Tonight was one of the best! I went to the soft opening of Hot Beans in Kensington (160 Baldwin St.). It's a new vegan takeout restaurant specializing in latin-inspired fare and it is SCRUMPTIOUS! It's owned by long time friends and foodies Scott McCannell, Ross Corder, and Madeleine Foote. A special shout out to Ross (veganeastblog.com) for inviting me because I've been anticipating this food for over a month ever since I heard it was happening.
First of all, there is no place like this in the city and it's about freakin time! The menu is the perfect size and not overwhelming, the location is hot, and the food is fresh and all handmade (including the seitan).
I want to try everything - and I will - but tonight I tried the TVP "Beef" Burrito as well as a Yuba "Chicken" Taco and Jackfruit "Pulled Pork" Taco with the most delicious homemade coleslaw I've ever had on the side. This was all shared, BTW. I had been dreaming of cashew sour cream for days leading up to this too, because I knew it would be like the one they serve at Live (where the chef's worked prior), and my dreams were fulfilled tonight! Excellent.
The strips of bean curd used in the "chicken" taco and the jackfruit "pulled pork" tasted amazing and both something I've never seen done before. The "Beef" Burrito was the best vegan "beef" I've ever had and I'm not the biggest fan of "mock meat" or TVP (textured vegetable protein) for that matter. But Hot Beans preps and cooks it right. The burrito is massive, stuffed with garlic-annatto rice, refried black beans, pico de gallo, cashew sour cream, and a fresh cilantro-jalapeno salsa. YUMMO!
If you can believe it I had more room! I also had a chocolate cinnamon donut. I know... vegan donuts!! YES. The selection may vary from day to day, but also look for a cafe con leche and coconut-lime variety. You will die! Hmm the only thing I didn't eat and should've were the hot beans!
It was great to see so many friends out to support Hot Beans and I can tell it's going to be a huge hit. But you need to go and see for yourself! The official opening is Friday Feb 25, 2011. They'll be open at noon that day and until 2 am every Friday and Saturday. I'll see ya there!
(NOTE: photos of food were provided by Hot Beans, all others were taken by the author)