3 Wise Vegans’ Pilgrimmage to the Mecca of Raw (and Cooked) Vegan Cuisine known as Caravan of Dreams.
Upon entering Caravan, there is an immediate sense that a sumptuous culinary experience is about to occur. A Morrocan-like dream world surrounds you with a (perhaps flying) carpet along the ceiling, deep red tattered seat cushions, and gold-weaved mutli-colored fabric votives; yet there is a light, airy feeling, not the notion that you are stuck inside a genie’s bottle.
Okay, okay, onto the food already!
There is a huge menu, 1/2 raw, 1/2 cooked, that has an enormous variety. It took us quite a long time to decide, but we definitely made perfect personal choices that dabbled in all the various cuisines offered:
We began with a Mexican appetizer of Classic Nachos. It was a mound of melded flavors genious – ai carumba! The slighty salty tortilla chips held their crisp as we scooped the hearty black beans, topped with chunky guacamole, topped with salsa drizzled with vegan sour cream. Each layer’s unique flavorings – the salt, the heartiness, the lime, the spice, the coolness — were noted meticulously in each bite.
Next was the salad course, which is not to be missed! All entrees come with a side salad, but I ordered a bunch of sides, so had to order mine separetly, and our raw-foodie companion who was having a salad entree ordered the live smoothie special. This was a mix of coconut, almond, and yumminess . . . seeing as she slurped it down before we had finished three bites of our salads! But, ah, the salads . . .I am a greens freak and have rarely found a restaurant salad I approve of, but this blew me away! A medly of greens, some of which even I could not name, with some shredded beets and carrots and cukes, drizzled with the balsamic shiitake dressing. Angels sang. The Caravan genie granted my salad wish.
And the main event: The raw-foodie’s salad entree was piled high with veggies and fruits, all topped with a heaping scoop of the the live pate of the day. Again, she devoured it. I opted for some sides: the carrot polenta with tomato and ail-oil, blanched mixed veggies, and tomato sauce (being Italian, I always must try a retaurant’s sauce). While the polenta was moist and flavorful, the thin slice of tomato and strange white froth on top remained scraped off on my plate — bad, bad idea — they should have stuck with the mushroom gravy topping that was listed on-line, but not available in reality. My veggies were outstanding, with the right texture (which is easy for restaurants to mess up) — and an incredible variety from kale to califlower to snow peas! Dipped in their vibrant tomato sauce, it was a perfect match over the polenta! Our other companion turned Italian, too, with the ravioli of the day. This was a large dish of bright kale, that met-my-standards tomato sauce, and lots of tender raviolis filled with veggies and an almond cream. Our plates were clean.
The finale: The raw-foodie ventured into the dessert list and emerged with a raw coconut-lime pie, while us cooked foodies were stuffed and opted for teas. The aroma’s of my hazelnut-vanilla tea seemed even more satisfying than a solid dessert would be, until . . . I tasted that dang raw pie. Angels sang again. It was a creamy sorbet-pudding texture with a refreshing lime-coconut flavor. The perfect after-dinner treat.
Needless to say: I will trek back (or ride my magic carpet) to Caravan of Dreams
405 E 6th St (b/n 1 + 2 aves)
A delightful hostess and cheerful, attentive waiters rounded out the dreamy trip my tastebuds just traveled.