Elaine's Healthy Choice

New Haven Area, Connecticut


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rating star

This is a small, mostly take-out joint that is attached to what appears to have formerly been a Jiffy Lube. There's seating for about 6-8 people at most.

It was hard to choose just one thing from the menu so it was fortunate that I could get a mix-and-match platter for $13.80. You get to choose four items and I picked the veggie curried chicken, Elaine's veggie balls, stew beans with TVP and lastly the baked ziti. It was a plate full of food that was hearty and tasty, for the most part.

The curried chicken was great and would go well over brown rice (which, of course, is available if you want it). The stew beans with TVP was probably my favorite dish and reminded me of Brazilian feijoada, a meaty stew traditionally made with pork. The veggie ball was good and was basically a meatball in mushroom gravy, though it was quite small (you only get one); that said, it's hand-made and difficult to prepare. Lastly, the baked ziti wasn't that great. The pasta was overcooked and the sauce was a really basic and bland marinara.

The service was really friendly and Elaine herself is a pleasure to chat with. I'm glad Elaine's Healthy Choice is around to promote healthy vegan options on a street full of car washes and fried chicken shacks.

My main suggestions for improvement would be to increase the portion sizes (or reduce the prices) by about 10-15%, and to add some spice to each dish. I was given a weird spicy sauce on the side but it totally changed the flavor of the food; I would have preferred simple red pepper or chili oil. Otherwise, Elaine's is a good, quick, affordable vegan option in New Haven.

rating star

I only went here once but I loved everything I ate. I got the split pea soup and the curried chicken. Both tasted great. The owners are such nice people too.

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I am happy that a reasonably priced all-vegan place opened in New Haven, and the people working here are really friendly. However, the food needs some work. The BBQ mock chicken appeared to be fried TVP (or something similar) in tomato sauce; the "steak" was some sort of very mushy mock meat; and the pasta was seriously overcooked. With all of the great mock meats out there, they could do much better. The Uptown Juice Bar on 125th in NYC is a great example of this sort of restaurant done right. I do hope that they work out the menu and are successful.

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