Wednesday, February 18, 2015

An Ode to the The Cinnamon Snail (and their Smoked Chili Bourbon BBQ Seitan Burger)

Do you passionately love and adore the Cinnamon Snail vegan food truck? Or do you still have yet to try its delicious sandwiches, burgers, donuts and other mind-blowing desserts? Either way, you only have two weeks left to get your hands on some of the best vegan food in the city…


Tragically, the Cinnamon Snail announced that at the end of this month, their food truck will no longer be operating.

This news hit me hard, like the way you feel as a kid when you drop your ice cream cone on the ground (or, even as an adult, still!) – I have always looked forward to days off when I can grab breakfast or lunch from the Cinnamon Snail, or weekends when I happily find excuses to run errands in Manhattan near where the truck will be parked, so I can pick up a box of donuts to bring home. It’s hard to believe that these days are coming to an end!

Seriously, how incredible are these donuts?!?!

What the future is for the Snail crew and their amazing food is uncertain at this time (read their facebook post for more details), so if you have been craving a bourbon crème brulee donut or a decadently delicious veggie burger, now is the time to get one, before they are all gone! And if you still have not tried the Cinnamon Snail’s food, please do yourself a favor and try it at least once before you no longer have the chance to – even if you aren’t a vegetarian or vegan, I promise you will be blown away!

Which brings me to the subject of this post…

The smoked chili bourbon BBQ seitan burger with jalapeno mac-n-cheese, smoked almond bacon, arugula, and chipotle mayo on grilled herb focaccia.

Yes, you read that correctly. Are you drooling? I was, the minute I saw that sign advertising the daily special.

My most recent trip to the Cinnamon Snail was on a Saturday when I had an early morning appointment in Manhattan. Remembering that the Snail had said they would be parked on 14th street that day, I eagerly made my way there for lunch. Bonus: no line! A rarity for the Snail!

Because it is FREEZING outside in NYC right now, I resisted the temptation to be one of those people messily eating a meal on the subway, and patiently waited until I got home to dig into what sounded like a veritable holy grail of veggie burgers.


And I was not disappointed!


The toppings are a foodie/vegan/glutton’s dream come true. Just look at that mac-n-cheese! Okay, it’s a little smushed from being carried all the way back to Queens, but just take a minute to pause and process all the delicious flavors that are combined in this incredible burger: bourbon, barbecue, mac-n-cheese, bacon, jalapeno. And it's all vegan. Holy hell! And each one was as delicious as it sounds, coming together to create a masterpiece.


The seitan patty was sweet, spicy, smokey, savory, hearty, and simply amazing. It’s thick, it will fill you up – and it holds together like a proper veggie patty should!

The herbed focaccia bun was sweet and soft, and tasted oh-so-good. My only complaint (literally, my ONLY complaint about this entire burger) was that the bun was a bit large for even this monster patty and luxurious array of toppings (probably because of the fact that the bun is square and has all that extra bread at the corners with no patty or toppings to fill it - but this is a pretty minor, nit-picky complaint in the face of so much awesomeness).

If I could narrow down all my gushing praise of this burger to one word, that would be simply:


This burger was the weekly special last week, but I don’t think it’s on the specials for this week (or I would probably be seriously considering skipping work to go eat it).
However, you can try the Ancho Chili Seitan Burger which I have also reviewed (and also gave 5 stars to) and which is on the regular menu! And hopefully if the Cinnamon Snail is reincarnated as a brick-and-mortar restaurant or some other type of food vendor, they will bring back the smoked chili bourbon BBQ seitan burger… as its #1 fan, I think I would cry if I never had the chance to taste that deliciousness ever again!

And of course, don’t forget to try a donut (vanilla bourbon crème brulee donuts – need I say more??? The Cinnamon Snail understands my love/need for all things bourbon-flavored!) or another dessert!


I got a bourbon hazelnut cheesecake brownie, which I shamelessly ate on the subway on my way home (dessert before dinner is allowed when the dessert is the less messy of the two options, and the food is so good you can’t wait until you get home!).

