do when you go to Red Bamboo is order things that you’ve heard good things about. Trying something new and exciting can sometimes lead to disappointment. -Jim
Red Bamboo is famous for its fake meats. They do ‘em up in different ways and they do ‘em up right. Fortunately, the grilled bourbon chicken is one of the healthier dishes here, especially if you get the steamed veggies that normally come with the meal. -Ev

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Kate's Joint

On Friday night we went to Kate's Joint at 58 Avenue B and 4th street in Manhattan. Kate’s Joint has been around for a while and any NYC vegan worth their weight in tofu has been there at least once. We weren’t too hungry so we just ordered two entrees.

Fettuccine Forrestier
Whenever I go to Kate’s I get the same exact thing- Country Salad and a cup of soup (the Unturkey Soup is da bomb). This time, armed with the newfound adventurous spirit of a food blogger, I thought I’d try something completely different- specifically the Fettuccine Forrestier. It’s pasta with spinach, tofu “pancetta”, and sliced grilled mushrooms in a garlic cream sauce. This was one of those meals that I liked more the more of it I ate. I don’t know how to explain it but it went from “meh” to “mmm” by meal’s end. I had to salt it a good seven or eight times, mind you, but even so I’d get this dish again. The spinach was tasty. The sauce was creamy but not too heavy. At first I thought the pancetta was too sweet, but as time went on it really tasted like ham. The mushrooms were the best because they were sliced reeeeallllly thin and even had char-grilled edges. That’s not to say this was a mind-blowing experience, but for a cold rainy night it was a good stick-to-your-gut kind of meal. -Ev

Tofu Francese
I was not as adventurous as Ev and I ordered what I usually order from the Kate's Friday specials menu: the Tofu Francese. This dish consists of large chunks of tofu, lightly battered and fried and covered in a delicious lemon and caper sauce, served with mashed potatoes and collard greens. Like I said, I've had this before, and it's actually one of my favorite meals in all of NYC, but this time I didn't enjoy it so much. The collards were good, garlicky and fresh as ever. The mashed potatoes were also good, especially when dipped in the Francese sauce. But the tofu wasn’t up to par. Usually it’s battered and fried very lightly, giving it a soft texture and allowing it to soak up the sauce. But this time it was thickly battered and deeply fried so it had a much tougher consistency. Was it good? I guess. Was it better before? Absolutely. I'm hoping this was just a mistake or a one-time thing and not the new way they'll be preparing this dish from now on. -Jim

The Bottom Line
You don’t go to Kate’s for amazing food. You go for the junk food, the best lemonade known to man, the cute waiters (where o where did you and your sideburns go, Jake?), and the security of knowing that you can eat almost anything on the menu and it will all taste aiight. -Ev
I am a little perturbed that my wife knows one of the waiters by name (though I do know the one she's talking about and he was very cute). Also, I disagree about everything on the menu being aiight. I think the food is hit-or-miss. Also, the décor is shabby and the lighting is nearly non-existent. So why do I keep coming back? Because when the food hits it really hits, and I crave the deep-fried, comfort-food goodness that Kate's offers. I was really disappointed that my favorite meal was substandard, but even if the Tofu Francese is never returned to the glory that it once was, there are plenty of other items on the menu that will keep me coming back to Kate's Joint. -Jim