Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Wildflower, a NYC Vegan PopUp Restaurant

A little over a week ago the NYC vegan community got to experience the pop-up restaurant trend. A pop-up restaurant is a temporary restaurant, great for young chefs starting out or even notable chefs who might want to test out an idea with less financial risk.

Wildflower, NYC's first vegan pop-up was created by Ayinde Howell , with the help of donations large & small of many many other supportive people such as yours truly who contributed via Kickstarter. It was wonderful to see Wildflower come to fruition! And indeed it did, starting the evening of June 10th & serving brunch & dinner thru the 12th. The setting was LTO- Limited Time Only, which is the former space of Broadway East where I had a birthday dinner many many moons ago!

I had sampled Ayinde's food last year at a Gracious Gourmand dinner event. So I gathered up my friend, Elizabeth & new friend, Kera and it was vegan girls' night out for Wildflower's Sunday Vegan Street Food Menu.  Here was the menu:

Sunday Night: Street Food Favorites
Biscuit Slider Duo:                                                                               
featuring the Crazy Jamaican Burger & the Flaming BBQ Burger
Seitan Shwarma                                                                                       
The favorite plant based meat substitute… on a stick
Pineapple Pizza Sliders                                                                     
Hearty tomato sauce, italian tofu sausage, red peppers pineapples & white onion   
Quinoa Nachos                                                                                      
Savory quinoa, onion, black olives, cheesy sauce served over yellow corn chips 
Street Taco Duo:                                                                                              
Ayinde’s twist on two classics, Korean seitan taco & Beer battered tempeh taco
A classic street food served with hot chocolate
Belgian Beer Floats                                                                             
Vanilla ice cream over an ice cold stout.

Featured Cocktail:
Poached Pear Manhattan

And here's the location:
One of my favorites of the evening: the biscuit slider duo- we all agreed that the biscuits were divine, vegan or not, best biscuits ever. And the burger was really yummy- we couldn't believe that it was all tofu. I've eaten a lot of tofu & I have NEVER had it taste so burger like, the BBQ burger was delish...the Jamaican burger was a tad spicy for me & I like me some spice...
Next up, the seitan street meat on a stick- now I've had this before at the Gracious Gourmand dinner where it was absolutely delectable....here, not so much, the texture was a little strange & just tasted oily & strangely bland.
This little Pineapple Pizza Slider was yummy for sure!
And this simple Nacho dish, blew me away- a modified Daiya creamy cheese sauce with smokey quinoa & olives. OMG, so good & the very idea of combining smokey quinoa with nachos was absolute brilliance.
And the one dish that I was looking forward to- the tacos! We were presented with two Korean seitan tacos, not sure what happened to the beer-battered tempeh which sounded amazing...but sadly the Korean tacos were way too salty. The yummy Korean, spicy sesame oil flavor was definitely there, but was oversalted which was really disappointing because they would have been so delicious. Also thought there might be more add-ons on the taco like kimchi or cilantro & salsa variation, that might have cut the saltiness. I'm never one to pass on a taco, but I couldn't finish these....I was very sad.
The Churros with Hot Chocolate never appeared, so not sure if that was crossed off the menu or just never made it to our table...Our meal ended with a Belgian Beer Float - I'm not big on beer at all, but my companions found it interesting & tasty.

 The general consensus was that dinner definitely had highlights for sure. There was a lot of hard work that went into Wildflower & it showed. But of course with anything new, there were kinks to work out, but for certain, I definitely appreciated being able to dine at a vegan pop-up and am certain there are more in NYC's future.


JL Goes Vegan said...

I wondered how it was! I saw a couple of blog posts announcing it and was so so I couldn't go. I'll have to check it out, if it happens again!

kellywhitephillips said...

Glad that you went! I really wanted to go but had plans that weekend, so I hope they do it again. That menu sounds like my ideal last meal.

AikoVenus said...

That sounds so awesome! I guess it kind of helps train people with the restaurant business as well. ^^

jesse.anne.o said...

I was undecided on going so I'm glad to see your report on it. A lot of it looks tasty!

FrankandMary said...

I could easily form a myopic obsession in regards to that pizza slider. ~Mary

urban vegan said...

Awesome! Yay for vegan pop-ups.

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