$10 Vegan vs. $135 Vegan

– Still in New York. – I’m hungry. – I’m hungry too. Wait, wait for me. – Look at the shape of that. Nice carrots. – What is that? – A big ol’ squash. Garlic, yummy. Flowers. Can’t eat that. Four kitties. – Oh, pigeons. – I’m not gonna lie, that’s
kind of a beautiful pigeon. I want an apple. You ready to eat an apple? – Nice. – So what are we doing
eating these apples today? – We’re in the Big Apple. (both laughing) Vegan food. Today we are gonna
be trying three vegan meals at three drastically
different price points to find out which one is the
most worth it at its price. – Have you had much vegan food? – I had a vegan burger.
Tasting a strangely meaty, but not meat burger, mmm. From then I’ve been searching
for good vegan food. – I’m excited. – You just ate the whole core? You not gonna eat that, right? (laughing) – I’m Steven Appleseed. Today
we’re doing vegan meals. (jazzy music) – My name is Chef B – I’m Aaron Beener, the son of Chef B. And we’re here at our
restaurant Seasoned Vegan. – Seasoned Vegan, the name. – My dad actually came up with the name and he is the inspiration for
veganism in our household. We were some really
tough critics for my mom. We really put the pressure
on her to please our palates. – It was trial and error.
A garbage can tastes a lot of my food during those days. – It wasn’t until she
realized that she can keep her same family recipes, but
use plant based ingredients. – My parents were both from Louisiana, so I’ve incorporated that
Louisiana flare to my food. Basically the entire
restaurant is my mom’s recipes. – What was the intention
of opening here in Harlem? – This is actually the first
full service vegan restaurant in the history of Harlem. – We wanted to make a
difference in the community. We weren’t trying to force
anyone into being a vegan. We just wanted people to know
that there’s another option. – We’re both voracious to
eat here. And the po’ boy, what’s going on with that dish? – Well our shrimp are
made, it’s a yam base. We make a batter made from tapioca starch, and a vegan beer, and we fry it. We take a baguette and we
spread remoulade sauce on it. We use a vegan based sour cream and 32 seasonings in combination. I wanted to duplicate that
taste as much as I could. Seems to be a hit cause
everybody loves it. – Look at that shrimp. That’s yam? – Yeah, somehow that’s yam. This is a smoothie they make called – Powerful soul. Cheers. – I’ve had a lot of green
juices that just taste like the lawnmower clippings. This is so fruity, so delicious. – No, this is no lawnmower.
You get that half, I’ll get this half. Cheers. (bread crunching) (jazzy music) That’s the texture and the flavor, and like the meatiness of shrimp. – It is a very satisfying
whole bite experience. – It tastes like one delicious flavor. Is that better than shrimp? – It’s just a great sandwich. – I try to live my life
like this restaurant. On the exterior you see, oh
there’s that handsome guy, just a pretty face. – What you’re saying is
you’re just an imitation of a handsome guy. – No (laughing) – So just like the yam shrimp,
it looks like a delicious shrimp, and even though it
isn’t, it’s none the less. – Exactly. – Hey guys, I want you’s to
try one of our specialties. This is a stuffed avocado. – Oooh. – Will you come have a bite with us? – I most certainly will. It’s stuffed with almond
meat, cashew cheese, topped with pico de gallo, and
a house dressing vinegarette. Lean your head on mama’s
shoulder, it’s okay. – Thank you, oh my gosh. I’m sorry, I just stole
your mom. I’m sorry. (chewing) – That’s really good. – Thank you. – Chef B. Tell me about the food. – So good. – So delightful, so delicious. – Wait do you hear that? – What? Vegan fact. – Vegan facts. – In 2017 it was reported
that six percent of Americans are now claiming to be vegan. Much higher than 2014
where it was one percent. – Either the reporting was really bad, or a lot of people have become vegan. – That’s a 600 percent increase. What other things – Have increased by 600 percent
in the last three years? – Yes. – Um. – My truffle intake. – My cholestrol. – My gold poops. – The amount that I think
about my own mortality. – Oh, that’s dark. – What has increased 600
percent in your life? – Let us know in the comments below. Wipe that off. – We’re in the East Village. We’re on our way to our next vegan stop. – It’s called Avant
Gard. En. Avant Garden. – Solid vegan pun. If I had a vegan or vegetarian restaurant I would name it Vege-Tableaus. Did that just tableau your mind? (music) – Welcome to Avant Garden, my name is Anthony Mongeluzzi.
