Ate02

pingala

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If you’re looking for plant based in Vermont chances are you’ll come across Pingala. They churn out colorful, delicious, vegan, food truck inspired munchies that could sway the most carnivorous of your friends. Not only do they have a restaurant tucked away in the self professed Brooklyn of Burlington, right on the Onion River itself, but they’re also responsible for the Broccoli Bar; a food cart that you may have seen making the rounds at ArtsRiot and Leddy Beach in the summer months.

We over here at Ate02 first heard about Pingala (sanskrit for sun energy #peacenblessins) through the Broc Bar. We’ve actually dedicated whole entire days over the summer to talking about, seeking out, and then munching at the broc bar and we often find ourselves dreaming about their tempura broc with pickled veg. But we also frequent the Winooski location and we have a LOT to share with you so let’s break it down now shall we?

 
 
 
This is a fricken nook if we've ever seen one 

This is a fricken nook if we've ever seen one 

When Should I Go?

Pingala is a relatively small restaurant, counter service, fast casual, you know the drill. So we would recommend hitting it up later in the day for a weekend lunch or a weekday brunch perhaps. The great thing is that their breakfast items are served all day so if you’re really craving french toast at 7pm you’re good to go. Also the communal tables in the middle are the perfect way to meet frands. Not to mention, they have coffee, tea, and espresso drinks. So if you’re ridin solo grab a seat at the bar and do some work. Live a little, but life a little also. 

What Do I Order?

Start it off with the Broccoli Bites, they really know what they’re doing here it’s almost as if they are artists and their preferred medium is broccoli. The broc itself is steamed perfectly and the peanut sauce and crunchy bits on top make for THE most satisfying of bites.

 

If you’re in the mood for breakfast the French Toast is most definitely a fan favorite. It tastes like super moist banana bread with a real nice crispy texture on the outside, the ginger butter melts in your mouth, and VT maple on the side because duh. We’ve also had the Huevos Rancheros from Pingala and they get our stamp of approval as well. We’re huge fans of Mexican for breakfast, mex-brex as we have coined it, and you really don’t notice the lack of eggs in this classic dish. Like so many items on the menu, it’s loaded up with a ton of perfectly prepared veggies and they all steal the fricken show.

 

Not in the breakfast mood? How bout a SAMMIE then huh? Our rec: the Food Truck Ruben. Its stacked up with tempeh, tahini kale, smoked chili “mayo”, pickled veg, sunflower seed crunch, and bbq sauce. Wowowowow. If using a knife and fork is more your style than the Buddha-ful Bowl may be the move for you, on our last visit it was a crowd favorite.

 

And last but not least treat yourself to a baked good from Sweet Alchemy or a fresh pressed juice from VT Juice Company, both sold in house, because why the heck not? They also offer a fat list of smoothies that are both fruity and nutty. Honestly, whatever itch you may have this place will scratch it. Or if you’re feeling extra stressed add CBD to literally ANY menu item for only $2.50.

Buddha-ful bowls, Spring Rolls, and French Toast BABY! 

Buddha-ful bowls, Spring Rolls, and French Toast BABY! 

Brocc Bites, Food Truck Ruben, Kale Salad with Sweet Potato and Avo, and the Buddha-ful bowl

Brocc Bites, Food Truck Ruben, Kale Salad with Sweet Potato and Avo, and the Buddha-ful bowl

What’s the deal with the eggplant bacon?

Wow excellent q. The flavor is great, super smokey but in our personal opinion, it has a jerky like texture and is a little too tough and chewy for a sammie. Which is why we recommend adding it to a salad or a buddha bowl all crumbled up like. MMM YES. You can also buy bags of it to take home with you for all your eggplant bacon needs!

so whats your next order?

OK, so obviously we haven’t been able to try everything on the menu… BUT. Their mac n PEAS (aka chz) looks promising and so does their burger. Both are comfort classics but entirely plant based. The burger features a ‘range free’ patty and cheeze made from cashews with all the classic condiments that your little heart desires. The mac is also essentially guilt free because first off who cares????? and second, PINGALA’S mac n chz has kale, peas, and carrots.

 

Rancheros FOR DAYS 

Rancheros FOR DAYS 

where it at doe?

https://www.pingalacafe.com/contact/

Right fricken here!

ENJOY!