The busy, bare bones dining room of Cafe Euroasia is unremarkable, but the Russian-Ukranian food is quite good and the service is friendlier than many other Brighton Beach restaurants. The only vegetarian items are in the hot and cold appetizer sections, but there is plenty to make a filling meal. The assorted pickle plate is a great version of the type; nothing surprising, but the pickled green tomatoes were especially good. For a more hearty and filling dish I got the Julienne with mushrooms — sliced mushrooms and onions cooked in cream, then baked with cheese on top. Both the pickles and the mushrooms were great with a half order of the warm almost Turkish-style bread, puffy and crusty on the outside but flat in the middle.
Cafe Euroasia — 602 Brighton Beach Ave
I don’t understand the current food hall boom around NYC. They are usually loud and over-crowded, and it seems like vendors often drop out or the entire food hall closes. I didn’t have high expectations for the Time Out Market when we stopped by for an after-theater dinner. And yes, it was too noisy and there were too many people. But I have to admit the food was pretty great, and there are lots of vegetarian and vegan options.
We got the vegan ramen from Mr. Taka, with a creamy soy milk-based broth (I got mine spicy). It’s a delicious bowl of ramen, full of mushrooms, tofu, avocado, and even blowtorched slices of zucchini. We also stopped by Ice & Vice, where I enjoyed a poppy-sesame ice cream called Opium Den, and Breads Bakery for a chocolate babka to go. As long as you ignore all of the people, Time Out Market New York is pretty great.
Mr. Taka Ramen
Ice & Vice
Time Out Market New York — 55 Water St
I’ve written about Monk’s Meats before, and I’ve continued to follow them around Brooklyn. They make excellent vegan sandwiches, usually with seitan or mushrooms. I follow them on Instagram, and a few weeks ago I saw that they were doing a vegan Korean pop-up at a dive bar in Bed-Stuy called Cpt. Dan’s Good Time Tavern, for one night only. I immediately added it to my calendar.
The menu was short but intriguing. I chose the bon chon cauliflower, battered and deep-fried, then coated with a sweet-savory-spicy glaze and topped with sesame seeds and scallions. I also got a Korean fried “CHCK WHEAT” sandwich, a mock fried chicken cutlet topped with various pickled veggies. I washed it all down with a cold beer and pretended I was at a dive bar in Seoul.
Cpt. Dan’s Good Time Tavern — 497 Greene Ave
Many years ago there was a vegan Jamaican restaurant that opened in an old White Castle here in Brooklyn. It was called Veggie Castle, and it was good. Then they had to close, and re-opened way out in Queens under the name Veggie Castle II. I made the trip out once, and as much as I loved it I knew I wouldn’t be able to make the trip out there as often as I would like. Over the past few years I kept tabs on them via Instagram, and had to content myself with experiencing Veggie Castle vicariously. Then a few months ago they announced they would be coming back to Brooklyn. And then finally, a few weeks ago, they opened. I stopped by during their soft opening, with a limited menu and a cash-only register. In the past I had always gotten a platter of veggies and fake meats, but this time my attention was caught by the sandwiches. One sandwich in particular, the fried oyster mushroom po’ boy. There is no real place to sit and eat in the new space, so I took my sandwich (along with a side of Brussels spouts) to go. The sprouts were well-seasoned and delicious, but the sandwich was the real star. The mushrooms were battered and fried until crispy, then piled onto a roll with lettuce, carrots, onions, cucumbers and “remoulade sauce.” It was a great sandwich, but I think next time I’ll get one of the platters instead.
Veggie Castle — 2085 Flatbush Ave