I’m the executive chef. – What is the motivation of
this restaurant being vegan? – Kill less animals, eat less meat. The environment, make the world better. We’re not like a health
restaurant or anything. The main thing here is
to make the food good. All the plates are a
little on the smaller side, kind of like a tasting menu so you get each course one by one. I think it’s much better.
You can focus more on the menu items. The more you spread yourself out, the less quality everything is. – You got the Sicilian wine. I, however, am going for the coconut. Coconut brings me back
to my days in Malaysia where you just pop open
a coconut and slurp away. Like the monkeys do. Yes,
there are monkeys outside my grandpa’s house. They’re
actually pretty annoying. They’re like raccoons. – Like squirrels. I actually
really like raccoons. I think they’re really cute. – Cheers. – Cheers. – I’ll take wine over a coconut any day. – No that is fresh. – [Anthony] So the first
thing you’ll be having is a sunchoke toast. Just hit it with a little olive
oil, toasted on the press, you get sunchoke puree, fried
sunchokes, pickled pears, kalamata olive pistachio, and some mint. A little saltiness, sweet,
really rich and earthy. – Cheers. – You mean toast? – Oh, nice. (crunching) – The combination of
pistachios and the sunchoke reminds me of Christmas, weirdly. – It makes perfect sense, actually. – This is truly titillating my appetite. Can I say that without making you laugh? – This is insanely good. – [Anthony] Next we’ll
have the avocado salad. We take sushi rice, we pan fry it. Gets served with an avocado that’s dressed with a carrot ginger
vinegarette, micro cilantro, pickled ginger, and miso glaze. – This looks so good. This is, ahh. – I knew that you would
be excited about this. – That’s rice down there. – That is very good. – You know the dance that babies do when they eat something really good? They just like close their
eyes and like do this. – I’m gonna have a little pepper. – Why is the pepper so good? – Ask the pepper. – Why are you so good? – Are you enjoying that Steven? – [Anthony] Next is the
hen of the woods mushroom. Sauteed maitake mushrooms,
white button mushroom puree, pickled shimeji mushrooms,
a little bit of kohlrabi and scallion slaw. – All right I have a confession to make. I’m actually not the
biggest fan of mushrooms. – Really? – I don’t mind them, but
I never choose mushrooms. – It took me awhile to
come around on mushrooms. I loved the smell of mushrooms cooking. I was like, oh it’s mushrooms, and then I ate the
mushrooms and I was like, oh yeah I do love mushrooms. (upbeat music) You like mushrooms now? – A little bit more,
yeah. A little bit more. I think the thing that gets me is just thinking about where they grow. – Dark, damp places? – Yeah. – One of the things I
love most about mushrooms is just how gnarly and weird they look. Like this alien creature
that is also delicious which is like win-win. If aliens came to earth and we ate them, would they be vegan? – [Anthony] Final dish is the celery root. We spiralize it to look like linguine, and we make a mushroom stock out of shiitake mushrooms, onions, garlic. We make a liquid called suyu,
and then we blend the two together and it’s the sauce for the pasta. Crispy mushrooms on top, a
little bit of lemon and garlic. – Smell it. – That’s that mushroom smell
that converted me to mushrooms. – Mmm, wow. – That’s my favorite. – It’s insane. – Never thought I’d be licking my fork after a vegan dish like this. – It’s so creamy. – Top gravies is my life. I don’t even know if they want
me to call this gravy, but. – Oh it’s gravy. – It’s all gravy. (laughing) – [Andrew] Come on,
pop that in your mouth. We haven’t got all day. I got a little game for you.
Top three favorite vegetables. Starting with your third favorite. Beets. – Onion. Beets? – Yeah. Of all the vegetables,
they bleed the most. – That’s good, yeah. – Two. Let me think about it. Eggplant – Kangkong. – Whoa. – I don’t know what this vegetable is. I could take you to a Malaysian restaurant and you could try some. – I would love that.
Favorite vegetable on three. One, two, three. – Eggplant. – Cucumber. Pickles.
