Bed-Stuy Vegan: Bushbaby
It’s a bit of a mystery when an eatery doesn’t have a “for real” website. Yelp reviews (The forced double negative Yelp effect–if someone with bad taste writes a good review, it means it’s really bad.) and a Facebook page reveal very little. Many social media leads stay on the radar, but are too risky an option in the heat of hunger–especially when they’re nowhere near anywhere I usually am. And so, Bushbaby lived on my radar for quite some time, bleeping faintly to the tune of “when I’m in the area.” Well, I finally was!
It was nice to see so much “seitan” in print. It meant real-life wheat gluten… not reheated, processed science meat stuff that some think is the cat’s pajamas. After being greeted by who I assume the owner, the v-word was dropped. He told us about the many vegan options on the food and drink menus, showed us the weekend brunch menu (all veganizable), let us know that they have separate areas in the kitchen for the vegan prep and cooking (If I started a band, I’d call it Dedicated Fryer.), and let us in on the secret that the waffle omnis devour along with their fried chicken is secretly vegan. Afterward the chat, we ordered drinks. Mine, a creamy root beer, adult version.
I thought I ought to photograph the vegan waffle, though surrounded by dead bird pieces.
My dish, the Satay Seitan Skewers in peanut sauce with brown rice and garlicky kale.Seitan was tender and delicious. But I found myself missing a fresh, sweet note for balance. Like a pineapple chunk. Yes, that would have been perfect.
Though I try not to judge a dining experience by the dearth of vegan options in the surrounding geographic area, Bushbaby is even more impressive considering. Though the white wave of gentrification is lapping onto Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, Bushbaby keeps it real. I hope that means they’ll be around for awhile?