This Aussie-inspired mini-chain is best known for its cheap and filling meat pies, hearty things perfect for a quick meal before or after a night of drinking in the East Village. Its vegetarian options are no less tasty (or cheap). Take the vegetarian chili. At only $6, it has a flavor and consistency of an upscale version of Taco Bell’s Mexican pizza, which is a good thing.
It’s simple — just refried beans, cheese, and a slightly spicy pico de gallo — but the firm, crispy texture of the flaky crust and the acid and tanginess from the piled-high pico de gallo make for one of the best snack foods in the city. It’s hard to imagine a stoner in New York City who wouldn’t crave one of these lowbrow wonders during a case of the munchies.
Also on the vegetarian menu are vegetarian rolls ($3.50) and the vegetable pie ($5.50). The rolls feature ground chickpeas given a little kick from some Spanish onions, making for a nice, portable appetizer you can order if you find yourself a little hungry between meals on St. Mark’s Place. The vegetable pie is a little more filling, like a grandmother’s vegetable stew stuffed into a crusty package, a mix of lentils, kale, cabbage, and split peas that stands firm on the tip of your fork.
Is it the best vegetarian food you’ll ever eat? No, but it’s not supposed to be. It is, however, a perfectly good option for when your stomach is growling and you don’t have a lot of time or money, a scenario most of us have probably found ourselves in.
115 St. Marks Place
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 28, 2011
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