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V-Spot: the worst restaurant in Park Slope?

sourcherry Jul 14, 2006 03:39 PM

I was in the mood for something light and healthy last night, so I tried the new vegan place on 5th Avenue and Douglass. What a mistake! First off, the menu sucks - both the way-too-basic selection and the lack of descriptions of the dishes. But the food was unbelievably bad.

I got quinoa with vegetables and collard greens, thinking it would be a healthy choice. But it was the greasiest meal ever. The quinoa had been prepared like fried rice I guess, and the collard greens were incredibly oily - that's all you tasted. My friend got a "steak" that more like fake chicken than fake steak (there really is a difference!). His black beans were good, but that's the only thing. We also got the world's smallest avocado salad, for $7.

The place appears to be run by some young guys who don't know a thing about food. No wonder the place was empty!

  1. n
    nizzer Jul 14, 2006 07:15 PM

    I've been there twice with my wife (who is a reformed vegan) and though I want to support the place for her sake, I hated both meals.

    I've made a lot of vegan meals at home and the lamest of them have been at as good as what I had at V-Spot. Their chickenparm could come straight out of the frozen box into the microwave. Even my wife, who likes all things vegan, has agreed with me that most of their food seems microwaved.

    The owners should spend some time at Kate's in the east village and put some love into their cooking.

    1. d
      doldrums Jul 14, 2006 09:52 PM

      couldn't agree more. Totally prepared for something healthy and was totally disappointed. Not healthy and worse, not tasty.

      1. b
        Brooklyn Boy Jul 14, 2006 10:31 PM

        This sucks. I was excited when this place opens, given the lack of vegan restaurants in Brooklyn, but I have yet to hear a single positive thing about it. Maybe they'll get it together in the future?

        1. f
          FullPlate Jul 16, 2006 04:04 PM

          Yup, I'm with all of you. I love a good vegan meal and was excited to see a place coming to the neighborhood. But I'll have to keep waiting. Food, service, menu were all disappointing. I like their courtyard but to get there you have to walk through what is a very dirty kitchen and dishwash area. Not too appetizing.

          1. p
            PAL Jul 17, 2006 07:55 AM

            I haven't been to V-Spot, but a friend took me to Red Bamboo in Fort Greene today--it's a vegetarian, actually largely vegan place on DeKalb and Adelphi. His tofu scramble brunch was pretty bad, but my jerk "chicken" sandwich on coco bread was absolutely terrific for food of this type. It was spicy, and the texture of the crunchy lettuce, the sauteed onions and the soft sweet bread was great. I'll be craving it...the sandwich earned them a place on the recommended list for inexpensive v-food alongside Kate's Joint (buffalo wings!) and maybe Curly's on 14th Street (but only for certain menu items).

            1. s
              sondra Aug 6, 2006 12:35 PM

              i totally agree - i moved from park slope a year ago and i was so jealous when v-spot opened up. i ate there a month and a half ago when i was visiting and i couldn't believe how bad it was. everything from the service to the utter lack of decor to the bland grody food was abysmal. only thing they have that's worth going for are the vegan cakes that are brought in, but they've got the same ones at the cocoa bar on 7th ave. and that's a far more pleasant place to sit and enjoy something sweet.

              1. j
                JanetG Sep 14, 2006 10:29 AM

                Like most of the prior posters, I have been somewhat puzzled for years as to why Park Slope has so many vegans and other vegetarians but almost no restaurants for us. (Party line used to be that the Slope was a bedroom community and people went to Manhattan for anything more interesting than Chinese or Pizza, but with the development of 5th Ave. that's certainly no longer true) So when rumor had it VSpot was opening, I was thrilled, and was there on the first weekend. It took forever to get our very simple meals--the staff just didn't have it together. Hoping the flaws with service, etc., were just related to the start-up (the menu is what it is--simple items done well, I think--and while I'd love to have more choices we veggies are used to having not a lot to choose from!) I've returned a few times but haven't observed a significant improvement in service and have talked to friends who've also been consistently disappointed. My last visit was in mid-August.

                Danny, I'm happy to give it a tenth try, especially given your promise of a more adventurous menu, because I'm eager, maybe even desperate, to have a vegan place in Park Slope, a place which even delivers, succeed.

