Friday, November 29, 2013

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

...was this Soyatoo vegan whipped cream made from rice milk. Mmmm!

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Especially on top of leftover pumpkin pie after Thanksgiving!

Thanks to the guys from the Green Radish Food Truck for serving this delicious whipped cream on top of their vegan hot chocolate, and telling me that they found it at Whole Foods! I braved the pre-Thanksgiving grocery-shopping crowds to pick up a can of it for myself, and it was totally worth it :)

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

My Vegetarian Thanksgiving

I love Thanksgiving - I love cooking, and hosting dinner parties, and I love eating foods that bring back memories from my earliest years of eating Thanksgiving dinner with my grandparents. And when people ask what a vegetarian eats on Thanksgiving, I can't help but laugh, because I eat SO MUCH! I have never felt like I am "missing out" by leaving the turkey out of my Thanksgiving dinner.

This year I'm staying in New York for the holiday, and hosting dinner at my apartment. So I've been spending the afternoon prepping things for tomorrow, cooking anything that can be made a day in advance and heated up again so there is less to do and less fighting over oven and stovetop space tomorrow!

As I do every year, I made my favorite vegetarian entree: Holiday Cashew Nut Roast - from Vegetarian Times
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This is the loaf before it goes into the oven - I made a half-recipe because we're having a smaller group of guests this year. And I put a second row of tomatoes on top after I took this photo, but I wanted you to be able to see the yummy eggplant first!

And of course: Vegetarian Gravy - from NPR.org
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Even meat-eaters love this gravy! My family used to make two batches of gravy each year, one vegetarian and one non-vegetarian, but recently we've switched to just making the vegetarian one, because everyone likes it anyway!

Tomorrow I'll make the roast potatoes and root vegetables, peas, rolls, my grandmother's sweet potatoes (topped with vegan marshmallows from Sweet & Sara) and pumpkin pie!

What are you cooking for Thanksgiving this year?

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Fiddlesticks

I should note that this pub was a second-choice for a very belated lunch, when our first choice had no empty tables and what looked like a significant wait…

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Nonetheless, I like a good pub. They had a veggie burger on the menu, so I was game to give Fiddlesticks a try. The d├ęcor inside was quite nice, I liked all the little nooks and crannies and different areas of seating, and they had candles and Christmas lights all around. There was an American football game on the large tv screens, which kind of killed the mood, but sadly that seems standard in many otherwise-enjoyable bars and pubs.

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Unfortunately, the service was disappointing. Our waiter was slow and unnattentive; he seemed more interested in the football game than his customers. And it took over 30 minutes for our food to come out of the kitchen - although oddly enough, another couple sitting a few tables away had ordered after us and received their food much faster.

And, to continue the theme, the veggie burger itself was a disappointment.

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The bun was nice – soft, with lots of sesame seeds – but that was the best part of the whole burger. The toppings consisted of a very sad piece of lettuce that was mostly stalk, the lone tomato slice was small, there was too much raw red onion, the pickles were the most bland pickles I've ever eaten, and there was no sauce (the little cup of sauce in the previous photo was the curry sauce for my fries, which were overfried to the point that most were rock hard and inedible). The waiter didn’t offer us ketchup or mayo, or ask if we needed anything else.

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And the patty itself, well, as you might have expected, it was an average, boring, premade patty. A thin, dry mash of vegetables with little flavor. And no idea if it was vegan or not (probably not). I wasn’t expecting much else from a pub that most likely caters to the meat-eating crowd, but I was kind of offended that they would dare charge $14 for something so mediocre! And the fries (which came with it) weren’t even any good!

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Definitely a place I will avoid returning to.

Cost: $14
Rating: ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
Burger patty: 2       Bun: 3      Toppings: 1

Fiddlesticks
56 Greenwich Ave
between Charles & Perry Street
New York, NY 10011
212.463.0516

YumVeggieBurger review #115

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Green Radish Food Truck

EDIT: The Green Radish no longer serves the chickpea burger, but I posted an updated review HERE describing how much I enjoyed their black bean burger!

Ever since The Cinnamon Snail reported the arrival of a new vegan food truck in NYC, I’ve been eager to check out The Green Radish (and by the way, isn’t it awesome that there is so much demand for vegan food in NYC that a second vegan food truck is welcomed as a friend instead of as competition?)

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Work and travel and life kept me from visiting the truck – until yesterday, when I finally caught up to it parked on 38th Street and Broadway in Manhattan.

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I really wanted to try the black bean burger, but sadly I had gotten there at the end of lunchtime and they were sold out of it! Luckily, they offer not one but THREE veggie burgers – so I simply opted for the chickpea burger instead (the third one is a Portobello burger).

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I’ve tried a couple chickpea burger patties before, and I have to say, I always found them rather dry and unimpressive. But this burger totally changed my mind! There was so much juicy, tangy flavor in it! The patty was thick and hearty– a mix of mashed up chickpeas and some chickpeas that were still whole. It did fall apart quite a lot as I was eating it – it was a bit more like a chickpea salad sandwich than a traditional burger, to be honest. But as someone who replaced tuna salad with chickpea salad when I converted to vegetarianism, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

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The toppings were what really made it exceptional though – the tomatoes and the pickles were great, the onion puree was rich and flavorful, and the “Green Radish Dressing” was tangy and absolutely delicious! These toppings ensured that the burger was drippingly juicy, and not in the least bit dry as I had feared it could be. The wheat bun was dense enough to not get soggy even with all those juicy toppings, but not so thick that it made the burger hard to eat. Grab some napkins, though! And a fork – because you’ll want to eat all the bits that fall out of the bun, because they are just that tasty.

The workers on the truck were very friendly and happy to answer questions about their food. I also tried a cup of their hot chocolate (made with almond milk, and topped with rice milk whipped cream!) which was DELICIOUS. I will definitely return not just to try the black bean burger, but all the other amazing-sounding vegan food on their menu as well!

Cost: $10.00
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Burger patty: 4       Bun: 4      Toppings: 5

The Green Radish
Parking in various locations around Manhattan, check their Twitter feed for current location
917.512.1599

YumVeggieBurger review #114