I don’t think I will shock anyone with the statement that I LOVE good food, and finding new veg-friendly places to eat is always a blast. A few weeks ago, before I moved to my new swanky apartment (by swanky I mean I can walk around in my underwear without the fear some rapist/murderer is going to come plowing through a window..) my friend Mike was dropping me off at my dad’s, where I had been living for a few months while I looked for said super-awesome pad. Mike said, “Oh, you live near that Jamaican vegan restaurant.”
Say what? Apparently I had been living on and off (in between school, job changes and apartmentlessness) only a handful of blocks away from Shandal’s Vegetarian Café in Bridgeport, Conn. The reason I never found it is because, well, in the blocks separating us the city gets a bit rough (see above rapist-through-window reference). On the corner in front of Shandal’s is a candle and stuffed animal shrine to someone who was shot there.
Anyways, I hiked up my brave big girl panties and trucked on down to Shandal’s to give it a shot. And boy, am I glad! What is better than delicious all vegan Jamaican style faux-meat? Delicious all vegan Jamaican style faux-meat in portions that could feed me for two days and only sets me back eight bucks. EIGHT BUCKS! For eight dollars I can pick six delicious things from behind the cafeteria style counter. Choices include sunshine tofu, faux beef stew made from tempeh, “chicken” (seitan) and peppers, brown rice and beans, a variety of veggies, mashed potatoes, some delish wheat-gluten faux pork and beans and my all time fav—the bbq tofu smothered in delicious home-made oh so smoky sauce. After I raved about the food, the nice Jamaican guy behind the counter (was it Shandal?! Who knows!) told me he would love to be able to get it into stores one day, but as of now doesn’t have the means. He told me to pray for him. I don’t pray, so this is my equivalent of doing a good deed and spreading the love.
The place is literally a hole in the wall. It is super divey, which I think is very endearing. They also only take cash so I had to walk a few blocks deeper into sketch-ville to go to an ATM. In a skirt and heels. Bad choice.
Shandal’s also has fresh juices! Please if you are in CT, go visit Shandal’s, located at520 Capitol Ave. You won’t get shot. Well you might, but it would probably be worth it. Also, I was so excited to eat my food I didn’t take a photo of it, so I lovingly borrowed these photos from Yelp. Don’t sue me!