17 January 2012

angelica kitchen

First off, this place isn't for everyone. If whipped tofu sounds scary and the idea of tempeh makes you want to run to the nearest shake shack for a burger, don't come anywhere near Angelica's Kitchen. But if you, like me, are intrigued by the idea of a tempeh reuben sandwich or a dragon bowl filled with marinated tofu, rice and sea veggies and drizzled with a warm brown gravy, you'll love it here. The ambiance is warm and cozy and the food is consistently delicious. But be warned, they don't take reservations.

The seriously health-conscious vegetarian menu goes far beyond typical vegetarian fare, with fresh, unusual produce and rich spices and sauces amping up the standard tofu and tempeh base. Try the warm vegetable salad with roasted veggies, tofu, arugula and balsamic, topped with toasted crostini smeared with homemade hummus, or the spicy three bean chili (see picture), served with a lime-jalapeno cream and southern-style cornbread, and you'll know exactly what I mean. I also love the combo bowls: choose a combination of grilled tofu, steamed veggies (or sea veggies), soba noodles, rice and/or beans, pick a dressing (I love the black sesame and the brown rice gravy), and you'll find yourself in front of a heaping plate of satisfying, unbelievably fresh and even more unbelievably healthy deliciousness. And the price is as good as it gets: my roommate and I paid a total of $23 last night for half a tempeh sandwich, a bowl of soup, a combo bowl, and maple whipped tofu for dessert.

There's nearly always a line out the door but, as with many restaurants in New York, the longer the line, the more worth the wait.

300 East 12th Street (at 2nd Ave)

  warm roasted vegetable salad
  tempeh reuben sandwich
  combo / dragon bowls + brown rice gravy / black sesame dressing

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