14 Carrots

Manhattan, New York City


Image for Cass Danger

rating star

I've had some fantastic meals here and some so-so meals here. The best meal I ever had was a peach pancakes weekend brunch special. The vegan chicken parm and the Thanksgiving-style turkey/stuffing/cranberry sandwich platter is pretty good, too. The garlic greens and corn bread are also really good. The most boring thing I've had was the meat loaf dinner, which was dry and every item on the plate was bland. Either way, it's definitely a good place to hang out with friends. They actually have crayons at the table so you can color on your place mat!

The first time I was there a few years ago, the waitress seemed pretty clueless about veganism and which options were vegan. The girl who waited on me last week was also somewhat unhelpful, asking if I wanted a dish vegan, only to tell me that it's not offered vegan. In between these times, I've had no issues with the staff, but I do question overall how knowledgeable they are of vegan items.

Also, what's with the new name, "12 Carrots"? That's got to be the least creative, boring name for a restaurant. It sounds like a place that no omni/carnivore in their right mind would want to go so when inviting non-veg friends to dine, I will continue calling it "Curly's" :)

rating star

Curly's is ok--basically just what it sounds like which is a veg-friendly burger joint type place. As such, stick to the burger and sandwich-type things. My favorite thing to get here is the mock cuban sandwich. One time I ordered it and got something completely different--they substituted fake chicken for the fake pork and used a different type of soy cheeze--and was a little annoyed that they didn't mention being out of the core ingredients in this dish. The fries and in particular sweet potato fries are pretty yummy here. I once went on a date for Valentine's here and they added two tiny heart-shaped pancakes dusted with confectioner's sugar for dessert at no charge, which was a nice touch. Though I was too stuffed to eat all of them, the few bites I had were tasty.

A fun thing about this place is that each table setting includes a paper place mat with crayons for you to doodle on while you wait (which can be lengthy--this place is tiny but 85% of NYC eateries are...). There is some amazing crayon art on the wall that is pretty entertaining to look at.

Image for conde.kedar

rating star

I wanted to like this place, but I can't completely. It's a tiny joint with friendly service (maybe too friendly, as I felt like the waitresses were constantly hovering over my table) and a hearty menu.

Almost the entire menu can be made vegan, or so it claims, but I managed to order the one thing that can't---the bacon burger (~$10). Apparently the "bacon" isn't vegan, so they substituted "soychovy" which was basically a soft block of tofu with a salty taste. The burger wasn't that great. The bun was too chewy, the burger patty had no flavor and was dry, and the soychovy taste grew tiresome after a few bites. I later found out that other people had similar problems veganizing various dishes, which suggests to me that the place leans heavily lacto-ovo, and not vegan.

I also had one taco with "spicy chicken" ($7), but it was more like a burrito with a floppy, slightly crisped whole wheat tortilla. The portion size was huge, as I expected it would just be one small taco (the menu lets you order 1, 2 or 3, which made me think the things were small), and it came with a side of black beans. I didn't like the taco at all. The taste of the mozzarella soy cheese didn't jive with the weird mayo-esque dressing and all the greens. There was no pico de gallo, only tomatoes. Also, there was barely any soy chicken; I had to dig through the thing to find small bits here and there. It was more like a mediocre salad wrapped in a tortilla.

I would come back here to try some of their other dishes (such as a tofu scramble), mostly because the place did seem inviting and accommodating, but I wasn't impressed on a whole.

rating star

I think that this place has great sandwiches. I particularly liked the Buffalo Chicken Sandwich (a very generous size), however the last time we ordered we also got a size of "curly french fries" and they were limp, and uncooked and generally pretty disgusting. For $4.50, you would think that they would at least make an attempt to make fries at that prize edible. So, I think they're sandwiches are a go, and fries no so much.

rating star

Cute little diner. Tasty food. Lots of vegan options (though not as many for breakfast..). They have a menu up at menupages.com, but not everything that can be made vegan is listed as such on that site.. still it gives you a good idea of what they've got. The only things that look as if they're unable to be made vegan are things with veg bacon, omelettes and french toast.

I tried a burger and the crocque madame. Both were tasty. And deserts were delicious.

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