How is it that I’ve had VSpot’s food at festivals, attended tasting events here, and even hosted an event here myself, but haven’t done a full writeup before?! This review is long overdue, but the timing is kind of perfect as VSpot just celebrated their 10th anniversary recently. Happy 10th years, VSpot!
VSpot specializes in organic Latin cuisine that just happens to be vegan and kosher. Great flavors, hearty portions, reasonable prices… win, win, win! The original VSpot is in Park Slope, but the East Village location is the one I keep going back to. VSpot is a family business and is owned by the Carabano brothers. If you visit on their comedy nights, you might be lucky enough to catch Alex Carabano as he’s a part-time comic.
The avocado fries ($8) are a must order starter at VSpot. John was a little skeptical of the avocado fries, but changed his mind after his first bite. I’m always a fan of a good panko crust, and the warm avocado is really nice. Comes with a vegan mayo dipping sauce, but I’m happy to eat the fries on their own. I washed all this down with a green tea soju cocktail.
The Colombian empanadas are another one of my favorites, and you can do a beer and empanada combo for $7. Warm, flaky crust and packed with potato, carrot, onion, corn, and seitan. You can’t go wrong with this Latin classic.
I was so excited to dig in to the tostado molida (two for $10) that I forgot to get a shot of it on its own. The tostado comes fully loaded — no skimping on the good stuff! On top of that crunchy tortilla shell, there’s a mountain of seitan carne molida, beans, vegan cheddar, shredded lettuce, pica de gallo, and guacamole.
Years ago when John and I first met, he introduced me to plantains as he is half Cuban and grew up with this stuff. VSpot serves their platano maduro ($4) with coconut curry sauce. Nice mixture of sweet and spicy.
The chipotle wrap ($12.50) is a good option to share if you’re starting to fill up on the small plates. Wraps can sometimes get a bit dry, but there’s no danger of that here. The large chunks of grilled seitan are so juicy and well seasoned. The chipotle refried beans, tomato, avocado, and vegan cheeses are good complements. Comes with a simple side salad, but you have the option to upgrade it.
I, unfortunately, only visited VSpot once for brunch before leaving NYC. Shoshana, their pastry chef, highly recommended the Steak Brunch ($16), so I went all in on that one. This is how vegans do steak and eggs! Grilled seitan, tofu scramble, and home fries. The juicy seitan is grilled with onion, garlic, and a little lime for extra flavor. Very satisfying.