For a few years now I have been hearing about Happy Buddha. Always on the lookout for a vegetarian friendly alternative in Queens (not that I limit myself by only eating out at vegetarian places, but once in a blue moon it is nice not to have to worry about how animal free your meal will be).
In any case, Happy Buddha has the reputation of being a haven for vegetarians in Flushing Main Street. Their menu features many Chinese cuisine staples, prepared with vegetarian friendly mock meats. Some vegetarians are reluctant to eat those - they are just turned off by the texture of meat; however, I'm not squeamish about a meaty texture so we decided to take the plunge and try some of their "vege" versions.
We decided to start with the "steamed vege chicken buns" (from the dim sum menu) and the mock roasted pork. They were both nice and tasty. We added an order of shumai - my least favorite of the day since it turned out to be just rice wrapped up in the traditional shumai dough.
For our main course we chose the Triple Mushroom Delight, a no-brainer for a mushroom junkie like myself. I loved the black shiitake mushrooms and the veggies, but thought the texture and shape of the mock meat in this dish was a little odd, although it tasted fine. Also, I also found the thick strips of ginger to be a overwhelming in this dish.
I was disappointed that our main dish came out at least ten minutes before our appetizers and that it was difficult to flag one of the servers to inquire about our appetizers and to ask for a glass of water.
All that being said, would we go back to Happy Buddha for more veggie friendly Chinese? Yes, we would, and next time we would go straight for that infamous "General Tso's vege chicken".
Happy Buddha, happy belly.
135-37 37th Ave.
Flushing, NY 11367