Sunday, January 24, 2016

The Snail is Back

One of the most exciting food developments so far in 2016 has been the opening of The Pennsy, a new food hall in the old Borders space by Madison Square Garden. While generally it's just nice to have a new option in Midtown not too far from us, we were more excited about the fact that the opening of The Pennsy marked the return of the Cinnamon Snail.

The Cinnamon Snail used to be one of our favorite trucks, dishing out amazing vegan food on the streets of the city, but then they shut down truck operations in New York a little less than a year ago. Every so often in the interim, they would come to Manhattan for special one-off lunches, and A would take the opportunity to go every single time, never knowing if that was the last time he would be able to get lunch from them. We were so happy when we first heard they were opening a brick and mortar in Midtown. Now we could get their amazing sandwiches, burgers, and doughnuts whenever we wanted.


The great thing about the new Cinnamon Snail location being so close is that we can try out their entire menu of sandwiches. We used to gravitate towards the same things all the time because we loved them so much (like the gochujang burger), but now we can try everything and maybe even find some new favorites. There are 6 main items on the menu - 2 tempeh sandwiches on grilled spelt bread, 2 seitan "open face joints" on grilled tortillas, and 2 seitan burgers on grilled pretzel buns. For our first Pennsy Snail visit last weekend, we decided to go with the burgers.

The first burger we ate was the beastmode burger deluxe ($10.95), described on the menu as an "ancho chili seitan burger grilled in maple bourbon bbq sauce with jalapeno mac and cheese, arugula, smoked chili coconut bacon, and chipotle mayo on a grilled pretzel bun." This was my first time having this burger (as far as I can remember), but A thinks he got this at least once before.

The burger was good. It was very messy to eat, but tasty. The flavors were a little bit smoky, a little bit spicy. You could definitely tell the presence of the various chili peppers. The bacon texturally wasn't the greatest fit for me, since it was hard and crunchy when everything else on the burger was soft, but the flavor was complementary. The arugula was nice for lightening up a bit of a heavy burger.

The other burger we got was the gochujang burger ($10.95), our old favorite. This was described on the menu as coming with "sauteed kimchi, arugula, pickled red onions, black sesame gomasio, and sriracha mayonnaise on a grilled pretzel bun." This was pretty much the same burger that A has already posted about, except that back then it was served on an herb grilled focaccia and now it's on a pretzel bun.

I hadn't had the gochujang burger since way back in fall of 2014, so when I got my first taste of that sweet, spicy sauce last weekend, I was really happy. This is still our favorite sandwich from Cinnamon Snail. All the flavors just work so well together, and it's really unique. We could eat this every visit, but we're going to try to branch out a little bit when we go back next time.

We didn't get any doughnuts on this visit, but we're pretty sure we will on future visits. There were plenty of people picking up snacks and doughnuts when we dropped by the Pennsy (I think it was their first weekend open), and the Cinnamon Snail was definitely the busiest of all the food stalls, which was great to see. We're hoping they do really well in this location and will be around for a long time.

We're glad we stopped by The Pennsy for lunch, and we're so glad the Cinnamon Snail is back!

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