If you think Vegan food is not tasty, then you should really try some from Cinnamon Snail. They caused quite a chaos when they announced that they will be closing their food truck business a few years ago. Now, they have a permanent location at Pennsy, right by The Pennsylvania Station in Midtown. Ever since I had a taste of their sandwich and donuts (yes, vegan donuts!) from their food truck, I have been wanted to visit their Pennsy location.
I really like this Pennsy spot, it is a very nice, open, friendly food court. And what is even more fun is that they have lots of outdoor seating. They have tables and chairs with nice sunbrellas, and also, wooden benches for quick and easy seating.
Inside is nice and bright, since they are on the street level, and the wall on the street side is covered with windows from floor to seating. Not one of those gloomy food court in the basement, or somewhere without windows. Lots of natural light, which also makes the food looks better in my opinion.
They have a few food vendors, kind of like an upscale version of food court, and they have more than enough seating on the floor to satisfy the foot traffic, especially if you count the outdoor seating.
Since they don’t have crazy amount of food vendors, Cinnamon Snail was easy to spot. Especially if you know what they serve, and what they are famous/popular for. I saw the donut sign, and I knew it had to be them. The funny quote under the donut warns the patrons, that “if you don’t love puppies, rainbows, and unicorns, you will hate our food.” Pretty funny!
Luckily, they were not busy when we got there (it was a holiday weekend), but they got a nice line shortly after we got our orders. From my previous experience at their food trucks, they were so popular they had a line, and you had to go early to get their donuts before they start to ran out of them.
The beauty of the permanent station is that they have more kitchen space! And there they were, all the donuts lined up in the display window, a thing of beauty. All of them looked great and sounded great, it was almost overwhelming, and was not easy to decide on which one to buy. They also change their specialty donuts everyday, so each you go there, you can try something new.
We ended up getting Peanut Butter Cookie Party ($3), Apple Caramel Crumble ($3), and Strawberry Glazed Donut ($2). The PB Cookie Party was truly a party in my mouth! it was flavorful, but the dough itself felt like it was sitting there for a while… not very fresh texture. But, it was still a very good taste, had lots of PB in the middle, and the Oreo-style cookie on the top added that extra deliciousness to it.
Apple Caramel Crumble was really good as well. And this one, the dough was nice and soft, fluffy and fresh. It was dense without being too heavy. It also had some goodness in the center, kind of like an apple sauce, which was a nice surprise. The top part, with caramel, cinnamon, and glaze was delicious.
I also wanted something more towards “simple” donuts, so I got the Strawberry Glazed one. It was nice and tasty, but I didn’t really get much of the strawberry flavor. It was more like a regular glazed donut, with a hint of strawberry. I wish if the glaze had stronger strawberry flavor.
Since we were there for lunch, and not just snacks, we also had to get some real food. We got Thai BBQ Tempeh ($9.95) and Maple Mustard Tempeh Sandwich ($9.95).
The Thai BBQ Tempeh is made with picked red onions and Thai basil, arugula, smoked chili roasted peanuts and sriracha mayonnaise on grilled spelt bread. The bread is in the size of regular white bread slice, so not very big. When I got some sandwiches from their food truck in the past, whatever we ordered were much bigger, but it might not have been a regular “sandwich” that we ordered…? Anyways, it was still VERY tasty, tempeh was nice and thick, firm and flavorful. It was spicy and fresh, as they make them to order. Even thought it was rather small, it was nicely filling.
Maple Mustard Tempeh Sandwich is made with roasted garlic aioli, marinated kale, tomato and onion on grilled spelt bread. Again, the size is rather small. This one was not spicy, as it uses “maple” mustard. The kale and veggies were really fresh, the aioli sauce was flavorful, well, everything on this sandwich was very flavorful!
I actually met up with my dear friend a week later, and since he is a vegan, I took him to this place. As it was not a holiday weekend, it was crazy busy! They had a constant line of 20-30 people, while all the other food vendor had many 1 or 2 customers (I felt sorry for them). The line still moves quickly enough that you are not standing around too long. On this day, they had several extra-super special donuts, at much higher cost. One of them looked more like a cake than a donut, and then, there was the Crow-Nut, which looked really cool, but since I already had one that was chocolate and peanut butter flavor one, I didn’t get it. They were prepared to serve crazy amount of people, with crazy amounts of donuts.
I wanted to try something different than the sandwich, so this time, I ordered one of their “open face joints.” I chose Korean Barbeque Seitan ($9.95), which is served open faced on a grilled tortilla slathered with chili butter, kimchi and greens. This was huge! Almost twice as big as the sandwich, so if you are hungry, this is the way to go. It was spicy, more so than their Thai BBQ Tempeh, and was very, VERY filling. It had lots of fresh kale on the bottom, and everything went perfectly together. The tortilla was more like thin naan. I was afraid of picking the whole thing up, I thought the tortilla will break with the volume, so I picked at it with knife and fork.
I also had a donut, one of those extra special kind. I had the Inception ($7), stuffed with maple raspberry. To tell you the truth, I didn’t look at the price when I ordered it. If I knew it cost $7, I probably went with another donut. Who would willingly pay $7 for one donut? Just one donut! Well, I would say it was pretty good size, and it had three small cookies on the top. Maybe it was more like 1 and a half portion. The raspberry filling was really nice too, generous amount, and the donut was fluffy and tasty. So, why the name Inception? I assume because the donut ring has three cookie rings on top, and each one of those has three rings on top… It is like a dream within a dream within a dream…right?
The staffs at Pennsy were really on top of it, they have enough staffs to go around, cleaning up after customer leaves. Few of them came around while we were there, asking if we want them to take away trash. Super nice, polite, and friendly.
The Cinnamon Snail lived up to my expectation, other than the size of the sandwich. Oh, and the high price tag on the extra special donuts. Everything is super delicious, high quality, and they are vegan, so good for you! My friend is now addicted to their goodness as well, and who can blame him? I can’t wait to go back to try something else. I wish if they had more offering, but I guess they have to have them limited when they are at food court setting. And what is interesting is that Asian cuisine and vegetarian/vegan food goes really well together. If you are vegan, or fan of Asian flavors, or just want some amazing food and donuts that are made with healthy ingredients, then head over to Cinnamon Snail!
Cinnamon Snail – 2 Pennsylvania Plaza, New York, NY 10121