Cinnamon Snail Gets the Full ML Treatment at Last
In case you haven’t heard two of midtown’s own have been named Vendy’s cup finalists. We’ve been raving about Uncle Gussy’s for ages and while the Cinnamon Snail Truck has been on our radar since they hit New York last December (we just reviewed their awesome fig pancake special), it seemed high time to give them the official ML +/-.
It was doughnuts ($2) that first lured me to the Cinnamon Snail. Specifically their vegan marshmallow and graham cracker topped, chocolate filled s’more doughnuts. Their crème brûlée doughnuts ($3) won the special Maker’s Mark award at the Vendy’s last year, but my personal favorite is the Hulk Hogan Transvestite Fudgie Wudgie, a chocolate filled, chocolate frosted, chocolate cookie topped doughnut that is ridiculously delicious–in an uncharacteristic attempt at doughnut moderation, I tried to eat just half of one of these recently. Needless to say, I didn’t mind failing.
I’ve brought the Snail’s doughnuts to my office and shared them with unsuspecting colleagues to unanimous raves. I then told them the doughnuts were vegan and subsequently blew their minds. If you did a true side-by-side with a non-vegan doughnut, I’d bet that their would be differences in texture due to the absence of milk and eggs, something to keep in mind if you’re a doughnut purist, but in general, I would say that the doughnuts and pretty much their entire pastry case is a good place to start if you’re cautious about vegan food.
Big thumbs up to the spinach and caper phyllo pies as a super tasty vegan version of spanokopita.
Their pancakes, like these seasonal fresh fig pancakes with chamomile blood orange syrup and pine nut butter ($10), are also winners in my book. It’s not easy to find good pancakes in midtown and you get filling triple stack at the Snail. Their blue corn pancakes ($9) are substantial, like the whole grain pancakes I remember eating as a kid but with an unexpected lightness. Their pancakes aren’t quite as fluffy as the Aunt Jemima’s instant stuff, but they are still very, very good. I recipe tested batch after batch of the blue corn pancakes to get the at home recipe right for our upcoming street food book, and this is definitely a dish worth getting and one that again, if you’re skittish about vegan food, is a good one to try. My in-laws are carnivores through and through and they really loved both the pancakes and their addictive sweet and salty pine nut butter which you get a generous dollop of on all their pancake dishes.
The other day I was in line and overheard a man ordering the chipotle seitan breakfast burrito ($8). I told him I’ve never tried it and he said it was his favorite dish on the menu. The description: Chipotle grilled seitan, scrabled tofu, fresh jalapenos, marinated kale, and chipotle mayonnaise, sounds pretty awesome and I’m marking it as one to try (if you’ve had it, let me know in the comments).
I have had their regular breakfast burrito: scrambled tofu, refried beans, pico de gallo, and avocado ($8) and I can say as a non-vegan, with all of the other options available I wouldn’t pick this again. It was fine but a little bland and heavier on the onions that I generally prefer.
One of the great things about most of the menu items I’ve tried from the Snail is they tend to be bursting with flavor–lots of sauces, lots of textures, and lots of spicy dishes, like the gochujang deluxe burger ($10), which is a nicely textured seitan burger with korean paste, sauteed kimchi, pickled daikon and leeks, black sesame gomasio, arugula and sriracha mayo on grilled focaccia. This, too, is enormous and filling and it brings the heat. Though for the mayo-adverse, I must warn that they tend to have heavy hand with the sauces, so if you don’t like mayo or if you have a low spice tolerance be sure to let them know before they start putting together your order.
Another of my favorite sandwiches is the smoked portobello mushroom carpaccio, a good bet for lunch’rs weirded out by seitan or tofu, this sandwich consists of smoked portabello mushrooms that have been thinly sliced and layered on a sandwich with fried caper berries, caramelized onions, truffled kalamata olive tapenade, and arugula on grilled herb focaccia ($9).
THE + (What people who like this place would say)
- Tasty doughnuts
- Good spicy options
- Lots of veggies, even on the sandwiches
- Large portions
THE – (What people who don’t like this place would say)
- Long line
- They often run out of the daily special
- No milk, no meat, no eggs? No way!
As someone who is allergic to tree nuts there are tons of nutty dishes that I haven’t been able to try like the cashew oat waffles with caramelized apples, and maple syrup. If you are a fan of any of the nut dishes (or other dishes!) let us know in the comments!
Today they are parked on 47th & Park, but for exact locations and specials, follow them on twitter @VeganLunchTruck. or check out their Facebook page where they post their weekly schedule and any specials news.