Thursday, April 6, 2017

Seasoned Vegan

FINALLY got to Seasoned Vegan over the weekend! A mac 'n' cheese-loving friend and I were in the area and I realized that we couldn't be far.

As is usual in NYC, we walked past quite a few less healthy and considerably non-vegan options on our trek towards our destination. When we arrived it appeared to us as an oasis: proudly vegan.

As soon as we entered, I recognized the mother and son owners/operators; they were standing right inside the entrance and it appeared as though they were tasting the chicken nuggets. It made me curious- had someone complained and they were trying to figure out what was wrong? Or, were they so good that they were just always munching on them?

The dining room was inviting and, as we were seated, we were given the regular menu as well as a brunch menu we hadn't expected. As much as we appreciated the option and as appealing as it looked, we decided to stick with the standard selections.The regular menu was more varied- chicken nuggets, hummus, pizza quesadilla...and healthful- raw appetizers, entrees, wraps, than I expected. Not seeing anything that wholeheartedly appealed to me, I was excited to spy the monthly special: BBQ riblets.

Each entree comes with a light salad of mixed greens and apple cider vinaigrette. We were really happy to have received this since it unexpectedly took an hour for our meals to come out. There was a table of four that seemed to send their meals back at least twice each, so the inordinate delay was probably caused by all of the waitstaff being focused on them.

When our meals finally arrived, my friend was so hungry that she didn't wait to let the camera eat first. So, her smothered "chicken" dish comprised of one soy "chicken" patty stewed in herbs and smothered in gravy with mac and broccoli is unpictured; she liked everything.

I chose the special BBQ riblets with baked mac & "cheese" and collard greens as sides. Although I'd hear another server tell another diner otherwise, our server allowed me to choose the sides with my special rather than committing it to a special plate. The collard greens (and a sweet potato souffle) were the special sides that day: surprisingly not standard on the menu.
  • I was a little shocked that the riblets were spheres, but they had a really nice taste; I assumed they were seitan or some kind of May Wah-esque product with really nice sauce. I was more than a little jealous when the gentleman next to me received the same plate, only his riblets were positively smothered in the decadent BBQ sauce.
  • The baked mac was really good, but I thought it could have had a little more pizazz.
  • I was initially given the broccoli by accident instead of my collards; there's not much to say about sauteed broccoli, although it was kind of them to let me keep it. 
  • I didn't get a great picture of the collards because they were unexpectedly delivered on a side dish swimming in a broth that, had I not been certain I was in a vegan restaurant, I would have feared. I moved them into my main plate sans broth, but found them overcooked and more salty than anything else. 
In short, I found all of the things I tried to be, rather ironically, under-seasoned.

Uncertain if we'd be back any time soon, we splurged on dessert. My friend chose the ice "cream" cupcake sandwich: vegan ice "cream" sandwiched between two cupcake halves. Here it is: vanilla ice cream in a somewhat squished looking vanilla cupcake (they were out of red velvet).

I ordered the praline ice cream (they look identical because it must be made with the same vanilla base) with a salted pecan chocolate chip cookie. I guess my plate was warm, which was why my ice cream was melty upon arrival. The cookie tasted predominantly of oil and had only two chocolate chips in it. I don't know if they make their own ice cream- the waitstaff was pleasant but always appeared too busy to chat, but this was creamy and rich with an unfortunate alcohol aftertaste as though from imitation vanilla.

Before we left I decided to use the restroom; it was quite lovely and had the holy grail of public restrooms: hooks! Unfortunately, it was completely out of toilet paper, which was an apt metaphor for my inaugural Seasoned Vegan dining experience.

I would definitely say there are a few kinks with seasoning, service, and consistency to work out, but- if the bustling afternoon crowd was any indication, Seasoned Vegan is obviously a popular neighborhood- as well as vegan, destination. 


  1. If I ever open a restaurant, do me a favor and please dont come review it.

    1. Come on, an hour wait? In NYC?

    2. Bahahaha!!!! Best comment ever! 🏆


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