Organic Grill – 123 1st Avenue (7th Street and St. Marks) (Vegetarian/Vegan)
I expected better from Organic Grill. Located on the border of Alphabet City and the East Village, the diner has a cute, artsy flair – and a menu that just promises a wealth of tasty veggie treats…especially for brunch. I’d picked up a flier on one of my previous travels, and there were so many promising items that I found myself unsure of which to pick: Belgian Waffles with tofu whip, crepes with vegan ice cream, or the obligatory though tempting tofu scramble? Then there were the veggie desserts, ranging from oatmeal cookies to rugalah. But hey, it was Sunday brunch, which practically mandates pancakes…so I went for buckwheat berry pancakes, with a side order of soy sausage (and a chai latte…just because). My husband—not vegan—chose the French bread, with veggie bacon. Sadly, the vittles proved only so-so. The latte was tasty, but lukewarm. So were the pancakes, which were far from the heaping Sunday-breakfast size that I had been hoping to dig into. And they sat next to the smallest, driest little hunks of soy sausage that I’d ever seen. Not too impressive – though at least they looked like sausage. My husband’s bacon proved to really be slices of marinated tempe…tasty, yes. But was it bacon? No.
Not that the meal wasn’t okay. My husband, in fact, loved his French bread – both for flavor and the generous size of the platter. And the service was good – even despite a crowd of customers which came in shortly after we arrived. But based on the menu, I’d been hoping for so much more. Ultimately, breakfast at Organic Grill proved fair…but not fantastic.