Reviews written by Hakhi Alakhun
Registered on Sep 2 04
Red Bamboo is just a couple of doors down from VP2 and is actually run by the same folks. While being a smaller space than VP2, this is by no means less of a satiating dining experience, just a matter of preference. If you'd like to explore some vegan soul food options, this is the place. Let me testify about the steak hoagie. Of course everything is mock beef, but when they sat this sandwhich down in front of me I couldn't believe it wasn't beef. I haven't had beef in close to 16 or 17 years, so I have to say I had to study this thing thoroughly to make sure I wasn't poisoning my system. However, after the first bite, I must have spent at least two hours allowing my palate to have a spa treatment of flavor, and seasoning that soars well beyond delicious. This is a great place to get vegan fast food that is prepared with skill and craft. Also, a great option in case VP2 is too crowded.
Vegetarian Paradise 2 in my opinion is one the "must go" places as far as vegetarian restaurants go in New York. Everything you'll find on the menu is not only prepared well but is served with a gourmet flair. If you order any imitation chicken or beef, you're going to question if it's really chicken or beef. They do a good job of designing the texture of their wheat gluten based dishes. A popular favorite is the crispy soul chicken (the vegetarian equivalent of chicken fingers or nuggets), whether as an appetizer or a full meal, this is by far one of the best imitation chicken dishes around and an innocent pleasure.
Be careful how much you order, because you'll need to take it home with you. The portions are hearty, the appetizers alone could fill you up like a full course meal. I personally like their selection of vegetables, collard green, and curry rolls, which is pretty much unheard of at most vegetarian chinese restaurants. The vegetables are very very clean and chunky, just be sure to have some sauce on hand in case you're not fond of the blandness of some dishes. Also available on the menu is a full selection of fruit and vegetable smoothies, and decent selection of salads. The staff is very friendly and since Fridays and Saturdays seem to be popular nights, don't always expect to get a table randomly while hanging out downtown. Say hi to Jenny, the hostess who greets you when you walk threw the door, and makes you feel at home. Nice decor, good music on the house system, and restrooms that are clean enough to respect yourself afterwards; eating at VP2 means you love yourself real good. Enjoy.
A very quiet and unassuming place that's sort of tucked in on Cherry Street. It's in the same area as Kingdom of Vegatarians which is right around the corner, except this place seems to enjoy less popularity. It's not at all a crowded place to eat. The mock dishes are excellent although in my opinion they could be more generous with the rice servings. I recommend the faux fish. This was the most finger licking, tasty dish I've had in a while. The sauce is on the sweet side and the texture wasn't at all like real fish, just the essence of fish. Some vegatarians don't like to taste the flavor of something that reminds them of meat, but I'm fascinated by what can be done with tofu and wheat gluten. The service is okay, as it appears to be a two person operation. When you sit down you get a bowl of fried noodles in a bowl which looks like something from your grandmothers old tupperware set. Overall, I'm reluctant to rate it a 5 because of the General Tso's mock chicken. hmmm. mmm.!
Well you figure you can't go wrong with a place called the Kingdom of Vegetarians. I have yet to be disappointed by their menu. Unlike other Chinese restaurants that have a vegetarian section on the menu, Kingdom's ENTIRE menu is 100 percent vegetarian. You name it, they have it. Mock chicken, beef, pork, shrimp. My favorites are Tai chi chicken, General Tso's chicken, and their Moo Shu vegetables. The servings are generous, hearty and unless you're just a glutton, or you're really hungry that day, I doubt that you'll actually finish what you start. What is also very accommodating is that if you're eating in a party of two or more, you can order dinner specials for a flat price that covers several menu selections. My only criticism is that the place reaks of annoying little fruit flies which is a major sanitary issue. A vegetarian restaurant should be a pleasant dining experience, and when you're swatting flies that hover over your plate, it subtracts from the pleasure of having such a good meal. I really love, love, love the food but I recommend ordering it to go.
Another hidden enclave of a restaurant complete with a bar in the front and a dining tables in the back with a very cool decor. If you're lucky, you just might get carded at the door. This is not exactly a vegetarian restaurant, but there are selections on the menu that can be made with tofu. I think it's probably best to eat here on a weeknight cause the weekends tend to attract those loud, unruly, pesky Penn students watching the game at the bar or who feel happy to finally be of a legal drinking age. The burritos and quesadillas can be made with soy cheese, and tofu sour cream is available as well. The burritos are tasty but are more on the gourmet side and are not authentically Mexican looking as far as heartiness goes. But they do get it right by shoving a basket of chips in front of you when you sit down. The music ain't bad either. I would like it even better if you could get a wheat-free tortilla for those folks who have wheat allergies.
New Delhi is like your first kiss. It's hard to forget and everything after that has to measure up to it. Something is wrong with you if you don't like New Delhi. This is a spacious restaurant that is quite popular in University city. I had the pleasure of living right across the street from it so I'm taking the liberty of writing a very biased review. The menu selections are pricey, so the buffet is the way to go. They change slightly from night to night. Vegetable balls in a tasty red sauce, or in a chickpea sauce, Chana saag, curry vegetables (califlower, potatoes and carrots), basmati rice, lentils, Samsosas, Nan bread; all excellent.
There is no shortage of waiters as there are about 5 to 6 guys working the room on a given night. Very polite and friendly, and sometimes pushy about getting a dessert since, as they are fond of telling you "It comes with the buffet". That is entirely up to you if you can stomach it. Literally. There is also a fresh salad buffet available as well with lettuce, sliced tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, and various dals, and spices. A real treat of a place to eat!
This is one of my favorite Indian restaurants in Philly. Maybe because its the least expensive one in the Center City area that I know of. This is a "suit yourself" kind of place. You come in, get yourself a table, and serve yourself which I don't mind at all. The buffet is pretty consistent as far selections are concerned. Lentils, Chana saag, Curry potatoes, basmati rice, fried spinach, nan bread, and wide array of salad dishes, including three bean salad. The decor is bright and roomy with a ceiling dressed in many hanging plants. It's very peaceful if you're into the quiet dinner thing. You can also come in during lunch and fill up a styrofoam box of food to go at the lunch price of around $6 dollars and some change.
This is a nice Indian restaurant in University City that is smaller than New Delhi, but not small on quality. There is usually one waiter working the room and amazingly even if it's a full house he attends to everyone with same level of service. You can order from the menu but why bother? The buffet is small which means if the Nan pan is empty, you might have to wait for the next batch, but it's well worth the wait. This was the first Indian restaurant I went to that served a free glass of mango juice when you sit down, along with a glass of water. It's not completely vegetarian but you won't be let down by the vegetarian selections. I recommend the eggplant, and spinach with chickpeas. Very difficult to walk out of here not feeling quite full.