Curly's Vegetarian Lunch on 14th Street was actually the first veg restaurant I ate at in New York City. I wasn't dedicatedly vegan or even really vegetarian yet, but I had been researching the food industry for long enough that I leaned toward veg options pretty much all the time. So when I saw the word "vegetarian" right there on the sign of a restaurant, I was intrigued.
I was having an absolutely horrible day. I'd only been in the city for a couple of weeks. I was trying to do things like get a p.o. box set up and get my cell phone service established in NYC, and I was smacking into metaphorical brick walls every time I turned around. (This is rather tough on the nose of the soul, I must say.) I called up my then boyfriend, who was still back in Louisiana at what had been our evacuation hideout, and wailed my eyes out to him. And it was as I was stumbling down the street, making this spectacle of myself, that I found Curly's.
I went in, got myself some lunch, and discovered the pleasures both of dining alone in New York and of this particular little veg diner. A spot of comfort at that time in my life was truly something to cherish, and that's probably part of why it has remained one of my favorites. But there is no doubt in my mind that it holds its own regardless of any sentiment, as will be attested to by the numerous friends, both veg and omni, who I've brought to dine here.
This past weekend I was feeling a bit down - between work and weather, blegh. And so my heart and stomach wanted the comfort that only Curly's seems to be able to bring. Without further ado, we headed on over. We surprised ourselves when we got there, though, by ordering things we never really get rather than our old standards. For me, I started with the Mexican hot chocolate - a fabulous beverage. I have frequently gotten the milkshake version, but never just the nice warm mug. But the day's 45-and-raining demanded it, and it delivered.
I also had a bowl of the chili and grain. I've never had their chili before - it's really good! Maybe not as good as Jonathan's, but then what is? I wasn't sure if it could be ordered vegan, but when I inquired of our lovely waitress, she responded confidently, "we can do anything on the menu vegan." Love it. The chili is listed under small plates, but it's no such thing. When I was finished with it I couldn't have eaten another bite.
Jonathan ordered the quesadilla appetizer, thinking he just wanted something small. But he got four nice slices with a little salad in the middle! A really splendid presentation, and a good amount of food as well.
And as the icing on the cake? The whole meal came to about $18. For fabulous food and table service with a smile, I say you can't do much better than that.
Love ya Curly's! See you soon.