Maoz Vegetarian NYC »
I could go for some vegan fast food almost any time of the day or night. Don’t get me wrong, sitting in a restaurant can be really pleasant. But sometimes you just really want to devour some scrumptious shit on the fly!! Lucky for me, Maoz Vegetarian has a handy dandy location less than a block away from me. On cold, blustery, rainy nights when I am dumb enough to wear flip-flops to yoga, I know I can always stumble into this falafel joint and enjoy a scrumptious vegan meal.
For $7.95 I got a winter special: lentil soup and a Jr. Maoz sandwich. For another $3 I got a bunch of orange seeds with some orange juice. In short, the food was delicious. It was filling—oh my fucking god I can’t even breathe. While the orange concoction was tasty, I prefer my juice seedless. And $3 is a lot of money to spend on seeds.
As for the service and ambience? Well, my cashier was kind of a douche:
-Is the soup vegan?
-Yes. But it’s premade so we wouldn’t be able to change it if it weren’t.
-Oh, okay. Well I’ll have the winter special thing. Could you just make sure that everything in my order is vegan?
-The falafels are premade so we couldn’t change them anyway. It’s vegan.
Yeah. When I am sincerely asking whether or not my meal has any animal products at a vegetarian joint, I don’t want to get some patronizing bullshit as a response, kthx. I will definitely go back; I just may peek my head in to see if the same asshole is at the register.
(Psst! To my West Coast compadres, a location is coming soon on Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley!)
Review: Baladie Gourmet Cafe »
The lentil soup at Baladie is one of the best deals in the Financial District. A mere $3.25 for 16 ounces of delicious, hearty, spicy-if-you-want-it vegan lentil soup, plus toasted pitas, should you care for them. You know what you get for $3.25 at the wretched San Francisco Soup Company? NOTHING.
I had falafel in a pita once and it was all right; the hummus was good but the actual falafels were giant and dry. The dolmas are tasty. There’s a guy in the kitchen who wears two thin braids at the top of his forehead stuck straight up like antennae. Service is fast, even when they’re crowded. There is a big mural of Petra, the ancient rose city of Jordan, on the righthand wall; it is a little bit garish and absolutely beautiful. What I mean is, do not pass by Baladie on your way to Boxt Foods Co. or some other place to eat an overpriced salad on restaurant row (Kearny Street. You know). You will regret it in an hour when you are starving again.
What you should’ve ordered, especially on cold, bright, windy days, or foggy days, or rainy days, is LENTIL SOUP. It is so, so good. Everything you could want in a yellow lentil soup: carrots and potatoes and crispy little pita chips, and enough spice to break a little sweat along your hairline. I’d compare it to the first lentil soup I ever loved, namely my mother’s, but they are so different you couldn’t really compare them. And you can’t buy my mother’s soup from friendly people in an adorable little nook of a restaurant for $3.25, so Baladie it is.
I mean, I really love that soup.