Sunday, May 04, 2008

Vegetarian's Paradise 2

Here are some more dishes from Vegetarian's Paradise 2. It's located at 144 West 4th Street. VP2 is a vegetarian (almost entirely vegan) restaurant specializing in Chinese Cuisine.

Corn Chowder Soup
Why do I love this soup so much? It's just a salty, starchy broth with bits of corn, tofu and mushrooms. There's not much to it. And yet I can't resist ordering it every time I come to VP2. I always get the small, which is plenty big enough to force me to take some of my entree home with me because I'm too full. I think this soup might not be for everyone, but I have to recommend giving it a try because I love it. -Jim

Siu Mai
Mmmm. I wish I had some of these babies right now. Lately, we’ve been ordering the Siu Mai everytime we come to VP2, and this time the outcome wasn’t any different; they were warm and delicious. They’re little dumplings with an exceptionally tender outside and an open top. Inside are soft and savory veggies and mock meat. I don’t know how else to describe them other than delicious mush with meaty surprises. They’re served with a salty-sweet dipping sauce. Did I mention YUMMMMM? -Ev

Sugar Cane Drumsticks
The Sugar Cane Drumsticks at VP2 are the mellowed-out cousin of the Buffalo Wings served at Red Bamboo. Both are made from the same mock-chicken, which has great texture and is yummy. But while the Red Bamboo wings are covered in rich, messy BBQ sauce and served with tangy dressing, the Sugar Cane Drumsticks are simply breaded and served with a chili sauce. Just because they're more mellow, though, doesn't mean they're not good. And at the core of each drumstick is a piece of Sugar Cane. The Sugar Cane doesn't actually affect the flavor of the drumstick, but it's still a neat little touch. -Jim

Coconut Shrimp
I can’t remember the fancy name for these, but you’ll be able to spot them on the appetizer menu. I always get nervous trying veggie seafood, ever since a particularly barftastic run-in with mock calamari a few years ago. These were mega-jumbo shrimp. The flavor was surprisingly shrimp-like and the texture more so. I enjoyed these, but overall I’d prefer them with a different coating. The coconut was tasty but verrry crispy and crunchy. I appreciate that they were trying something funky and different, but these would rock with the same panko coating that they use on the soul chicken. -Ev

Broccoli with Black Mushroom
This is not one of the more exciting dishes you can order at VP2. In fact, it might be the least exciting. It's just broccoli and mushrooms sauteed in a brown sauce. But after all the fancy, soy-based appetizers, we wanted something light and simple, and this fit the bill. The broccoli was fresh, not to soggy but not too crisp. I don't usually like big mushrooms in stir fry because they can be rubbery, but these were actually a good texture. The sauce was flavorful but not too heavy. If you're going to VP2 you should order the exciting mock-meat dishes, but if you ever find yourself in need of lighter fare, this is a good choice. -Jim

The Bottom Line
We thought we were long overdue for another review of Vegetarian’s Paradise 2, especially since our last one didn’t do it justice. VP2 offers consistently good food, and judging by this last visit, has expanded its menu with some more adventurous fare. In addition to new appetizers, there are some new entrees that sound fantastic. They’ve seem to have struck a nice balance of healthy/junkfoody, simple/daring dishes so you can tailor your meal to satisfy any craving. And their vanilla milkshakes are amazing! -Ev
We went all out appetizers on this visit, which I think is a great option at VP2. I feel like we each ate a pound of soy and washed it down with a soy milk shake. For the record, there are some pretty good not-so-soy-heavy options at VP2 as well, but the most exciting stuff they offer is their mock-meats. -Jim


Anonymous Paula said...

woo! I haven't been to VP2 in a while. I need to go soon. I always find myself ordering stuff like chicken and fries, but it's good to know that their vegetable stuff is good too.

10:10 AM, May 05, 2008

Blogger The Vegan Snorkeler said...

I used to be skeptical about vegan seafood until I had it at VP2. I was totally freaked out by their vegan shrimp the first time I ordered it because it looked and tasted so ocean-y and authentic. Now I look forward to ordering vegan seafood there (I love the vegan mahi-mahi)! I'll have to try the coconut shrimp. I love that place!

6:42 PM, May 31, 2008

Blogger Why Edward Juan? said...

I think I missed this place when I was in town last fall. The Atlas Café donuts does look mighty delicious.

5:15 PM, June 02, 2008

Blogger Randall said...

I was at VP two today, it was amazing. I love that place!

10:12 PM, July 03, 2008

Blogger KZ said...

I'm really enjoying checking out your reviews! Come back to your blog!

10:50 AM, July 05, 2008

Anonymous Laurie said...

Thank you for yet another great recommendation. Their "meat" is amazing, in fact a little bit unsettling as it feels so real ! We had Sweet & Sour Chicken and Peking Duck, and both dishes were amazing !

12:23 PM, August 25, 2009

Anonymous Anonymous said...

All 4 food images are broken for me.

11:04 AM, March 28, 2012


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