Monday, December 15, 2008

Veggies galore at Spring Street Natural

This afternoon I had the delightful privilege of having lunch with D and P from, the Vegetarian site for which I'm a guest blogger. D and P are in NYC for a brief vacation and got in touch before they came, so we made plans to meet up at Spring Street Natural for lunch.

When I was interning in Soho a few years ago, SSN was the go-to lunch place, and I've been several times since then. As the name implies, the folks at SSN focus on natural/vaguely healthy foods and have a large number of vegetarian options on their menu. Their salads in particular are always huge and delicious (I was a particular fan of their herbed goat cheese salad, which is no longer on the menu, sadly).

Today, we started with their yummy bread basket, which includes two types of bread. Their seeded brown bread is really good, studded with sunflower, sesame, and flax seeds and particularly delicious with the spreadable butter. The other option is an orange-colored quickbread-- I estimate it to be pumpkin, but I really have nothing to back that up. It's almost cake-like in its texture, although a little less sweet, but rich enough that it doesn't even really need butter.

Bread with seeds and bread like cake

For an entree, P ordered the scrambled tofu, which came with a small mesclun salad and a hockey puck of brown rice covered in some sort of sauce. P said the scramble was relatively good, and you have to give SSN extra points for including such a creative dish on their menu.

Looks like eggs, but truly tofu

D had selected the veggie burger. This came with both a small mesclun salad and a side of fries, which both P and D enjoyed. D said the veggie burger was quite good, which is high praise coming from a vegetarian-food expert and former restaurant owner.

Veggie burger, buried in garnishes

My own selection was the steamed veggies, which came on a bed of brown rice along with a spinach-herb dressing. I asked for the dressing on the side and used a bit to season the veggies, which were well-cooked and tasty. There was a good variety in there-- broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, perhaps a few too many peapods for my taste, and a leafy green that looked like collards. With the flavorful dressing, this was a darn good dish (I promise... I know steamed veggies don't sound that great), and there was a large serving of brown rice to provide some heft to those with larger appetites.

Beautiful veggies bathed in light

All in all, I like Spring Street Natural for a good, healthy lunch. The dining room is bright and loud-- not highly atmospheric but certainly gets the job done. A similar rating could be given to the servers, who leave much to be desired in terms of the usual niceties of the job but usually succeed in bringing the food to the table. I wouldn't necessarily hit SSN for dinner, but as I said for a filling lunch it definitely works. It's a solid three Offset Spatula joint, good for vegetarians and health-oriented meat-eaters alike.

Spring Street Natural
62 Spring Street at Lafayette

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