Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Happy (Cinnamon) Snails To You

The Cinnamon Snail's locations range far and wide (between New York and New Jersey), but my personal favorite place to visit them is at the Red Bank Farmer's Market where the crowd is continuous, the fans are loyal, the line is long, and the clientele is not all vegan. 

With only a few left in the season, VM and I took a ride to bid the Snail a fine adieu for the winter months (okay, I'm already working to convince her to return on 11/20...).  Leading up to the day I'd been nagging imploring Chef Adam to bake his amazing Mexican hot chocolate donuts for me the good of all mankind, and I was thrilled and flattered when I read this Facebook post the day before:

The Cinnamon Snail
Only a couple more Red Bank farmers markets for the year. We are pulling out all the stops tomorrow, and the special this week is super lovely!
Ancho chili seitan burger with piri piri whisky sauce, arugula, beer braised smoked onions and garlic, and fresh horseradish cream on herb focaccia
We will also have Bananas Foster pancakes.
As always happens, I arrive with the full intention of partaking in breakfast, but then my tastebuds are immediately distracted and I am lured away by the promise of an amazing sammie of some sort. Today was no exception and I decided on the special, the ancho chili seitan burger with piri piri whiskey sauce, arugula, beer braised smoked onions and garlic, and fresh horseradish cream on herb focaccia. Here's the thing: I don't love seitan and I'm not particularly enamored with burgers. But this? Scrumptious!  What's piri piri whiskey?  I don't know!  But the key to the Snail's incomparable sammies is in the vast and varied attention to detail in each and every ingredient; trust in their creations and every bite is a palatable vegan firework display in your mouth.

VM, ever the renegade, made her own sandwich again.  She started with the creole grilled tofu sub on toasted baguette with caramelized onions, arugula, grilled tomato, and roasted garlic aioli...minus the tofu, plus marinated kale.  Too late I realized she should have added avocado, but Chef Adam had the good sense to include a generous squirt of spicy sauce b/c we loves us some spicy!  VM enjoyed and couldn't help remarking that, on top of everything else, the Snail always has the best bread.  True.

We ate, we enjoyed...but, I couldn't stop thinking about the breakfast special: Bananas Foster pancakes with spiced rum caramel.  You know how I like to fill myself almost to the brim with tapas at Sacred Chow, and then order the sweet brunch option as dessert?  I think you know where this is headed.  Don't judge me!  

Thank you to the Cinnamon Snail crew for pretending that they didn't realize what I was doing and/or calling me out on my gluttony.  See how swell they are!?!?  As expected, I was happy to have risked ridicule because the dish was phenomenal: perfectly cooked pancakes, caramelized bananas, and a sticky and sweet caramel topping to accent the smooth and thin syrup.  In the interest of full disclosure, I admit that at one point I broke my fork and continued eating by holding just the tines between my thumb and forefinger.  It was slightly pathetic, but I stand by my perseverance- no waste!  Note: it was at this time that VM pointed out, rather sarcastically, that she wasn't judging me.

Of course there was take-home booty- especially now that I know I can
freeze the baked goods for future gorging.  To start, three Mexican hot chocolate glazed twists (I know you're impressed by my restraint), one white chocolate pumpkin glazed twist, a few apple cider donuts, and a seasonal surprise!

Behold the head-to-head rivalry between the twists: Mexican hot chocolate glazed vs. white chocolate glazed pumpkin, a.k.a., The Scare in Tupperware.

Mexican hot chocolate FTW!!!  Yep, those are ribbons and flecks of chocolate throughout.

The seasonal donut of choice: pumpkin pie [extravaganza]:


And, Ned's Nubian cousin: chocolate
Wild Man Ned Stevens Marshmallow Pecan Gutter Cleaner Cookies, featuring Sweet and Sara marshmallows!

And now for the surprise of the haul: I really liked the apple turnover... a LOT!  

Don't take this the wrong way, but it was like the vegan, super-spectacular version of the McDonald's apple pie- highbrow and on steroids.  Well done, Snail.  Between this and your fresh berry bun, I guess I can no longer say I don't like fruit.

Besides sweets we did take home something else, curried lentil puff pastries.  

I heated them up in the toaster oven and enjoyed them immensely (yes, I stole half of VM's; don't judge me!!) alongside some veggies.  

Just the right cross between my beloved samosas and my favorite entree at Blossom; if this is any indication of the Snail's catering capabilities, somebody marry me so we can have a party!  Erm, not really; I'll just keep picking up my pastries from the truck, 'kay?  

But you, if YOU out there are having an event, word on the Snail street is that catering is available.  

As if that wasn't enough, they are also offering a pick-up catering menu for Thanksgiving - large, small, and individual orders accepted.  

I may never cook again.


  1. Your posts always put a smile on my face! Judging from your photographs, if I lived on the east coast, I would eat at Cinnamon Snail every single day. Your tupperware full of doughnuts has me raging with jealousy!

  2. LOL! Love it! "Don't judge me . . ."

  3. I'm pretty sure somebody I know is having a house warming event soon.... If the house is ever finished!!! The Snail would make the trip to NJ all the more worth it!

  4. tahinitoo- I have dreams that the Snail follows me around all day so that I can eat every meal and snack there!

    Vegan- You'd better not!

    Anon- Surprise, I'm moving next door to the Snail family on the assumption that they live and work in the truck 24 hours/day. Thusly I have renovated my now useless kitchen into an arcade.

  5. I find myself speechless, and it's not because I'm judging you in silence. It's not.

  6. I'm honestly more into the savory goodies than the sweets, which tend to give me a headache but those chocolate twists look great.
    Love the story about the tine-less fork, haha! No judgement - I've dropped a chopstick on the floor and snapped the other one in half to awkwardly eat the rest of my splintery sushi!

  7. Wow that just looks so good. I am kinda of jealous , I am going to have to remember Snail when I am out in that area.

  8. Andrea, I am suspect!

    ff, You essentially made a replacement chopstick set? That's genius!

    ashley, They are phenomenal; enjoy!

  9. oh my god, I can't wait to try that burger! I have still never been to the cinnamon snail... I can't wait until they start coming to NYC more often! If I wasn't working so much now I'd make a special trip out to Hoboken to find them.


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