Monday, July 31, 2006

We'll be back soon! Promise!

::nervously approaches stage::

::taps mic::

::clears throat::

Uh...Hi, everyone? I've been meaning to put a notice like this up for a while now, but we were under the delusion that we'd be able to throw another review up. The thing is, we just moved into a new apartment. Hooray for us, but not so hooray for the current state of BUT! Now that we are living by a superdeluxe subway station we will have even more access to all of NYC's great vegan restaurants. Which is very hooray news for the future state of

::audience marvels at "the future"::

We will have internet access at our new place (crosses fingers) tomorrow so then we can start posting more reviews. Thanks for your patience and we will be back soon and better than ever!

Ev & Jim

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Red Bamboo Brooklyn

We checked out Red Bamboo’s new Brooklyn location at 271 Adelphi Street at the corner of Dekalb Ave. As you might know if you’re familiar with their Manhattan location, Red Bamboo is vegetarian (mostly vegan) and specializes in Carribean and Soul food. We forgot to grab a take-out menu or write anything down, so we’re doing our best to remember the exact names of the dishes, and they might be a little off. We’re slacking!

Sweet Potato and Broccoli Tempura
This dish was light, crunchy and refreshing. If I’m not mistaken, the batter was the same one they use to coat their famous Creole Soul Chicken. The sauce was a sweet soy-based sauce. I think my favorite was the broccoli, but I’m not sure. Red Bamboo is pretty good at deep-frying things without over-doing it. I’ve never really gotten a deep-fried dish from them that was greasy or gross, and this was no exception. -Jim

Korean Scallion Pancake
I was expecting the usual flat scallion pancakes with a thin slab of fake mystery meat in the center; this was a pleasant surprise. It was one round pancake that was fluffy and chock full of veggies- almost like an Indian Uttapam. The pancake itself tasted very much like an omelet and the dipping sauce was nice and savory. Yummy! -Ev

Jerk Chicken
I really enjoyed this dish, so let me get the bashing out of the way first: the mashed potatoes were lame. They were very dry and I didn’t like that they came with the gravy pre-applied. If I could order it again, I’d get the gravy on the side. Ok, now the good parts. The chicken was good. It was pretty much their standard soy chicken, with a little bit of flavor and seasoning on it, and served with a great onion dipping sauce. But the best part was the soup. Note that the soup does not come standard with this dish! The third element of this dish is normally steamed vegetables, which I find boring. So I asked the waiter what I could substitute and he suggested the Calaloo soup (a traditional Caribbean soup that they don’t have at the Manhattan Red Bamboo). It sounded interesting so I went for it. I’m so glad I did. The soup was very simple and the flavors were mild, but it tasted very hearty, earthy and almost creamy. I could imagine not everyone enjoying this soup as much as I did, but I really enjoyed it. -Jim

BBQ Seitan Kebab
I was excited to try this dish because I love seitan. I was happy to see that the portion size of the steamed veggies was smaller than the Manhattan Red Bamboo. Also different was the lack of corn in the mashed potatoes. The potatoes were a little lumpy but good. The seitan itself was big and dense; it was very thick and had a lot of chew. Texture-wise, it wasn’t the best seitan I’ve had, but it had good flavor. The sauce was good too and wasn’t too thick or sugary. -Ev

The Bottom Line
I felt that the food I ate here was better than the food I usually get at the Manhattan location. It seemed a little more rich and homemade. The appetizers were light and delicious and the entrée was great. Did I mention I love their Calaloo soup? -Jim
I agree that this Red Bamboo was a little better than it’s Manhattan sister. I also felt that there were more entrees to choose from. My meal wasn’t mind-blowing but was really tasty and a good size. The sad part was that they ran out of desserts. But their lemonade was divine. This is a really pretty restaurant too with nice outside seating. I look forward to going back. -Ev

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


On Friday we went to teany at 90 Rivington st in Manhattan. Teany is a vegetarian café. We’ve been there plenty of times for dessert, coffee and tea, but this time we decided to see if the food was any good.

