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Pure Grit BBQ
Photograph: Sara Luckey

Eat all the vegan barbecue you want at this new spot in midtown

Pure Grit BBQ taps a yet-to-be-explored aspect of vegan cuisine.

Anna Rahmanan
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Anna Rahmanan
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We thought we reached the peak of all things vegan with the plant-based omakase restaurant that opened in NoMad last month. We were wrong: Pure Grit BBQ is a new destination that just opened at 36 Lexington Avenue at 24th Street that turns what is likely the meatiest cuisine of all into a vegan concept.

Pure Grit BBQ
Photograph: Sara Luckey

The new restaurant hopes to deliver barbecue flavors sans the meat, offering New Yorkers plant-based dishes that are also gluten free like the smoked main plate served with half a waffle plus your choice of coleslaw, baked beans, potato salad, charred broccoli salad, fried sweet potato bites or French fries. There's a pulled jackfruit dish that calls for attention in addition to a pulled eggplant sandwich, a fried Daring chicken sandwich, a baked bean burger and more. 

The stars of the menu, though, are the cornbread waffles that come with every barbecue plate but can also be ordered as stand-alone sides. 

What's more: everything looks like traditional barbecue fare would, likely thanks to the cookshack smoker that's used on-premise.

"Our mission is to create a homey dining experience that brings everyone to the table, no matter their dietary philosophy," said Kerry Fitzmaurice, the founder of the outpost, in an official statement. Fitzmaurice enlisted the help of vegan chef Nikki King Bennett (of Netflix's Bad Vegan fame) to come up with the ideal side dishes and pitmaster Daniel Jacobellis to "ensure the authenticity of barbecue in every dish."

Pure Grit BBQ
Photograph: Sara Luckey

You're going to have to visit the midtown destination yourself to figure out how, exactly, plant-based food could emulate authentic barbecue flavors so acutely. Once you're there, keep me in mind that the restaurant has vowed to also put a focus on sustainability by reducing waste as much as possible. To do so, the staff uses compostable packaging, recycles, practices composting and has optimized recipes to use only needed ingredients.

It seems like the plant-based food trend is here to stay.

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