Living in the city isn't easy, we have enough trouble with inadequate public transportation and ridiculous rent prices.  Having a delicious and nutrient-rich meal shouldn't be an issue in a city like New York.  So I ventured into Le Botaniste for a taste of vegan and organic food.

I've had my fair share of vegan and vegetarian options in my days.  From the generic salad bars to the hopeless taste of veggie burgers, the flavors and visual appearances never sufficed my cravings.  

Walking into Le Botaniste was a different experience from the other more commercialized vegan joints. You look over a wide selection of pots filled with rich and aromatic scents.  I could make out hints of rosemary and fresh basil leaves.  I went for the Spicy ChiIi sin Carne bowl; a chili inspired bowl without the ground beef.  It started with a base of hot rice topped with the chili, baked beans and lentils, erzats sour cream, and turmeric onions.  The whole dish is then garnished with chives and cilantro for a fresh taste; balancing out the spiciness of the chili.

As for taste, I wouldn't have believed anyone if they told me this bowl had no meat.  The chili was rich and flavorful: everything you'd expect from a classic bowl of chili.  The rice at the bottom soaked the aromatic flavors from the sauce and the beans entirely.  Every bite was a different experience.  The erzats sour creme on the side was a little weird to me at first, but later on, I found that it balanced out the spiciness of the sauce.  

All in all, this place changed my view on what we could do if we replace meats with other plant-based options.  I felt satisfied and ready to take on my daily tasks, I will be back for another round.  

Le Botaniste

833 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10065