The Vegetarian Option: Enid's
The Southern-styled Enid's in Greenpoint sits right at the corner of McCarren Park. There are plenty of bars around Brooklyn that serve up Southern-inspired food, but Enid's stands out for its generous vegetarian offerings.
Their lunch menu features items like vegetarian sausage with gravy and huevos rancheros, while the brunch menu also features fried jalapeno cheese grits. During dinner they offer daily specials, like the vegetarian pozole ($4 cup/$6 bowl) pictured above.
The pozole is made with a tomatillo broth, which gives it a tart kick. The soup features a variety of complimentary textures: soft and chewy hominy, crispy strips of fried tortilla, and rich broth. A hint of cilantro brings all of the flavors together. If this soup is on the menu when you go, definitely order it.
The homemade veggie burger ($12) has the same textural problem that many other veggie burgers around the city share: it's mushy and falls apart far too easily. What it lacks in cohesion, though, it more than makes up for in flavor. The patty is slightly sweet, slightly nutty and chock full of pieces of vegetables like carrots and peas. The burger is topped with a delicious dijon mayo, the requisite lettuce and tomato, and a handful of ice cold pickle slices.
You can choose a side to go along with the veggie burger, and I went with a scoop of mashed potatoes topped with the vegetarian gravy. Although the mashed potatoes are rich and creamy, they and the gravy benefit enormously from a sprinkle of salt.
The sides are also pretty good. The corn muffin ($3) is slightly crispy around the edges; it's served with salty butter to offset the sweetness of the muffin. It's a great vehicle for soaking up broth or for cooling your mouth after eating something spicy, like the spicy pickled beets ($4). Acidic and quite spicy, these are great palate cleansers. Note the whole pickled chiles in the bowl with the beets—eat those at your own risk.
Few bars offer serious vegetarian items beyond mozzarella sticks and stuffed potato skins. But Enid's goes the extra mile for a fully vegetarian meal that completely satisfies. After my meal I took a walk in nearby McCarren Park, full and quite happy.
About the author: Howard Walfish is a Virginia native who has been living in New York since 2003. He is, in fact, a vegetarian, and is the co-founder of Eat to Blog and the creator of BrooklynVegetarian.