100 Main St. (Rte. 52)
$8.95 to $14.95
You don’t have to be a meat-eschewing vegan to love Pure City. A small (33 seats) but cozy restaurant located right on Main Street in Pine Bush, Pure City serves up Chinese style food that contains no meat or dairy products. Now don’t discount this wonderful little eating place because you can’t get chicken, pork or beef. What you do get is a meal that may taste like animal protein without the fat or the heart-clogging cholesterol.
We arrived at Pure City on a Friday night at 6:30 and we were lucky to get the last empty table. The restaurant is bright and comfortable with plenty of room to maneuver. The interior of the restaurant is painted white with maple wainscoting and decorated in Asian style with festive Chinese lanterns. Along with the eat-in customers, Pure City does a bustling ‘takeout’ business.
Accompanying me was my husband and my son, both vegans, so they very much looked forward to our visit. When we were seated, we were offered a choice of soda, green, date, plum or ginger teas, or fruit juices. We all opted for plain water with lemon.
Hubby and I started our meal sharing the steamed vegetable dumplings, fluffy and tender and filled with a mix of chopped veggies with a dipping sauce on the side. David Jr. decided to try the sesame veggie slices, which consisted of zucchini, nori (seaweed) and textured vegetable protein rolled like sushi and battered, coated with sesame seeds and lightly fried, also served with a dipping sauce. We all had to try it, of course, and we weren’t disappointed.
Other appetizers on the menu which range in price from $2.50 to $6.95 are generous and delicious. Or, if you want to try them all, you can order the Pure City Platter which is a sampler including barbeque veggie ribs, a spring roll, the sesame veggie slices and other exotic treats for $11.95. (You could really make a meal out of these!)
For dinner, Dave Sr. ordered the Asian Forest, a combination of asparagus, butternut squash, and red peppers with slices of veggie sausage in a light sauce. He cleaned his plate! Dave Jr. ordered the Sizzling Soy Platter, a sizzling steaming plate of soy protein patties with a sweet, savory basil infused soy based sauce accompanied by snow peas, broccoli, fresh mushrooms, carrot and potato. My dinner, called the Tropical Surprise, was a sweet mix of mango, sweet peppers and soy protein strips.
All dinners are served with a small bowl of hearty whole grain brown rice. Of course, we all took a taste of each others’ meals and agreed that next time, we would try something new. Each meal is presented with an artful garnish that is as colorful and pretty as a picture.
The menu choices are huge – so many combinations! If you don’t want to be too adventurous, you can always opt for the fried rice, lo mien, salads, veggie burgers, or soups.
Can it get any better? Yes! One of Pure City’s specialties is their Chocolate Tofu Cheesecake, our favorite. If you love cheesecake and you love chocolate (who doesn’t?), you will adore this dessert, which comes topped with a sweet and tart raspberry sauce with slices of fresh strawberries and blueberries as a garnish. Other dessert choices include Mango pudding, tofu ice cream, green tea ice cream or red bean ice cream.
Owner Lisa Chen greets her customers like family. Her son, Kevin, waits on tables with professional aplomb and her husband, Ben, is the chef. Lisa says she believes in pure food, a pure mind, pure behavior and pure speaking.
As we left Pure City about 7:45 that Friday night, we realized the tables were quickly filling up again.
Pure City are open Tuesday-Thursday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and are closed Sunday and Monday. Pure City is also open for lunch; with lunch specials priced from $4.95 to $6.95. We do find that there is a bit of a wait for every meal, but the few minutes are well worth it! Don’t want to venture out? Pure City also delivers a minimum $25 order within a 10 mile radius and offers catering services!