Brooklyn (and Harlem) Vegans Get a Restaurant Week

Love the place, hate the "no pandas" policy. (Note: This is the Manhattan location.)Photo: Shanna Ravindra

Non-meat-eaters know how to travel to eat well (the half-day schlep to Flatbushs Veggie Castle, a converted White Castle, is a right of passage). So, we predict the path through the citys first-ever Vegetarian Restaurant Week, taking place in Harlem and Brooklyn through October 27, will be well worn. The weeks itinerary is filled with some proselytizing info sessions for those looking to go raw or from veggie to vegan. But were focusing on the free tastings and prix fixe meals.

In Harlem, knock out two of the citys most richly flavored vegetarian restaurants in one visit with a little pacing. Strictly Roots on Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard has a chill Rasta vibe that suits their vegan buffet stocked with spot-on soul and comfort food like green-bean succotash, collard greens, yams, and fried tofu balls stuffed with herbs and onions. Around the corner on 125th Street, Uptown Juice Bar entices with time-tested Caribbean and soul fare. They serve the best tofu dishes in town let's hope theyll have the honey-BBQ tofu on the menu and also do knockout mock-meat dishes like barbecue soy chunks and curried "duck."

In Brooklyn, try Fort Greenes Red Bamboo if you havent yet. They do a legendary soul soy-chicken sandwich. Cobble Hills Jills is the spot to explore raw foods and light, organic fare. Then RSVP to a private gourmet event called 4 Course Vegan in Williamsburg. A mystery man named Chef Matteo is behind this Saturdays $40 prix fixe menu, which includes autumn-vegetable roulade with watercress and parsley-root pure, chile-roasted cauliflower with baby greens and mustard-dill vinaigrette, and a pumpkin-mousse tart with cocoa nibs and citrus-vanilla cream.
--Elizabeth Cline

Vegetarian Restaurant Week