I’ve spent a lot of birthdays eating dinner at a restaurant that someone else picked for me, as a special surprise. There is a lot of pressure involved with that. When choosing a birthday dinner spot for someone else, you’re torn between a few options: somewhere new and super cool, somewhere ultra price that you’d never go to otherwise, somewhere special or significant (first date spot, where he/she proposed, etc.), or going to that person’s favorite restaurant. Choosing a birthday dinner spot for yourself, which is what I did this year, is a bit easier. You got for the favorite. Sure, I have a lot of favorites, but Red Bamboo is very high on the list. I just had to see how long the wait was (20 minutes or so), and that was about it. One quick complaint (or two) — they really need to get a new sign, because this thing is worn out, and why don’t they get a bigger space already? The place is way too popular for the spot they’re in now.
Okay, that’s all I can complain about. I really love Red Bamboo. It’s really a bit of heaven for vegetarians, but I think meat eaters have fun here too. The menu is almost hysterical to read, things like ribs, chicken parm, pork cutlets, etc., all vegetarian (mostly vegan in fact). Sure, you can opt for regular cheese if you’d like, but they’ve got plenty of soy cheese options too. And just look at those portions above. It’s comfort food, and a lot of it. I dream about that chicken parm, but I got the saucy rib, another winner, for myself. And I love how chilled out they are there. I guess the vibe works with the local NYU crowd. And it’s just so much better than the other veggie spots in the area, which shall remain nameless for now. It was a very good birthday.