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Apr 6, 2012 04:50 AM

Help! - Extremely Picky Vegetarian Mom Coming to Town

Hi everybody. My parents are coming to town for spring break and I need some ideas for places to eat. Normally, entertaining guests is pretty easy for me, but my mom is probably the pickiest eater you will ever meet.

First off, she's a vegetarian, but it doesn't end there. Thai and Indian, (my veggie staples), are off the table because they're too exotic. She also won't eat soy products because of hormones or something, which knocks out a lot of veggie Asian cuisine. I've been trying to get her into vegetarian Israeli places, (i.e. Hummus Place), but that's been a battle.

She likes salads, and is currently obsessed with beet salads, but prefers them or be local and organic. She'll eat pizza and Italian food sometimes, but I've got that covered, so don't worry about that. A wine bar or restaurant with a good cheese plate would be nice, or good vegetarian bar food, (spinach artichoke dip, onion rings, etc.). A high-end mac and cheese place would be nice, as would a Korean place that serves a great veggie bi bim bap. She'll eat eggs, so an exceptionally good diner or breakfast place would be great too.

We're seeing Bruce Springsteen at The Garden on Monday, so we need somewhere in midtown to grab a bite afterwards. A good bar would be fine. Despite the fact I work 2 blocks from The garden, I have no idea where to go. Most of the bars/restaurants around there suck if you want anything more than drinks.

It doesn't matter what part of Manhattan the places are in. We'll be roaming around and I'd like to be covered no matter where we are in the city. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. If I don't come up with some ideas, they''ll try to drag me to Josie's again, which for some reason they like, but IMHO is probably one of the worst restaurants in all of New York.

Thanks very much!

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  1. I will look into it shortly because I have to run somewhere but if I had your mother-in-law- there would be NO entertaining

    1. Is Brooklyn also too exotic? Buttermilk Channel in Carroll Gardens has a very nice vegetarian menu, but it would a bit of a journey on the F train.

      1. Dovetail monday vegetable-focused menu
        Dirt Candy
        Check out:

        1. Some places we love in NYC are:
          The Candle Cafe:
          Caravan of Dreams:
          oh and If you are down for a really awesome lunch truck, The Cinnamon Snail:

          This guide might also help:
          You can punch in a zip code and get the all the restaurants in the area that might meet you needs. Not all the restaurants are vegan, but they will list ones with vegan and vegetarian options, plus reviews

          1. Dirt Candy? Red Radish has lots of interesting vegetables? S'Mac has interesting mac and cheeses....It's not particularly popular on this board, but I've always enjoyed it. (Not a fan of Macbar on Prince street, but it's another alternative.) ABC kitchen has a beet salad on the menu, but I haven't tried it...I know you said you had Italian covered, but Verdure in Eataly has some great salads. Also, Northern Spy Food Co has lots of interesting vegetables.

            The New York Times a review of all the grilled cheese sandwich places if you think your mother would find that interesting...Most of them aren't really sit down places though..


            My favorite beet salad in the city is Colonie in Brooklyn if you're thinking of going to the outer boroughs...

            About Madison Square garden, they recently did a massive upgrade of the food available there. I haven't been, so I don't know what the veggie options are, but it might be worth checking out as long as you're there.