People look at me odd when I tell them we vacation for food. It’s true. We always pick a destination based on availability of vegan eats. This is why Denver, Portland and New York City are regularly at the top of our vacation list. Most people head to the beach but I’ll head to the vegan barbecue.
This is not a Nashville post. You can think of it as a wishful thinking Nashville post. Nashville doesn’t have a vegan food truck. In fact, a discussion I had once with a very popular Nashville food truck over adding a single vegan item to their menu was met with a “Why would anyone want to eat that?” Unfortunately, that pretty much sums up the mentality over vegan food when you mention it to most restauranteurs in this area. I wonder, why would anyone want to eat decaying animal flesh or pus-filled, molded cow secretions? But I digress. Suffice it to say that food truck will get no attention from me.
On we go to the big city. The land of towering buildings. The streets filled with food and many of them vegan choices!
When I discovered New York City was home to a vegan food truck I was honestly excited. The thrill of the hunt! Would we be in the same area on as The Cinnamon Snail on a given day or would we be hitting the train to search out this animal-free street runner? It didn’t take long to discover via The Cinnamon Snail’s Twitter feed that they would park just 2 blocks from our hotel every Tuesday. Perfect for a quick breakfast bite before hitting the city.
Just around the corner and the kid spotted the graphics-clad truck sitting street side. Now, she’s all about doughnuts. She had that doughnut planned form the time she discovered The Cinnamon Snail served them up in mobile fashion. It didn’t take her long to pick her flavor, raspberry glazed. The doughnuts are not on the small side and definitely not small on flavor. These are not cake doughnuts, they’re the fried type. My favorite, and honestly, the only way to make a doughnut. That doughnut didn’t last long and she was looking for her next morsel form the menu. Mrs. Nashveggie went for a cinnamon roll. of course, she makes her own cinnamon rolls. Her cinnamon rolls are perfect. They have just the right amount of cinnamon sugar stickiness rolled into a soft, yet lightly chewy, dough that comes out of the oven ready to melt in your mouth. I think she picks cinnamon rolls when she finds them just to compare. We shared the roll and it was very tasty. Not a fluffy dough. This cinnamon roll is denser but still very flavorful. They’re filling and a perfect side to a cup of coffee (which you can also get from The Cinnamon Snail with soy creamer if desired!)
The kid, still wanting more, decided to try an apple turnover. Very flaky crust and plenty of filling. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to try it so I can only tell you it was good based on how long it lasted. Under 30 seconds and she’s looking for more. That’s a good gauge of great vegan food when it comes to the kid. Her reward for being such a fan of those sweets: A Cinnamon Snail t-shirt from the fine crew of the The Cinnamon Snail. (Thank you guys! That’s was great!)
Based on our first visit to The Cinnamon Snail we deemed it necessary to visit again. Not many places will get a second visit from us on vacation but The Cinnamon Snail proved well on our first encounter and sounded good a few days later. This time we found them to be on Wall Street for the day so we hopped the train for a trip to the Financial District. We walked a few blocks down Wall Street passing other food trucks setup in hopes of grabbing the monetary swingers on their lunch breaks. A person waiting at one, another waiting for customers and most just waiting with no one ordering yet. It wasn’t hard to find The Cinnamon Snail. There was already a good line formed for the vegan eats. In fact, they had the only line out of the other trucks we passed on the way.
This time it was lunch. We needed street-walking sustenance. Looking at the menu we chose what sounded to be delicious, I the Korean BBQ Seitan and Mrs. Nashveggie the Maple Mustard Tempeh Sandwich. The kid wanted another doughnut which was fine knowing she could share some of our non-sweet vittles.
We found a public area at nearby Deutsche Bank and broke into our boxes. At first sight I was wishing I had went with Mrs. Nashveggie’s choice as my BBQ looked on the small side. I was wrong. Once I took a bite I realized the tortilla was stuffed full and also full of flavor. This thing was delicious. I also tried the Maple Mustard Tempeh and I can understand why it is one of their most popular menu items. Delicious! The Korean BBQ Seitan was full of seitan chunks. They’re unseasoned when prepared it seems but made so they can take on the flavor of the item the make with them. There was lightly steamed kale in there with a very spicy sauce that didn’t overpower the sandwich. A great lunch for the three of us and just under $20 including the doughnuts the kid wanted. This is a deal in Manhattan.
After devouring our lunch we thought about a doughnut to-go. To-go being an odd term to use when grabbing one from a food truck. Back to the truck I went and discovered the line was 24 people deep and a bit slow moving. I waited in line for a few minutes. While waiting a few people passed The Cinnamon Snail, took a look in the direction and said “Oh, that’s just sweets.” or “They only have pastries.” This is probably because of the 1. The name. 2. The window beneath the ordering area that displays all of their pastries and doughnuts, the only food display window. 3. The absence of anything announcing anything not sweet anywhere on the truck that would be visible to distant passers-by and “Cinnamon” emblazoned in huge letters, a word most people relate to sweets. Granted, they had a long line so most people are aware they serve savory goods but it seems they could get more with adding perhaps an image of a sandwich somewhere or even a specials board in plain sight on the side of the truck stating something like “TODAY’S VEGAN HOTNESS: MAPLE MUSTARD TEMPEH SANDWICH! SAVORY GOODNESS!” Since the line was very slow to move I decided a doughnut was not going to be had as we had many things on tap for the day and we had to get to the next stop.
If you find yourself in New York City and decide to search them out be sure to check their Twitter as they may not be in the same locations we found them. They’ve had some issues with the NYPD and parking lately that appears to be attributed to other trucks trying to tie up the limited space they find. Overcrowding seems to be an issue.
Unfortunately, this would be our last visit to The Cinnamon Snail as New York City boasts many fine vegan food joints and we must get our eats on in variable fashion. However, when we return to New York City, and we will return soon, I’ll be hitting the streets on the hunt for The Cinnamon Snail. I suggest you do the same.