Review: Veggie Castle II in Queens

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Okay, okay. I know I’ve been giving Brooklyn alot of love lately but now it’s time to shout out my borough. I was born and raised in Queens. It’s not the most happening place in New York City, and it’s not nearly as vegan-friendly as other parts but it’s still one of the many places I call home.  One place that we frequent on every trip home is Veggie Castle II, seated in the largely Guyanese neighborhood of Richmond Hill. The robust vegan menu clearly represents Caribbean soul: curried tofu, macaroni pie, rice and peas, fried plantain, stewed peas, and other plant-based island delights. It’s not the place for raw desserts or green salads but it consistently delivers food that is always richly flavorful and familiar.

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In addition to the hot food offerings generously piled onto your to-go plate, you’ll find patties, veggie burgers, and desserts, alongside a lengthy smoothie and fresh juice menu. Raw foodies can enjoy shots of wheatgrass juice or fresh-pressed cane juice, but all of the edible items are mostly cooked.  If you’re on a raw food fast or juice cleanse, this place will tempt you away from the path, so proceed with caution.

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The mostly Guyanese staff feed the people to the tune of reggae jams on the sound system.  The walls are plastered with autographed images of prominent reggae artists, alongside pictures of Michael Jackson and Barack Obama, and posters for upcoming concerts.  Previously, there were three lone bar stools tucked away in a back corner of the narrow eatery but now, they’ve added a dining area in the adjacent property which now gives you the opportunity to dine-in.  If you ever had a veggie-hater tell you that Caribbeans can’t be vegan, please take them to Veggie Castle immediately and feed them the truth.

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