I'd been hearing about this organic, all vegan food truck called the Cinnamon Snail for awhile now. Based out of Red Bank, New Jersey, the snail makes it way to different neighborhoods in Manhattan every Monday-Friday, serving breakfast and lunch. Sometimes they also appear at special events in the outer boroughs. Reading about their menu on-line was enough to make me drool: sandwiches like the Lemongrass 5-Spice Seitan and the Red Curry Grilled Tofu Banh-Mi; Raw Pizza; a Fiery Southeast Asian Salad; and of course, the pastries. Their name "Cinnamon Snail" refers to their giant cinnamon rolls, but they also serve a delectable variety of donuts, danishes, cookies, etc.
The only problem is that they go on a hiatus every Winter. I waited patiently through the cold months until they finally hit the road again. Last week I read that they'd be parked in Midtown West, pretty close to my work. I strapped on my tennis shoes and set-off in search of the bright red truck. The walk was longer than expected and by the time I got there, it was around 12:20, prime feeding time. The line was already developing. People had heard about the Snail and they were hungry.
On this particular day, they happened to be set-up in front of Random House and people were pouring out of that building in droves to stake their place in line. (Proud to report: no line cutters! Yay, Random House!) As I squinted to see the menu from my place in line, I heard others raving about what they'd ordered on previous excursions. I could see the pastries in the case at the front of the truck... they were so close, yet so far away. I busied myself on my iPhone and within about ten minutes, I was at the front of the line. I decided to order a bit on the healthier side and went with the Maple Mustard Tempeh Sandwich. But no vegan can resist a dessert, so I added a Vanilla Bourbon Creme Brulee donut for good measure.
Another ten minutes later, I had my order in hand and began the trek back to the office. The sun was beating down and I was hungry, oh so hungry. I was tempted to sit down on the sidewalk and scarf down my food right then and there, but a meal so special deserved the proper environment in which to be enjoyed. I patiently made my way through mid-town and finally arrived at my desk. I tore in.
|Why yes, I am available for hand modeling. That scab should heal soon. (Ugh.)|
On one hand, I was hoping the sandwich wouldn't be too good, because it would only lead to a deepening desire for Cinnamon Snail in the future. But those hopes were dashed. This thing was delicious. The bread seemed homemade and was lightly toasted, the tempeh was marinated to perfection and was layered with fresh kale, even fresher tomato, and grilled onions. It even smelled fantastic; I caught a few co-workers peeking over their cubicles to see what the heck I was eating.
I told myself I'd save the donut for later in the day, but two minutes later I decided that was dumb. There could be an earthquake. We could all be dead later in the day! The donut didn't fare too well in my walk back to the office, so I'm sparing you a picture, but it tasted pretty darn good. The grease stains on the paperbag it was in were a reminder of the calories being consumed, though. I think next time I'll order a simpler dessert. This was a bit too much of a sugar rush for a weekday afternoon.
How do you find out if Cinnamon Snail will be in a neighborhood near you? The best way is to follow them on Facebook and Twitter where they update you with their scheduled locations. Try to go early or late to avoid rush hour, or be prepared to wait 20-30 minutes. It's worth it.
I see they are parked on 47th and Park Avenue today... that's pretty close to work. No, I will eat my leftovers like a good girl. Maybe...