Friday, November 26, 2010

The Unphotographable

That's my lunch from Madras Mahal. It's delicious, but the photos came out so poorly I'm not even going to bother posting them. They're even terrible by my standards. Here's a picture of a guinea pig instead:

That's Pepper. Her spiky black hair makes her the most punk rock guinea pig I've ever known.

Madras Mahal is the first Indian restaurant I ever ate at. And now that Madras (totally vegan) is gone, Madras Mahal (vegetarian, mostly vegan) it's my favorite. Dairy items are indicated on the menu. Minimum Seamlessweb order is $20, which I get many meals out of. They don't use Seamlessweb's "eco friendly" option.

Sadly, they don't have a vegan mango lassi, but they do a REALLY sweet mango juice. Their samosas are spicy and delicious. Papadams have a bit more caraway than I'd like, but the texture is perfect. I could live on their alu gobi with broccoli and tofu gobi matarwla. Their dosas are huge and perfect. I also recommend the alu paratha, chappati and pretty much everything else they file under "bread".

I think I'll conclude Midtown Manhattan week with a few other vegan-friendly tips:

Just Salad - I ate almost nothing but this all summer. They specify vegan dressings on the menu and the sesame tofu is also vegan. I usually order hummus instead of dressing, WITH chickpeas because I have no self control. Also, they offer a reusable bowl and you get a discount every time you use it, but it doesn't work with delivery.
Maoz/Crisp - Semi-decent franchise falafel, but there are so many falafel options in NYC that you can probably do better (much like bagels, independent restaurants > chains. This isn't just my anti-capitalist bias, it's actually true.).
Kyotofu - I went there for dinner once and wasn't crazy about the food, but they were out of a lot of things, including the soft serve, which I've heard good things about
Queen of Sheba - Ethiopian, not vegan but plenty of options and if you go to eat there with a group, they'll offer to plate veg stuff separately from the meat
'wichraft - The chickpea sandwich is vegan

Amish Market - They have vegan lunch options in the fridge (those macrobiotic noodle things, packaged sandwiches, etc.), Amy's frozen stuff, Sweet and Sara products, vegan ice cream, etc. but watch the prices; some are OK, but then they charge $30 for a bottle of maple syrup you can get for $19 at Whole Foods
Grand Central Market - Good for emergency grocery shopping and you can usually get vegan cookies and chocolate there. GC also has a Two Boots and a few other places with vegan options in the food court
Health Nuts (2nd Ave between 44th and 45th Streets) - In addition to a decent bulk selection (for midtown), they have a decent range of vegan cheeses, chocolates, convenience items and other options. They're also the only place I've been that sells vegan popsicles individually, in case you just want one serving of ice cream, just like everyone else.

Have a great weekend, everyone! I'll be back next week, maybe with actual home cooked food!

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