Go out and show your love for the Cinnamon Snail and eat some amazing food in the next week and a half before the truck is off the streets for good!

Cinnamon Snail, you are so loved – and you will be so missed!
Thank you for all the love and deliciousness you have shared over the years!

Cost: $11.00
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Burger patty: 5       Bun: 4      Toppings: 5

The Cinnamon Snail
Parking in various locations around Manhattan - but only until the end of February 2015! - check their Twitter feed for current location
YumVeggieBurger review #154

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Venice Ale House

Okay, this is the last belated veggie burger review from my trip to Los Angeles last December – I’ve got some great NYC veggie burger reviews to post soon, for those who are sick of seeing the lovely warm-weather California photos and want a local veggie burger here in NYC to warm you up on a cold snowy day (like today…)


Venice Ale House was just down the street from the hotel we stayed at in Venice Beach, and with its outdoor seating looking out onto the beach, we couldn’t resist stopping here for brunch one afternoon. I had already seen a few vegan items on the menu before I spotted the veggie burger, but once I saw that it was called “The Mother Trucker Veggie Burger” I laughed and knew I had to try it!


Yes, that’s a huge sprig of rosemary sticking out of a really deliciously tasty bun (soft and sweet, studded with sesame seeds).


The patty could stand to be a little less mushy – the texture ended up feeling like a thick paste in my mouth – but the flavor was excellent! In particular, I enjoyed the spicy kick that hits you after the first bite! The standard toppings the burger came with were lettuce, tomato, raw red onion (ehh, I think I’ve expressed my dislike of raw onion on burgers before) and chipotle aioli (although the staff said the burger was vegan, I’m guessing they were not thinking about the aioli). Because I was on vacation, I splurged and spent an extra dollar for avocado as well.

Mushiness of the patty aside, taste-wise, this was one of the better burgers I had on this trip! And the roasted potatoes it was served with were quite enjoyable as well. I wish we could have stayed longer, because I would have been glad to come back and try one of the vegan breakfast scrambles on the menu too.

Sunset over Venice Beach

Cost: $11.00 (plus $1.00 extra for avocado)
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Burger patty: 4       Bun: 5      Toppings: 4

Venice Ale House
2 Rose Avenue
Venice, CA 90291

YumVeggieBurger review #153

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Neptune's Net

Wow, January was a busy month! I moved into a new apartment, and am still unpacking… which explains why I have still not finished posting all of my veggie burger reviews from my trip to Los Angeles back in December!

So here’s another California veggie burger review:

One of the best parts of our L.A. vacation was driving up the coast for beach days in Malibu.


One evening, after watching a beautiful sunset, we realized we were starving, and the closest place was a seafood restaurant called Neptune’s Net. Hopeful that I would find something there that I could eat, we ventured inside.


Lo and behold, one of the few vegetarian items on the menu was a “garden burger”!
They could not tell me if it was vegan or not, so I’d err on the side of caution and assume it’s only vegetarian, as many pre-made patties unfortunately are (and some of the yelp reviews sound pretty certain that it’s not vegan).


It was pretty simple, just some shredded iceburg lettuce, a pale tomato slice, and a generous serving of mayo, all on a very standard, squishy, fast-food-esque bun studded with sesame seeds on top.


The patty itself wasn’t bad. A rather standard “garden burger”, it was fried well, and maybe I was just hungry, but it even tasted pretty decent for a pre-made patty! It was more of a vegetable mash than faux-meat texture. I was trying to figure out if it was a brand I had tried before, but couldn’t quite place it.

Overall, not a great veggie burger – but after a day on the beach, if you’re a starving vegetarian and just need something in your stomach, at least Neptune’s Net offers that!

Cost: $8.45
Rating: ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
Burger patty: 3       Bun: 2      Toppings: 1

Neptune’s Net
42505 Pacific Coast Hwy
Malibu, CA

YumVeggieBurger review #152