One of my dear dinner club friends moved to Boston last year to pursue a less stressful and more family-friendly life. It’s hard to imagine anyone leaving NYC but it happens. Often. It can be a rough city at times, between the expensive cost of living, the sometimes non-stop career ladder climbing, and the ridiculously difficult dating pool (that I’ve been lucky enough to be out of for 4 1/2 years). So when my friend announced to us at a dinner club that she was leaving, we couldn’t blame her. But we all miss her dearly. And when she surprised us and came in town last weekend I absolutely had to schedule a brunch together for a proper catch up.
I was coming from the UWS and she was in Brooklyn, so we needed a location and vegan-friendly spot where we could both not kill ourselves to get to and leave with happily full bellies and not sacrifice my vegan diet or her desire for non-vegan brunch. I suggested Westville, a teeny tiny spot on West 10th and Bleeker. It’s both walking distance from the 1 train and the West 4th stop where she could easily come in.
I love Westville. It’s a itty bitty spot but the service is good and the menu is more than vegan-friendly. There’s an entire section just for veggies as well as other veggie-friendly salads and burgers. I really wanted to make a plate out of the different veggie options but was told they’re currently going with larger portions. So I went with two.
The Brussels sprouts were out of this world – they were on the menu as dijon sprouts – so they had a bit of a glaze on them that was both tangy and a little sweet. I double checked with the waitress that the sprouts weren’t cooked with any dairy and to my delight she asked if I was vegan. I confirmed, and she said she would make sure nothing was cooked with butter. This place knows the way to win a girl over!
For my second veggie option I went with the marinated tofu. It was pan-seared and had a bit of a charred flavor to it that might put some people off. Me? I loved it. What else did I love? When the waitress brought over hot sauce with the ketchup – without being asked. Any place that delivers hot sauce as a standard practice has a special place in my heart.
I snacked on my friend’s french fries too – because they were just to good not to. She also ordered a grilled cheese that looked heavenly (if I was a cheese-eater) it was made with cheddar AND gouda. We also washed everything down with a bottle of chardonnay – because what proper catch-up meal is complete without a little booze? Also one of my favorite things about brunch – drinking at 2pm is completely normal.
To polish the whole meal off we ordered fried plantains as a dessert. These were definitely the highlight of the meal. While everything was delicious and perfectly prepared, the plantains were just.so.delicious. They were crispy on the outside and gooey on the inside and sweet but not too sweet. It was the perfect non-dessert dessert. I could have eaten the whole plate myself – it’s a good thing I had company!
If you find yourself wandering in the West Village you must pop in. Be prepared to wait, especially if you’re at peak brunch time, as there’s just a few tables in there, but the wait is worth it. Trust me. The food is delicious and the price is totally reasonable. You can feel like you’re indulging and be pleasantly surprised by the check. What could be better?