Let There Be Lite

Melt your winter heft with dosa, tea, and something nice 'n' stinky

While we sometimes think of pizzerias as places to gulp down greasy sausage and reservoirs of dodgy cheese, many provide lighter, more veggie-intensive alternatives. Grandpa's Brick Oven Pizza makes a mean vegetarian stromboli, spilling mushrooms, spinach, broccoli, and onions out both ends, and the pristine grandma's pie, hoisting a modest quantity of fresh mozzarella, is similarly light and enjoyable. 4973 Bway, 212-304-1185

Southern Italians appreciate veggies more than most people, and the glass case in the front of La Sorrentinanamed after the gorgeous, citrus-dotted peninsula south of Naples—teems with them. On a recent afternoon, we spied spears of fried zucchini, green beans speckled with minced garlic, gleaming broccoli rabe, and a stew of chicken with artichokes and sundried tomatoes. There's a selection of vegetable-intensive pizzas, too. 6510 11th Ave, Bklyn, 718-836-4391

Illustration by Gary Neill

Go South
South Indian cooking is the most developed vegetarian cuisine in the world. Based on rice and lentils—often ground up and fermented to make batters—the menu offers food high in fiber and nutritional content and relatively low in calories. The cuisine constitutes a blueprint for the flesh-free and sustainable diet of the future.

Centerpiece is the potato-stuffed lentil-and-rice crepe called masala dosa, and the best in the city, possibly in the world, are found at Dosa Hutt, right next to a Hindu temple dedicated to the elephant-headed god Ganesh. Quite a trek from the

7 terminus of Main Street, Flushing, but then, we need the exercise. 45-63 Bowne St, Qns, 718-961-6228

Or maybe it's easier for you to take the PATH to Journal Square. Four blocks north find a slew of Indian vegetarian restaurants, including Sri Ganesh's Dosa House, where a full range of dosas, iddly (spongy dumplings), and uttapham (oniony pancakes) are available, along with some lesser oddities like uppma, a nut-shot porridge. 809 Newark Ave, Jersey City, NJ, 201-222-3883

Remember that Manhattan itself is not devoid of dosa parlors. Curry Hill has a line of them, including Chennai Garden, which mounts a pan-Indian vegetarian menu including dishes from south India, Gujarat, and from the northern Mughal tradition. Skip the lunch buffet, unless you have more self-control than I do. 129 E 27th, 212-689-1999

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