I love going to New York for many reasons, but one is that the city offers lots of healthy and vegan options. On a visit recently, I happened on vegan restaurant Peacefood Cafe (Downtown) while I was out exploring around lunchtime. I’m thrilled I did. The restaurant and bakery I went to is located near Union Square; the original is on the Upper West Side. I did a quick scan of reviews, and it even seems to get raves from non-vegetarian types, which is always a good sign. In particular, people rave about their chickpea fries, but as just one person I could only eat so much.
I chose the Roasted Japanese Pumpkin Sandwich, which is seasoned and mashed pumpkin spread, topped with caramelized onions, ground walnuts, cashew cheese and greens. It was seriously delicious. (For starters, anything with cashew cheese gets my vote!) I’ve done a similar thing with butternut squash spread on a black bean, broccoli and roasted garlic burrito, but for some reason I’ve never thought to do that kind of thing on a sandwich.
As it was a bit carb-heavy, I also ordered a side of tofu. It was seriously the best “plain” tofu I’ve ever had. I asked the waitress how they made it and she said the tofu is simply sautéed and seasoned with salt and pepper. I’m not sure what their secret is to making such simple tofu taste so delicious but I do know I ate every bite. Besides sandwiches, they also offer paninis, pizzas, salads, soups, raw dishes, and fresh juices and smoothies. I’m not big on sweets but their baked goods get raves, and I may have to make an exception next time (raw cashew cream cheesecake anyone?).
It’s not a bargain spot (especially because there are so many enticing offerings), and some of the dishes are quite pricey, but that’s quite common in New York. On the other hand, I loved the airy bright feeling of the restaurant, although I read the Upper West Side is a bit more casual (though I’m not exactly sure what that means).
Here are a few other dishes that are giving me food for thought:
For a side: chickpea fries $7.95 an award winning recipe with a hint of Indian spices, served with the house dipping sauce
For a sandwich: tempeh avocado $9.75 baked marinated tempeh, creamy avocado, pickled radishes, shredded carrots and cilantro
For a calorie splurge: fried seitan medallion panini $12.95 with cashew cheese, arugula, tomatoes and pesto
For dinner: (raw) lasagna $17 zucchini, mushrooms, walnut cheese, spinach basil mix & tomato sauce with choice of 1/2 salad