Thursday, June 7, 2012

Hot On The Trail Of The Cinnamon Snail

General Tso's Haberno Apricot Glazed Seitan Sandwich with Arugula

Overheard Somewhere Near Midtown New York City:

Guy: What's this Cinnamon Snail? (looking at the line to order)
Girl: Do they really serve snails?
Guy: Oh, not if it's vegan.

 Now picture that conversation in a thick Staten Island accent. Yes, there is a difference. 

      I'm not sure what it is with food from a truck, maybe it's the quintessential american meal, trucks and fast food. Or maybe it's the garage band theory when the most passionate chefs are working to prove their worth. No matter what it is, I can't get enough. Seabirds was my first truck love, which inspired Salt Lake City's best restaurant (wheeled or not) Union Street Eats, and now the famed and great Cinnamon Snail, hands down the best food I ate in the city! I know I have a tendency to use the superlatives, but, look, I'm not alone. Mobile Cuisine just nominated the truck as the top influential vegan food truck in the country. See, I have back up! Plus, how cool of a name for a restaurant is Cinnamon Snail! (Spoiler: It's what they call a cinnamon roll. Oh, those creative, East Coasters!) 
The Cinnamon Snail in Action
Look At That Dessert Window!
     On a recent visit to the big apple Cinnamon Snail was on my mind  after a VegNews article on Food Trucks, but I thought Hoboken was a little too far to travel given the cornucopia of food choices. Luckily, my great hosts had a Cinnamon Snail calendar that lead me to the journey. Not only did they tell me, they come to New York City, but one of the calendar photos had a picture of a donut. This was just an ordinary donut but a creme brulee donut! Needless to say, we got some shut eye and a late start to the day and then headed to midtown to stalk Cinnamon Snail. Well, I didn't have to work to hard to pick up it's scent, my great host Brett @ Veganbrew gave me perfect directions that lead right to the truck. 
Creme Brulee Donut
After Some Warming In The Oven!
    With menu items like ancho chili seitan burger, maple mustard tempeh sandwich, the hardest part was what to choose. Well, the entrees anyway. I was nervously watching the stack of creme brulee donuts shrink to just two! A cold sweat ensued and then the lady in front order of me order one! Oh, not I might not get the famed donut! But alas, I got the last one (and a box of other donuts)! Perfect timing if you ask me. In other news, I decided to go with the special of the day General Tso's special and the special one got a Lemongrass Five Spiced Seitan sandwich, which looked just like mine. I paired mine with some Artisan Passionfruit ginger ale from Bruce Cost. This guy literally wrote the book on ginger. My hero. Swoon! 
Cinnamon Snail in Action
Box O' Donuts
Creme Brulee, Smores and Boston Creme!
     Ordering food from a truck isn't a bad deal when you can go back to your home or office, but new york city is lacking in benches. Luckily, we walked a block and found half a street that was converted into an outdoor area, complete with table and chairs. Pretty cool, though it was a bit weird eating with cars driving so close by. The second thing I learned is how hard it is to photograph a sandwich, especially with rain drops percolating from the sky. The third thing I learned is how delicious Cinnamon Snail is. Wow, this was an awesome sandwich and organic, too. I just wish I could have went for breakfast or another stop. Hopefully, they get picked up by the Food Network so we'll get another visit in Salt Lake! If you're headed to the Big Apple, make Cinnamon Snail one of your must visits. Just be sure to follow on twitter or facebook to get their current location. Oh, and it's cash only so hit the ATM before following the snail trail. If you're not convinced just gander at one of last week's special: Panang curry grilled tofu with marinated greens and Thai chili roasted coconut and peanuts served open face on a chili butter grilled tortilla. Now will someone overnight me one? Please? I would settle for some recipes.
    Smores Donut
Like A Campfire, Only In Donut Form
     The donuts were dense and packed with flavor. Like children, I can't admit to my favorite, but if you twisted my arm enough I could be forced to squeal creme brulee. It's not my fought you forced me!    
     While we were eating, we got word that we scored tickets to David Letterman. I've been a fan since I was a wee lad so it was awesome to see the shows in person. Not only was that great, but Florence and The Machine were the musical guest. Our lucky stars were aligned. I was feeling so lucky, I played the lottery, but sadly I didn't win.
     With bellies full, we headed to the 9/11 memorial. It's really a beautiful memorial and didn't require any advanced tickets,unlike the plethora of signs that indicate otherwise. This was awesome, because we're the fly by the seat of our pants people.
9/11 Memorial

Freedom Tower

The Cinnamon Snail (Food Truck) on Urbanspoon

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