Yes, the hot food can be pretty brown. But the salad bar is green and fresh as can be!
After six years hidden in the basement of the Equitable Building at 120 Broadway, Little Lad’s Basket is being kicked out. Their last definite day in the current location will be next Thursday, August 11.
They are very serious about reopening elsewhere as soon as they can, but given the cutthroat vagaries of the NYC real estate and restaurant markets, who knows when that might be. So go eat there this week! I hope they have the “Crafty” mac and cheese and unlimited guacamole when you go!!
In addition to being awesome in it’s own right, Little Lad’s is by far the best option for vegan food in the Financial District (fighting for second place we have Sam’s and Alan’s falafel carts, Chipotle, and Hale & Hearty; not much). Little Lad’s is planning to stay in the neighborhood, where their customers already know and love them. (Those waiting for affordable, quality vegan food in Midtown will have to keep on waiting.)
If you’re unfamiliar with LLB, it’s a vegan lunch and breakfast spot, offering both à la carte options and an all-you-can eat buffet. The buffet is the main attraction, with lunch at $6.50 (including tax) and breakfast for about $4 (feel free to comment with the actual price; I haven’t been for breakfast since the latest price rise and Little Lads’s website is out of date.) For breakfast, you get potatoes, scramble, oatmeal, bagels, toast, “buttah” spread, and fruit. For lunch, expect a couple of soups, a great salad bar, a hot table full of brown comfort food, and fresh fruit with granola and “sweet cream” for dessert. Plus, free wifi.
Part of the magic of Little Lad’s is how hard it is to find and how bizarre their space is. For about a year there’s been a small sign in the lobby. But before that, the descent was something of a leap of faith–could there really be a vegan restaurant down there? And once you’ve descended that majestic marble staircase, the restaurant occupies a rambling warren of subterranean galleries, equally charming and surreal. Obviously it will be a good thing if their new space is easier to find, and maybe has some daylight, but I doubt I’m the only one who will miss the current spot.
It’s a Seventh Day Adventist establishment, and in addition to no animal products, they serve no chocolate, no coffee (breakfast customers beware!), no baking powder, no baking soda, and no fermented items (including vinegar, but they still make awesome salad dressings). While the checkout area has materials advocating eating fewer (and ending subsidies for) animal products, I’ve never noticed any proselytizing on behalf of Seventh Day Adventism.
For a bit more background and a sense of exactly how hard-working and tireless owner Larry Fleming and his staff and family are, I recommend this New York Observer article.
I had a brief chat with Larry today. When I asked if he had anything he wanted me to include in this post, his emphatic response was: “Refuse to be served garbage.” Amen! And big thanks to Little Lad’s for making it so much easier to follow this great advice. Let’s hope they reopen really soon.