My dinner at Village Natural was months in the making with two friends I met through my volunteer work at God’s Love We Deliver. Fellow volunteer Andrew and I wanted to celebrate the promotion of GLWD employee Em but synching our schedules proved to be nearly impossible, until this week. Tuesday night we gathered in the Village to hang outside the four walls of GLWD and enjoy a night of culinary epiphanies (on my end). With some dietary restrictions here and there Village Natural was chosen and I happily obliged. As someone who basically eats for a living, sometimes my body just begs for something healthy, and of course, Em is always on board to help me with that.
First off, this place is a West Village institution, it’s been there for 20+ years. Just below the ground in a sort of English basement-like space, the restaurant plays made me feel….relaxed with quiet classical music, comfortable wooden booths, and a menagerie of different plants and gourds populating the space. A sweet old-school place that has a simple nice vibe.
This is the place to eat if you live a mostly plant-based diet, as the menu is all vegetarian and/or vegan. The menu is huge (like five pages) and has something for everyone….. enjoy meals in a variety of cuisines like Mexican, Italian, Chinese and American. Basically, you name it, they carry it.
With this whole gluten-free thing going on in my food space, I had limited options as many vegan and vegetarian diets feature grains chock full of gluten. So I went with the BBQ veggie riblets with mashed sweet potatoes and steamed greens. From the photo above it’s not too hard to see the size difference between the main and sides I was served. The veggie riblets paled in comparison tot he sides but I didn’t mind as the mashed sweet potatoes were outstanding (they had this great bite to them from the use of heavy pepper) and the steamed greens (a mix of celery, kale, broccoli and bok choy) made me a very happy eater.
I was skeptic prior to this meal (would I be hungry after? Would anything taste good?) but knew Em wouldn’t steer me wrong. I literally ate my thoughts/words as my meal was surprisingly good and satisfying. I will definitely go back (after my gluten-free trip is over) and check out the menu items I wanted to try but couldn’t. Post-meal I talked to my vegetarian friends and they all loved the place. More meat eaters should check this out for a little change of pace. For those not in the know, Village Natural is definitely under the radar, literally as it’s underground, but shouldn’t be….it’s a great spot to put some healthy food back into your body.
46 Greenwich Street (between Perry and Charles Streets)