Sunday, October 08, 2006

Caravan of Dreams

We recently went to Caravan of Dreams, located at the corner of 405 East 6th St street in Manhattan.

Unchicken Nachos
Best Nachos ever. There, I’ve said it. And I’m not going to take it back. CoD started with a bowl of blue corn tortilla chips and they piled on (and I mean “pile” in a very literal sense) the fixings. To start with, there were black beans, salsa, and guacamole, all of which were fresh and delicious. Then there was vegan sour cream. Some vegan sour creams are too thick or too grainy or too sour tasting. This was perfect. But the best part of this dish is the un-chicken, AKA seasoned, shredded seitan. A simple addition but a brilliant one, the seitan really makes this dish awesome. It doesn’t take much effort to make good nachos, but CoD makes the extra effort to make really excellent nachos that should not be missed. -Jim
I agree the Seitan took this dish to the next level, but what really got my attention were the blue corn tortilla chips. They had an incredible lightness about them but were still really flavorful and packed a good strong crunch. I thought it was a great example of the skill and care used at Caravan of Dreams. -Ev

Angels’ Pesto Pizza
This dish was a punch in the kisser, but I mean that in a really good way. There were so many flavors and each one held its own wonderfully. First, our friend Seitan was back in all its savory, chewy glory. Then there were tons of veggies that were cooked perfectly and had such pure flavor. I always love it when I’m reminded that veggies have taste. There were so many veggies they were spilling out off of the pizza onto the plate. Hiding underneath was a thick and incredibly potent pesto sauce ( I think that’s what punches hardest). So YUM. And the sourdough pizza dough underneath was thick, soft and deeelicious. This dish was also really good cold the next day. Just sayin’. -Ev

Tempeh Reuben
I know it’s not fair, but I can’t help but compare every vegan Reuben I eat to the awesome one that our friend Isa from the PPK makes (you can find her Tempeh Reuben recipe in her Vegan with a Vengeance cookbook). So how does Caravan’s measure up? It’s good, but not awesome. They have the standard Sauerkraut and tangy dressing, which is always good (I love Sauerkraut). And they’ve added a tomato slice, which is cool. But it seemed that the Tempeh was just Tempeh, which wasn’t too exciting. Isa marinates her tempeh for at least an hour before crafting her sandwich, and I think that’s wise. It occurs to me now that I’m not a huge fan of Tempeh in it’s plain, un-altered state. If you are, you might enjoy this sandwich more than I did. -Jim
Don’t listen to Jim, this was awesome. It was really thick and as you bit through you could taste all of the textures and varying temperatures of the ingredients, all of which were really fresh and tasty. -Ev

The Bottom Line
What strikes me most about Caravan of Dreams is not only the amount of TLC and skill they use in preparing their dishes, but how evident this is in the flavor of the dishes. The restaurant itself is really cute and cozy, with tables out front and wacky décor way in the back. All of these things, not the least of which was the delicious food, made for a great night out. This is a mildly pricier restaurant where appetizers range from $5-$13, and the entrees are $11- $17, but it’s perfectly possible to keep things reasonable. I should also mention that Caravan of Dreams has an extensive Raw/Live foods menu. -Ev
My meal tonight was pretty indicitive of my usual experience at CoD: some of the food is great, some of it is not so great. CoD has a lot going for it. They have a conveniant location, cool décor, polite waitstaff, live music and amazing nachos. But many of their dishes are a little bland for my taste, which wouldn’t be a huge problem if they didn’t cost so much. Overall, CoD is a good restaurant, but I’m not sure it’s good enough to justify the extra bucks you spend when you go there. -Jim


Anonymous M said...

<3 hi, i love your blog. the pictures of all the food makes my mouth water. hehe, my bf and i sat in bed the other night going thru this blog together and oohhh'ing over how good the food looks. there aren't enough awesome vegan restaurants where we are, so we can only admire and drool =)

8:45 PM, October 10, 2006

Blogger Vanessa said...

I'm a fan of Caravan - the food does seem lovingly prepared and it's certainly an inspired menu. The raw dish I had there once was great and I feel like it's a really good value for what you're time I'm getting the nachos!

2:37 PM, October 11, 2006

Anonymous Laurie said...

Wow, we had a superb meal here. The non-chicken nachos are indeed out of this world ! We had the pesto pizza dish and something called Cuban Delight - both very tasty !

I had a half portion, which was plenty, given the nachos for starters.

The only "gripe" was that we were in the back room and the air con was not working properly, so sweating through the meal was not great. But apart from this, a super experience !

Again, thank you for an excellent recommendation!

2:27 AM, August 23, 2009


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