candle cafe

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Candle Cafe’s Macaroni & Vegan Cheese (frozen meal)

Published August 8, 2011 by Vegan Derby Cat Party

Recently I found the new Candle frozen meals on sale at Whole Foods for $2 off. Needless to say, I stocked up. I purchased my favorite two of the four varieties they make. The mac & cheese, and the tofu & spinach ravioli. (review here!) These also happen to be the more fattening items they make, but they’re still not really bad, this having the most fat at 12g fat, 300 calories, and 8g of protein.

The mac & cheese started out looking like pasta with a pile of frozen Daiya on top. However, as it microwaved all the way through and was stirred, it melted into a nice sauce of delicious, gooey, Daiya goodness. Loved it. I added some crushed red pepper flakes to it too! YUM! Pick these up if you haven’t tried them yet!

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New Candle Cafe Frozen Meals – Tofu Spinach Ravioli

Published July 8, 2011 by Vegan Derby Cat Party

Yay! The new Candle Cafe frozen meal line has appeared at my local whole foods! I’ve been anxiously awaiting these, especially after my last attempts with vegan frozen food. (moo moo’s, yuck.) If you don’t know about Candle Cafe & Candle 79, they’re all vegan sister restaurants in NYC, in the upper east side, and they are superb! (links to both places on the right of this page, and you can search cpv for my reviews)

I purchased all 4 entrees to tell you about each, and I’ll start with the Tofu Spinach Ravioli.

This cooked up in 4 minutes and smelled great. The sauce was really tasty, and the cheese is tapioca based, so I’m thinking that means Daiya mozzarella in there. The ravioli themselves were pretty good, but maybe could use a touch more seasoning. All in all, a very enjoyable meal and 11g of protein for 320 calories and 10g of fat. (The two cheesy pasta dishes are the fattiest.) I literally scraped every bit out of my plastic tray.

They were kinda costly at $5.99 a pop, but it’s way cheaper than flying to NY, and I only eat frozen meals a few times a month, so not that big of a deal. Plus, I don’t know of any other frozen vegan ravioli meals, and I really love ravioli! : )

Try it!

Candle Cafe – NYC, Upper East Side

Published April 11, 2010 by Vegan Derby Cat Party

After checking out many different, pricey restaurants, I settled on candle cafe for tonight’s dinner. Candle Cafe is by the same owners as Candle 79, only slightly less expensive, and more casual and with a similar menu.

We got there about 7:30pm and our wait was 30-45 minutes, which I think is pretty reasonable for a Saturday night, anywhere. It’s a fairly small place, so it’s understandable.

Bar:

We were able to grab a stool at the bar, and the bartender was friendly, and let us know we could also dine there, but we wanted to wait for a table. The bar had wine, beer and juices. J ordered a beer while we waited. After a while, we also ordered some focaccia bread, and sure enough, our table opened right as the bread arrived.

SCARECROW GOLDEN PALE ALE – (England) Creamy balance of malt and hops. it was tasty and light, and came in a 17 oz bottle for $9, which I thought was well priced for the size.

Appetizers:

GRILLED FOCACCIA – Served with miso-tahini spread or drizzled with roasted garlic olive oil.

We got the garlic olive oil and honestly, focaccia it wasn’t, but it was delicious. What it reminded me of was the freshly grilled garlic bread you get at a cuban restaurant. OK, it was just like that, except on what looked like a ciabatta roll.

SEITAN CHIMICHURRI – Citrus herb marinated seitan skewers.

These were incredible, and honestly the thing the I wanted to try most on the menu. Being that they were cooked on a grill, they had a wonderful smoky, meaty flavor. The chimichurri sauce was SO delicious. I could have a meal centered around this offering very happily.

Salad:


GREEK SALAD – Romaine lettuce, cucumber, tomato, marinated chickpeas, bell peppers,red onions and olives with tofu feta. Served with a creamy herb vinaigrette.

Fantastic! I was very insistent on ordering this, and we were both really glad that we did. The marinated chickpeas were delicious, and so was the vinaigrette. The tofu didn’t taste like feta, but gave you the texture of it, still, yum! We only wished that the olives were pitted, to make eating them a little more elegant, but regardless, we polished off the whole thing!

Entrees:


PARADISE CASSEROLE – Layers of sweet potato, black beans and millet over steamed greens with country gravy.

I had a hard time deciding what to order, but I kept coming back to this one. Once I found out that the gravy didn’t have mushrooms, I was sure. It arrived a bit lukewarm, but the gravy was scalding hot, so after pouring it over top, it balanced out. It was served on a bed of tasty sautéed kale, which was also still hot. This was great! I wanted to eat the whole thing, but got full. So I have some leftovers for later : )

TUSCAN LASAGNA – Grilled zucchini, peppers and onions, tofu basil ricotta, tapioca cheese and seitan ragout topped with tomato sauce. Served with sautéed greens.

It was okay, not terrible, but not terrific. The tofu ricotta still tasted pretty bland. It also came on a bed of delicious kale.

We also got an order of fries (not pictured), which we shared. Nothing out of the ordinary here. The ketchup was awesome, apparently Muir Glen brand, according to our server.

Dessert:

Rice pudding!  : )

I’m not sure if they used brown rice or white, but this rice pudding was shockingly good! It came dusted with cinnamon, but the best part was the surprising very vanilla-y after taste. Clearly they use real vanilla bean in their pudding, as it was flecked with beans. It was great in conjunction with the vegan cappuccino.

Some of that night’s specials that also looked good [on other people’s plates] were: the taco salad (huge!), which I wanted but was trying to not order mexican food [for a change], and the fettuccine, which had mushrooms (i don’t eat mushrooms) but also lots of other yummies like capers.

The service was excellent, and all of the staff was friendly, helpful, and courteous. I would definitely return.

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