Saturday, November 18, 2006

rice: mott street

We checked out Rice: Mott Street at 227 Mott st in Manhattan. Rice is not specifically vegan but it has a decent selection of vegan dishes.

Butternut Squash Chowder
Rather than get an entrée, I decided to get some chowder and a “small bowl” for my meal. The butternut squash chowder was light and had a subtle curry flavor. I liked it's consistency; it wasn't too thick or too thin. I also liked that there was some basmati rice mixed in. It was one of those nights were I was in the mood for uber-healthy veggie meals and this satisfied that craving. -Ev

Vegetable Dim Sum
I was a little underwhelmed by this dish. It consisted of about 5 steamed dumplings, each filled with a small amount of mushrooms and veggies. They didn’t really have much flavor by themselves. As a result they were overwhelmed by the very strong flavor of the dipping sauce, which was a very salty, tangy soy sauce. I do like saltiness and tanginess, so that was nice for me, but the dipping sauce shouldn’t be the best part of dim sum. The dim sum should be good on their own and the dipping sauce should make them even better. I don’t think I’d order these again. -Jim
I completely disagree. I thought these were awesome. I liked how strong the mushroom was. Also the skin was really tender. Sometimes dim sum can be thick and gummy or pasty but these were thin and delicious. -Ev

Ratatouille w/ Brown Rice
The "small bowl" of ratatouille was actually a decent size. This was a very simple dish of squash, onions, carrots and other vegetables in a tomato sauce. You could choose from several varieties of rice. I went with good old brown rice. I liked this dish, especially the tomato sauce, but at the same time I felt I could've easily made it at home. However, at $5 and the chance to be out with friends at a cool place, I think it was worth it. -Ev

Vegetarian Meatballs w/ Rice and Peas
When you order this dish you have a choice of sweet or spicy sauce. I chose spicy and it was REALLY spicy. If I ordered it again I’d choose sweet, but I don’t think I would order it again. First of all, the vegetarian meatballs weren’t very impressive. The menu claimed that they are “firm tofu with miso, scallions and red peppers”, but all I noticed was the firm tofu. Deep-fried, flavorless balls of firm tofu. Also, underneath the meatballs was a pretty thick bed of lettuce. To be fair, the lettuce is mentioned on the menu, but I didn’t think there would be so much. It seemed to me that the only purpose of the lettuce was to give me less soyballs, which was a little annoying. I did like the rice, though. I chose “Rice and Peas” from their special rice menu, which is rice and red beans steamed in coconut milk. I didn’t really notice the coconut flavor, but the rice was nonetheless hearty and satisfying. -Jim

The Bottom Line
This wasn't a mind-blowing experience, but the food was healthy, hearty, and reasonably priced. The restaurant itself was very cozy and dimly lit. There are a few other vegan options on the menu and I think it's worth another look. We also went to the PPK's Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World cupcake celebration at Freddy’s Back Room Bar in Brooklyn. Sorry to say you can’t go out and get these beauties, but if you buy the book you can make them whenever you want. -Ev
As you might have noticed, I wasn’t too thrilled with my dishes. But I would be willing to come back and give it a second chance. Why? Because I feel like this place has potential. The dishes weren’t too good, but they were almost good, and it makes me wonder if there are good dishes hiding on the menu, waiting to be found. Also, we learned that the small bowls are really not much smaller than the large bowls, and they only cost $5. Which means this might actually be a good place to go for cheap eats. -Jim


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't figure out how to e-mail you, so I'm posting this as a comment...First of all, thank you for this blog; it's amazing! My dad lives in NY and every time I visit, we take a vegan tour of NYC according to my carefully-chosen restaurant list. Teany and Candle 79 are among our favorites. However, I live in L.A., a city also full of delicious vegan restaurants. What I'm wondering is whether you know of a blog that is the Los Angeles equivalent of yours. I sure hope so! ~Jenni~

1:42 AM, November 22, 2006

Blogger veganfriendly said...

Hi, Jenni! I found a few sites that have reviews and info on LA vegan eateries, but I don't think they have pictures of dishes. You can try and Of course, you could go for it and start one yourself. Your wallet will be sad but your belly will be happy. Thanks for the love. -Ev

5:35 PM, November 22, 2006

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks a bunch, Ev! I knew about happycow, but not randomgirl. I also found last night. It's not in the same league as yours, but it's a start. Maybe I will have to begin my own...Happy Thanksgiving! ~Jenni~

11:34 PM, November 22, 2006

Anonymous Olivia Lane said...

I had those vegetarian "meatballs" at the Fort Greene location and was sorely disappointed. Like you, I found them flavorless (even when drowned in peppersauce) and overpriced. If I hadn't been so offended that I vowed to never return, I'd try the ratoulle--that looks like it has to be better.

1:46 PM, November 23, 2006


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