EATING NOT EATING:
CHICKPEA & OLIVE
Vegans rejoice! From her last installment about Souvlaki, WNW Member #2245 Lauren Hom shares her most recent chalkboard creation and culinary review, this time for Chickpea & Olive. A pop up restaurant that travels all over New York, Chickpea & Olive holds it down every weekend in Williamsburg at Smoragsburg where Lauren caught them. With food this good, we're almost convinced that we don't need beef in our burger.
Chickpea & Olive is a pop-up vegan restaurant located at Smorgasburg every Saturday and Sunday in Brooklyn. Founded by Danielle Riccardi and Daniel Strong, Chickpea & Olive aims to recreate soul-comforting food with a healthy twist. They source organic and local ingredients and work with amazing New York City bakeries, artisans, and growers. Serving up hearty homemade beet burgers and vegan sandwiches slathered in homemade sauces and melted cheese, Chickpea & Olive could amaze even your most carnivorous friend.
Last Saturday I stopped by Smorgasburg in Williamsburg to lunch at Chickpea & Olive. I was happy to find Dan and Danielle blasting hip hop while grilling up sandwiches for a long line of hungry Smorgasburg-ers. I treated myself to not one, but TWO (calories don't count on the weekend, okay?) of their homemade beet burgers and a coconut Arnold Palmer (half tangy, fresh-squeezed lemonade and half roasted, buttery coconut black tea, as recommended by Danielle herself). I'm not exaggerating when I say this is the best thing you'll drink all summer.
First up was the most decadent sounding item on the menu: the Bacon Cheddar Ranch burger. Served on a pillowy soft bun, this handmade beet patty was topped with cheddar, hickory smoked eggplant bacon, bread and butter pickles, heirloom tomatoes and green leaf lettuce. Oh wait, there's more? You betcha. On top of all that was a generous drizzle of their fresh herb ranch sauce. The star of the sandwich was the eggplant bacon: paper thin slices of eggplant, seasoned, smoked and roasted to perfection. Needless to say, I polished it off in five minutes.
The next sandwich was equally as exciting: the Calexico burger. It had the same tasty beet patty as the previous burger, but this time it was topped with cheddar, avocado, pickled red onions, pickled jalapeños, heirloom tomatoes, green leaf lettuce and chipotle aioli. Talk about a kick! Each bite was delightful: heat from the jalapeños, tanginess from the pickled onions, and richness from the fresh avocado slices. If you're not busy this weekend, head on over to Smorgasburg and bite into one of these delicious burgers. If you are busy this weekend, cancel all of your plans. You're welcome in advance.