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


Anonymous big al said...

i always get the same thing(s) at kate's too. but i tend to do that everywhere. i never get the entrees for some reason. it's always the mckate and/or the unturkey club, and a non-dairy ceasar salad. but that fettucine pic makes me wish i was there now instead of home afraid of going out in the rain. i would even order it, instead of my usual.

maybe i am just hungry!

9:49 PM, June 07, 2006

Anonymous Erica said...

Kate's is good for groups who can't agree on what to eat. There is some Italian, some diner-style food, some salad-y things. I find its good for kind of informal-y hanging out.

And my god, the waiters.

9:23 AM, June 08, 2006

Blogger jenny said...

I just came across your blog and I love it! Your review of Kate's was right-on. I can't wait to see more restaurants reviewed! The pics are perfect!

5:46 PM, June 08, 2006

Blogger jenny said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

5:54 PM, June 08, 2006

Anonymous Isa said...

I wonder what Jake is doing right now. Shout out to Buffalo Wings!

11:14 PM, June 08, 2006

Anonymous Eppy said...

Kate's is like a welcome home to me, because it was the first vegan-centric restaurant you folks ever took me to.

P.S. My name is a proper noun, but your damn commenting machine won't let me capitalize it.

11:29 PM, June 08, 2006

Blogger blackandwhitecookie said...

yeah, Kate's is ok. the last time i went there with my girlfriend though, about halfway through our meal, she reached into her sandwich and pulled out a long, rather thick, narly black hair. um yeah. kinda ew. i don't know if it's a good thing or a bad thing that we still were able to enjoy the meal, more or less.

3:28 PM, July 14, 2006

Anonymous Lulu said...

don't get the shepards pie...its not good...and i love me some kate's

12:57 AM, October 09, 2007


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