The Cinnamon Snail is one of my favorite vegan restaurants in NYC. I’ve been a loyal fan since before they even had a storefront, way back when they were a food truck we had to chase down at different places in the city. They’ve been wildly popular here and for good reason — the food is freakin’ delicious, and both vegans and meat-eaters think so.
The Cinnamon Snail’s founder, Adam Sobel, is the creative chef genius behind the restaurant, and he has a cookbook with recipes you won’t believe are vegan. Street Vegan: Recipes and Dispatches from The Cinnamon Snail Food Truck is a nice cookbook addition for all kitchens, not just plant-based ones.
ABOUT THE BOOK
This book is by Adam Sobel, the creator of The Cinnamon Snail food truck.
MY OVERALL IMPRESSION
These recipes sound just as mouthwatering as the items on The Cinnamon Snail menu. They may be creative and sound delicious, however, they aren’t all necessarily easy to make or call for your standard American ingredients. This is both good and bad — good, because it will take you out of your comfort zone and acts as a great lesson that vegan food can only be limited by your imagination, and bad, because you probably don’t have all the ingredients on hand for these recipes and will need to devote more time to discovery and shopping before cooking. By cooking these recipes, you’ll learn how to use ingredients like gouchang (a delicious Korean red chili paste), kimchi, daikon radish, umeboshi plum vinegar and Thai basil leaves. Personally, I enjoyed learning about these flavors and how to use them. As Sobel writes, “These ingredients will make your mouth travel far and wide with brand-new flavors, and will make you so good at mastering the vegan universe, you’ll never go back to boring food again.”
WHAT SETS THIS BOOK APART
This book is great for people who already like to cook, especially for those meat eaters who are skeptical of vegetarian food. It isn’t the best for brand-new vegans who are still getting used to the difference between tofu and tempeh. However, if you are an intermediate or experienced a chef, I think you will enjoy the journey of shopping for and preparing these unique, dairy free recipes.
RECIPE DIFFICULTY LEVEL
Medium – Hard
FOCUS/MAIN TYPES OF DISHES
This book focuses on creative and flavor-packed vegan meals, sandwiches, soups, appetizers, sauces, beverages, sides and desserts (yes, that includes the famous Cinnamon Snail donuts!)
A FEW RECIPES I BOOKMARKED
Here are some recipes you can find in this book:
- Maple Mustard Breakfast Seitan Strips (pg 27)
- Fresh Fig Pancakes With Chamomile- Blood Orange Syrup (pg 30)
- Beer-Battered Habanero Buffalo Wings (pg 79)
- Chimichurri Tempeh Empanadas With Mint Onion Relish (pg 94)
- Jalapeño Corn Chowdah (pg 99)
- Maple Butternut Squash Soup (pg 104)
- Sage Tempeh Sausage Sliders (pg 137)
- Gochujang Burger Deluxe (pg 145)
- Red Bean-Scallion Pancakes (pg 158)
- Ginger Island Tofu With Coconut Mashed Yams And Fried Ginger (pg 166)
- Horseradish Mashed Potatoes (pg 182)
- Mini Peanut Butter- Chocolate Cheesecakes (pg 204)
- Lavender Pear Fritters With Meyer Lemon Glaze (pg 245)
- Habanero Aioli (pg 257)
WHO SHOULD READ THIS BOOK
Anyone who wants a change to their cooking and to try something new and fun — and those who think vegan food sucks. This food definitely doesn’t suck. In fact, it will probably blow your mind it’s so delicious.
FROM THE PUBLISHER
The publisher of the book says, “What’s the secret behind the Snail’s takeover of New York City streets? In all kinds of weather, vegetarians, vegans, and omnivores alike queue up for addictive vegan cuisine from truck owner Adam Sobel. Now Adam brings his food straight to your kitchen, along with stories of the challenges of working on a food truck while still finding ways to infuse food with imagination, love, and a pinch of perspective. Street Vegan brings the energy and passion of the Cinnamon Snail’s creative cooking from truck to table.”
Have you tried The Cinnamon Snail? They have a location at The Pennsy food court in Manhattan and offer a bangin’ Thanksgiving menu.
Check out my other Cookbook Spotlight posts.
Images via The Cinnamon Snail & Clarkson Potter/ Publishers