If you have ever been to New York City, you'll know that there is no shortage of restaurants - over 18,000 according to some statistics online. With that many restaurants, there is something to please everyone including us vegans.
One of my favorite vegetarian/vegan restaurants in the city is Vegetarian's Paradise 2 (VP2). My husband and I were first introduced to it probably six or seven years ago, and we kept going back as often as we could because the food and prices are so fantastic. Sadly, we've moved far far away, but I still have many fond memories of eating at VP2. The Menu First of all, like many vegetarian restaurants VP2 has a huge menu. You can order appetizers, dim sum, sandwiches, soup, main dishes, non-alcoholic drinks and dessert. Most of their menu is vegan, but it does note when a particular menu item is not.
For lunch, they have a prix fixe menu with the ability to choose among the items they list on their menu. This usually consists of choice of appetizer, soup and main dish. Depending on what main dish you select, the price may vary. You may also order off of their main menu if you do not want to be stuck with the options on the lunch menu.
The Food Every time that I have gone to VP2, ordering appetizers plus a main dish has just been way too much food for me. So, what I began to do was order two or three appetizers plus a bowl of soup. This usually was a perfect amount of food. I'll highlight a few of my favorite appetizers.
Vegetarian Duck - This is sheets of bean curd stacked on top of each other, then sliced into strips. It is marinated in soy sauce or another similar sauce and can be served hot or cold. We probably ordered this every single time we went, and every time we ordered it cold.
Portabello Pub Fritters - LOVE these. They are large slices of portabello mushrooms, breaded and deep fried. They are served with a horseradish tomato sauce.
Crispy Soul Chicken - You can order these as an appetizer or as a main dish. These are pieces of fake chicken, breaded and deep fried, served with a barbeque style sauce. Our omnivore friends were always impressed with this one and said it tasted a lot like the real thing.
VP2 has a wide variety of soups, but I didn't try them all. Here are some that I did try, however.
Miso Soup - This is a very basic miso soup. It has soft tofu, scallions, and seaweed.
Hot and Sour Soup - I liked this soup pretty well. It never seemed to be too spicy, and the sourness was never too strong. I would probably only recommend a small bowl of this.
Corn Chowder - I always found this to be an odd option for a soup to get at an Asian restaurant, but it was still good. If you're looking for a soup with a lot of flavor, this probably isn't for you.
They have a huge number of main dishes, but I'll mention the ones that stick out in my mind.
Tofu Pad Thai - This is A LOT of food, but it is really pretty good. I didn't order this a lot, but really enjoyed it when I did.
Almonds in Stir Fried Vegetables - The name of the dish is pretty straight forward, and although simple I enjoyed getting this quite a bit. It's a very good option if you are already getting a lot of protein-rich appetizers.
Texas Fried Chicken - Served with tator tots. This is the very first dish I ever ordered at VP2 - it's better shared family style and not as a main dish for a single person.
They also have a lot of really nice drinks - mostly smoothies - including ones that are to help you fight a cold or get an energy boost.
The only thing I found I never could enjoy at VP2 were their seafood dishes. I tried a dish with "shrimp" once and it was a very weird experience for me. It was kind of rubbery and it just tasted odd.
Otherwise, I would highly recommend this little restaurant if you're in NYC. You should also try its sister restaurant just two or three doors down - Red Bamboo.
My name is Samantha andIwrite www.NovelEats.com, a vegan food blog where I post recipes, how-to articles and advice for people who are considering incorporating vegan food into their diets. Ialso pride … more
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