Lost Vegetarian Presents… Grains Of The Day At Nha Minh

When I asked for suggestions about restaurants that might be good to feature on Lost Vegetarian, James Boo was quick to recommend Nha Minh, a Vietnamese restaurant in Bushwick. Chef/owner Fred Hua constructs these amazing create-your-own rice bowls, which are huge and filling but somehow light and energizing. He uses the best ingredients he can find and cooks them simply, and then everything is combined with a medley of rice, grains, and pickled veggies. Then you can top the bowl with a wide variety of delicious freshly-made sauces, with options like coffee hoisin and fermented black bean with tahini. In this episode, Hua makes a vegan, gluten free bowl topped with Barry’s Tempeh. I’ve been to Nha Minh twice now, and both times everything was excellent. Enjoy!

My collaborators:
Camera – Donny Tsang (http://www.donnytsang.com/)
Camera – Scott Lindrup (http://www.scottlindrup.com/)
Music – Bayard Russell (https://bayardrussell.wordpress.com/)

Nha Minh — 485 Morgan Av

Posted in video | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lucky Vegetarian In Sunset Park

I knew I was going to have a good meal at Lucky Vegetarian before I even sat down. The restaurant is underneath a Buddhist temple in Sunset Park; it reminded me of similar arrangements I’ve seen at restaurants in Asia. You don’t see a lot of basement-level restaurants here in the US.

Everything on the menu is vegetarian, including mock meats and seafoods of every kind. I’ve eaten there a few times, and their combo platters offer the best value for money — complete with a tasty soup. Though I’m partial to the mock sesame chicken, but my favorite dish so far has been the cold noodles in Szechuan sauce. Thin chewy noodles in salty, spicy, vinegary sauce… what could be bad? The sauce has the lovely tongue-tingling sensation that comes with Szechuan peppercorns, and is one of my favorite aspects of Szechuan cooking. It’s a little out of the way for me, but I’m hoping to make myself a regular there.

Lucky Vegetarian — 5101 8th Ave

Posted in sunset park | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Lost Vegetarian Presents… Mushroom Flatbread At Bar Bolinas

When Donny told me he was asking Chef Nate Smith to participate in the Lost Vegetarian project I was excited. I was familiar with his food from his first restaurant, Allswell, and was eager to try the California-inspired cuisine he is serving up at his second restaurant. Bar Bolinas has an interesting menu; in Smith’s words it’s meant to be casual, fun, street food-style. Smith is also one of the nicest chefs I’ve ever met, and his commitment to supporting local farms and using the best ingredients make his food something special. In this episode of Lost Vegetarian he makes his mushroom flatbread, a seemingly simple dish elevated by the top-end ingredients. From the house-made sourdough flatbread to the mushrooms roasted with house-dried oregano, the dish is definitely more than the sum of its parts. Enjoy!

My collaborators:
Camera – Donny Tsang (http://www.donnytsang.com/)
Camera/Sound – Scott Lindrup (http://www.scottlindrup.com/)
Music – Bayard Russell (https://bayardrussell.wordpress.com/)

(Sorry this is a day late — I was in Wisconsin for my sister’s wedding.)

Bar Bolinas — 455 Myrtle Ave

Posted in clinton hill, video | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Brunch At Mimi’s Hummus

Continuing my exploration of the restaurants on Cortelyou Road in Ditmas Park I finally ate at Mimi’s Hummus, arguably the most famous restaurant in the area. I stopped by for a weekend brunch, but wasn’t really feeling in the mood for hummus. Instead I got what they call the Iraqi Plate — eggplant, potato, and hard-boiled egg (all served cold) with tahini, olive oil, and a pickled mango condiment called amba. It was a refreshing meal, not heavy they way some brunch specialties can be. Now I have to go back for the actual hummus.

Mimi’s Hummus — 1209 Cortelyou Rd

Posted in ditmas park | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Lost Vegetarian Presents… Nutrela With Bell Peppers At Punda Tibetan Restaurant

I first came across nutrela, a dried soy product, while I was traveling in Nepal, and that’s where chef Tenzing Tsering came across it as well. Pre-cooked Nutrela has, I think, something of an image problem. In fact I think it looks a little like dry dog food. But when cooked properly, as Tsering does here, it’s delicious and quite beautiful. Despite the simplicity of the finished dish here it was amazingly rich, and my favorite of all of the many dishes that Tsering cooked for us that day. And he cooked us a lot of food. This project has introduced me to many wonderful and generous chefs, but I have to say that Tsering may be one of the most generous people I’ve ever met. He genuinely cares about people and sees feeding people as an act of community service. When the food is as good and as fresh as his, it’s hard to argue with.

In addition to my usual collaborators — Donny Tsang and Scott Lindrup with cameras, and Bayard Russell providing music — I want to thank Jeff Orlick for recommending Chef Tsering and Punda Tibetan Restaurant to me.

Punda Tibetan Restaurant — 3935 47th Ave, Sunnyside

Posted in video | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Vegetarian At Fei Long Food Court In Sunset Park

I make semi-regular trips up to Flushing to visit the Chinese restaurants and food courts, even though there is a Chinatown food court right here in Brooklyn. The Fei Long food court is attached to a series of small shops and a large supermarket, but I have to admit, it doesn’t draw me in the way the food courts in Flushing do. On my most recent visit only eight of the ten stalls were actually doing business, the others were closed for “renovations.” The main reason I don’t often go, however, is that it’s not particularly vegetarian-friendly. Unlike the big food courts in Queens, where there are usually multiple stalls with vegetarian options, only one stall at Fei Long seems to have anything to offer. Luckily it’s pretty good stuff. It’s stall #1, which according to Eating in Translation is Shanghai Family Dumpling. In addition to a few veggie dumpling options they also have some noodle dishes that can be made with mock duck. Above you see the “lo mein,” which in this case was wide, flat egg noodles tossed in a tasty peanut sauce with a few veggies and some strips of wheat gluten. It’s tasty and cheap, which is exactly what you want from a Chinatown food court meal.

Fei Long Supermarket Food Court — 6301 8th Ave

Posted in sunset park | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Lost Vegetarian Presents… Truffled Adobo Mushroom Lumpia At Lumpia Shack

I first tasted these lumpia at Smorgasburg last year, and I was blown away by how good they were. Filipino food isn’t known for being vegetarian-friendly, and yet at Lumpia Shack they have plenty of vegetarian (and even vegan) options. In this episode of “Lost Vegetarian Presents…” Lumpia Shack chef and owner Neil Syham talks about why he has so many vegetarian dishes, making the lumpia, and waiting for Filipino food to break through to the mainstream. Enjoy!

Posted in video | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment