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Sanctuary! Sanctuary! (Um, No)

Charles Laughton as Quasimodo

I guess he won’t be eating there anymore

I always liked Sanctuary, the karmically balancing and spiritually rejuvenating vegetarian restaurant at 25 First Avenue in the East Village. I didn’t eat there often, and nor apparently did enough others, since either the place is undergoing major renovation or it’s closed down.

Now I’ve always liked brown rice, but I may be in the minority among veggies these days. It always seemed to me that the food at Sanctuary belonged to an era where vegetarianism was allied to a spiritual practice and where you felt that the proper response to a meal was “om” not “mmm.” What’s happened is a testament to the changing times. Vegetarianism has moved upscale and become chic and no longer has a spiritual discipline attached to it. And that, perhaps, is a mixed blessing.

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