Foodie alert! Smorgasburg, Brooklyn’s outdoor food market, returned to the waterfront on April 5 delivering the best of New York City’s street food, including some of the tastiest meat-free and dairy-free options around. On Sunday, my (temporarily) vegan friend and I took our growling tummies to Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 5 to try out the Regal Vegan tent.
After a few rounds circling the congested park, I was immediately sold on Regal Vegan for two reasons. First and foremost: Samples. There were three spreads and they were equally decadent in their very-veggie-scrumptiousness. The cleverly tagged Faux Gras, which imitates the fatty and (forgive me) bloody kick of traditional duck liver foie gras, was especially luscious. Where foie gras is rich and umami-full, Regal Vegan’s Faux Gras pate is nutty and savory in an earthy way. Made from California-grown walnuts, robust lentils and slow-caramelized onions, this spread would pair well on crackers, crostinis and sandwiches or as veggie dip!
The other two dips included the Superfood Pesto and the Basilicotta. The Superfood Pesto is their latest spread – it’s so new that they haven’t released the recipe yet! While it was certainly brimming with bountiful basil zest, I found that it wasn’t as potent as I prefer my Italian mother’s homemade pesto. Perhaps it was lacking in a touch of salt and a few more cloves of garlic. Either way, this scaled-back vegan spin on pesto would make this spread safe for work lunches and post-lunch meetings. The Basilicotta, on the other hand, is a soft, spreadable take on vegan cheese. Made from cashews and fresh basil, this flavorful “cheese” spread is perfect as a pizza topping, dip or for recipes as a cheese substitute.
The second thing that caught my eye at Regal Vegan, was the colorful menu and the loaded sandwiches on display. For me, the prized Regal Vegan Banh Mi Sandwich was clearly the main event. At 8 dollars, this Faux-gras-pickled-carrot-and-daikon-packed sandwich squished between two slices of Italian-style crispy bread was certainly more than enough bang-for-your-buck! Both tangy and refreshing, the vegan take on Banh Mi was paired perfectly with a pile of leafy, fresh cilantro overflowing from the edges. My favorite part was the option for spicy-flare (naturally, I told the chef to load it on – and they certainly did!). I highly recommend to all, whether herbivorous or otherwise!