Iced Teas
I ordered the Vanilla Sencha Iced Green Tea. This tea was very mellow and soothing. I was surprised at how strong the vanilla flavor was, considering it wasn't syrup. This is one of my favorite teas at teany and it's good to know it's yummy hot or cold. -Ev
I got the black iced tea of the day, which was Coconut Iced Tea. I grew up on the super-sugary iced tea that you make from a mix, so I’m not usually a big fan of unsweetened iced teas. I must say, though, that I really enjoyed this. Although it wasn’t sweet per se, the coconut gave it a quasi-sweetness and it tasted great. It was very cold and refreshing and was the perfect thing to drink with my dinner. -Jim

Tomato and Pasta Soup
This was the soup of the day. It was tasty, if somewhat of a misnomer; the soup was so thick it was more like pasta in a cup full of marinara sauce. A very good marinara sauce mind you, but still it was a little strange. -Ev
Yeah. Not very soup-like. It was good if you think of it as a pasta appetizer. -Jim

Turkey Club on Marble Bread
I wasn’t expecting much from this sandwich. When I think of vegan Turkey Clubs, I think of the one at Kate’s Joint, which never really did anything for me. But the Turkey Club at teany is awesome. They give you a choice of bread, which is neat. I chose marble bread and it was fresh and delicious. It wasn’t too hard or too soft. On the upper level of the sandwich was tomato, mixed salad greens and vegan mayonnaise. I wonder if the vegan mayonnaise is home-made at teany because it was really good. On the lower level was the standard vegan turkey slices, but also some really delicious smoked tempeh. Or at least I think it was smoked tempeh. Whatever it was, it was the MVP in this sandwich. It made every bite crispy and flavorful. I will definitely come back and get this again ASAP. -Jim

Vegan Quiche
This dish was amazing! I was expecting a square of mashed tofu with veggies baked in. Thankfully, this was not the case. The quiche was made of bread crumbs and soft veggies like zucchini, carrots, and onion. It was deliciously spiced, almost like a stuffed mushroom. They also gave you a tomato cream sauce w/sausage bits to eat with the quiche which gave it a more Italian flavor. The sauce was good, but the quiche itself was so delicious that I liked it better plain. Also great was the side salad that came with it; it had a really creamy, blue cheese-esque dressing. Our waitress mentioned that they often don't have this dish available. When they do, I highly recommend you try it. -Ev

A few months ago, teany took all their special coffee drinks (including the "Almond Joy", a mocha coconut almond latte) off their menu, presumably to focus on their specialty: tea. At first I was heartbroken about this decision. But now I’m glad, because in the void they left behind I tried a Teanychino, and it totally kicks the ass of any coffee drink I’ve ever had. Now I get one of these every time I go to teany and so should everyone else. According to the sign on the wall, the Teanychino consists of Yerba Matte, sunflower, cornflower blossoms, almond and vanilla bean steeped in your choice of milk (obviously vegans should choose soy milk). Put it all together and you’ve got a drink that’s sweet and rich yet earthy and delicate. Yum. I want one right now. -Jim
UPDATE: since this review was written, the good people at teany have put the delicious coffee drinks I mentioned back on the menu. Thanks, teany!

