This week, the focus is on the Buffalo Cauliflower from Pet Shop.
Pet Shop, which opened last summer in downtown Jersey City, has become known for their relaxed vibe, newish natural wine program, and their entirely vegan/vegetarian menu. One of the most popular dishes off that menu is the buffalo cauliflower with vegan ranch. Cauliflower florets are tossed in a thin batter, cooked, and then tossed in a traditional buffalo sauce for a crispy but tender snack or appetizer.
There's a lot to like about this dish and while it isn't unique among vegetarian dishes nor is it something I'd really consider a replacement for wings, this is a really good version and one that I find myself thinking about any time I'm in the mood for something with a little heat. The crisp exterior gives way to the well-cooked but still slightly crunchy cauliflower while the deep tang and spice of the buffalo sauce invades your mouth. It's really flavorful, not overly sauced and while at first, the heat seems subtle, it quickly picks up, never becoming overwhelming, but certainly more intense then it feels at first bite. The vegan ranch, thick and heavily herbed, is a nice addition and helps smooth out some of the spice, but I prefer the full bite of the cauliflower without it.
It's a great appetizer or shared dish, and best of all, goes well with just about anything you might be drinking.
Have a Friday Feature you'd like to nominate? Comment below, email me, or post a picture of it on Instagram with #jceatsFF along with a sentence or two about what it is you're nominating for a chance to have it included on the blog. One restriction - please don't nominate your own food if you're a restaurant or chef.