It’s been awhile since I’ve been able to write about a kick-butt new vegetarian restaurant here in NYC. The reason? Well unfortunately not many new ones pop up and even more unfortunate when there are new ones they aren’t always something to write home about. Imagine my surprise and delight then when I got a Groupon a couple weeks back that said $10 of food for $5 at a vegetarian restaurant in Chelsea (for more on what Groupon is check out the story I wrote tied to this very restaurant for DNAInfo.com http://bit.ly/bmegzz). The restaurant’s name was “Terri” and I was caught off guard because I try to stay up on local meat-free restaurants, but I had never heard of this one. I did a little research though and found the menu, as well as some reviews, and I was thrilled that it actually served quick, lunch items. This is exactly what those of us who don’t eat meat need more of. Funny thing is I want to open my open vegetarian restaurant sometime soon
and this is kind of along the lines of what I want to do. I bought the Groupon and set out to try “Terri” very soon. Turns out that the restaurant sold a crazy amount of Groupons (more than 3,000) so I talked to co-owner Craig Cochran about doing a story on how popular the offer was. I learned the restaurant just opened in February, but was catching on with vegetarians and vegans. I couldn’t wait to try it! So right off the bat I will say it lived up to my high hopes. The menu is broken down into sandwiches, wraps, salads, smoothies and more. On my first visit I had the Buffalo Chicken, Bacon Cheddar Chicken Ranch and the Meatball Sub. While the words describing those sandwiches may sound like they contain meat, it’s all faux meat of course. I, for one, like faux meat. It gives you protein and the option to create lots of different dishes that you may have grown up loving or loved before giving up meat. It works perfectly in the
these sandwiches. The Buffalo Chicken is not fried, which is just fine with me. It’s simple dipped in a buffalo sauce. I don’t like spicy and the heat was just enough for me. All in all if you are looking for that buffalo sauce flavor this sandwich will give you a little fix. The Meatball Sub was served like a panini and was very filling. Lots of protein with sauce on the side so you could
use as much tomato sauce as you wanted. It isn’t like the Meatball Sub you are used to, but hey for vegetarians that’s a good thing. My favorite of all three sandwiches was the Bacon Cheddar Chicken Ranch. It was just the perfect amount of faux chicken, faux bacon strips and sauce. It’s also worth noting the cheese is vegan (as is everything else at Terri). This means they don’t use any dairy or egg products. When you factor in it’s vegan the Bacon Chicken sandwich becomes that much better. This sandwich would make meat-eaters and non meat-eaters alike happy. The texture, flavor and just everything about this sandwich made me want to eat this one again and again. The sandwiches are also very filling! A complaint people often have is that vegan food doesn’t fill you up, but you sure can’t say that about these sandwiches.
Of course I still had to make some room for dessert. I was anxious to try the devils food donut and it was one of the best donuts I’ve ever had. I am a donut connoisseur and sometimes I will admit vegan donuts can be dry, but these are moist and delicious! Second to donuts for me is cupcakes. So I also had the chocolate cupcake with faux buttercream icing. This too was the perfect consistency and could give those designer cupcakes at places like Magnolia and Buttercup a run for their money. All in all my first visit to “Terri” got me hooked. I’ve already been back a second time and I got the Bacon Chicken sandwich again because I couldn’t resist it, but I also got the “Chickpea Tuna Melt”, which was also great. Oh and I had to get another donut. I am going to make it a point of going back frequently to support this great place. I told the owner to open one close to me! Cochran says there are plans to add more locations “a second, a third, a 31,000th, that’s how many McDonalds there are, and our food is much better than theirs, nearly as affordable and much healthier for our customers and the planet”. Here are a couple more things Cochran told me about the restaurant in his own words “my mother and my best friend/ business partner’s mothers are both named Terri, so that’s where the name comes from. I’m 32. I live in the lower east side. My background is I’m a kid who loves food from Buffalo, I’ve been vegan for 12 years now. I always loved to cook with my mom and grandmother, they were both excellent cooks, so when I went vegan I took what I knew in the kitchen and played around with things to create the same flavors I loved all my life and experiment with new ones. When I would cook for friends they would always say that they would eat this way all the time if it were more accessible, so that’s when I set out to open an affordable tasty and convienient vegetarian restaurant that appeals to people who are used to more traditional American fare. My first job in NY was a manager at the opening of Candle 79, which turned out to be a great restaurant.” “I had always thought of Terri being downtown, but not where one might expect a vegetarian restaurant to be, 23rd street and sixth was perfect, and it just so happened that I knew the owner of the building where Terri is located. He was an aquaintence and a good customer from another vegan restaurant I managed, He’s vegan and really wanted a high quality take out restaurant to be there and the fact that our concept was vegetarian too was a huge plus in his eyes. He really gave us a great deal.”
Here’s a link to the menu and more info on the restaurant: http://terrinyc.com/menu.php