Restaurant Review: Sacred Chow

I had yet another Groupon for a vegan restaurant that I got to use for a meal in the Village (I miss it there oh so much!) Sacred Chow specializes in “organic, vegan, Kosher and ethically produced foods).

It’s nothing fancy inside, just a cute little place with a few tables and one waitress working. 
The menu has a bunch of different options, from tapas, to sides, to paninis, salads, soups, etc. As someone who likes to try a lot of different things, I was instantly drawn to their 3 tapas for $19 deal (though I’m not sure how much of a “deal” this really is).

I had read a lot about their “nama gori” which is made in-house.  Nama gori was apparently invented when a Japanese tofu maker accidently dropped his tofu in the snow walking home one night.  The next morning, he went out and found it frozen. After thawing it out, the consistency had changed, and he was a fan! Instead of the typical texture of tofu, nama gori, tofu that’s been frozen and defrosted, is chewy. 

Despite doing my research on nama gori, I didn’t end up trying it on my trip to Sacred Chow.  Instead, I chose the following 3 tapas: 

1. Green Tapas- simple broccoli, collard greens and kale topped with their homemade Dijon sauce. 

Looking back- I’m not really sure why I was lame enough to choose this as one of my options. It was literally greens.  Clearly, I was trying too hard to be healthy that night.
2. Roasted Black Olive Seitan- Filleted & soaked in a rosemary marinade, then slow-roasted in a cornmeal spice blend until crunchy, chewy and tender.  Topped with steamed collards and a Dijon drizzle.

The waitress had highly recommended this tapas, and so I gave it a chance. Further proof that seitan is not my favorite (one day I’ll accept this and stop ordering it). Just like the description said, it was certainly chewy, which is what I don’t love about it. It wasn’t very crispy though.  But it was full of olive taste (a little overly salty, but that’s to be expected with olive-based dishes) and the Dijon sauce was good (I am a full-on honey mustard lover).
3. Root Vegetable Latkes with a date butter

This was also recommended and boy am I glad it was.  Basically, crispy, crunchy, incredible root vegetable waffles with a sweet date butter that was to die for.  My friend also loved these, but I was a brat and barely shared.  While the other two tapas were a bit of a letdown, these came out of nowhere to become one of my favorite things I’ve eaten recently.  Clearly, I had been trying to be healthy that night (I mean, I ordered broccoli and kale when I could have ordered smoky home fries). So part of me was like “Ah crapppp” when these golden, fried waffles came out on my plate. But as soon as I took a bite, the “Ah crappp” turned into, “Screw it, these are phenomenal!”

(These are my three tapas. See those things that look like waffles on the left? Yeah, they're root vegetable latkes and they are AMAZING!)

My friend and I also split a single tapas- the Indonesian tempeh,  because as much as seitan doesn’t impress me, I always loooove me some tempeh! This was served with warm kimchi and Russian dressing and was like a delicious Reuben salad! Thumbs up!

(The lighting here wasn't ideal for food pictures...sorry!)

As an entree, my friend ordered the soy meatball panini, which came on toasted ciabatta with smoky home fries.  The bread was crispy and delicious, but overall, it was just a pretty standard sandwich with some potatoes.

Overall, I think that Sacred Chow is a little on the pricey side for what you get. That being said, I would make a return trip to actually try their nama gori and to eat more of those root vegetable latkes.  I want alllll the root vegetable latkes.  And date butter.  Dates are a fruit, so it’s healthy, right?