Vegan Lunch Special at Thai Basil in Hell's Kitchen

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The vegetarian lunch special begins with an egg roll and salad with a sort of Japanese-y dressing.

Thai restaurants in particular are great for vegetarian and vegan diners--butter is unknown in the cuisine, and dairy products have not been incorporated, in the way they have been in Indian and even Japanese food.

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There are a dozen Thai restaurants in Hell's Kitchen, mainly along Ninth Avenue.

One of the best is Thai Basil, a chill narrow spot with appealing art (Dig the noses on those bas reliefs!), and an even more appealing lunch special, which will set you back only $6.95. You can feature either tofu or just plain vegetables as the centerpiece of any dish on the 19-item luncheon menu, which also includes a first course of vegetarian egg roll and nicely dressed salad.

Our favorite main course is #3, "fresh ginger," which features plenty of the shredded rhizome, which is said to have many healthful powers. It's also an anti-nausea agent, which is why your mom gave you ginger ale when you got a tummy ache.

"Fresh ginger" includes onions, mushrooms, bell peppers, carrots, broccoli, and other vegetables, and is way delicious. For an extra dollar, you can substitute vegetarian mock duck. 860 Ninth Avenue, 212-397-2036

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Here's #3, which can be had in vegetables or tofu variations, or, for an extra dollar, you can have mock duck.


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