Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Veg Out: Gingersnaps Organic

It always amazes me that in the raw food world, you can turn blend, mix, mold and dehydrate live foods to your fancy, beyond the everyday salad and crudites. While I certainly enjoy cauliflower and a handful of almonds in their basic form, the fact that you can make a burger out of them is even more compelling to me. If you're looking for nutrition, this is the bold, beautiful, screw-boring way to go about it. Given the choice between a cooked pasta, vegan pizza, taco, or veggie burger, and a raw one? I will almost always opt for the raw version simply because the flavors are going to be lively and I will have more energy than most six year olds shortly after eating it. I'm hooked. (Here in Philly, you can get your raw food fix at Pure Fare and Essene).

So I sat there in wonder awaiting my cauliflower-and-almond composed raw burger at Gingersnaps Organic, a newly opened raw, organic food bar in NYC's East Village.  The small, casual space encourages communal seating and raw-cracker-snacking with shelves lined with various raw crackers and kale chips. The 18-seat BYO was empty on my lunch visit, but I wished it wasn't so I could see it in full swing cranking out kelp ramen and hempseed pizza from its open air kitchen. Desserts (caramel brownies, carrot cupcakes, all raw), juices, and namesake raw gingersnaps rounded out the edibles.

So how'd my burger rate? I only have one other raw burger by which to compare, and that is the burger from One Lucky Duck. While I found Gingersnaps' tasty, it was harder to eat, simply because of the raw crackers that were the "bun". Although the chipotle ketchup was fantastic, I wanted some type of burger sauce. Both burgers are completely different and delicious in their own ways, from the buns to the burgers to the condiments. But if Gingersnaps added cashew cheese or sauce to the burger, I'd melt a little more.

I could have eaten 8 plates of the side salad, the dressing was that subtly beautiful. I go wild for thinly matchsticked radishes in anything and when a dressing is perfectly balanced and applied, the food geek in me purrs happily. Looks like I'll be sampling a bit more of the menu in the future.

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