By Abraham Tejeda
Along the bustling strip of restaurants in Park Slope, Brooklyn’s vaunted 5th Avenue, you can find almost any type of cuisine. Italian, Indian, Thai, Japanese, Middle Eastern, Vietnamese, Chinese, Spanish … and even Colombian vegan? The unique premise of Colombian vegan food is served at V-Spot. The idea was pioneered by Danny Carabaño, a former teacher, who recognized the lack of vegan and kosher options amongst the breadth of cuisines on the avenue. Carabaño also lamented, coming from a Colombian family, that many of his favorite foods growing up were not vegan. After making the switch to veganism for both health and moral purposes, he had to make the choice to pass it on.
As a Vegan, Carabaño does not eat animal products, and as a result, V-Spot’s menu is entirely animal product free. The dishes are made mostly using vegetables, beans, tofu, and seitan, a wheat product that shares the consistency of meat and can be seasoned similarly. As a result, all of the items on the menu are cholesterol free and there are some gluten free options as well. The V-Spot offers a refreshing spin on classic Colombian foods to vegans and vegetarians, as well as those who are willing to try something new. And it’s clear to see why the restaurant has become a local favorite among vegans and carnivores alike: no matter what your dining proclivities are, the food is absolutely delicious.
The restaurant is minutes away from Barclays Center, home of the Brooklyn Nets, making it a good place to get some food before a game. The restaurant has a creative décor, with artwork by local artists adorning most of the walls, and a solid brick wall along one side of the restaurant creating an urban feel. The patio out back offers shade that provides relief during the warmer months.
V-Spot is not only well-known in the area for it’s tasty eats. Many are fans of the restaurant because of its monthly comedy show. On the first Thursday of every month, guests at V-Spot are treated to a show hosted by Danny’s brother, Alex, who co-owns the restaurant and also is an accomplished stand-up comic. The show features both up-and-coming and well-established comedians, and the headliners usually have some experience on national television or in film.
A relaxing vibe, great entertainment, and V-Spot’s delicious, cholesterol free food: a recipe for a great night out.
Now let’s talk about some of the specific dishes.
For those looking for more traditional appetizers, I recommend the loaded nachos. The crispy tortilla chips are topped with V-Spot’s signature seasoned black beans, fresh guacamole, vegan cheese, vegan sour cream and V-Spot’s mild house made salsa. Another good choice would be the buffalo chicken strips: savory strips served with spicy BBQ sauce, blue cheese dip, celery and carrot sticks (and, of course, made with a vegan chicken substitute). Someone seeking something lighter might want to try the fresh summer rolls: rice papers filled with avocado, carrot, cucumber, and greens, topped with sesame seeds, and served with a sweet Thai peanut sauce.
If you’re looking to try Colombian food, you could order the arepa con todo: a thick, grilled corn patty topped with vegan mozzarella cheese, fresh salsa, guacamole, black beans, and vegan carne molida (ground beef). And you can’t go wrong with V-Spot’s most popular dish: their Colombian empanadas. The patties filled with deliciously seasoned potato, carrot, onion, and corn served with guacamole are a