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Brunch at AbcV by Ace Pai

Brunch at abcV, chia bowl, steamed tofu, dosa

AbcV is, hands-down, my favourite spot to have brunch in Manhattan. It's a trendy place, so it's somewhat difficult to get a reservation on Saturday/Sunday if you don't book a couple of days ahead. However, lots of people still come in to wait for a spot at the bar (aka me). Every non-vegan friend that I've brought to this place has loved it and told me that it had transformed the way that they think of veg food. 

But this is how plant-based food should be, not processed faux meat or artificial cheeses but rather fruits and vegetables that nourishes and energizes the body. The menu at abcV is diverse, and there are lots of options to choose from savoury or sweet, but the dosa with coconut yogurt, avocados and sprouts is something I can't help but order every time I return. If it's your first time at AbcV, my two must haves are the Dosa mentioned previously and the fresh steamed tofu

** If you are vegan, make sure to mention that to your waiter because some dishes contain dairy and/or eggs but many dishes can be veganized (e.g. the dosa and steamed tofu both contain yogurt but can be made vegan by replacing with Coconut yogurt)

 
 

The sweet potato brunch bowl is also a warm and filling savory dish that is exclusive to the brunch menu. If you're craving something spicy, the beluga lentils drizzled in a special home-made chili oil is a great choice. For something flavourful and aromatic, try the fried wild rice with winter veggies. On the other hand, if you're looking to try something more 'uncommon' go for the slow roasted beets that seems to be a vegan version of 'carpaccio.' These dishes, however, are also available on the lunch and dinner menu. 

My must haves for the sweet brunch items are the vanilla chia bowl and the wild blueberry bowl. The vanilla chia bowl is very fresh and light but also filling because of the chia seeds. The wild blueberry bowl is equally tasty but more dense due to the peanut butter. Unless you're reaaally craving pancakes that day, I would pass on the vegan einkorn pancakes

 
“In America, breakfast is always too sweet, too heavy, too much bacon. We wanted to create much more savory recipes. When I was in Asia, I tried congee, dosa, and these things blew my mind. So we decided to offer something really new." 

For dessert, the matcha creme brûlée is divine; so creamy and rich. The salted caramel chocolate tart was good but the tart crust was too hard to cut into. The one item the I would say to avoid ordering from the brunch menu is the vegan pastry basket. As tempting as it sounds, the mini croissants are just too small to work and the muffins are a bit too sweet for my personal tastes. If you would like to try those items, a much better alternative would be to come for breakfast on Monday to Fridays where they have full sized plain and chocolate vegan croissants

Have you ever brunched here? What are your favourite dishes that you think I should try? Let me know in the comments below! 

 

My Must Haves & Must Avoids

Savory must haves: Dosa with coconut yogurt, Fresh steamed tofu.

Sweet must haves: Vanilla Chia Bowl 

Items to avoid: Vegan pastry basket


 

NYC | In search of: Vegan Croissants - AbcV by Ace Pai

Where to find the best Vegan Croissants in NYC

After going vegan, the one food that I missed eating most were croissants. Croissant au beurre, Pain aux chocolat, Almond Croissant. I'm not talking about the mass produced boxes of doughy cake like soft "croissants" (if you can even call it that) at Wholefoods, Trader Joes, or Costco,  because those are usually vegan. I'm talking about those freshly-made, buttery, and flakey croissants in the little bakeries on top of Montmartre. The crisp and well defined layers are something that I will forever miss.

Since NYC is such a diverse place, I had not expected vegan croissants to be a hard find. Unfortunately, I was wrong and it seems like vegan croissants aren't as in demand as I thought. Luckily, I came across these croissants last fall when I had Brunch at AbcV and tried the vegan pastry basket where there were mini versions (that are not as good as the regular sized ones). Since then, I've been dropping by for them every once in a while on my way to school. 

Of course, these aren't going to be exactly the same as those flakey artisanal croissants, but for now they are the closest NYC is going to get to the real deal. The croissants are available at Breakfast (8am-11am) on Monday to Friday for $5 each. 

*As of Feb 2018, all of the croissants at AbcV are Vegan! 

If you ever end up trying them or have already tried them, let me know what you think in the comments below!