Vegan in New York: PS Kitchen

New York city skyline

During the Easter break, I took a long awaited trip to New York. It was not my first time there – I went with my family back in 2005 when I was a vegetarian, and I have long wanted to go back, largely because of all the great things I’ve read and seen about the vegan scene. Dr HH was on board too, but we resolved not to visit the US while Trump was in charge, lest we contributed towards any stats he had on how he’d boosted tourism. And then there was the pandemic, so it seemed hard to imagine holidaying in New York at all for a while. Then finally, we took the plunge and booked the trip, and we even lured Mother HH along again as well. And look, the food was so good it’s brought me out of my blogging retirement!

We landed in New York on a Saturday evening after a long journey from Prague. It had been years since any of us had taken a long haul flight, so it was a tough time. We managed to jostle through the crowds in the rain to get to our hotel near Times Square (which was generally a great choice in terms of easy navigation and transport around the city, but an extremely overwhelming start to the trip for jetlagged, hungry new arrivals – there were people everywhere). Fortunately, I’d eyed up an eatery that was just a few minutes walk from the hotel and already secured a reservation, so we were able to get in and fed with minimal critical thinking required. (You’ll have to forgive the terrible lighting on the pictures below – the lighting in the restaurant was sub-optimal for photos and I was too tired and hungry to care. It’s a miracle we got any pictures before diving in!)

A pot pie crusted with herbs and some fries

Besides its proximity, one of the other key attractions of PS Kitchen was the menu – comfort food, perfect for restoring the tired traveller. For me, there is no food more comforting than a pie and I was giddy (or, as giddy as possible after such a long journey) to get stuck in to this one. It wasn’t quite what I’d been hoping for. A pot pie only has a pastry lid, not the sides and bottom that make a pie truly great. But the pastry itself was good and flaky, at least. The filling was mock chicken in a creamy sauce with peas and some other veg – it could have done with a touch more seasoning for me (the pastry was herby but the filling less so), and it was also a bit too liquid for my tastes, almost like a soup, I’d have liked the sauce to be thicker. Still, it was hearty and comforting, and the fries were good and crispy, so no major complaints.

A burger in a pretzel bun with salad, a patty, and blue cheese. Fries on the side.

Dr HH went bolder than I expected with this black-n-bleu burger. Vegan blue cheese is not something I’ve enjoyed much, and I think this would have been too much for me, but he said it balanced quite nicely with the Impossible patty and usual accompaniments. Not mind-blowing, but perfectly edible. Please note that the burgers do not come with chips, we had to order them separately – which was the right choice. The burgers would have been a bit small on their own.

A burger in a pretzel bun with a patty, cheese, and mushrooms.

Mother HH played it a bit safer on the burger front with this smoky BBQ burger, and she was the most satisfied customer in our group. This was another Impossible patty with a very appealing cheese slice on top of some smoky mushrooms and onions, with plenty of BBQ sauce, but not so much as to drown the burger. It kept its structural integrity. This is one of Mother HH’s top meals of the holiday, so she was off to a very promising start.

All in all, it was a good beginning to our culinary adventure in New York. The food was generally not mind-blowing, but it was a treat for me to get something which is never on a vegan menu in Prague (and we can’t even get pies at our local Marks & Spencer anymore, thanks to Brexit), and it was exactly what we’d been aiming for: a comforting meal that we could easily find. The restaurant had a bit of a bar-like atmosphere, with quite dim lighting and very loud music, which is not exactly what I want when I’m eating – but it was a Saturday night in the middle of a huge city, so it probably makes sense.

One small issue we had was our first brush in with QR code menus in a country where we don’t get free data. We needed to scan the QR code to access the menu, which suggests to me that wifi passwords should be obvious to all customers. We had to wait for a waitress to come back to get the password, and she warned us that the signal was so bad we might not be able to get online anyway, which was indeed the case, so we ended up with paper menus after all. I have come to accept that QR code scanning makes sense from a hygiene perspective, but if you do that you really have to provide easy digital access. Fortunately for me I usually have a menu memorised before I step through the door, but apparently not everyone does that?

QR codes for menus – yay or nay? And on your first night in a new destination do you go for a bold option or play it safe? Let me know in the comments!

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3 Responses to Vegan in New York: PS Kitchen

  1. Jennifer says:

    I know people with disabilities have said that QR codes have been awesome for them. So I think it is good that restaurants have both available.

    That pot pie sounds like an american pot pie. A creamy soup with a pastry, I know we stink at our pies lol Apparently historically Americans were all gungho with pies and England it was a morality issue (like poor people eat them so they were gross) Somehow Americans just stuck with sweet pies and England embraced savory pies for everyone.

    • Jenny says:

      Hi Jennifer, nice to see you again! I hope you’re doing well. Interesting to learn about American vs British pies! There’s a pot pie recipe in Superfun Times that I love, and now I’m wondering if I usually reduce the amount of liquid in it to make it more British style.

      Good point about QR codes for people with disabilities, I hadn’t thought of that. I’ve never really encountered them in Prague so it’s only been when I’m travelling, when using my data on holiday is a bit more of a hassle. Right after I posted this, I read this article about QR codes which made me laugh:

      • onesonicbite says:

        I luckily never had to deal with the whole QR code issue. The few times I ate out during covid it was coffee shops, so they never really got it together. Or I ordered online and pick up take out.

        Pot pie were my thing as kid. If it was on the menu I got it. I also wouldnt be surprised if someone told me they were an east coast/new england sort of thing.

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