Review: abcV (New York, NY)

The vegan brunch spot to tr*mp all vegan brunch spots.  abcV is open for lunch and dinner too but the vibes are best suited for brunch – bright, light, and white decor.  The tableware was organic with perfectly intentional mismatching (note the rogue yellow chair in the photo above).  They also had their own “special sauce” – a neon orange tumeric and whatever else mix. Put this sauce on everything (except maybe the einkorn flour pancakes) – it’s a delicious spice sauce that adds a little oomph to all of the savory dishes. Each table had one of these little sauces, and each container was unique as if they thrifted for a variety of miniature sauce jars.

The menu can seem confusing to navigate at first – it seems like a lot of the items are just sides (especially to someone who may be used to have a meat item as the key component in the meal) but my friends and I quickly realized getting a handful of items to share was the way to go, as opposed to ordering individual meals.  There was no question about trying the einkorn (psuedo gluten free wheat option) with fruit and coconut cream, a dosa (Indian sort of crepe/pancake) with avocado and yogurt, avocado cups, sauteed leafy greens, and the fingerling potatoes.  The avocado cups, simple as they are, blew our minds.  Now that I’m recalling them, I think I’ll make some for lunch this week… the seasoning combo of toasted cumin, serrano, and lime is what made this avocado brunch dish stand out among the infinite avocado-focused dishes I’ve had.

  

I had to fight for the “sauteed leafy greens” dish.  Call out to my best pal G (if she ever reads this) for initially rolling her eyes at me wanting to order the leafy greens.  It sounds lackluster and mediocre, but we had gone out the night before and, I say this knowing I will sound like some skinny bitch named Becky who says she just “doesn’t like” fried food and isn’t tempted by those fries you’re slugging down with a beer, I genuinely crave a crisp green when I’m hungover.  Those bare bones sides of tossed greens that accompany most brunch plates? My kryptonite.  Especially if there is frisée involved. Crunchy, acidic, savory, ugh.  I’m not kidding.  But my friends seceded and it ended up being G’s favorite item we ordered – those unassuming leaves were that good (see photo below, right).  The fingerling potatoes ended up leaving no lasting impression – let that be a note of how delectable abcV is where every other vegetable they set in front of us outshone the potatoes.  THE POTATOES!  Potatoes are supposed to be the brunch guilty-pleasure superstar but they were boring compared to the vegetables abcV whips up.

 

Before you confuse the deep purple in those wine glasses for alcohol, we actually decided to embrace the rather healthy vibe of this brunch by getting one of abcV’s “vibrations” over their cocktails.  The vibrations were essentially superfood tonic juices.  We each got one, the names of each being either elevate, feel, or center.  One of our group has a thing for ashwagandha these days, which is in the center vibration along with brazilian ginseng, horsetail, pau d’arco, bartlett pear, green apple, and agave.  If you don’t know what some of those things are, welcome to the club.  If you know what they all are, who the hell are you. We were laughing looking at some of the ingredients we had never heard of before: rhodiola, albizia, catuaba, skullcap…I wouldn’t call us superfood novices but these concoctions really pulled out some weird ones. Oh, and did I say this meal was healthy? Because I guess I wasn’t thinking about the fact that we got dessert too.  Dessert with brunch, why not, you know? Matcha crème brûlée and a chocolate & salted caramel tart. The crème brûlée was very matcha-forward so order with caution if you’re not sure about matcha, and the tart – simply divine, a real crowed pleaser.

 

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