When one goes to New York City for a family thing, and the family thing revolves around non-vegetarian meals in Chinatown, one has a tendency to yearn, if one is disposed to such things (and if one is vegan at home and vegetarian everywhere else, one is soo disposed), for an establishment at which every item on their menu is one’s for the eating.
And if, say, one is also a plotter of locations which one could visit whilst in New York City for said family thing, one may luck the hell out and find a delightful location that fulfills one’s yearning a mere six blocks from one’s hotel in Chinatown.
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you: Orchard Grocer.
It was rather early, 8am on a Saturday, but dang if this place wasn’t true to its website and actually open!
I tried to stand very still, but I think I was vibrating. Everything I could see I could eat. I could eat everything I could see. Bzzt Bzzzt! Bzzt Bzzzt!
Oh, and the cheeses. All in one refrigerated case. Brands and styles that I have read about but are not currently for sale in my area.
And the plant-based meats, more than I knew existed, and more than in burger form. Nice.
Orchard Grocer is also a deli.
A vegan deli.
A. VEGAN. DELI.
The, wizards, behind the counter make fresh sandwiches, salads, and little sweet things, all for the eating either in or out, although as there are only four stools at the counter I suspect most of their sales are for eating elsewhere.
The Bagel Sandwich
I settled on the Edith, although I think Ms. Wharton probably would have been completely unaware of this type of comestible.
A fresh bagel (from Baz Bagel, which is nine blocks from Orchard), house-made cashew cream cheese, carrot lox, capers, and chives.
Now, if you’ve never had carrot lox before, you might not realize how silky, how smokey, thin strips of carrot can be. Such a delight. A delight, I tell you!
The cashew cream cheese was terrific as well. A little softer than the original version, but it held the lox in place better—no biting through the bagel only to have the, innards, slide out the other side.
In other words, as lady-like as you can be while stuffing your gob with delectability.
Note the gluten-freer: Orchard Grocer is happy to accommodate you as well, as they offer many GF alternatives.
The Jelly Donut
My partner in crime, who is always game to accompany me, initially felt that he wouldn’t be having anything at Orchard Garden, as there was a Dim Sum event happening in a few hours and he didn’t want to fill up beforehand.
And then he saw the donut.
A jelly-filled donut, recently made by Artisa Dough out of Brooklyn, light and airy and sugary and happifying.
Like a jelly-filled donut should be.
And the coffee was good as well.
The End of the Beginning
Being merely an NYW (A-New-Yorker-for-the-Weekend), I had no idea…about anything, really, so let me tell you that this amaze-balls place is just about to celebrate its first birthday. And you’re invited!
78 Orchard Street
b/t Broome + Grand
New York, NY 10002
8AM-8PM Every Day