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Sampling Vegetarian Fare at Superiority Burger and By Chloe

March 18, 2017

I never thought I would be happy with a meal without meat.  Thanks to a few new spots that opened up in New York within the last 18 months,  I quickly discovered that bliss could be found in an entirely vegetarian dinner.

Superiority Burger in East Village is a tiny operation with only a few cramped seats for those who choose to dine in.  For the most part, people grab the goodies to go or to enjoy them on the benches at Tompkins Square Park if the weather is nice.

There are only a few options each night, with a core lineup of sandwiches and burgers and rotating sides and salads made with whatever is in season or fresh at the market that day.  The veggie burger is the headliner, served with muenster cheese, iceberg lettuce, tomatoes on a soft Martin’s potato bun.

Even though the veggie burger is the star, it’s not entirely a blind substitute for a meaty cheeseburger.  I found myself gravitating to the  Superiority wrap instead.  Filled with Koda Farms brown rice, tofu, cabbage and some sunflower seeds for crunch, this flavorful wrap made me forget that there was no meat at all.

The Sloppy Dave with frizzled onions on top did a great job of fooling the meateater in me as well.  Then again, what’s not to love about a sloppy saucy sandwich that reminds you of childhood dinners?

Some of my favorites at Superiority Burger are actually the sides.  The burnt broccoli salad with eggplant, red chile and coriander vinaigrette is always on the menu for a good reason.  The flavors are punchy and bold, not to mention the colorful plate is a feast for the eyes as well.

A few other sides that were on the menu one night I visited included braised broad beans with grilled sourdough and grilled zucchini with yuba and chiles.  If you have never had yuba before, it’s quite a treat.  This delicious by product of making soy milk is chewy and takes on whatever delicious vinaigrette drizzled on top.  Superiority Burger uses this ingredient quite beautifully in a variety of different ways so be on the look out for yuba on the menu.

Another delicious side that I had there was a vegetarian surf n’ turf take on shrimp scampi.  Hearty potatoes roasted to perfection was mixed with seaweed in a delightful garlicky scampi sauce.

And my favorite part about meals at Superiority Burger is the dessert.  Brook Headley was the pastry chef at Del Posto and it’s pretty obvious that he knows his way around this section of the menu.  Each day, he prepares a sorbert and a gelato, sold separately or in combination.  Sometimes, it’s classic flavors that we all know and love, and other times, he whips up some of the most delicious gelato with the most unusual flavors.  There’s no menu or timeline so you will just have to stop by and try your luck!

If Superiority Burger embodied the spirit of East Village, then By Chloe was the perfect representative for West Village.  Located right off of Bleecker, this popular vegan spot is always packed even these days with more than four locations in the city.

So what to get here?  Well, you can never go wrong with a guacamole burger.  The black bean quinoa and sweet potato patty is garnished with guacamole, tortilla strips and their delicious chipotle mayo on a whole grain bun.  Pretty darn delicious.

The pesto meatballs sub is a great option for those craving a little Italian.  The meatballs are made with portobello mushrooms and vegetables.  Topped with cashew mozzarella and almond parm, the sandwich is quite beautiful to look at as well.

One of my favorites at By Chloe is actually their kale caesar.  The salad is topped generously with avocado chunk, tomatoes, and delicious roasted shiitake bacon.  Maple wheat croutons add a sweet crunch to round out the salad.  I am pretty sure it’s not healthy but who cares when it’s this delicious?

The fries here are air popped so a little healthier than normal but I personally would opt for the vegetable sides like this delicious brussels sprout salad studded with pomegranate seeds or the also not quite healthy spinach kale dip.

So eating vegetarian (or even vegan in the case of By Chloe) is actually quite delicious.  The colorful and flavorful concoctions that highlight fresh local vegetables can make you forget that there is no meat anywhere to be found.  The best part is that I now actually crave these meatless meals.

Superiority Burger | 430 E 9th St, New York, NY 10009 | http://www.superiorityburger.com/

By Chloe | Multiple Locations | http://eatbychloe.com

 

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