So Long, See You Tomorrow: Counter Restaurant
May 7, 2011

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Hey all! I’m deep into cramming for my finals, but I wanted to take a quick break to answer some questions about yesterday’s raw pancakes (which got a thrilling response) and to tell you about Tuesday night’s dinner with the lovely Melissa at Counter Restaurant.

First up: pancakes.

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So glad these were a hit! I should have made something clear, though, which is that I don’t expect any reader in his or her right mind to wait five hours for breakfast! I certainly couldn’t wouldn’t, and didn’t. No, no—the idea here is that, unlike regular pancakes, these guys have the nice added benefit of lasting for up to a week in an airtight container in the fridge. So you can make them, and then serve them when you like. They won’t be warm the way regular pancakes are, of course, but the point of this recipe—and most raw recipes—is to interpret, rather than replicate.

As for the many questions about oven prep: I think these would be great baked in a 300 degree oven for about 10-15 minutes on each side. You could also go ahead and add some baking soda and a bit more almond milk and fry them like regular pancakes. Of course, as Bitt pointed out, dehydrator recipes really are created for dehydrators, so while I feel sure that these will translate well into regular cooking, I leave it to you guys to experiment a little and tell me how it goes!

A month or two ago, I took M to Counter restaurant for the first time. I was delighted when both he and a good friend of his gave it two enthusiastic thumbs up. I’ve often neglected Counter for the nearby Caravan of Dreams, which until recently was cheaper and offered more raw options. But Caravan’s menu is now more expensive and less focused on raw dining (still a great place to eat, just very different from what it used to be), so in the last few months I was once again drawn back to Counter, which features a fun cocktail list and a really well rounded menu. It’s the sort of place that will easily appeal to raw and whole foods eaters like me (and in fact, it used to boast a terrific raw lasagna), and will also please omnivores and more mainstream eaters.

You can imagine my dismay, then, when M and I were told that Counter would soon be closing. I tweeted about this wistfully, and Melissa immediately wrote that we should go again before it closed. I was sure we’d miss the final date, but we didn’t: week after week after week went by, and Counter appeared to be very much open for business. On Tuesday, Melissa and I finally made good on our promise to dine at Counter before it closed. At the time of this writing, I’m still not sure when the closing will actually be, so I’d urge all New York bloggers to stop by 7th street sooner, rather than later.

Why? Because Counter is very, very delicious. The menu, as you can see here, features a healthy balance of snack/small plate options and entrees. And the salads are—thank goodness—really generous.

Mel and I decided to split a trio of sides to start with. She got a butternut squash and broccoli raab crostini, while I got some cornmeal crusted kabocha squash. It was SO good, and I’ll soon be working on my own recipe for something like it:

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As you can see, we also split the white bean hummus. I requested raw veggies as well as pitas:

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Yum!

For my entrée, I got the Tuscan kale Caesar salad with tempeh crouton and capers. When I asked what “crouton” meant, I was informed that it meant “fried,” so I asked for my tempeh to be grilled. Our server was more than accommodating, and my tempeh was delicious:

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What a great and filling vegan Caesar! I’m not sure what the dressing was, but I suspect Nayonaise, which makes me think I should add a vegan mayo-based Caesar to my repetoire, since I already have a cashew version I love. (Averie, have you tired this? I know you love your Nayo based dressings!) In any case, I’m inspired to do more kinds of Caesar salad at home. Thanks, Counter, for the hint.

I really hope that Counter does continue to stick around for a little while longer. It’s one of those rare vegan dining spots that has something for everyone—from fresh Thai coconuts to a killer veggie burge—and those don’t grow on trees. So, I say so long, Counter, but I hope to see you again tomorrow—or soon.

With that, it’s straight back to chem for me. A demain!

xo

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    20 Comments
  1. I’ve walked by Counter so many times but have never gone. I’ll have to try it this week, assuming it’s still open!

  2. I am so totally intrigued by those raw pancakes! I do adore pancakes the regular way so I’m sure I would like this.

    I wish I loved kale as much as you! Cooked is fine but raw – I just don’t know how you kale salad folks do it. Maybe with caesar dressing I could be persuaded…..

  3. Ooh, I hope you make good on your notions of recreating these lovely dishes! For those of us in raw/vegan restaurant-barren wasteland cities, recipes help soothe the envy 😉

  4. I worked at Counter’s Body & Soul Greenmarket stand for a few days and never tried those baked goodies but I heard Counter proper is much more impressive. I really should try to make it over before it closes but I’m sacred to show my face after quitting! (Is that pathetic or what?)

  5. There are dozens of regular or even vegan or gluten-free pancake recipes out there, and not as many that are raw for the dehydrator. So I guess I figure, why work backwards like that? I guess it’s just a sign people love you so much they want to do as you do. 🙂

    To bad about the restaurant closing. I guess even in NYC not all vegan restaurants can thrive forever.

    Have fun studying!

  6. Good luck with your finals. I’m glad that you made it there: sounds like lots of good food, for your creative thought processes too.

  7. We went to counter once last summer while I was pregnant. My hubby says it was the best veggie burger he has ever had! Delicious meal! Yours looks amazing as well.

  8. Oh that’s too bad they are closing, or in the process of closing. It’s always sad what great restaurants (in my opinion) don’t make. I want to scream and tell everyone, go there! Patronize them! Their food is great! At least you and Melissa has one last hurrah there.

    Thanks for the dressing shoutout. I actually prefer Vegenaise to Nayonaise. Something about it I just like better. It tastes less soy-ish? if that makes sense. And yes, you are so right I have a TON of dressing recipes using Vegenaise from slaw dressing to honey mustard to horseradish & relish dips. I love the stuff 🙂

    Good luck with chem. My.goodness. Better you than me 🙂

  9. Oh I’ve been meaning to go to Counter for ages, I can’t believe it’s closing!! Hopefully it’s still got a few months left, because I won’t be in the city for the next month. The salad looks awesome, though I think I’d prefer a cashew-based dressing to a Nayo-based one. For some reason I think nut-based foods are often better than the “originals”!

  10. Yum! How nice it would be to have several different restaurants that cater to a more whole foods (and even raw) lifestyle! I’m not as lucky, but we do have Whole Foods, and people like you to come up with great recipes for us! 🙂 I count my blessings…

  11. The cornmeal-crusted kabocha sounds HEAVENLY. I can’t wait for your replication!!

    I hope all of your studying is going well, and is accommodated by good snacks! I will be in New York City the weekend of the 20th through the 22nd, so I would love to meet up with you and possibly other bloggers too for a lunch, dinner, or both! Let me know and e-mail me whenever you get a chance:) My email is [email protected]. Talk to you soon!

  12. Cornmeal crusted kabocha squash? That’s the stuff of dreams right there! Oh how I wish I lived in NYC.
    I hope the studying is going well – I’m studying for mine too, so I feel your pain!

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