That’s all I gotta say. – Adam, my friend, we’re
going to a special place next. We’re going to abcV. They may not know how to
do the alphabet there, but they do know how to
make good vegan food. (light plucking string music) – My name is Neal Harden. I’m
the chef de cuisine of abcV. The whole focus of the
restaurant is the fact that we’re two blocks away from
the Union Square Greenmarket. I think you really have to start with the best ingredients, the finest sourcing. – Can you tell me about what
abcV is trying to accomplish from an overall theme? – Aesthetically there’s
kind of a mix of like clean, white, fresh, beautiful look. We’re inside of ABC Home & Carpet, which is a home goods store. They design our interior, so
it’s a collaboration there. With the food we’re trying
to do the same thing. Clean and fresh and bright,
but with a lot of texture and a lot of secret surprises. (classical music) – You know what I realized today? – What’s that? – I don’t know much, if
anything about vegetables. It’s like Pokemon when you
just gotta bring new things and you’re adding them to your Pokedex. So this is my Pokedex today, the menu. – [Neal] The first thing I’m
gonna start you guys with is our hummus. We start
with green chickpeas instead of the dried brown ones. Some lemon juice, olive
oil, and we serve it with sourdough buckwheat pita,
and some fresh crudites based on seasonal produce. – [Andrew] Oh man. – [Steven] Ooh. – This is the best hummus. – Crudite. – You got a potato chip.
How about a radish chip? – Nice. – This is almost like
something from Avatar. It’s like a juicy, cold chip. – Cheers. This is the ripest pear. – Can I try yours? – Yeah. Ohh. – Oh, I’m keeping this. – [Neal] So our beet salad
is all the different color beets we get from the market. We smash them and then
we have a lot of flavors that are sort of inspired by tartar. Fermented chili mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, capers and cornichons.
Chives and shallots. – This looks like a
delicious slice of raw beef. – Beets. – If they’re a vegetable, beets. – Aw, shoot. – This is gonna be crazy.
It almost takes like an In-N-Out burger, if In-N-Out
burgers grew in the ground. – [Neal] We have a dish
of grilled donko shiitake, which is a really nice grade of shiitake. Really fat and plump.
They’re grown in the woods so they have a lot deeper flavor. – I’ve seen shiitake mushroom before, but not as plump as this. – It is like a cute little child, you just want to pinch its cheeks. – Aw, man. – I feel like I’m in
this forest made of candy and there’s all this delicious stuff that I could grab off the earth. I’m a little worried that
there’s an evil witch about to murder me, stuff me in her oven because this is too good to be true. – [Neal] A warm salad of thinly shaved crimini mushrooms, chanterelle mushroom, and a cipollini onion, and a little bit of aged soy sauce with black truffle juice. – We just went deeper into the woods. – And it’s night time. The sun has set and the world has come alive. Yo, this crimini though, it’s a crime that something could be so
delicious. It’s so meaty. – I love that every texture is here. One of the biggest
complaints about mushrooms is that they’re this mushy, icky things. But here is a little mushroom chip. (crunching) – [Neal] Our carrots come
atop a seed and nut butter that we grind in house. Have
all kinds of different seeds. Poppy seeds, chia seeds,
pecans and almonds and macadamia nuts. – Suddenly the forest
clears for a spring meadow. – Let me grab a carrot. Oh
look at the earth below. – It is kinda like pulling
a carrot out of the mud. – Yeah. Whoa. – This is what’s so pleasing about this; tasting things in a combination
that I’ve never had before. – We’re so used to making the
meat the star of the dish. This is the star. When
you’re coaching basketball you throw in the guy at
the end of the bench. – Turns out he’s the star. – He’s the star. – [Neal] Cauliflower, whole
roasted in the wood fired oven. The roasting really gives
it a variance of texture. There’s like a smoky meatiness to it from the wood fired oven. You have a tahini sauce
made with fresh turmeric. That’s really a centerpiece. – [Andrew] Let me do the honors. – [Steven] I’ve been waiting for this one. – Can I sauce you? – Oh, look at the sauce. – Oh my God. – I was a little scared that
the outside would taste burnt, but burnt cauliflower
just tastes like a crust. – It’s incredible how
many different textures of cauliflower you have here. Whenever I think of like
what I want for dinner I never think of the
vegetable component first. That is gonna change for me. I don’t know where I’m gonna
go to get this stuff again. – You wanna open a farm together? – Sure. (restaurant patrons chatting) – Back in Union Square Park.
The Greenmarket has closed and so has a tale of two hungry boys. – And their cameraman. – Now with three full boys,
who was your worth it winner? – Avant Garden for me. I
came into it never thinking I would order a mushroom
dish, but I’m gonna start ordering mushroom dishes. – Hey maybe you’ll even
turn into a fungi yourself. – I’m going Seasoned Vegan. Seasoned Vegan. Comfort
and vegan come together. Those magical feelings
just warmed my heart. – I think my worth it winner
is abcV, not only because it was super delicious, but
also because I got to try awesome new combinations of vegetables that I’ve never had before. What kind of price can you put on that? Hey Adam, what’s your worth it winner? Adam picks abcV. – Bye. We’re gonna go open our farm now. What should our farm name be? Pigs only. – Oh yes.

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