Normally when I go out to eat I have to look at the menu for a while and decide on approximately two dishes I can actually eat, well that wasn’t the case with Candle Café. As a vegetarian dinning at a vegan restaurant I could literally eat anything off their menu. A few days prior my best friend (not a vegetarian or vegan) and I agreed on Candle Café, after sending her a few menus and promising her it was my treat. Nestled on Third Ave between 75th and 76th street there was Candle Café right next to Le Steak Bistro, which was both ironic and convenient. My best friend and I got to Candle Café with about five minutes left of their happy hour. Having five minutes to spare wasn’t going to hinder us from any happy hour, we quickly ordered drinks and an appetizer with the help of one of waitress.
I had the Candle Cosmo, she had the Candle Rita and we both shared an order of empanadas. These empanadas aren’t stuffed with any meat or cheese; instead they are stuffed with sweet plantain on a bed on pureed black beans. As much as I enjoy a cheese empanada, after having Candle Café’s version of an empanada I wish more places included it as one of their options for an empanada. In the midst of enjoying our empanadas, our waitress came over to take our entrée order. My best friend got the Southern plate, while I battled between that and the sweet potato lasagna. With the help of our waitress I chose the sweet potato lasagna.
As soon as we were done with our appetizer our entrée was quickly brought out. Our plates looked plentiful with food. My best friend who is a lover of potatoes quickly dug into the mashed potatoes and deemed them good. I on the other hand began eating at the kale and sauce in my own plate that I couldn’t seem to get enough of. My best friend tried the fried seitan that was supposed to mimic a piece of fried chicken, however the fried seitan didn’t have much flavor. But she did love the cornbread on her plate, claiming that it tasted like granola in cake form and jokingly said that Dallas BBQ should make it their new cornbread. I on the other hand enjoyed my lasagna, but I only wished the sweet potato was cooked and seasoned a bit more. I am not a huge fan of zucchini but I liked it in my lasagna layered with the sweet potato as a substitute for pasta. The chorizo tempeh was well seasoned and had the texture of ground meat, which went well with the “lasagna”.
The vibe inside of the Candle Café is very casual; their décor is very simple and muted. The staff there was very attentive and friendly. I am already thinking of other friends I can take to Candle Café. My best friend and I both didn’t finish our entrees but we left the restaurant feeling so full. Full to the point that I went home with a food baby and only had room in my stomach to take my iron pills when I got home. It felt nice to have a menu more catered to my diet but also food that also taste good.