Strawberry Shortcake
For those of you that don't know, Vegan Treats is a Philly-based vegan bakery that makes all the cakes you thought you'd said goodbye to when you went vegan (and they're all heavenly). Teany is one of the locations in NYC that gets their desserts from Vegan Treats. Their Strawberry Shortcake is one of my all-time favorite desserts. The cake is moist and spongy but still thick. The icing is just sweet and creamy enough without any weird aftertaste. And the strawberries provide a sharp tartness that cuts through all the sugary heaven. So YUM! The best part is the slices are big and very filling -Ev

Chocolate Macaroon Cake
Another delicious Vegan Treats cake. This one is chocolate and more chocolate with shredded coconut on top. It’s a very heavy, decadent dessert (which you know if you’re familiar with Vegan Treats). You don’t taste a lot of coconut, but that’s ok. The chocolate cake with chocolate icing makes up for it. God Bless Vegan Treats. -Jim

The Bottom Line
This was one of my favorite nights out. I knew teany had great desserts; I had no idea their food would be so delicious. -Ev
Agreed. This was one of my favorite dining experiences in a long time. The atmosphere at teany is always so laid back and pleasant, the wait staff is usually very nice (our waitress this time was particularly polite and helpful), you’ve got about a million teas to choose from, not to mention the Teanychino, and the Vegan Treats desserts, and now we’ve discovered that their food is good too. I think I might be in love with teany. -Jim

Friday, July 07, 2006


We checked out Quintessence at 263 East 10th St between 1st Ave and Ave A in Manhattan. Quintessence is 100% vegan, raw and organic.

Pizza Crackers
This appetizer was my favorite part of the meal. The base was indeed cracker-like, presumably consisting of nuts and/or grains. The next layer up was some creamy white stuff which didn’t taste like cheese, but it did serve the purpose of cheese with a strong, sharp taste that contrasted the flavors of the other layers. The layer above that was a rich tomato-based sauce that had a spicy flavor almost reminiscent of sausage. On top of that was some parsley and (I think) some dried red onion. This was a great, well-constructed appetizer. The flavors in this dish really came together to create something delicious -Jim

California Pizza
This had a softer version of the crust used in the appetizer. However, this time it was topped with avocado, sprouts, yellow peppers, caramelized onions, pesto, ricotta cheese and sour cream. This dish was very cool, crisp, and creamy. The caramelized onions were fantastic and provided a smoky sweetness. The pesto was also delicious. The sour cream was intriguing because I couldn't figure out what they used for it. Oh well. Whatever it was, it was really yummy. I would have preferred these same toppings on an actual pizza crust, but overall this dish was good. -Ev

Spinach Gnocchi with Pasta
If you look at the picture of this dish, your first thought might be, “That looks kind of weird”. That was my first reaction. On top of the creamy pasta sat 5 mysterious black lumps. But, being the courageous eater that I am, I dived in. Did my bravery pay off with deliciousness? Not exactly. The lumps had a strong flavor and a very mushy texture that didn’t quite suit me. They seemed to consist mostly of spinach and avocado, but there was a bitterness to them that overpowered the flavors of the main ingredients. I found they were best when cut up into small pieces and eaten with the pasta. The pasta, by the way, was decent. It wasn’t so much pasta as it was soft strips of squash (I assume real pasta can’t be made raw) and covered in a very creamy, rich sauce. I had mixed feelings about this dish. I wouldn’t say this was bad, but I wouldn’t recommend it to a friend either. -Jim

Dessert Sampler
When you order the dessert sampler, you get to choose 4 of their 5 dessert options. I assume the servings of each are smaller than what you’d get if you ordered it alone, but I’m not sure of that. We got the Strawberry Ice Cream, the Pumpkin Pie, the Banana Cream Pie and the Tiramisu. My favorites were the Banana Cream and Pumpkin Pie. Both were very sweet and yummy. The Ice Cream was ok but the texture was almost more like Italian Ice than ice cream. I thought the Tiramisu was very bitter and didn’t actually enjoy it at all. -Jim
The Pumpkin Pie was OK. The pumpkin had great flavor, but the crust had a mysterious bitterness to it. This has happened before with Raweos, so maybe my body is off balance. Or something. The Banana Coconut Cream Pie was so YUM! It was the best of the four - smooth, creamy, delicious and the crust was perfect. The Strawberry Ice Cream was more like a sorbet but it had intense strawberry flavor. The Tiramisu was better after the second or third bite. The coffee flavor was very strong, but mellowed after time. -Ev

