NYC vegan bodega, Vodega, butchers meaty classics
Vodega in DUMBO tries to copy “traditional” Massive Apple bodega dishes utilizing all-vegan elements — however the spurious sandwiches and sides wouldn’t idiot a lifeless bodega cat.
Within the identify of “bringing the pure world to your neighborhood,” it substitutes palate thrillers akin to jackfruit (usually in contrast with chewing gum) and seitan (don’t ask) for meat and cheese.
Say this for proprietor/chef Jeremy Dean’s heretical heroes, that are priced from $8 to $14: the contemporary bread from Brooklyn bakery Caputo’s whips the dry, dreary corner-deli article.
However “plant-based consolation meals” ranged from barely tolerable to insupportable. The assorted components left a lot clinging goop in my mouth that I couldn’t wait to clean it down with Yoo-Hoo, which at the least claims “it would at all times keep contemporary.”
The SEC, or “sausage, egg and cheese,” was as nasty on the tongue as its scary orange-yellow hues had been on the eyes.
The chopped cheese quantity, “our greatest vendor” Dean stated, was made with “not possible ‘floor beef.’ ” I had no thought what it was, however it mingled nicely with equally mysterious “cheese” sauce, egg-free “veganaise” and lettuce and tomato. Its mushy-here, crunchy-there mouthfeel evoked real 1 a.m. bodega desperation.
The griddle-pressed mock-Cuban posed no risk to the luscious proletarian staple served at Margon on West forty sixth Avenue. Neglect taste separation. Crunchy pickles and pungent mustard fooled me at first, however then the mustard completely took over and blurred braised jackfruit and non-dairy “provolone cheese.”
Vodega’s tackle Philly cheesesteak introduced up the rear. The actual variety bought at my neighborhood Market Deli on First Avenue at East 74th Avenue boasts flavorful beef and a delightful crackle from shredded iceberg lettuce. Vodega’s grotesque amalgam of wheat-gluten seitan, icky counterfeit cheese sauce and onion, mushrooms and peppers oddly tasted and smelled like soy sauce and had not a touch of textural distinction.
It additionally value $14 versus simply $8.50 at my deli.
Smoked mac & cheese reeked of imitation-smoke liquid. A facet of jeweled grains together with brown and black rice, quinoa and nuts and dried fruit was reasonably refreshing however heirloom tomatoes in a salad had been as exhausting as stones.
When you’re nonetheless recreation, be suggested: there’s no room to take a seat and eat exterior on the slim road. However there’s a tiny park with picnic tables down the block below the Manhattan Bridge. Trains rumbling overhead may take your thoughts off the panic in your mouth.
Vodega, 140 Plymouth St. (a 10-minute stroll from the York Avenue F prepare station)
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