Once again my adventures of food hunting led me to a restaurant whose name and location had piqued my interest before I even saw the menu on SeamlessWeb. It turns out that Dao Palate, which is conveniently located in Prospect Heights, caters to vegans. Now I am no serious carnivore by any stretch of the imagination, but I do enjoy some meat, so I was intrigued to find out what exactly it means when a restaurant prides itself on the use of soy proteins.
Turns out that it’s complicated. I read, then reread, the menu, before skeptically ordering Summer Rolls with Hoisin and Peanut Sauce, General Tso’s Soy Protein with Broccoli and a side of Mixed Green Salad. I wavered between ordering the Thai iced tea, Thai iced coffee and the homemade iced green tea, before choosing the coffee. I figured you can’t go wrong with a cup of iced coffee. And boy was I right!
I ordered early in the afternoon for pick up at 5:15 p.m. Now while I completely trust SeamlessWeb, I must admit that despite my confirmation email I was still a little nervous when I arrived at the restaurant to pick up my food. Expecting to see the usual plain interior with small tables and bright lights, I was impressed by the warm and inviting ambiance with dark brown tables, ultra dim lighting, yellowish-brown walls, and hardwood floors all making me want to stay. But it was a pickup order, so I told them who I was and a waiter placed my bag on the table in front of me right on time. I was expecting him to hand me my iced coffee, but I noticed it was securely stored in the carryout bag. The plastic cup had a piece of tape over the perforated straw insertion and was tightly stored in a thick white paper bag with a staple to keep it from spilling. It’s obvious that they have affection for subway riders.
Once I got home I tore into my bag. A little nervous of what I might find, I popped the lid of the General Tso’s Soy Protein and smiled at the perfectly reddish-brown, glazed circular soy protein pieces. The texture and consistency was just like that of real chicken. About eight steamed broccoli florets were evenly distributed in all four corners of the package. I dumped a small container of brown rice in the corner of the dish and bit into a piece of soy. It was absolutely delicious. The soy protein was perfectly seasoned and marinated in sauce. The broccoli was just right, not too soft and not too crunchy.
Moving on, I’m not quite sure what vegetables were used in the Summer Rolls (all I can say is that they were slightly crunchy and white), but I am sure that the two-inch mint leaf added an essential touch to the refreshing, healthy appetizer (and I actually enjoyed them more without the hoisin and peanut sauce. Meanwhile, the homemade Thai iced coffee hit the spot. It was perfectly blended with spices, milk and ice chips. Even after I had a few sips on the train and rode home, the coffee never lost its delicious dark, roasted flavor.
After a meal like that, I can truthfully say Dao Palate has provided me with a new outlook on vegan specialties. If this meal was this great, I can only imagine what my next one will taste like. Dao Palate gets an A+. Stay tuned for more Brooklyn eating adventures!
Check out Dao Palate’s menu and feel free to give us recommendations for future orders in the comments.