The Veggielante is on a mission to spread the word about places to order good, meatless grub. Check out this week’s pick.
Destination: Champs Family Bakery (176 Ainslie Street, 718-599-2743)
Neighborhood: North Williamsburg
Cuisine: Vegan diner
Overview: Though Champs Family Bakery caters to vegans, it has become a popular restaurant for vegetarians, vegans, and meat-eaters alike, with a line that often goes around the door. The diner opened four years ago at the corner of Ainslie Street and Leonard Street in North Williamsburg, serving an entirely vegan menu of breakfast and lunch options, vegan baked goods, and some gluten-free options, as well. The diner makes only one exception for dairy: Milk is available for your coffee if you so choose, otherwise be prepared for soy, tempeh, and seitan substitutes.
Highlights: The tofu benedict ($10) is Champs’ most popular breakfast dish: grilled tofu, soy ham, and fresh spinach are stacked on top of a multigrain English muffin with a splash of the diner’s hollandaise sauce and served with garlic rosemary potatoes and salad. All the ingredients in this dish are gluten-free, and you have the option to substitute gluten-free bread for the English muffin at no extra charge.
While Champs’ vegan hollandaise sauce tastes only marginally like traditional hollandaise, it is a satisfying variation, made of nutritional yeast, turmeric, salt, pepper, and other spices; it has a slight tartness akin to mustard. The rosemary potatoes are cooked until crispy; the soy ham looks quite like actual ham and has a similar, meaty texture to the real thing.
Champs’ two other most popular breakfast dishes are the drunken cowgirl ($12) and the breakfast burrito ($12). If you’re not in the mood for breakfast, you can also check out the lunch menu.
More:Vegetarian and Vegan