Restaurant Review: Vegan’s Delight

Vegan’s Delight
3565C Boston Road
(at Tiemann Avenue)
Willamsbridge, Bronx

Vegiboys Rating (2.5/4)

Vegan’s Delight is one of a handful of I-tal food venues in the city (the cuisine uses a term derived from “I” and “vital”, catering to the culinary expectations of the Rastifarian movement, with pure, natural, carefully prepared foods). The kitchen uses only fresh organic ingredients, no salt, no MSG, and even swears off NYC tap water in pursuit of food purity.

Although many directories and listings suggest the establishment is a sit-down sort of place, know that Vegan’s Delight is not as much a restaurant as a hot-food counter within a specialty market (with nary a table to be found). Eating while standing can be performed outside on the covered front sidewalk, but the strong local customer base is mostly there for take-out; coming by car and by foot to carry away their hearty, Caribbean food.

The neighborhood of Williamsbridge once hosted another vegan I-tal restaurant with more opportunity for eating in (HIM Ital), but with its closing last year, Vegan’s Delight is now the sole vegetarian outpost for the whole of the borough of the Bronx. So, though not a restaurant in the best known sense of the word, as the only purely vegetarian establishment in a rather vegetarian-unfriendly part of the city, we decided to trek out for a visit.

The place is a hike for the non-local. Found on Boston Post Road with a minimum 10 minute hike to the nearest subway station, the store sits across from the old site of a Top Tomato (the Italian grocery chain owned by the Gambino crime family). The surrounding businesses oddly enough all have kept their Top Tomato affiliation (you’ll find it on the name of the building housing Vegan’s Delight, as well as an adjacent auto repair lot).

Once inside, Brian and I both chose a Medium platter that allowed for the selection of two proteins, 3 vegetables, and another side. The process is a bit overwhelming for the uninitiated, as the line behind you builds quickly, and the staff are eager to move customers along. We were given chickpeas, a faux-chop suey, a range of sides from quinoa to steamed vegetables, and a fried plantain fritter. Aside from the meal platter, we also had a sweet potato bread dessert, and two drinks: a ginger ale and an even more gingery African sorrel.

The food is good, hearty, and filling. Compared to the city’s other I-tal venues (like personal favorite Veggie Castle II) there isn’t quite as much selection, and the dishes we tried weren’t quite as flavorful as they could have been. At $16 each, the price was also a bit higher than we’d hope for a quick take-out meal. That said, you have to give the venue some respect for keeping the vegetarian flame alive for the Bronx, and if you happen to find yourself in Williamsbridge, it’s worth the visit for that aspect alone.

Food (2.5/4)
Atmosphere & Service
Value (3/4)

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