Next time you’re in SOHO (NYC) and wondering where to get a “not a big deal” kinda meal, wander west and onto Thompson Street to find authentic, organic, and very vegetarian friendly Mexican eats and smoothies at SALUD. Gluten-free and dairy free? You’ll have an easy time here.
Need to re-hydrate after all that shopping? Salud is a great little spot for juices pressed to order and smoothies with detectable chunks of organic berries and much more.
In just one year, Salud became a favorite of residents of this South Village/ West SOHO neighborhood for all the right reasons. The owner is often present and sets the friendly vibe in this small space decorated with Mexican tchockes. The tree just outside is wrapped in bright aqua benches giving regulars a place to wait for their blended drinks and handmade blue corn tortillas.
A sign on the counter politely asks customers to be patient as everything is made to order in what is surely a teeny tiny kitchen behind the counter.
E. tipped me off to her favorite neighborhood spot and raved about their vegan Quinoa Veggie Burger so I was sure to order it on my first visit. She had warned me to not be put off by the soft texture and the fact that the veggie patty doesn’t hold together.
Sandwiched in a multi grain bun with field greens, sliced tomatoes, avocado and house made chipotle mayo was the sloppy but oh so delicious veggie burger. Never mind the mess; it’s satisfying and worth coming back for.
While presentation and plating are not Salud’s forte, their handmade blue corn tortillas are. Never one to pass up zucchini blossoms, I was thrilled to taste them with gooey quesillo and that chipotle soy mayo we had loved on the veg burger.
Salud plays with soy products, offering soy cheeses, some tofu and vegetarian “chick’n” salad in addition to tofu salad. N. and I opted for TBLT, the tofu “bacon”, lettuce and tomato on a plate of field greens ( usually offered on multi- grain toast).
You gotta love super smoky and salty fakin’ to like this one. N. did, but I didn’t.
We couldn’t resist another order of quesadillas so we ran with the huitlacoche truffle, black bean combo, switching out the quesillo for soy cheese to see how it played. We wouldn’t have noticed the cheese switch and once again, relished the perfectly textured, hand made blue corn tortillas.
But what was this “truffle” and why wasn’t the flavor distinctive? Turns out that huitlacoche is a blueish fungus (ok, call it a mushroom if it makes it more appetizing) that grows on corn kernels. Unlike the truffles that we know as delicacies, these are common in Central Mexico and add texture, more than flavor.
Salud makes almost everything from scratch including their own almond butter, peanut butter, fruity jams, dressings and salsas. Their menu clearly identifies vegetarian and vegan options and they will gladly substitute ingredients to suit your taste.
Their organic juices and smoothies are made to order (patience is a good thing here). N. and I were eager to get into the Mexican beach spirit by having a Tulum Breeze with lunch. Chunks of mango and strawberries dotted the soy milk blend.
I noticed lots of regulars ordering smoothies and with homemade amaranth, handmade chocolate (Mexican hot chocolate in the winter, or a tall glass of Lucha Libre, a blend of chocolate, banana, peanut butter and rice milk) and plenty of fresh fruits to choose from, I understand why.
Saturday and Sunday Brunch runs from 10 AM- 3 PM. The fluffy eggs wraps are well worth waiting for if you are an early riser. I enjoyed a kale and egg wrap with perfectly ripe avocado while E. enjoyed the same with a Just Peachy smoothie packed with peaches, strawberries, bananas and rice milk.
Pumpkin pancakes topped with fresh berries and organic oatmeal, mounded with fruit, provide non-egg options.
Seating is extremely limited with only 2 tables and a couple of stools at the slight counter. Don’t let that deter you, though. There’s a friendly neighborhood park down the street where you can munch on these Mexican treats and watch the chess players concentrate on their moves while the guys shoot hoops.
You’ll want to stay focused on the food in hand. SALUD!
107 Thompson St. (between Prince and Spring)
M-F 9 AM- 6 PM
Sat. 10 AM- 6 PM
Sun. 10 AM- 5 PM