                2 Replies
                1. re: JanetG
                  NY_Eater Nov 6, 2007 08:09 AM

                  Puzzled for years? I always thought Organica on 7th Ave was pretty good, but for whetever reason they went belly-up years ago. And though I don't live there anymore, isn't Tofu On 7th (veg-friendly Chinese) still around? Or not?

                  1. re: NY_Eater
                    Olive123 Nov 6, 2007 09:00 AM

                    Unless it has closed some time since August, Tofu is still around.

                2. m
                  max. Jun 14, 2007 07:38 PM

                  I'm sorry guys, but I have to disagree with all of you. In fact, I just joined this site in order to disagree, just in case someone (like me) stumbles upon this thread and doesn't get to hear the other (in my opinion correct) side: which is that the v spot is great. That's actually all I have to say. I think the ambience is simple and elegant (what are you looking for, the four seasons?), the service is good (everyone working there has a faux-hawk), and the food is good. Personally, I don't ask for much more.

                  Perhaps it's changed in the year since this thread was opened, but I just want to assure random internet searchers that it's a great place and you should definitely go.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: max.
                    MissPeacock Jun 15, 2007 08:07 AM

                    Faux hawk? Huh?

                    Anyway, the food has definitely improved. I liked the burrito and my boyfriend loves the buffalo chicken appetizer. A lot of other dishes are hit or miss, I would advise not ordering Italian dishes...its just not their specialty.

                    But...they still have a lot of work to do in the service and ambience department. Loud music blaring from the kitchen, bored looking servers, etc. No one expects the 4 seasons, but if you have any relationship with this restaurant besides being a diner there Max (and I have a feeling you do), let them know that service could smile a bit...be more attentive...little things to make the dining experience more positive. It's just not a comfortable place to sit for too long, so we eat and run as opposed to getting drinks and hanging out. The restaurant loses $$. Too bad for them.

                    1. re: MissPeacock
                      ceasar11 Jun 15, 2007 08:29 AM

                      i just went last week and thought it was just fine. my salad was unweildy, a bowl is far preferable if it is going to be that big, but over all it was good. I have defineitly had worse sesrvice.

                    2. re: max.
                      hautepanda Jul 5, 2007 05:28 PM

                      i just took some vegan guests there because it was the only vegan place i could find open on the 4th of july, plus, we thought it would be interesting to try something billed as "the worst restaurant in park slope." it was actually pretty delicious junky/dinery food.

                      they had an all you can eat bbq out back for $35/head, but we ordered a la carte.

                      my "chicken" parm sandwich was really good. so was the nachos plate. we had two slices of different flavors of cake, both tasty, and a strawberry milkshake, also tasty. i know these adjectives are imprecise - it's because the food is very classically/traditionally diner-y - sweet, breaded, fried, salty, etc.

                      1. re: hautepanda
                        TBird Nov 2, 2007 12:35 PM

                        blech. a year later and it still SUCKS!

                    3. t
                      tuscanynyc Dec 28, 2007 07:18 PM

                      I went to the V Spot today for the first time. I am a vegetarian, I've been living in Park Slope for about one year and was very excited when I found out there was a real vegan restaurant here. As much as I wanted to like it, I am afraid I was disappointed. I found no particular fault in the service or the decor, but the food was mediocre. I had "chicken" cutlets with mushroom gravy, collard green and mashed potatoes. The cutlets were hard as a brick, no better than the ones you buy in the supermarket and cook by yourself. If I hadn't known by the menu, I could have never told it was a mushroom gravy. It was like a gluey substance poured on top. The mashed potatoes were incredibly garlicky. My boyfriend had spicy chicken wings. The texture was unpleasant (very chewy) and they tasted much sweeter than spicy. Last, we ordered carrot juice, which I am pretty sure was coming right from a carton (I saw no juicer in the kitchen). And it is not a cheap restaurant: the entrees are $14 to $19 more or less.

                      1. a
                        apossibleworld Aug 25, 2009 04:12 PM

                        I've gotta chime in. They have this plate... I forget what it's called, but it's a vegan version of what you'd get at a Brazilian place, like rice beans "steak" yucca fries, etc, and I thought it was really good. And I've eaten at bad vegan places before. This place is not god's gift to TVP, but what I had there was not mediocre.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: apossibleworld
                          cheesecake17 Aug 26, 2009 10:24 AM

                          I forget what it's called too, but my sister in law usually gets this. Bandeja... something? Last time we went, I was really disappointed. I asked about the mushroom and spinach soft tacos.. and was told they're not too spicy and one of the best items on the menu. They were so spicy I could barely finish the plate. When I mentioned it to the server, she shrugged and told me that since I ordered it, the dish was my problem.

