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NYC Metro Area Vegan Restaurant Graveyard

The William Taft Vegetarian Diner

Food: 3.453.45
Atmosphere: 2.642.64
Service: 2.912.91

(15 shared memories. Leave your own!)

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155 Calyer Street
Brooklyn   NY 11222

This restaurant is closed. Share your memories of other restaurants past at SuperVegan's NYC Metro Area Vegan Restaurant Graveyard.

Veg level:

Vegetarian (mostly vegan)

Menu indicated vegan items

Price Range:

$$$$$ (Average entree cost: $5-$10)

Accepted Payments:

  • Visa
  • ·
  • Mastercard

Hours:

Daily: 8am-Midnight

Delivery notes:

The William Taft Vegetarian Diner delivered.

Notes:

They used to serve a full menu, now they don't. They may still have some vegan snacks. If anyone goes and finds out, let us know!

Bookmark and Share The information on this page was last updated on May 15, 2008.

Shared Memories of The William Taft Vegetarian Diner

Averaged user ratings:

(1 star = lousy; 5 stars = great)
Food: 3.453.45
Atmosphere: 2.642.64
Service: 2.912.91
  • Review by ariela on September 28, 2007:

  • i just called to see if theyre still open. turns out theyre now a coffee shop & no longer a restuarant.
  • Review by Tomato on August 27, 2007:

  • This joint might be closed...it wasn't open yesterday and their phone message says you can't leave a message or an order. If they are on vacation they should say so or post a sign. I don't get it, do they want customers or not?
  • Review by sendhil on August 27, 2007:

  • We slammed the place with an unexpectedly large party for the Eatup this weekend.

    I had a "Pizza Face", which I tried even though I usually don't like vegan cheese, but it was really yummy. As previous reviewers have noted, you get generous sides, and the prices are LOW. I actually liked the pasta salad. I also tried the carrot cake (AWESOME) and some of others' home fries and other sides. The appetizer I had was 50-50; the grape leaves were delicious, the hummus was not to my liking. I very much coveted other's French toast and tofu scrambles, enough to motivate me to get back (see below).

    The atmosphere will not be mistaken for fine dining, but I thought it was hip; the other customers were friendly and it's a nice, informal vibe. No intrusive music, and I did not notice any hygiene issues. Those accustomed to flowers in the bathroom may be disappointed -- instead, there's a Sharpie to add your own graffiti to the much-decorated wall. This is not (IMO) a first-date place, but it's a solid neighborhood diner (certainly at least as nice as Kate's LES or Foodswings).

    They seemed a bit short-staffed (unlike previous reviews, there were three people between prepping, cooking, serving, and clearing, and they were working non-stop) but service was very friendly and accommodating (to seating our large group, to allowing substitutions, to giving us separate checks, and so on). They definitely made me want to go back.

    Which brings me to my big issue, which is likely not an issue for most, and certainly not something to penalize them for: It takes me 3 trains to get there. For y'all who live in Greenpoint, I envy you this friendly, cheap, tasty place, and I hope to get there again sometime when I can take the time to get out there!
  • Food: 44
    Atmosphere: 44
    Service: 55
  • Review by skyscrape on July 20, 2007:

  • fyi: thai cafe was actually closed recently by the board of health! other neighborhood spots recently closed until critical violations were fixed: christina's restaurant, cafe riviera (twice). check the nyc.gov website.
  • Review by skyscrape on July 20, 2007:

  • i live a block away from william taft, so i have eaten and ordered in many times. yes, they are slowish, the waitress is a spazz, blah blah blah. the times i have eaten in, it has not taken longer than what i am used to waiting at any veggie restaurant in manhattan, and have always gotten friendly service and got offered water right away.
    what you need to know when you go:
    the pancakes and the french toast are awesome. and cheap. and served all the time. so have them for dinner. they are really delicious, as good as the best, fancy, expensive breakfasts in nyc.
    the tofu scramble is ok, really good if you get extra veggies (mushrooms, avocado) and hot sauce.
    the fantaftic tofu sandwich is delicious. the potato salad is good. the mac and cheese and the pasta salad suck. muffins are good. what is good is good all the time, very consistent. stick to the good stuff, and remember everything is really cheap. the closest other veggie place to greenpoint is wild ginger, they deliver here but are very pricey. and if you eat anywhere else in the neighborhood (indian, thai, etc.) you will get "poisoned" with nonvegan stuff in your dish that you don't know about, no matter how much you ask the server.
  • Food: 44
    Atmosphere: 33
    Service: 44
  • Review by itgirl on July 16, 2007:

