Vegetarian Ginger (Brooklyn Heights)

I’ve been spending a lot of time in Brooklyn Heights lately. Whenever I’m hungry, I stroll down to Montague Avenue. There are plenty of places to eat & shop there. This particular time I ended up at Vegetarian Ginger. Their signage isn’t too visible from the street. Luckily, I’m still in gawking tourist mode, so I was looking up (2nd floor restaurant).

When I walked up, I almost didn’t open the door. The place was empty. Mind you, it was around 9 pm on a Tuesday evening. My waitress seated me. Their menu was a little confusing & redundant. Meh.

I’m one of those people who orders thai basil rolls- no basil. So, It wasn’t unusual (for me) that I ordered a pepper steak- no peppers. I’m not a picky eater; just discerning. hahaha

It came with a choice of soup or salad. I went for the wonton soup (cold day). It was comprised of a light broth, cabbage, tvp & of course wontons. Flavor- strong overtone of celery, with hints of onion & carrot. It was fairly mild- perfect as a starter.

My waitress replaced my soup with the (non)pepper steak & a side of brown rice. The presentation was unexpectidly impressive ($10 meal). The chef had smothered my steak strips in grilled onions to compensate for the absence of peppers. Once again, I was impressed. They were grilled long enough to bring out their flavor. Most restaurants turn onions into some sort of slimy stringy mush.

Everything else was cooked to perfection, as well. Righteous. Alright, let’s get down to the nitty gritty- the steak. The steak was seiten based. It was marinated in a mysteriously fabulous brown sauce.

Have you ever eaten something that’s so similar to the real thing that you feel uncomfortable consuming it? You know, the “did I just cheat?!” freakout. I had one of those moments. The sauce was exactly like au jus! Freaky. Vegetarian Ginger is completely vegan, so I didn’t worry about it too much.

Because the servings are so large (easily enough for two), I was unable to order desert. FYI- They regulary offer soy milkshakes, fried & regular icecream & cheesecake. Orange slices were served with my check. Way better than fortune cookies. :]

Before I wrap it up, I have to mention their atmosphere. The frames of their windows were lined with garland & holiday lights. This was in early January. The glass had flower & heart window clings on it. I’m guessing that they change holiday decorations quarterly.

My pepper steak soundtrack was comprised of top 40 music from the past decade. Maroon 5 was in misery because Justin had brought sexy back. Brittnay couldn’t take it anymore! Neither could I. I threw down some cash & dipped out.

Return visits? For sure. My sweet tooth wants to know if their cheesecake is legit. To be continued.

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Lantern (Brooklyn Heights)

Lantern (Brooklyn Heights)

The first thing that I noticed when I walked in was the lighting. It was dark; not romantic dark, just plain dark. There were lanterns… with little tea lights in them. There was also one tea light on each table. I could see it being advantageous if you’re hideous & had just duped a hottie from okc into meeting you for dinner.

All of the staff were courteous, attentive & demure… except for the head waiter. He reminded me of Johnny Bravo- hair, sideburns, black v-neck t-shirt & all. I could see in his stride that he knew he was pretty.

I ordered vegetable dumplings & tofu pad thai (no eggs / no fish sauce). The dumplings were mushy, bland & very attached to the plate. They were served with an oil based chili sauce- compensation? The pad thai emulated the dumplings… but it was attached to itself. Chopsticks were no longer an option. I had to use a fork & knife. Yes, a knife.

While I’m on my texture rant, I’ll mention the tofu. It was bland (surprise!) & had an eggy texture. Our waitress told me that it was delivered every morning from China Town. I can dig that. Maybe you could ask them to marinate it before they deliver it. I’d dig that even more.

Would I go there a second time? Maybe to run into the Thai Johnny Bravo again.