                          Very different experience than the time before that. I was looking at one of the Asian inspired dishes (pad thai maybe) and I asked the server about the heat level. He described it perfectly- ginger spicy, not pepper spicy. He even offered to check if the kitchen was preparing it for someone else so he could bring me a taste.

                        2. PlomeekSoup Sep 7, 2009 03:43 PM

                          As a vegetarian, I've tried many times to love V-Spot, but they make it so hard.

                          My last visit there, I had a salad with a dead fly sitting on top of one of the lettuce leaves, for all to see. I pointed it out to the waiter, who didn't even blink or make a comment. I'll never go back.

                          1. prunefeet Sep 8, 2009 05:10 PM

                            I don't know, I have loved my meal and really enjoyed my meal here. I really enjoyed the "jerk chicken" wrap which had caribbean peas and rice in it as well as collards. I very much enjoyed it! And a nice salad on the side. And I am NOT in any way a vegetarian.

                            1. t
                              tex.s.toast Sep 9, 2009 06:50 AM

                              I haven't eaten at the V spot but as a new neighborhood resident they have been giving away samples of vegan empanadas over the last week and ive graed a bit of two different ones. the most recent had spinach in it and was ok to pretty good, the first one we had which had corn amongst the fillings was really quite tasty and well seasoned. Based on that very limited sampling of their offerings I was surprised to read such negative reports.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: tex.s.toast
                                prunefeet Sep 27, 2009 10:52 AM

                                It's very possible that they have improved...I didn't try them until a couple of months ago, and I stand by my positive review having gone yesterday for brunch. Very pleasant vibe also, not at all birkenstocky. Maybe people have higher expectations than I do!

                                1. re: prunefeet
                                  motl Sep 27, 2009 11:01 AM

                                  It might be worth mentioning that 'Snice, the sandwich/salad/smoothie place on the corner of 5th ave and 3rd st, is entirely vegetarian and many of their sandwiches are vegan (and labeled as such). I recently took a friend there, a vegan from Boston, and he was entirely delighted by the array of options, and by his selection (the burrito plate); he kept saying that he wished he had a place like this in his neighborhood. I'm by no means a vegetarian (much less a vegan), but I'm delighted I have one like this in mine.

                                  1. re: motl
                                    prunefeet Jan 23, 2010 05:17 PM

                                    I get a smoked tempeh wrap every monday on the way home from the gym, come home, eat it with cholula hot sauce and watch Men of a Certain Age. It's my new Monday ritual and I love it. 'Snice is very decent but more of a wraps and paninis place, whereas VSpot has all kinds of meals...I think they are both quite decent and I am not a vegetarian. Maybe some people have expectations before they check these places out and are disappointed...I guess I went in with low expectations and was pleasantly surprised. That said, if my husband was not a vegetarian, I would probably not frequent either place!!! But I do stand by VSpot's jerk chicken wrap, very tasty and spicy and healthy. Nothing wrong with that!

                              2. r
                                rara b Apr 12, 2010 08:28 AM

                                I would just like to say that I tried VSpot when it first opened a few years ago and was not impressed, but then went back last summer and it has become one of our new favorite Veggie restaurants. I like that you can get both healtheier dishes and also indulge in more fried and "unealthy food". The Bandeja Paisa (sp?) is amazing and I also really like the parmigaian stuff and the apps. The only thing I do not really like are the chipotle beans which are in some of the dishes-I find them to be too spicy. I am very glad that we gave this place another try as is is vastly improved, though the service could still use improvement.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: rara b
                                  Jeffsayyes Apr 12, 2010 12:55 PM

                                  I think you are all missing the major selling point of this restaurant - which is the incredibly clever name.

                                2. j
                                  JanetG Apr 27, 2012 03:44 AM

                                  They've renovated and reopened recently, with a new menu (bandeja paisa is still there) and new staff, and I think they're worth another try, especially since they seem to have given up on the fake chicken. The owners do seem to have learned something about business and customer service in the last six years.

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