On the outskirts of Queens’ Murray Hill, which is best known for Korean barbecue and fried chicken, is a store that caters to a much less carnivorous crowd. Meat eaters who first see the green sign for Vege Eats, might think that all that's inside is Gardenburgers. But as the sign says, it’s a “vegetarian specialty food store,” which is putting it lightly.
The shop has a huge wall of freezer cases that offer products that go way beyond vegetarian bacon and Tofutti Cuties. There’s plenty of seafood on hand. For those who find mock salmon boring, there’s always abalone or mouth breeder fish. There are 14 types of veggie ham and sausages alone, including codfish ham. And of course there are chicken nuggets, and various other poultry replacement products.
The faux meat parade doesn’t stop there, though. If you have a craving for vegetarian mutton this is the place to be. Vege Eats offers not one, but two kinds of the mock mutton, which is made from mushrooms, among other things. Apparently there are vegetarians who miss ribs, as evidenced by Vege Bar.B.Q. rib, which consists of longish chunks of reddish mystery “meat.”
After a few minutes in the microwave, the faux rib meat is ready to eat. It has a spongy texture, with a touch of smoke flavoring and a little pepper. While it’s clearly designed to taste like Chinese ribs, it’s no substitute for Wo Hop. But it’s still probably the best fake rib meat made from soybean and wheat albumen.
Vege Eats Inc., 45-46 162 St., Flushing, 718-353-5090