Thursday, January 8, 2015

Dining Out in Brooklyn - Champs Diner

Champs Diner in Brooklyn NY

Red Velvet Pancakes - Champs Diner All Vegan, Brooklyn NY
Red Velvet Pancakes - Champs Diner

Champs Diner This place is like a glutton's heaven; it's like waking up in a vegan food dream. So be warned, it's not for the "light" eater and you better bring your appetite... and your patience, because you will need both. Champs (or Champs Family Bakery or Champs Diner, whichever you prefer) recently moved to a new location and spruced up their decor, but kept with their retro 50's diner vibe. Even on a rainy, cold Saturday morning there was a crowd outside waiting for a table and unfortunately due to the small size, the hostess wouldn't allow people to wait inside. I came here for a birthday brunch with my best friend and was willing to wait. Instead of standing in the rain, we actually made the smart choice (thinking only with our stomachs here) to swing by Dunwell Doughnuts a couple blocks away for a pre-meal vegan doughnut (yup, talk about healthy). 
Vegan Sandwich Menu
I had studied the menu a few times before coming and even ordered takeout from Champs months ago. I was second guessing the fact that everything here is vegan, because it sure doesn't sound or look like it, which makes it that much more exciting! I first tried the Buffalo Chik'n Sandwich but wasn't impressed. It was a hero sandwich made with spicy buffalo chik'n, greens, tomatoes, sauteed onions, and ranch dressing. I couldn't enjoy it because it was too spicy for my taste. I was very eager to go back for a real brunch though because they are known for their breakfast foods. Some stand-outs include the Red Velvet Pancakes (photographed above), Drunken Cowgirl Tofu Scramble, French Fries with Cheese & Bacon (yes, you read that right). My friend was in the mood for more of an "egg" savory dish and went for the Get Scrambled tofu scramble with onions, peppers and ham. I made my decision based on reading the description of Country-Fried Seitan Sandwich...or maybe it was just seeing "fried" in the name. My sandwich was incredible, not something I could eat everyday or even every week, but a scrumptious unhealthy treat nonetheless. The crispy seitan cutlet was crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside, smothered in creamy ranch dressing, topped with bacon and melted cheese and a few fresh veggies - lettuce and tomato - all served on Texas toast, because why not?! Man, my mouth is watering just thinking about it. I had to save room for our breakfast dessert so I brought half home and ate it only a couple hours later. For dessert, with hardly any room left in our stomachs (those doughnuts before our meal might have been a bad idea), we sunk our forks into a stack of Red Velvet Pancakes. I've never had the pleasure of enjoying red velvet in this way before! They were chewy, fluffy and moist, a well-made pancake indeed and served with a generous heap of heavy whipped cream with melting chocolate chips decorating the plate. 

Vegan Country-Fried Seitan Sandwich - Champs Diner in Brooklyn
Country-Fried Seitan Sandwich - Champs Diner

This whole meal left me saying "nom nom nom" and wanting to find a cozy warm corner to go lie down in for a while. There are just so many more things I need to try here. I will be back and I will wait in that line, because dammit it's worth it.

Get Scrambled Tofu Scramble - Champs Diner Vegan Brooklyn Veega Blog
Get Scrambled - Champs Diner

Vegan Red Velvet Pancakes with Whipped Cream, Chocolate Chips - Champs
Another shot of those beautiful red velvet pancakes

Champs Diner
197 Meserole Street
Brooklyn, NY 11206
Champs Diner Website

Bar Stools at Champs Diner

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