Maimoinde of Brooklyn
Funny coincidence that I used to work at Maimonides in Brooklyn and one day, we stumbled quite accidentally and desperately on this restaurant called Maimonide of Brooklyn. It's located on one of my favorite stretches of buildings in downtown Brooklyn, a colorful row of houses on Atlantic Avenue almost like they were implanted here from Portobello Road in London. It was late in the day, we were starving, and we were actually joining other dining companions who scoped out the place first. The front of the house was kitschy, with figurines of vegetables stuck on plates, and a huge wall decorated with Sharpie drawings. We sat in a cute courtyard out back. And then...we were told this was a vegan restaurant. My heart sank into my already-empty stomach. Okay. Not the first thing I wanted to hear, since I was HANGRY and wanted something junky to fill me up after a day full of walking.
To give MOB credit, though, I thought lunch was actually really enjoyable and didn't miss the meat and other non-vegan foodstuffs! We had roasted cauliflower and a pizza-like flatbread for starters. I had a burger and Alex had the macaroni and cheese. The cauliflower was my favorite: big florets of white and purple cauliflower roasted with garlic and capers, on top of a chipotle mayo. The flatbread had tomato and basil and some sort of nut-based cheese crumbled on top. The dough was a little soggy, but surprisingly good and actually quite flavorful. It was my first time having vegan cheese and, while I don't think it's as good as real dairy, the nuts were able to impart some salty flavor. My burger was a typical veggie burger patty, but what I really liked was Alex's macaroni and cheese. I honestly didn't realize it was vegan cheese throughout. It had broccoli rabe sauteed in garlic and some crumbled walnuts on top. I was surprised that a non-dairy cheese was able to fool me!
So, to all you naysayers out there, I'm not saying I am becoming vegan, but I think I learned my lesson to not judge a restaurant by its hipster vegan vibes.