Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Best Thing I Ate This Month That Wasn't A Veggie Burger

The best thing I ate this month that wasn't a veggie burger was the ultimate comfort food: vegan macaroni and cheese!

My friend Michelle wanted to get macaroni and cheese for her birthday, so we met at the 33rd Street S'Mac location. I hadn't eaten at S'Mac since before I started avoiding dairy, so this was my first time trying their vegan option.


I was sad to see that their iconic macaroni styles are not available in vegan versions (I really wanted a vegan version of the masala Indian spiced macaroni!), but you do get to choose from different options to customize your macaroni - so I ordered mine with buffalo hot sauce, tomatoes, jalapenos, and breadcrumbs.

It was delicious! Sasha said she thought the base for the vegan cheese sauce was coconut milk, but it didn't taste coconutty, so whatever else they add to it hides that flavor well and tastes more cheesy. My craving for warm, cheesy comfort food was satisfied. I got the small portion, which was quite filling. I would definitely go back and order it again - I think it's on par with the vegan macaroni and cheese from Brooklyn Mac (although I wish S'Mac offered tempeh bacon in theirs...)

157 E 33rd St
between Lexington Ave & 3rd Ave
New York, NY 10016
(212) 683-3900
(2nd location in the east village - check website for address)

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Siggy's Good Food

This place caught my eye for brunch the other weekend because of this sign out front:

Then I looked at the menu and saw a ton of vegetarian food, which sealed the deal. We didn’t see any aliens eating brunch inside, although there were a lot of little alien decorations and signage… I couldn’t quite figure out why, it wasn’t like it was a theme restaurant. It seemed like the owner just really really likes aliens!


The veggie burger is vegan, including the bread (I asked the waitress). The patty was really yummy, it was a nice rich and hearty vegetable blend (the menu said “garden vegetables and black beans”) with a hint of sweetness as well. Mushy, but not oozing out the sides of the bun. Although I was disappointed that the bun was just slices of toast – when I order a burger, I want a proper bun! The menu said “served on soft brioche bun. Optional – on 7 grain, gluten free bun, wheat flax wrap, or over baby greens” and I picked the 7 grain, assuming that was a bun like the brioche and the gluten-free bread options. But apparently I was wrong! I wish the menu was a bit more clear on that, because no one wants a burger on toast… right?


But, at least I was enjoying the taste of the patty. And the toppings were pretty good – there was too much raw onion for my taste, but I just took it off the burger. The hummus was good, and the tomato and greens were nice and fresh. Because it was the weekend and I was having a good day, I splurged and paid extra for tempeh bacon on top of my burger too.

Totally worth it. I love tempeh bacon.


I was very pleased to see so many options both vegetarian and non-vegetarian on the menu, so this place could definitely be a good brunch location to take friends to - and it wasn't as crowded as many of the other restaurants we walked past! No line!
and Aliens eat free!

Cost: $10 ($2 extra for tempeh bacon)
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Burger patty: 4       Bun: 2      Toppings: 3

Siggy’s Good Food
292 Elizabeth Street
between Houson St & Bleecker St
New York, NY 10012

YumVeggieBurger review #113

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Barclays Center: Bed Stuy Grill

Who else went to the Nine Inch Nails show at Barclays Center two days ago? I was there, and it was spectacular!


It was my first time at Barclays Center – I generally dislike arena/stadium venues as a rule, but I had GA Standing tickets for this show so I figured it couldn’t be too bad.


We got there early, and it wasn’t very crowded yet, so I went for a walk around the place. There is a whole outer circle food court kind of deal going on, ranging from hotdogs to sushi. As I walked around, I kept thinking “I wonder if they have a veggie burger…”

…and then, believe it or not, I found one!


I had to eat it pretty quickly to get back to the floor before the opening band (Godspeed You! Black Emperor, how awesome!). But I had come to the show straight from work, so I was starving anyway.


I asked the staff if the burger was vegan – the cook herself came out and assured me that the patty was vegan, but they could not be sure about the bun. That’s par for the course, it seems. The bun was whole wheat, but too thick and dense. If you want to be able to take a proper bite out of a burger, the bun needs to be light and soft enough to compress a bit when you sink your teeth into it so you can get both bun and patty in the same bite! I ended up eating my burger in pieces, discarding most of the bun.


The menu said the burger comes with barbecue sauce and cheese – so I asked for mine without the cheese, but I think they mistakenly assumed that meant I did not want barbecue sauce either. So I was sad to miss out on that, but didn’t want to take the time to complain and get the order corrected. I think the sauce would have added a nice balance to the other components of the burger, although the lettuce was quite crisp and the tomato slice exceptionally fresh and juicy!


And the patty itself was great – way better than you would expect a veggie burger from a stadium venue to be! Mostly consisting of rice and black beans, it had a surprisingly spicy kick to it. And it was not too dense or compact like many veggie burgers – I wonder if it was made on site, and not delivered frozen? It seems possible. Or at least, it could have been locally made in Brooklyn! It fell apart a bit as I was eating it, which made for a slightly messy meal (grab a fork!) but it was yummy.

Not a bad start to the evening… and good to know that there are vegetarian options at Barclays Center! And there are probably even more that I didn’t have time to explore – I didn’t even check out the food vendors on the upper levels!


And, like I said, NIN was amazing.

Cost: $8.75 (not bad for a place that sells a bottle of water for $5!)
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Burger patty: 4       Bun: 2      Toppings: 2

Barclays Center
620 Atlantic Avenue
between Fort Greene Pl & 5th Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11217

YumVeggieBurger review #112

Friday, October 4, 2013


My Grandmother Joey, a.k.a. "Gaga", passed away this week. She was an amazing woman, and an important part of my childhood.


She was not a vegetarian, and she did not always understand what "vegetarian" meant when I became one myself (I remember countless times when she would ask me "do you eat chicken?" after I had of course told her before that I do not). But she was supportive of my choices.

We shared a love of Trader Joe's, and she would often tell me about new food items she had found there which were vegetarian. When I lived in St. Louis for my first year of college, she took me out to lunch quite often since she lived in the same city. And she would always tell me "You're a cheap date!" when the vegetarian entrée ended up being the least expensive item on the menu. I also inherited my love of chocolate from her.


She will be missed.