  • I am so glad I survived my experience at this place! Even more, I'm glad I didn't order delivery from here, sight unseen. I went in after a friend discovered it walking to my house, and knowing I am a vegetarian she thought I should check it out. One day, desperately hungry after work, I decided to grab a bite there. First of all, the place is filthy. Let me repeat that. Filthy. There was a dirty rag in the window and the overflowing garbage was sitting in a bin under the shoddy counter in full view of the tables. The food preparers looked like they hadn't washed their hands all day, much less before they prepared my order. They didn't wear any gloves either. One of the scrubby little kids actually wiped the knife he was using off on his jeans before cutting into the avocado that was for the order before mine--for the unfortunate, only other couple in the restaurant. Even though there was obviously a lot of cleaning up to do, both of the servers were reading books at the counter the whole time I was there. Some other young woman who looked similarly dreckish brought in a steaming cauldron of something that looked like it might have been prepared in her kitchen, or the kitchen of the next-door neighbor. The coffee pots looked like they hadn't been cleaned in weeks, ditto the cooking implements, I can go on and on. After waiting 30 minutes, I received and paid for my order, and hungry as I was, I tossed it as soon as I left and went to Thai Cafe. I can't wait until the Board of Health catches up with this place.

    This looks like a bunch of kids having a little experiment. Don't be their guinea pig at the risk of your health. There are other vegan places in the neighborhood such as Wild ginger.
  • Food: 11
    Atmosphere: 11
    Service: 11
  • Review by al oof on July 12, 2007:

  • i wonder what it is about me that i get fine service and tasty food at this place. the food has been consistently good tasting (though the mac and cheese is very mustardy, but so are a lot of popular vegan mac and cheese recipes and most people don't hate mustard as i do.) everyone's friendly and nice. and it's taken a while to get food, but anyone whose ever eaten at sparky's has waited twice as long for half as tasty food.
  • Review by zookmann on July 4, 2007:

  • This is the absolute worst vegan dining experience i have ever had in a restaurant in NYC. I'm not sure the food was safe as it tasted rancid and the overpriced soy milkshake was little more than ice and unsweetened rice milk. You'll find a much better and more sanitary meal in the dumpster of Kate's down the street.
  • Food: 11
    Atmosphere: 11
    Service: 11
  • Review by rubashov on June 25, 2007:

  • So I've never had such a night and day experience at a restaurant, especially on two consecutive days.

    I went to eat for the first time on Saturday June 23rd and was very presently surprised. The food was great, and almost unbelieveably cheap: $6 for a sandwhich and side. The food was a little slow, especially because my girlfriend and I were one of two tables and there was a lot of staff, but we were thrilled with the food, and excited about a new vegetarian restaurant in the area.

    We happened to be riding by Sunday, and we were hungry, so we stopped in again. After this visit it was clearly obvious that no one working (completely different staff from the day before) had no experience working in a restaurant, or maybe even eating one.

    First, I do not understand how they price their meals. Instead of going with the sandwich and side, which is priced so low, itís almost disconcerting, I went with an appetizer, which was fairly well portioned, and side of home fries. The home fries were $3, and Iíve never seen so small a portion. It was actually less than the amount you get on the side with the $6 sandwich. For $3, Iím expecting a lot of freaking home fries. Theyíre only potatoes. Also, I ordered a pear, mango, peach smoothie with soymilk as a base for $4.50 What I got was pretty much cold blended milk with a slight hint of fruit. Smoothies shouldnít be stark white. To be fair, my girlfriend got a sandwich and a side that was very good.

    What really got me though was the service. We werenít offered water until we were halfway through with our meal. After we gulped down the water (we had been riding bikes, and it was a hot day), I had to ask the waitress for a refill. She took my glass somewhere and brought it back half-full. She didnít offer to refill my girlfriendís glass. Also, the waitress came by our table three times after we were completely done (once to see how we were, once to ask about dessert, and once to drop off the check) and never cleared the dirty dishes sitting there. Filling water glasses and clearing dirty dishes is restaurant waiting 101. I also was a little grossed out that the staff never cleared the dirty dishes of a group leaving left when we were coming the whole time we were in the restaurant. This might be acceptable if they were extremely busy and/or short staffed, but itís just the opposite. There are so many people working that everyoneís hanging out and dancing to Doctor Dreís The Cronic. Itís insane to me that they have a cashier that does nothing but ring up people. He sat on a stool and I didnít see him do anything but ring two people up (and occasionally adjust the gangsta rap). How about clearing off those dirty dishes, bro? Also, because Iím used to being around punk and/or weirdo kids, I might not be bothered by music with offensive lyrics, and a lot of messing around, but if they want to attract vegetarian people other than anarchist punks, Taft might want to think about the way they are displaying themselves.

