restaurant review: peacefood cafe

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Peacefood Cafe, an Upper West Side favorite for vegans and carnivores alike, opened its second location just this March. Located on on East 11th street between University and Broadway, the vibe at the downtown location feels a bit trendier that the uptown location, and reflects the food served: clean, fresh, and bright. Service is friendly, efficient, and knowledgeable. Don’t know what something on the menu is? Have a food allergy? Talk to your server. The staff is genuinely adamant that all diners have a great experience.

The menu is free completely free of animal products, and is instead overwhelmed with creativity and flavor. A must­try is the chickpea fries. Made with chickpea flour and indian seasoning, these pan seared patties come with a creamy house dipping sauce, which tempers the spices nicely. This appetizer is incredibly hearty and addictive, and is reason enough to stop in the cafe.

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While one could easily make a meal out of Peacefood’s incredible appetizers, it’s wise to save room for one of their outstanding entrees. Peacefood knocks salads out of the park. Whether you try the Asian Greens, or the famous “Other Ceasar,” salads at peacefood are incredibly fresh, interesting, and lightly coated in house­made dressings, all of which enhance flavors in the salad without overpowering.

The cafe has also earned numerous awards for their sandwiches, and after tasting them, its easy to understand why. A customer favorite the Tempeh Avocado. Tempah, a meat substitute, is a more texturally interesting and heartier alternative to tofu, and plays the star­role in the sandwich. The creamy avocado spread plays nicely off the grainy tempah, and the shredded carrots and pickled radishes add even more layers of flavor. Cilantro adds a refreshing element, marrying together all the surprising elements of dish. Paired with one of the menu’s freshly squeezed juices or smoothies, a sandwich from Peacefood makes a perfect springtime lunch.

The menu offers many other specialties, including raw lasagna, pizzas, sushi, paninis, and arguably the best veggie burger in the city. Meat­lovers won’t feel like they’re missing a thing, as entrees are consistently dynamic, delicious, and filling.

Desserts at Peacefood easily surpass many non­vegan bakeries in flavor and quality. The carrot cake is not to be missed, nor is their famous Magic Cookie. Bursting with pecans, chocolate,
and coconut, it’s reminiscent of a samosa cookie gone gourmet, and is an ideal ending to a great meal.

What sets Peacefood Cafe apart from many cafes, vegan or not, is that the food is not only delicious, but makes you feel good. The cafe really seems to understand what it means to nourish the body, and their creative menu and quality ingredients will leave you quite full ­ but happy full. You’ll exit feeling energized, satisfied, and eager to come back.

Address: 41 E 11th Street (between Broadway & University Place)

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