Red Bamboo Vegetarian Soul Café
Mon-Fri, 12:30pm-11pm; Sat-Sun, noon-11:30pm
Nearby Subway Stops
A, B, C, D, E, F, M at W. 4th St.-Washington Sq.
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
- Great Desserts
- Beer and Wine Only
Canal St. to 18th St., Third Ave. to West Side Hwy.
Fake flesh rules at this alt-rock offspring of the more sedate Vegetarian’s Paradise 2 next door. The Wong family–whose empire also includes a Fort Greene outpost of Red Bamboo–makes its own soy protein, which admirably impersonates meat and poultry on a fusion-y menu of Asian, Creole, and Caribbean staples. A heavy hand on the fryer mars signature dishes such as soul chicken and collard-green rolls. But realer-than-real oxtail stew and bone-in barbecue wings might convince even committed carnivores. Tattooed, T-shirted servers, unflappable and sweet, keep tables turning over for a hoodie-and-headgear-sporting crowd–and occasional parent–that doesn't mind the dim, cramped quarters and nonstop emo soundtrack. Waits are guaranteed on weekends, as the exposed-brick room fills fast. Don’t rush out before sampling desserts, including Klein’s vegan ice cream from Brooklyn and dairy-free revelations such as banana-chocolate cheesecake delivered weekly by Pennsylvania’s Vegan Treats.Recommended Dishes
Barbecue buffalo wings, $8.95; grilled bourbon chicken, $12.95; Creole soul chicken, $12.95
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