3/24/10

carnivore through and through!

Sacred Chow: Meat Eaters, Have No Fear

Sacred Chow

I’ll be the first to admit, I’m a carnivore through and through. And while I try to be sensitive to the vegetarians in my life, you won’t often see me setting foot in a restaurant that doesn’t offer a legitimate option for meat eaters. I made a rare exception last Friday to accompany a newly converted vegetarian friend to West Village eatery Sacred Chow for a surprisingly satisfying small-plates dinner.

The first lesson I was taught about vegan restaurants is also the mistake most meat eaters will make their first visit: Don’t try to approximate your favorite meat dishes. While I’m sure the soy meatballs and barbecue tofu serve a certain purpose, you’ll be much better off going for the house specialties. (One big exception: seitan. I’m a huge fan of this meat substitute.) We started off with a couple specials that evening: hummus with red and green bell peppers and Jamaican ginger sweet potato mash (with candied ginger on top). After that it was on to solid food with the Korean barbecue tofu, curried steamed broccoli, and root vegetable pancakes. Excluding the tofu (which, unsurprisingly, had the taste and consistency of, well, tofu) the other dishes were delightful. All were unabashed in their earthy flavors, with fantastic spicing and unexpected combinations. I have to say, the sweet potato hash was a definite highlight of the meal, with its inspired candied ginger topping.

Though I can’t imagine I will make it a habit to frequent vegan restaurants, if you’re looking for a little palate cleanser, a visit to Sacred Chow is the perfect change of pace.

Posted by: Nicole Price Fasig
Order: hummus with red and green bell peppers, Jamaican ginger sweet potato mash, Korean barbecue tofu, curried steamed broccoli, root vegetable pancakes
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