Post Moon Pie & coffee “breakfast,” we headed for lunch at one of my surprise favourites, Angelica Kitchen, in the East Village. I say “surprise favourite” because my love of Angelica kind of snuck up on me, but it’s turned into one of my serious go-to’s when I visit the city. The menu is simple but interesting. The same basic, whole vegan foods I cook with myself, but always with enough flair and deliciousness to leave me feeling excited and inspired by the meal.
One of my all-time favourite Angelica offerings is the option to build your own plate from a variety of grain, veggie, and protein options. As much as I love eating in vegan restaurants, sometimes when I’ve been out of my own kitchen for a few days all I really want is something like my own grain bowls, which Angelica Kitchen is master of and my own creations are frequently inspired by.
This trip, however, I opted for a fancier plate. Our first real meal out, I was looking for something a bit more “restauranty,” so went with one of the daily specials – a tofu, mushroom, and leek vegan quiche (vegan quiche!), with a thin spelt crust and a basil/parsley pesto drizzle, served with the typical heaping Angelica side salad.
This seriously catered to my minor hankering for something savoury and brunch-like, with an epic amount of mushrooms and a soft, almost scrambled tofu-like texture.
My friend ordered a “wee” portion of their amazing chili, with a crazy delish chili-lime cashew sour cream and the best sweet & savoury cornbread. I had a few bites. But not too many. I have some manners, geez.
Angelica Kitchen always leaves me feeling full & satisfied, but in the best, cleanest way. Totally wholesome and delicious. This may actually be my fave NYC restaurant. It helps a little that the prices are absolutely reasonable.
Curly’s Vegetarian Lunch
Curly’s Vegetarian Lunch is another spot I’ve tried before, with a menu big enough that we felt like hitting it up again. Curly’s is 100% diner, and 100% vegetarian. Not everything is 100% vegan, but the menu is clearly marked and most items can be veganized on request. We wound up here in the early afternoon after an ahem late night, looking for some substantial comfort food, and got exactly what we were looking for. I’m not going to pretend this is “health food,” but it’s delicious and it’s vegan and there’s days when that’s what I’m looking for.
After much deliberation over the seriously epic menu, I went with the seriously epic open-faced “turkey” sandwich on rye, with cranberry sauce, cornbread stuffing, gravy and some of the tastiest, most garlicky sauteed kale I have ever encountered in my life. I may or may not still be dreaming of it. Kale and butternut squash chunks sauteed with so much garlic. I dunno about you guys, but I can’t imagine a better vegan comfort food side.
This beast of a Christmas dinner-y meal pretty much fed me for the whole day (for about $12!), as I ended up taking a whole half of the sandwich to go!
My friend got a classic veggie burger, which I was assured was also delish. I may or may not have tested a curly fry or too, and can attest to their deliciousness first-hand.
I’ve heard comparison of Curly’s to Brooklyn’s Foodswings, but I have yet to try them out so I cannot say, but I can say that if you’re looking for some vegan comfort food in downtown Manhattan, Curly’s has got you covered!
Believe it or not, there are still a couple more NYC eats and things to discuss, so I’ll be back tomorrow or Wednesday with another instalment.