Souen: Restaurant Review

On Friday night, I went for a healthy macrobiotic dinner to fuel up for the Brooklyn Half Marathon that I would be running on Saturday morning.

I’ve read a lot about Souen, but didn’t know much about the whole macrobiotic diet.  According to handy dandy Wikipedia, someone who adheres to this type of dieting believes that grains are a staple food, supplemented with vegetables.  They try to avoid processed or refined foods and most animal products.  Meaning that the entire menu at Souen consisted of vegetables, soy products like tofu and tempeh, and seafood. No meat here! Souen is also all organic. They have three different locations in the city (Union Square, Soho and the East Village).

The menu was a little overwhelming, because it’s pretty freaking big! We decided to split an appetizer and chose the sweet potato tempura roll.

When it arrived, we both looked at each other a little confused.  Sweet potato? Why is there nothing orange in this? We’re still not really sure why, but we are sure that this was a waste.  It was super boring.  Oh well!

For dinner, after a lot of back and forth, I finally settled on the tofu squash.  I would have liked to order it with the tempeh instead of tofu, but for $3 extra- no thanks!  It was SO delicious though.  It comes with a bowl of brown rice which I mixed into my plate of sautéed tofu, squash, onion, carrots, nappa greens, broccoli and snow peas in an incredibly tasty miso tahini sauce.

I cleaned my plate.

My friend ordered the tempeh parmegiana and I think I may have liked this even more than my squash tofu (although it’s a tough call- both were really great!) 

It was a deep-fried tempeh cutlet with whole wheat-crust cooked in non-tomato marinara sauce, served with yam salad and a side of steamed vegetables. The steamed vegetables and yam salad were both kind of bland, but the tempeh with WHATEVER they made the marinara sauce out of- killer!

The prices here aren’t terrible either, and the portions are large.  There’s no way I needed to eat my entire meal- I easily could have saved some for lunch the next day.  I’m excited to come back here, because I definitely want to try the $10 macro plate (steamed greens, vegetables, brown rice, hijiki seaweed, beans and homemade dressing) and their corn bread with apple butter!

I think it’s incredible when restaurants are so delicious and so dedicated to being healthy and wholesome.  I wish I could convince everyone to eat like this and it makes me sad when I tell people about amazing meals I’ve  have and they automatically tune me out when I say it was a vegetarian or vegan or macrobiotic restaurant.  That tempeh parmegiana was just as delicious as any piece of chicken parm you can find me.  And the stuffed pepper from V-Note that I had awhile back- easily comparable to a pepper stuffed with chop meat. Give it a try people! I promise, you’ll feel better when you eat like this and your taste buds will still be SO HAPPY! 

(Gluten-free, vegan, macriobiotic- don't let these phrases freak you out! EAT IT)