Burgers - FOOD - "The Delicious" - Indian/Pakistani - Vegetarian

Otarian – an environmentally-conscious lunch spot

June 3, 2010

I just recently returned to the green-friendly Hearst building to find a new green-friendly restaurant next door, Otarian. Last week was the first time I actually stopped inside the whimsically decorated restaurant — it’s outfitted in bright woven baskets hanging on the wall and sleek furniture — and looks so clean it makes you feel like you can eat off the floor. I found out later the restaurant, owned by Radhika Oswal, grew out of its London outpost and prides itself on being the world’s first low-carbon restaurant with a vegetarian/fusion menu.

Radhika Oswal (Photo Credit: Hiroko Masuike for The New York Times)

Designed to create the smallest carbon footprint possible, all the packaging is compostable and furniture, all recycled. You’ll also be surrounded with enviro-conscious messages (check your napkin, it might read: “Forest area equivalent to the size of Greater New York City is lost every two days due to livestock production”).

Otarian fries and pro-veggie napkin

Then there’s the menu which will make you salivate.

Portobello Mushroom burger, $7.95

PORTOBELLO MUSHROOM: Field mushroom, nut-free pesto, mayonnaise, grilled peppers, lettuce, tomato, cheese, and red onion on a brown bun.

Their fusion menu has a lot of Indian fare twists. You’ll find a Potato Onion O Dill wrap filled with potatoes, onions, dill and cheese, with salsa or hot sauce, or a Tandoori Mushroom O Paneer wrap with cucumber yogurt dip. Or you can get a Tex Mex burger with a spicy tex mex patty, barbeque sauce, guacamole, salsa, cheese, and lettuce. I had a hard time picking off their menu, since they were all seemed equally unusual and tasty. I braced myself went for the Portobello Mushroom and was pleasantly surprised at how great it tasted.

I have to admit, I went back a few days later for the Tandoori Mushroom O Paneer wrap which was pretty spicy and filling, but felt like there was more to be had. Actually, I think it overcompensates in spiciness for the minimal taste. The cucumber yogurt dip it comes with, helps.

Mushroom and Paneer wrap

I also ordered fries which were a lot less oilier than most fast food places and I ended up really liking it. Either way, I have a feeling I’m still gonna go back for more.

Restaurant Info:

947 8th Ave
at 56th St.
New York, NY 10019
Midtown West


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