Dirt Candy

By grace.g.yang ยท April 11, 2016
Under: American,Chinatown,Dinner,Drinks,LES,My Life,Tacos,Vegetarian

It’s April and I’m finally back! The winter was pretty busy (with weekly visits to my nephew) so I didn’t have a ton of free time during the weekend’s to post. Luckily I uploaded a bunch of photos over the weekend and will be posting more often (hopefully).

I took my mom to Dirt Candy, a vegetarian restaurant on the lower east side (bordering Chinatown), earlier this month when she came to visit. She had seen a segment on PBS about the restaurant and was interested in dining there; I’ve never been, so was down to go after work.

One thing Dirt Candy is known for is their monkey bread – it’s served as soon as you order and comes in a variety of colors (the dough is dyed with different vegetables), with a serving of garlic butter:

Dirt Candy LES

The bread is served right out of the oven and in a planter so it looks like they’re potted flowers – they’re so good that we asked for more while we waited for our appetizers to arrive!

The restaurant allows you to either order a la carte or order a full tasting. I looked at the menus beforehand and thought it would be a better idea to do a la carte. We started with the Korean fried broccoli:

Dirt Candy LES

They describe it as “crack in broccoli form” – it’s broccoli that’s been steamed and then flavored with Korean red sauce (gochujang) and batter. We thought the flavor was pretty good but there was too much batter (and I think the flavor would’ve been better if they had used soybean paste with the gochujang so the broccoli would’ve had more depth.

Next, we shared the carrot burgers, a new menu item:

Dirt Candy LES

These were carrot burgers on carrot buns – not that much flavor, but the carrot slaw that was shaved and served with cilantro and sesame oil was fresh and delicious.

My least favorite dish of the evening was the broccoli dogs:

Dirt Candy LES

These were grilled and smoked pieces of broccoli, topped with broccoli kraut and mustard barbecue sauce. We really disliked the broccoli dogs because they were way too sweet (the broccoli on its own was good, but the mustard barbecue sauce had way too much sugar added to it!) There was also way too much bun to broccoli and we ended up throwing out the majority of the buns.

By the time our last dish arrived, we were already pretty full. I wish we had just ordered this dish, the brussel sprout tacos:

Dirt Candy LES

These tacos came with fresh lettuce wraps, different dipping sauces, and toppings and had the brussel sprouts served on a hot stone. I managed to eat one taco with all the toppings but couldn’t manage any more because it was way too much food. If we return, I’ll just order the brussel sprout tacos to share.

My mom’s curiosity was satisfied and if we return, we’ll probably go just for the monkey bread and the brussel sprout tacos!

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