Restaurant Reviews by Maureen C. Wyse
Cliff Preefer of Sacred Chow.
Photo by Kevin Lysaght
Don’t Have a Cow! Try
Vegan Tapas at Sacred Chow
Sacred Chow? Wait, wasn’t that the veggie bakery/deli on Hudson
Street in Greenwich Village? The answer is yes. However, that neighborhood
staple has moved up and over to Sullivan Street and transformed into
a vegan tapas restaurant. Sacred Chow has traded their bakery cases
for a cozy sit-down eatery, and their old pay-by-the-pound scale for
a friendly wait staff, wonderfully prepared meals, and a wine and beer
selection. Don’t be alarmed, their delicious, healthy and ethical
eats still remain, but now there is much more organic, vegan fare to
Specializing in vegan tapas, Sacred Chow is much more than the usual veggie Asian
fare or fake meat house. With over 20 “Heavenly Tapas” ($3.25-3.50),
six “Amazing Hero Sandwiches” ($8), “Divine Soups and Salads” ($4.50-8), “Blissful
Beverages,” “Bountiful Brunch” and “Devilish Desserts” a-plenty,
Sacred Chow will surely stimulate the palate.
One thing that has not changed is Sacred Chow’s ability to mix flavors
and ingredients in savory and unique ways. Their Sesame Collards are exactly
how these nutritious greens should taste: light, healthy and extremely yummy.
Recommendations for their three-for-$9 tapas special include Curried Roasted
Broccoli and Sliced Ginger Soba Noodles with Spicy Peanut Sauce.
and Korean Tofu tapas are also excellent, especially if you enjoy a good baked
tofu. Plus, I guarantee you can’t make their daily special Cornmeal Crusted
Brussel Sprouts taste so flakey and Parmesan-like. If you’re still craving
fake meats, Sacred Chow has several scrumptious seitan dishes to offer. We especially
recommend the Orange Barbecued Seitan Sub and the Mama’s Soy Meatballs,
both with delicious Follow Your Heart vegan cheese. (While all the food is vegan
they do offer organic rennet-free cow cheese.) If you’re lucky to dine
while they serve their Grilled Seitan Steak with Peppers and Onions special,
don’t pass up on this truly hearty delight.
The restaurant has a quaint atmosphere with painted red brick walls, Middle Eastern
colored glass lamps, miniature stools, a huge bay window, and a trickling wall
mounted fountain. Their adorable Sacred Chow meditating cow logo can be found
painted on the door. Light and happy music is always on call, and each table
is dressed with a reusable cloth napkin and small tea light candles. With a daily
specials board professing “100 percent Vegan” non-menu items, and
an entire shelf dedicated to pro-veg literature, Sacred Chow doesn’t take
their vegetarian beliefs lightly.
All meals can be accented with one of the wonderful soups of the day—the
Butternut Squash with Butter Beans and the Split Pea captured our taste buds—a
fruit smoothie, or an organic or micro brewed beer on tap. And if you’re
going to do dessert, please save room for the Velvet Triple Chocolate Brownie
Sacred Sundae. We did it by combining two desserts in one, making the most heavenly
dessert ever. If you’re not into chocolate, Sacred Chow also offers cookies,
pound cake, toasted coconut rice syrup macaroons, and if the night is right,
warm delicious pumpkin bread pudding awaits.
Don’t press the snooze button on Sacred Chow’s weekend brunch. Alone,
their Breakfast Sandwich with traditional scrambled tofu, soy buttermilk biscuit
and vegan cheese, has the power to get me out of bed. Add a side of crunchy tempeh
strips and home fries, and my breakfast is complete. Sacred Chow is as they say, “incredibly
delicious vegan foods to fuel your mind and body.”
Sacred Chow truly explores the different tastes of vegan and we heartily applaud
their new incarnation.
Sacred Chow is located at 227 Sullivan Street between W. 3rd and Bleecker Streets;
open Monday-Sunday, 11am-11pm. For information contact (212) 337-0863 or www.sacredchow.com.
Note: wholesale, catering, special occasion cakes, and house accounts also available.
Vegan Shabbat dinner every Friday, starting in December.
Around the World at Radha
Khalil Houri. Photo by Luke Hoverman
Nestled in the Lower East Side’s bustling Ludlow Street, this
small bar/restaurant subtly exerts its presence. Walking in, you are
effused with mild, South Asian dance music and surrounded by walls
covered in mounted glass flower vases, beaded hanging lamps and large
windows framed in dark wood. Radha keeps the décor simple, adding
a few accents here and there. What draws your eyes no matter where
you are sitting, however, is the beautiful Radha, herself. When sitting
below the symbol of prosperity and success, not to mention Krishna’s
beloved, you can’t help but be thankful for this veg restaurant.
Something to appreciate as soon as you open the menu is that the majority
of the food is vegan and clearly marked so. The different flavors of
the world are
fairly represented and tantalizingly described. Plus the prices are fairly moderate,
with appetizers ($5-9), entrees ($10-13), salads ($7-8) and desserts ($5-6).
We suggest leaning towards the Indian selections under the appetizers. We also
recommend their subtle East Indian Dahl Soup, but be sure to ask what the soup
of the day is—we’ve yet to be disappointed. The Pakoras are also
something to write home about. The breading is dark and the perfectly spiced
cauliflower lingers in your mouth all the way to the main course. The thicker
than usual Savory Samosas were quite delicious, and served with the best Tamarind
Date Chutney we’ve ever tasted—we nearly asked for a gallon to take
For entrees, go wild and try something different like the mildly spiced, sweet
Bengali Thai Curry or the Asian Temptation with its flavorful pineapple and smoky
tempeh. The Barbecued Tofu answers the call of any reluctant meat lover and the
Bowl of Plenty makes way for the macrobiotic enthusiast. One dish that reigned
was the Soychicken Tortilla, a wrap filled with one of the best secret sauces,
veggies and homemade soy chicken, we fake meat eaters have ever had—served
with tasty hand cut fries. With dishes like the Mediterranean Delight—spaghetti
and “kofta” balls—Radha mixes east and west creating a world
of goodness. They also have an excellent brunch.
Although the dessert selections look fairly bleak for vegans, the Chocolate Raspberry
Cake with a cup of coffee was a delightful way to end the evening. The cake itself
has the perfect density, is centered with a raspberry filling and topped with
a sweet chocolate icing. Radha has achieved success in bringing a variety of
delicious vegetarian eats to the Lower East Side. Make it East and try something
from a different world.
Radha is located at 173 Ludlow Street between Houston and Stanton Streets; open
for dinner Tuesday-Wednesday and Sunday, 5pm-midnight; Friday and Saturday, 5pm-1am;
and serves Sunday brunch, 11am-3pm. Closed Mondays. For information contact (212)
473-3347 or www.radharestaurant.com.