Veganism is more than eating healthy and ethically—one weekend a month, vegans must aid the secret, underground root-vegetable resistance army. Taste veganism's true colors with today's Groupon: for $15, you get $30 worth of vegan fare and drinks at The V-Spot in Park Slope, Brooklyn. As the leafy-green outgrowth of owner Daniel Carabaño's desire to meld his Latin heritage with vegan philosophy, The V-Spot delivers a healthy harvest of Latin-inspired meat-, cheese-, and egg-free fare. Reap the myriad health and taste-bud benefits of herbaceous entrees such as the bandeja paisa, made with sautéed seitan, vegan chorizo, brown rice, black beans, avocado, and plantains ($16), or branch out to American-style vegan cuisine such as the breaded "chicken" cutlets with mushroom gravy, sautéed spinach, and garlic mashed potatoes ($12). Those who cannot bear the thought of a meal sans meat any more than they can bear a morning commute without a break-out dance number can still lounge with friends on the outdoor patio and imbibe a salubrious selection of organic juices, smoothies, beer, sake, and wine ($2–$8).
It's nearly impossible for anything in New York City to be one-of-a-kind, yet The V-Spot just may have accomplished that feat with a menu that is all at once Latin, vegan, and kosher certified. Though seemingly random, the combination of culinary styles was a natural choice for founders Alex and Dan Carabano: they are vegetarians of Colombian descent who were born and raised in Brooklyn.
The menu stays meat-free through an artful balance of veggies, tofu, and seitan, blending them in dishes such as a chipotle wrap with seitan, avocado, and vegan cheeses. The empanadas are quite popular, including the Philly with mushrooms, peppers and housemade seitan, as are buffalo "chicken" wings that garnered a nod from the New York Times. Traditional seasonings such as authentic Mexican salsa, seitan, and adobo are made from scratch in-house, lending flavor to cholesterol-free dishes that can be enjoyed amid the dining room's exposed brick, on the warm-weather patio, or, if you're a magician, inside a top hat.