If you’ve been looking for the perfect little brunch or casual dinner niche deserving of being in your daily rotation, then be thankful Curly’s Vegetarian Lunch exists, not too far a walk from Union Square as well. This homey, kitschy converted hotel with a Mexi-style soul will have you coming back for seconds, thirds, heck, even hundreds… since it isn’t too taxing on the wallet as well (but probably on your waistline!)

The walls are emblazoned with the colorful, personalized and playful doodles of patrons expressing their love (or hate) of said establishment. My personal favorite was of a panda slurping a Curly’s soyshake. Precious!

The staff consists of two punky-looking bleach blond, pixie-coiffed petite girls who reminded me of the girls from Ghost World for some reason. Though they are not overly warm, the service is quick with the water refills, even after the bill was paid. 3.5 out of 5.

I love the 50’s bar-hop style seafoam green booths.

Disco Ball!!

Each table has a variation of S+P shakers: pineapples, toadstools, elephants, etc.

Scribble away to your hearts desire! Though I am picky about colors, so I stole some from the other tables…

Here we have the vegan version of the Cheeseburger (A Homemade Vegan Patty Of TVP Black Beans, Seeds, Vegetable, Onion & Garlic, On A Ciabatta Roll With Curry Fries Or Side Salad Or Have A Patty Melt, No Bread, Over Grain And Gravy With Curry Fries Or Side Salad. Cheese Choices: jack, cheddar, swiss, provolone, soy cheddar or vegan mozzarella). The standout feature of this burger was the fluffy, lightly toasted and immensely savory ciabatta roll it is served on. The burger itself was a bit dull and dry, but this is to be expected when dealing with burgers made from black beans instead of soy protein. The soy cheddar was a good choice to complement this sandwich. The fries were pretty standard, nothing amazing. I would order this for the bread alone! 3 out of 5.

Every vegan’s dream is to dive into a gooey, cheesy, totally satisfying bowl of mac & cheese (or at least mine is!), so when I espied the Public School Lunch entree (New School, macaroni with vegan cheese and tofu topped with panko crumbs and baked, served with a side salad), I immediately knew what I was going to have for dinner. I pulled out all the stops on mine, ordering it with the addition of broccoli, soy bacon, mushrooms, red pepper and ground soy bits. Yum! The elbows were just the right consistency, smothered with a heady helping of soy cheddar and pretty much gave me close to a coronary… visually. These are the times I’m glad I am a veg, since the aftermath of consuming this sort of dish in omni form usually concerns reruns of Will & Grace and a certain tub of frozen confection. Safe to say I recommend this dish, if not for the generous amount of cheese, then for the simple fact that it is MAC AND FRIKIN’ CHEESE! 5 out of 5. It comes with a lovely little salad too!

Of course, a meal just isn’t the same with something sweet at the end. Happily, Curly’s provides a medley of scrumptious desserts consisting of floats, soy ice cream, mexican desserts such as Sopapilla y Nieve (fried tortilla, vanilla ice cream, honey drizzle, powdered sugar) and a lifesaving arsenal of Vegan Treats cakes.

Here we have a luscious coconut cake. True to form, this two layer confection is cocooned in a shell of shredded coconut and vanilla buttercream frosting. The cake itself was moist and perfectly complemented the sweetness of the icing. for 5.50, you have a coconutty party in your piehole for at least 5 minutes… unless you eat superfast… in which case, SLOW DOWN! :) 5 out of 5!

So next time you’re pooped from browsing all the farmer’s market stands and the latest issue of VegNews at B&N, stop by Curly’s… you and your tummy won’t regret it! ;)

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