Restaurant Rec: Sarabeth’s

Takeaway Tip: Even at the most seemingly unfriendly vegan restaurant—inquire about options that are “off menu”

SarabethVeggieEnchiladaMy first thought as I was approaching the new Sarabeth‘s restaurant on Park Avenue South was: who eats dinner at Sarabeth’s, a place known for their brunch, jams and pastries? On top of that, the restaurant eerily replaces what used to be a steakhouse—not a promising sign. But there I was, a friend had made reservations there and I was not involved in the selection. I kept mum and proceeded to sit down and peruse the menu.  Not a single vegan (let alone healthy vegan) option once you eliminate the obligatory fries or other uninspiring sides. “Maybe they can leave the cheese out of the mushroom pizza?” I thought.  I opted to nicely ask our waiter if the chef could possibly suggest an improvised vegan option.  To my surprise, they offered these vegetable enchiladas featured on the lunch menu but not in the dinner menu.  Mildly spicy tomato sauce covering these beautiful Napa cabbage rolls filled with veggies and black and white quinoa and garnished with red cabbage and scallions. Ask nicely and with some luck, ye shall receive a vegan delight!

Restaurant Rec: 5 Napkin Veggie Burger

I’m always asked about what are the options when eating out.  And yes, I’m a fan of eating out from time to time, as a treat, but that just does not mean you can throw everything away and eat with abandon!  Actually, the better you are able to make modifications, the better off you will be in the long term navigating menus and restaurant options.  Hence, a new series of posts with some recommendations about eating out. 

five-napkin-veggieThe Vegetarian 5 Napkin Burger:  Let’s face it, when you are looking to skip cooking and eat out, a good veggie burger is hard to find.  5 Napkin Burger has featured this Veggie burger for quite some time, and it is indeed a tasty confection.  Full disclosure that waiters are always eager to point out, this is  NOT a vegan burger, some eggs are used to bind the patty ingredients.  But the combination of beets, brown rice and sunflower seeds and seasonings together with the multi grain roll make up for a hardy and tasty burger.  I love this burger, but as always, a few suggested changes can make this treat a healthier one.  I graciously request that no “special sauce” is added, it does seem to be mayo or dairy based (I asked whether it was dairy based once and they said “most likely”. (?!) and hence chuck full of calories. I use the Dijon mustard that is already in the table for an added kick. I also like the pickle garnish of the burger, just note that they definitely are high in sodium. And the kitchen will also gladly replace the fries that come in the plate (yes, you can say no to that!) with steamed broccoli or another steamed veggie side.  So go ahead and give it a try let me know how it goes.