the vegan fork: Brunches

Saturday, April 07, 2007


Brunch can be really hard. Most restaurants don't serve anything vegan, unless I want to settle for just a side of hashbrowns. And there are lots of veg restaurants that have great brunches, but it feels selfish to continuously drag friends to veg restaurants. My favorite non-veg restaurant for brunch in NYC is Spring Street Natural. They always have several good vegan options (tofu ranchero, tofu scramble, sandwiches, salads, etc.) and they have non-veg food that is apparently really good -- I've never been there with anyone who didn't like the food. It's a really pretty place too. It's a large space with lots of wood and windows. Sometimes the service isn't all that attentive -- it gets really busy for brunch -- but the service is always very friendly. They have great cocktails, too, and fresh pressed juice and fun lemonade flavors that you can turn into a cocktail, too (passionfruit lemonade with citron -- yum!).

My favorite brunch item at Spring Street Natural is the tofu scramble. It's so good! The only reason I ever order tofu scramble anywhere else is because I'm hoping it will taste like this one (it never does). It has shiitake mushrooms and red onion, and a really good mild curry flavor. It comes with salad and brown rice covered in miso gravy. I'm not usually much of a gravy fan, but this one is really good!

Tofu scramble

The same weekend, I also had brunch at Teany, which is a small vegetarian sandwich/breakfast/dessert/tea/coffee place on the LES which is (or used to be?) partially owned by Moby. I've had lunch there before, but this was my first time for brunch, so I was excited to get something breakfasty. Despite my distaste for ham-flavored things (including fake Canadian bacon) I ended up with a bagel breakfast sandwich because I was just so excited at the prospect of a breakfast sandwich, something I've been missing for years. It had the fake Canadian bacon, fake cheddar, and tomato on a whole wheat bagel.

Breakfast at Teany

It was surprisingly good, considering how bad and plasticky the vegan cheddar looked (it actually tasted good once it was closed in the sandwich with the other ingredients) and that the fake Canadian bacon tasted like, well, Canadian bacon.

What I've never had at Teany but hope to have the chance to order someday is the "afternoon tea special." I'm just not sure there's ever a time when 2 little sandwiches, a scone, and a cupcake or cookie sounds like a reasonable snack or lunch.


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