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Posted by mutualmenu on 05/29/2007
My boyfriend (vegan) and I (newly lacto-ovo vegetarian) recently visited Kate's Joint after anticipating our meal there. He had eaten there once years ago and enjoyed his meal and the menu looked promising to both of us. We ordered sesame no wings with ginger sauce as an appetizer, which was nothing more than fried, unseasoned tofu. The ginger sauce was quite good though. My bf ordered the fried cutlets with mashed potatoes and gravy, which, again, was nothing more than unseasoned, heavily breaded and fried tofu. The gravy was quite delicious, which thankfully saved the cutlet from being totally inedible. My dish, the seitan espanola, was more of the same--fried clumps of flavorless and chewy seitan--and I had to dump a lot of salt and hot sauce on the incredibly bland rice and beans. The cilantro sauce that came with my meal was devoid of any flavor so it was left untouched throughout my meal. Both of us got 3 or 4 stems of steamed, unflavored broccoli as our side. I would not recommend Kate's Joint because, in addition to the poor food, this isn't even a great choice for vegans since the soy cheese contains casein (we confirmed with our waitress, who was very friendly). Also, while I don't mind a dive-y eatery, the lighting was awful. Not appetizing. Thankfully, we happened upon teany just a few blocks over on Rivington, where we had delicious, well-made vegan desserts and tea to make-up for the fried mess at Kate's. There are just way too many quality and yummy veggie and veggie-friendly restaurants in and out of the city to make a visit to this venerable favorite worthwhile. Perhaps it's time for them to step up their game and reevaluate their menu and cooking methods. Otherwise, I'd never go again.
Posted by Bummmmmerrrrr on 05/13/2007
For years and years Kate's has been a staple in every punk vegans life. It's a destination for any vegan visiting from out of town and a regular brunch spot for those of us that live here. It's a shame though, in the same time I have watched their food quality and their commitment to veganism plummet. Almost every time I eat there I decide to myself, "I'll never eat here again" but yesterday I reluctantly took an out-of-towner there for brunch. The first thing I noticed was the prix-fixe brunch went up from 6-7.95 to 10.95. That only included one drink instead of coffee + juice and instead of the usual options there were only about 7 things to choose from. The second thing I noticed was that the menu with the ridiculous pricing looked like it had been whipped up THAT DAY and no one bothered to spell check it. Everyone at the table was confused about the sweet potato hash that included something that was called "cal lord" and practically got a "Duh!" from the waitress who told me it was "collards" ..Um ok?? So I ended up ordering this sweet potato hash and it was awful. I got a small bowl with mushy sweet potatos (not fired like HASH browns), a PINCH of cal lords and scramble tossed on top. After I got through the scramble, I noticed this salty fried white stuff. I was afraid to eat it at first, thinking some cardboard fell into the bowl but realized THAT must have been the "fakin" the menu alluded to. You know when you burn tofu and scrape it off the pan? That is basically Kate's idea of fakin. As for "vegan food", there used to be a whole list of things that were essentially vegan but on the new menu, only the pancakes and french toast did not require substitution. Had our waitress bothered to ask how the food was I would have told her, but she never did.
Posted by Anonymous on 05/03/2007
I've been going to Kate's for years--my roomies and I love it...we travel from Washington Heights to come here because it's a unique, relaxed place with great food. I am not a vegetarian, but I find many things that I love at Kate's and love coming here with my vegetarian friends, who really appreciate a menu with more than ONE choice for them. The Southern Fried un-Chicken is amazing--really believable! I also like the Popcorn Shrimp and all of the salads are tasty. We come here every year for my vegetarian roomie's birthday and I always look forward to it.
Posted by rach649 on 04/27/2007
The food was okay. The service was a little too relaxed. The corner location of Kate's was under construction so i can't give the atmosphere a fair review - but it less quaint and more worn down. And finally I expected better value - larger servings etc for the lack of ambience and LES location.
Posted by Timothee on 04/20/2007
It's pretty affordable, yummy vegetarian comfort food in a "whole in the wall" sort of atmosphere. Love the mock fried chicken dinner with potatoes and gravy.
Posted by hungry in the east village on 04/16/2007
I've been wanting to try kate's for while and finally made it in for brunch a couple of weeks ago. The food in general was good. We had the benedict, pancakes and the healthy plate with rice, beans, steamed veggies and hijiki. The benedict was fine, the pancakes were great (love the big glass of juice!) and the healthy plate (I forget the name) was wonderful...until the bill came. The healthy plate was $9.95 on the menu, but $11.95 on the bill!!! When we asked about it, we were told that the new prices were on the new menus under the counter, but the brunch menus had the old prices and that was how it was. The price did NOT get reduced to the price that was on the menus we were given. Ruined our whole experience- I feel like I have been taken to the cleaners by our local veggie restaurant. What a shame!
Posted by Omnivore on 02/20/2007
The fake steak was delicious. Some kind of sage and peppercorn sauce with Portabello shrooms over a nicely cooked tofu. Its not a steak, but man is it tasty, spicey, and good! I love the laid back atmosphere of Kate's.