The Bottom Line
Overall, I’d say our first Quintessence experience was good, with a little weirdness here and there. One thing we noticed was that the menu was rather limited. There were maybe five or six entrée choices, and then four or five pizzas to choose from. If you’re not in the mood for a pizza, this could be a problem. My entrée wasn’t great, but I’d go back and try something else here. I should also note that this is another pricy-ish restaurant (we’ve been going to too many of those lately), so be prepared to pay a few extra bucks for the organicness and the rawness. -Jim
It's been a few days now and I still don't know how I feel about this dinner. Everything tasted good, the presentation was beautiful, I was definitely full afterwards, but still it's hard to pinpoint why I wasn't blown away. I guess I was expecting some kind of loud, raw, revolutionary moment where I would be converted to eating like this all the time. This experience was very simple and gentle and worth a second visit. -Ev

Tuesday, July 04, 2006


We recently went to Radha at 173 Ludlow St between Houston and Stanton in Manhattan. Radha is a vegetarian (mostly vegan) restaurant offering dishes from a wide range of cuisines.
UPDATE: We're very sad to announce that Radha closed down. So enjoy the review, but unless the owners open up another restaurant (we hope they do!), we're sorry to say you'll never have a chance to eat any of this or any of the other yummy food that Radha offered.

Savory Samosas
So yum! These Samosas were savory indeed, as the amount of potato was less than your average Samosa. These were mostly filled with fake meat and peas. The outside was wonderful- soft golden layers perfectly fried so they flaked a little when I bit through. Also the tamarind sauce was delicious; it had that perfect balance of sweetness and tanginess. -Ev

East Indian Dahl
The Dahl at Radha is different from the Dahl you get at Indian restaurants. In fact, the Dahl at Radha is more like a Mulligatawny Soup. It was a lentil-based soup with a very rich, complex flavor: spicy and salty and sweet all at once. It was very tasty and perfect for a rainy day (and it was a very rainy day). Also, For five bucks, you get a lot of soup. So much, in fact, that it could probably be a meal on it’s own. -Jim

American Classic Veggie Burger
Radha makes the best veggie burger in the city, if not ever. The burger itself was thick and firm and had great bite to it. I’m always disappointed when I go to other places and get some thin, mushy patty or a Boca Burger on a bun and everything falls apart in your mouth. This was a burger you had to open up for and chew. They topped it with lettuce, tomato, sprouts, and vegan mayo, and I stole some of Jim’s yummy ketchup for dipping. Another nice touch was that they toasted the bun so there was even more chomping pleasure. It normally comes with fries, but I asked them to sub veggies. They gave me a small bowl of the spring green salad which was incredibly delicious. It had mixed greens, tomatoes, sprouts, pine nuts, and an amazing almond dressing. The contrast of creamy and crispy was beautiful. -Ev

Soychicken Tortilla
You can’t really go wrong with this combination of ingredients. They started with very tasty and nicely-textured soychicken, and put it in a wrap with sauteed peppers, onions and a vegan mayo. It was a very simple dish but it totally hit the spot. You also get some fries and ketchup. I wasn’t wild about the fries (they weren’t bad, but plain fries tend to bore me a little bit). The ketchup, on the other hand, was really good. I don’t know if they home-make their own, or they get some really good pre-made stuff, but it was very fresh and sweet. One warning about this dish: it might not look like a lot of food, but it’s deceptively filling. -Jim

The Bottom Line
One of my favorite dinners. I get the veggie burger almost every time I go to Radha because it’s that good (and consistently so). The staff is really nice too, which always is a plus. -Ev
I was sooo full after this meal! Radha is just a bit pricier than the average restaurant we visit (the entrees range from $10 to $13), but you get a lot of food and it’s very filling so you can easily bring some home for lunch the next day. I like Radha a lot and everything we ate this visit was delicious. -Jim