Monday, February 19, 2007

Curly's Lunch

We went to Curly's Lunch at 328 E 14th St in Manhattan between 2nd and 1st Ave. Curly's has lots of tasty diner fare and a lot of it is vegan or easily made vegan.

Un-Buffalo Wings
These were the least impressive part of the meal, but I thought they were still pretty decent. They were strips of soy meat battered and fried, doused in a very tangy and somewhat spicy sauce, and served with a creamy vegan version of blue cheese dipping sauce. The buffalo sauce was a bit strong for my tastes, but it was contrasted nicely by the cool dipping sauce. -Jim
The taste and texture of the chicken strips were excellent. They were slender, tender, and breaded just right. The only unfortunate thing was the sauce. But before you don’t try these, I’ve come to the conclusion that I just don’t like buffalo wing sauce. I don’t like it on Kate’s wings, I didn’t like it here. The only time I do like it is at Red Bamboo, but that’s because it’s more of a BBQ sauce, which I could drink by the gallonful. So if you like buffalo wings at Kate’s, these are even better. But if the sauce grosses you out, skip it. -Ev

School Lunch –New School
This was an order of vegan Mac & Cheese and a side salad. You could opt to add broccoli for a little extra, but I decided to keep my Mac & Cheese pure. Mac & Cheese is one of the only things I miss being a vegan, so I’m always on the hunt for that perfect fakie version. This was an interesting and delicious surprise. Thankfully, it was not just gobs of fake soy cheese. Instead, this was a hearty almost stewy version with breadcrumbs and nutmeg! Yes, nutmeg! This lent a slight sweetness to the dish and I really enjoyed it. Best of all, it didn’t taste like junk food. The salad was great as well. I had mine with a mango poppy dressing which was light and creamy. YUM! -Ev

Open Faced Turkey Sandwich
I really loved this dish. It might not look like much in the picture, but man was it good. We’re talking seasoned soy cutlets over cornbread stuffing on toast, smothered in savory gravy with sides of cranberry relish and super-garlicky greens. The flavor and texture of the soy cutlets was great and the stuffing was sage-y and delicious. The cranberry relish seemed very fresh and had a hint of ginger, which went great with the sweet tangyness of the cranberry. And did I mention the gravy was super savory? This was comfort food at it’s best (I know I say that a lot, but I have to say it about this dish because it’s SO true). I do have to report one odd thing about this dish, though: there seemed to be a layer of soy mayonnaise on the toast. It didn’t really affect the flavor, but was a bit weird in the context of this dish (“What’s that white stuff?”). Next time I might ask them to hold the mayo. And oh yes, there will be a next time. I’m definitely ordering this dish again. -Jim

Banana Chocolate Chimichanga
Holy crap! Or should I say “Crap Santo!” ? Bananas. With chocolate chips. Wrapped in a tortilla. Deep-fried. Sprinkled with powdered sugar. Served crispy on the outside, ooeygooey hot on the inside. With vanilla soy delicious ice cream. Omigod. The contrast of textures and temperatures was ridiculously good. And there were about 5 different kinds of sweetness going on, but they each had their own things to say. This was so amazing. You must get this. -Ev

The Bottom Line
The first time I tried Curly’s Lunch (shortly after they opened in 2005), I wasn’t really impressed. But they’ve added and taken away some stuff on their menu and I was really happy with my food this time. That turkey dish knocked my socks off and the dessert was just fantastic. And I think there are more vegan options than there were before, though their menu is still weighted more in the direction of lacto-vegetarians. If you haven’t tried Curly’s yet, I recommend doing so. If you tried it when they first opened up and haven’t tried it since, I recommend trying it again. -Jim
This was a great meal. If you’re seeking hearty stick-to-your-ribs comfort food, this is the perfect spot. I loved my dinner (and Jim’s too-YUM!) and I’ll bet their brunch is darn tasty too. Oh, and you can draw on your placemats with crayons. Just sayin’. -Ev


Blogger Harmonia said...

Great blog! I'm adding you to my bloglines, Ev!

11:38 AM, February 20, 2007

Blogger Colleen said...

The buff wings were my FAVORITE when Curly's was in its Veg City Diner incarnation further west on 14th St. They were bigger there, like cutlets, and awesome (and I much prefer the hot buff sauce to RB's BBQ-ish flavor). So their smaller size at Curly's (at the same price, I believe) still seems like a tease but they are still pretty yummy.

5:37 PM, April 27, 2007

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had been there 2 twice last year. The first time I picked up a sandwich to go, it was pretty good. The second time I decided to eat in and ordered a fries and a veggie burge, which may have been the worst thing I was ever served in my life. It wasn't just overcoked, or even burned; it was charred beyond recognition of anything one can still considered to be food. It was a solid charcoal briquette, I could not believe that a cook would actually but that thing on a plate to be served to a customer as edible food. The waitress didn't know what to say to me when I asked her if she would eat that herself. Not surprisingly I haven't been back since.

2:09 PM, July 06, 2007

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just went to Curly's last night and had the vegan burger and found it to be really good. When I first saw it, I regretted not having asked for onions, mushrooms, lettuce, tomato etc because it looked so bare, but when I bit into it, it was nice because all the veggies are already in the burger! I definitely want to go back and try other things.

9:57 AM, October 26, 2007


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