Eat it: Palm Tree Bowl @ Planted Plate

There’s a lot to like about Planted Plate in Princeton. It’s expansive menu includes original plant-based bowls, vegan substitutes for meat-based classics, plus salads, sandwiches, burritos, toasts and more.

Vegans, and those of other dietary restrictions, will come to Planted Plate because it’s hard to find a plant-based spot with such a large menu and such a commitment to original flavor (and, say, not simply slapping a veggie or Impossible burger on the grill and calling it a day). But, too, non-vegans have a home here: in fact, it’s places like Planted Plate that have the culinary firepower to turn plant-based skeptics into occasional meat abstainers.

They’d likely gravitate toward the familiar: the BLT (made with maple tempeh bacon), the wings (cauliflower or tempeh in buffalo sauce), maybe the ribs (tender pulled seitan), or The Trenton (fried “egg” style tofu, vegan pork roll, SPK).

Or maybe they’d stick to what they regularly eat that happens to be vegan (or close to it): mac and “cheese”, avocado toast, a big salad or falafel. Perhaps they’d try a Planted Plate creation like a chipotle portobello burger, a tofu breakfast scramble, or one of many flavor-forward bowls.

That’s what we opted for (among other things) on a recent visit. The Palm Bowl is made of grilled jerk tofu, bell peppers, onions, pineapple, broccoli, kale, black beans, brown rice and a mango-coconut drizzle. It’s so damn satisfying—the sweetness of the pineapple and mango-coconut drizzle balanced with the bitterness of the kale and broccoli. Each bite feels substantial with abundant jerk tofu squares and black beans. Pour a little hot sauce atop this Caribbean-inspired dish and you’ll be feeling alright.