Whenever I’m traveling with others, I always consider their eating preferences before choosing a restaurant. Since my palette is accepting to most flavors and textures, I’m down to eat anywhere as long as the eatery offers fresh, delicious, quality-controlled meals.
One of my coworkers highly favors “raw” and “vegan” cuisine, so I searched for restaurants in NYC that offered just that. A few places came up online, but one stood out from the rest!
Rated 4 out of 5 stars, Caravan of Dreams won my restaurant pick of the weekend!
Before I start raving about my dining experience, let’s briefly explain what “raw” food really means.
The Raw Food diet consists of raw foods that are whole and live, nutrient-dense, uncooked and unprocessed. Raw Food followers believe that the body operates at its optimum by eating this way. Cooking foods and altering their state can cause toxicity in the body.
The Vegan diet consists of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and legumes, and is free of animal products like meat, eggs and sometimes even dairy depending on the type of vegetarian diet (octo, lacto..etc).
Personally, this foodie prefers to have it all! Whether it’s raw veggie slices or a piece of deep fried chicken. Moderation is key! Plus, I can’t imagine giving up my Mommy’s mouth watering lamb dinners, complimented with a side of stuffed grape leaves.
Ok… Let’s start drooling over the meals I ordered at Caravan of Dreams!
The restaurant was located on 405 6th Street in New York City, on a quaint block surrounded by other similar unique eateries. The cute earthy looking waitress walked us through a romantically dim room to our corner table in the back. Another thing that attracted me to this spot was that they featured live music. That night, Mr. Piano man rocked out some tunes that set a fun mood while I munched away.
The menu was quite extensive and offered appetizing tapa-like dishes, soups, entrees and even fresh mouth watering juice blends.
It was hard making a decision, but I think my ladies and I picked some excellent choices to share!
Here’s what we ordered
Warm Quinoa soup with sprouted bread
I’m usually good at pinpointing flavors and ingredients in dishes, but this was a bit tricky. Visually, I thought that it would taste like lentil soup but I was way off. It was almost like a light fine barley potato soup with very little lingering flavors. Unlike most soups that fill you up before your main meal, this one put just enough in your belly to hold you over until the dish was served.
For our Main Courses, we decided to order three vegan entrees and share the yumminess
CARAVAN FEAST: Grilled carrot polenta, ali-oli, grilled tempeh, tahini, blanched vegetables
OMG! This one was out of this world… Laid on top of sauteed kale greens, this triangular hot piece of carrot polenta was so moist and flavorful. What made it even more delicious was the glop of cool garlic tahini that resembled the texture of whip cream that offset the warmth of the polenta.
Can I say it one more time… OMG!!!!
SHIITAKE STIR FRY Kombu noodles, vegetables, sesame, tamari, balsamic vinegar
Mushrooms are not only delicious, but they’re anti-cancerous and immunity boosters so I try to order them when I can.
The shiitake mushrooms were lightly tossed in balsamic and served among these weird looking “Kombu” noodles which I found out were made of seaweed. Similar to tofu, they sucked the flavors around it and added a different texture to the meal. It almost tasted like tougher linguine. This dish also had chopped broccoli and red cabbage making it even more nutrient dense.
If you’re on a low carb diet, this dish is perfect!
Last but not least…..
GINGER CURRY STIR FRY with sautéed vegetables and seitan
Ginger and curry are amazing anti-inflammatory spices that also boost immunity. The pungent spices have also been shown to aid in weight loss so of course they’re on my favorites list
The ginger, curry glazed seitan (wheat rubbery fake meat) is topped on a bed of soba wheat noodles and veggies.
Even though this dish was yummy, I would suggest ordering something more exotic since you can find this combo at most vegetarian Asian spots.
After every bite was devoured, my belly still felt light, yet satisfied. I highly recommend this Vegan/Raw eatery to everyone even if you’re a carnivore like myself Just because it’s vegan, doesn’t meant that you’re not getting your recommended daily allowance of protein. In fact, I got more than enough. The Quinoa, Seitan and wheat noodles all contained enough protein to help with building and recovering my muscles.
When it comes to food or life, I prefer to open my eyes and taste buds to all it has to offer. I want a bite of it all! (in moderation of course)