At the Broccoli Bar, a vegan restaurant on Fulton St, it seems like they started with the all-broccoli concept and went from there. The Big Sexy bowl contains a little bit of everything, from the very good (tempura broccoli with a maple and Sriracha glaze) to the bad (a flavorless broccoli “stir-fry”) to the baffling (BBQ broccoli with a dry spice rub) to the adequate (broccoli-filled dumplings), all over a bed of turmeric rice and topped with pickled vegetables. I’m not sure what led them to broccoli as the canvas for all of these flavors, as some of them work much better than others. But I can’t argue with the success of the tempura broccoli, and that sweet and spicy sauce on top. They even have it available as a “burger”, maybe next time I’ll go with that.
690 Fulton St
The movie “Dog Day Afternoon” was partially shot in my neighborhood of Windsor Terrace, the same neighborhood where the events that inspired the movie actually happened. Recently a hot dog place opened in the neighborhood, and although they are named after that Brooklyn-centric film they specialize in Chicago-style hot dogs. A Chicago-style hot dog is one of those regional specialties that I never had back before I became a vegetarian, but lucky for me Dog Day Afternoon has a vegan version of the dog.
The grilled vegan hot dog is topped with: mustard, green relish, tomatoes, pickles, onions, and sport peppers, then seasoned with celery salt. It’s a nice treat on a hot summer day, and you should expect to get your hands pretty messy.
Instagram can lead you down lots of different rabbit holes, and one of those led me to follow Nelia’s Veg Kitchen. Nelia’s is a vegan pop-up restaurant, and when I saw they were doing a pop-up at a bar called King Tai in August I decided to stop by. I got the crispy “chicken” sliders (made with marinated tofu), topped with slaw, pickles, and a spicy “mayo” and served with jerk-spiced plantain chips. It’s great bar food that just happens to be vegan. You should follow them on Instagram too, to find out where they’re popping up next.
Nelia’s Veg Kitchen
King Tai — 1095 Bergen St
I’ve never seen the movie Terms of Endearment, but I have been to the vegan cafe and bakery that bears its name. The Maple sandwich seen above features vegan egg, vegan sausage (made by BE-Hive in Nashville, where I got some vegan hot fried chicken), vegan cheese, and a vegan maple aioli served on focaccia. It was a giant, hearty sandwich that lasted two meals for me, and reminded me of the days when Saltie was still around.
But it’s really the pastries that impressed me. I got a daily special, a piña colada bun, a giant spiral pastry topped with pineapple and what may have been a coconut cream. I also brought home an almond croissant for my girlfriend, who couldn’t believe it was vegan. I don’t know how they get such crisp laminated pastry without butter, and I don’t want to know. As long as they keep doing it I will keep eating it.
Terms Of Endearment — 135 Metropolitan Ave