    Overall the place smells like good intentions, but I give this place 3-6 months before the few people doing all the work get jaded on working in a collective and shut it down.
  • Food: 22
    Atmosphere: 22
    Service: 11
  • Review by Tomato on June 25, 2007:

  • I ate there for the second time today. I really, really want to love this place but was a little disappointed. The service is so slow...I really hope they get their act together a bit and get their hustle on or this place won't be open much longer. Its all vegan, except for eggs on the menu. They should post their menu outside and be a little more inviting to the neighborhood. The vibe was a little depressing today. There were only 3 tables filled and with three cooks at the grill, it took almost 25 min. to get our pancakes which were slightly raw. I almost feel like I am interrupting the staff by showing up to eat. On the up side, last week the pancakes were outstanding, the French toast was great, and the scrambled tofu was decent (a little more spicy or herbs would be good). They just really need to bring the energy of the place up a notch and pay more attention to their customers in-house instead of funneling their energy into take-out and internally. They are open now 10-12, please check it out and let's try to support this veg business! Hopefully they will step-up as well!
  • Food: 44
    Atmosphere: 22
    Service: 22
  • Review by al oof on June 23, 2007:

  • so i went back for real food later in the week that taft opened. it was lunchtime and a week day i believe. my eso got the fantaftic which he really really really liked. i got the fried zuchinni sandwich and it was really good too. of course we also got muffins. they didn't have macaroni salad, but they had mac and cheese. that was our only issue with selection. next time i think we'll get breakfast (which they serve all day, by the way). i guess it did take a little while, but they did just open. a friend of mine said it seemed like no on there had worked in a restaurant before so they didn't have the little things down, like how to set up ingredients for maximum speed and stuff like that. i don't know if that's true, but the food is good and i'm sure the service will speed up with time. as for being out of stuff, it takes a while to figure out how much of something is going to sell, so i'd give them a few months to work that out before i'd hold it against them. nothing has lasted in that space for very long, it's kind of out of the way, so i hope more people will check it out and give them a chance.

    i've been back quite a few times just for muffins, but i've been trying not to eat out so i haven't had the real food again yet.
  • Food: 55
    Atmosphere: 44
    Service: 55
  • Review by strang on June 20, 2007:

  • The food and presentation is a bit cut-rate but that's reflected in the prices. It's a great effort but falls short in the end. If your only concern is supporting a vegan restaurant option then you'll have no issue here. However if you are looking for something a bit more you may want to look elsewhere.
  • Food: 22
    Atmosphere: 33
    Service: 33
  • Review by icandothat on June 17, 2007:

  • in a nutshell, the food is AWESOME, the service is super freindly, but a long wait for food (not the best place to eat if u r short on time, unless you just want coffee and a vegan muffin). great prices, great ingredients- all fresh, natural, and i was told they use as much organic stuff as possible.
    they just opened last week and it seems like its being run by a bunch of kids, who were all as sweet as the chocolate cream pie i had (mmmmmm), so i hope they get things running smoothly with time.
  • Food: 55
    Atmosphere: 44
    Service: 44
  • Review by susie on June 16, 2007:

  • Brunch at the William Taft was the most schizophrenic restaurant meal I've ever experienced. In 15-20 minute increments after my friend and I had ordered, our waiter kept coming back to tell us different things weren't available--it seemed like they only had half the fruits, veggies and vegan cheeses listed on the menu. Our food took over an hour to arrive, and even then my order was mostly screwed up. Granted, ultimately, the food was quite delicious and an amazing value (even though tofu scramble should be, ahem, scrambled, and not cubed wtf). When we got our bill, it was for twice as much as it should've been; when we asked what was up, it was cut by two-thirds. All in all, the William Taft seems like the real-life project for an ambitious 9th grade economics class with good taste in vegan eats. I'd advise only to go if you're feeling extra patient and have time to spare... Or just get muffins to take out! The apple carrot was absolutely delectable.
  • Food: 55
    Atmosphere: 11
    Service: 11
  • Review by al oof on June 11, 2007:

  • i was sitting at home, thinking, man, i wish there was a vegan cupcake place i could walk to. but i live in greenpoint. sigh.

    then i though, i wonder if there are any veg places in greenpoint i don't already know about. i should check out supervegan's restaurant list.

    and lo and behold, a veg restaurant has opened in greenpoint today! such luck!

    so i checked it out. i only bought muffins because i didn't need food. no cupcakes, but there were muffins and soyshakes and pies and cakes i didn't check out for those sweet toothes out there. tooths? i guess it's supposed to be teeth.

    anyway, the muffins were soooooooooooo good. seriously good. i wish i had bought more. i will definitely be going back to check out the 'real' food.
  • Food: 55
    Atmosphere: 44
    Service: 55

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