Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Lan Cafe

Lan Cafe - 342 E. 6th Street (1st and 2nd Avenue) (Vietnamese/Vegan) (Note: does not take credit cards)
Nestled on the culinary strip known as 6th street, Lan Cafe stands as the lone vietnamese restaurant - surrounded by a myriad of Indian establishments and diverse ethnic cuisines from Ethiopean to Cajun and Peruvian.
Small and modest, Lan has found a niche, specializing in vegan versions of vietnamese standards (its menu filled with Banh Mi, shredded salads and Pho soups, all free from meat and the ubiquitous shrimp pastes and fish sauce.) Though they won't rock your world, the results are pleasantly tasty - especially the veggie ham salad - which was light with a complex mixture of sweet/sour tastes. A mixture of caramel stewed eggplant and tofu was also good, though not as spectacular as the Kho dishes found at New Pasteur. Yes, other outlets of vegan vietnamese do exist - most notably Saigon Banh Mi, which will prepare veggie hoagies and even Banh Uot upon request - but no other restaurant offers a full vegan menu. Worry free vietnamese, with a pleasantly light price tag? In my opinion, might be worth a visit (though honestly too bland for my taste!)

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