I was really fortunate to be in New York as part a school trip over March Break, and as always, I did research in advance as to what restaurants I could go to when we had free time. Being on a school trip takes a lot of advance planning with the way I choose to eat versus the “typical teenager food” that is fed to everyone else, and sadly enjoyed by most with no question. I pack a lot of food from home with my mom’s help and organization, but in our free time in Ottawa, Montreal and New York, I would have the opportunity to choose a few healthy restaurants near to where the trip would be taking us.
I must give a big shoutout of thanks to Aux Vivres in Montreal, Green Rebel in Ottawa and Bareburger in NYC (we have one in Toronto too that I reviewed here), although all deserve reviews and your visits, by Chloe in NYC was a serious standout on this trip.
Seeing that all 171 of us on the trip were going to be in Greenwich Village with free time for lunch, by Chloe on Bleecker Street, a newly opened and fantastically popular vegan eatery, catering to meat-eaters and vegans alike, worked perfectly with my schedule. I had no idea how popular it really was until I arrived excitedly at 11:15 in the morning and there was already a lineup out the door. I knew it would be worth the wait, and was planning to eat here for weeks, so I waited patiently for takeout, while my friends waited outside for me who opted to eat something else. After 30 minutes in line, drooling over the menu that I was staring at, I arrived very hungrily at the cash where you order. Rather than choosing one entree, I chose the Guac Burger and their Mac and Cheese plus a side of air-fried sweet potato fries and a shamrock cookie. This might sound like a lot of food, but I like to try a variety of things and I didn’t have anyone else with me to cover eating more off the menu, plus, did I mention how hungry I was by the time I ordered?
After placing my order and paying, I was given a disk that the cashier told me would buzz when my order was ready to go. I then stood off to the side, and took the opportunity to take pictures of the space (see below) while I waited. It was pretty quick until my buzzer went, and they passed me a by Chloe bag full of my delicious lunch to take on the go. It was super efficient, and would be a great system for many other restaurants looking to do takeout as well as they do.
The Guac Burger is made of their black bean-quinoa-sweet potato patty topped with corn salsa, onion, guac (of course!), tortilla strips and chipotle aioli. The tortilla chips added the perfect crunch to the burger and the salty and spicy flavours all blended together with a hit of sweetness from the corn in a magical flavour experience. I have had many vegan burgers before, and this was one of the best I’ve had (another being Chef Doug McNish’s tempeh and mushroom burger in Toronto). After inhaling the burger with a huge smile on my face, I started on the air-baked sweet potato fries which had a much better flavour than regular fried ones, in my opinion, since they tasted fresher, but still had a crispy outside and soft inside. By Chloe’s kitchen obviously knows how to use sweet potatoes well, since their vegan mac and cheese was made with them and creamy cashews, as opposed to the squash base that I am used to, and love, but it’s nice to try something different. I would highly recommend trying this mac and cheese for the shiitake “bacon” that comes with it – it’s the most delicious smoky flavour and has the craziest resemblance in taste and texture to bacon!
The only thing that I regret about my visit to by Chloe was not being able to have at least one of everything on their menu and lots of desserts and a smoothie. It’s not a huge menu, and with one or two more meals there, and some more time, I would have happily eaten my way through it, and hope you will visit and try – and enjoy. Regardless of being vegan or not, eating less meat and more plants is a really great thing, eating real food is always important, and by Chloe makes this easy and awesmazing. Now only if they would open in Toronto as part of their big expansion that they just announced….