Eating to Live on the Outside: Red Bamboo

As you know, my favorite Eating to Live on the Outside restaurant is New York City’s Sacred Chow. In fact, I was there again this past weekend. Now, this week’s installment isn’t about Sacred Chow, rather, it’s about another New York City eatery right down the road. I haven’t eaten their yet, but, Red Bamboo certainly has some potential. Let’s take a look-see.

Red Bamboo serves up vegetarian cuisine, and, it certainly lives up to its namesake. The only immediate gripe I have about the menu is the tremendous amounts of faux-meat products like tofu chicken, bacon, fish, and seitan. I’ve got nothing deep-rooted against this stuff. I just don’t like them all that much. I rather eat wholesome fruits and vegetables—you know?

Alright, let’s start with the appetizers. I like the steamed Edamame the best, but I’d nix the sea salt. There’re also a few dumplings and rolls that I might give a look. Combined the Asian Dumplings, Spring Rolls, and the Thai Vegetable Rolls are made with spinach, cabbage, bamboo shoots, mushrooms, mixed green salad, soy-ginger dipping sauce, carrots, bean sprouts, soy protein, jicama, basil, rice paper, and soy-lime dipping sauce. Certainly lots of good stuff! I’m not sure about the soy protein and I’d probably go without either dipping sauce—I don’t want all that salt!

And like always, the salads present a lot of opportunity. The House Salad works; prepared with mixed field greens, spinach, tomatoes, carrots, mushrooms, and carrot-ginger dressing. Limit that dressing and you’re good! My favorite—because it is so exotic—is the Sea Vegetable Salad. It includes wakame, sesame hijiki, mixed greens, cucumbers, carrots, onions, bean sprouts, and house dressing. I love me some wakame! Again, watch that dressing. The Roasted Vegetable Salad and the Mediterranean Salad are also neat; combined they’re made with Portabello mushrooms, shallots, green peppers, red peppers, beets, sundried tomatoes, mixed greens, toasted walnuts, sherry-wine vinaigrette, field greens, seaweed, grilled tofu, kalamata olives, and house dressing. Personally, I’d probably ditch the tofu—not really my thing—I’d also can the olives and go easy on the dressing. All and all, pretty good!

There are some interesting vegetable entrees too. My favorite is the Grilled Vegetable Platter. They make it with grilled yellow squash, zucchini, red onions, Portabello mushrooms, and brown or white rice. I’d order it with brown rice, and, I’d just like to say—grilled yellow squash is fantastic! Yummy! The Stuffed Portabello Mushroom is up my alley as well. It’s prepared with a large Portabello mushroom, minced red pepper, garlic, basil, fresh cilantro, and mixed greens. It’s hard to beat Portabellos! Another two options might be the Teriyaki Vegetable Stir-Fry and the Black Bean Ginger Stir-Fry. Now, these are okay if you can get past the whole “fried” thing. I don’t really like fried food, but, I’m a very good boy with my eating, so I might consider one of these. Together they  include zucchini, yellow squash, carrots, asparagus, cauliflower, broccoli, sweet teriyaki glaze, garden vegetables, Cantonese black bean, chili ginger glaze, and white or brown rice. Naturally, I’d go with the brown rice for either of these. How do you feel about stir-fried dishes?

Okay, if all this doesn’t turn you on, try this. Honestly, this is an idea that I’m increasingly warming up too. Make a meal out of the sides! And Red Bamboo has some really killer sides. Here are the ones that caught my eye: sweet corn mashed potatoes, garden salad, collard greens, hijiki with carrots, steamed mixed vegetables, and mango salsa. Well, I love collard greens, I eat collard greens many-many times a month—oh, and who doesn’t love steamed veggies? Alright, here’s my combination. I’d order the sweet corn mashed potatoes, collard greens, and the steamed mixed vegetables, and, I’d order the garden salad as an appetizer. What do you think about that?

I been in New York City a lot lately, so, I think the likelihood of me hitting up Red Bamboo is pretty good. And rest assured, if I do, I’ll certainly blog my hot little hands off about it. But now it’s your turn. Check out Red Bamboo’s menu and let me know how you handle Eating to Live on the Outside. And please, make a comment or send me an email at Until then, eat well! Peace.
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