I’m not a religious person, but eating at Petisco Vegano made me believe in a higher power because it’s hard to imagine humans can make food that tastes this good. Located on the Lower East Side, this charming plant-based cafe will knock your cruelty-free socks off. An array of beautiful flowers adorn the surroundings, but the restaurant’s motto to “dine with compassion” surpasses its accoutrements.
The menu is decorated with mouthwatering and indecision-causing options: Apple-Almond Oat Pancakes, Moroccan Chickpea Flour Omelette, Malawach, Muffuletta Panini, and Enchilada Casserole. Not since Lincoln-Douglas has there been this much debate over how to proceed.
I stepped up to the podium, adjusted my top hat, and ordered the Green Shakshuka with roasted beetroot, tofu slices, cashew cream, and pane sette grani. The ingredients complimented each other like Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn, and the experience renewed my faith in the American experiment in democracy.
You may mistake the diners for paparazzi. The food is so picturesque that it’s hard to find a table not pausing to snap photos. The street is bustling with energy, and the crowd is hip and rabid. Regulars abound. The place is cozy and fun, and the dishes would be a top contender in any poll.
The wait staff is a mixed bag of friendly and aloof. If they were a bucket of Halloween candy, they would contain candy corn and pennies. At the end of the meal, the waiter dropped our check on the table and didn’t thank us for visiting or wish us a good day. A bit ghostly. Additional training and culture-building could inspire more people to vote for Petisco Vegano.
Four score and seven years ago, it’s hard to imagine anyone envisioning 100% vegan restaurants lining the city streets where Washington took his oath of office. The United States is a more perfect union as a result. A new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all animals are created equal, is upon us. Hail to Petisco Vegano.