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The other week, my friend Heidi asked me if I wanted to grab lunch at newly-openedย Rip’s Malt Shop over by Brooklyn Navy Yard. After a quick Google search, I said YES, YES, A THOUSAND TIMES YES – they’ve got everything from burgers to hot dogs to milkshakes (to beer), and all of it is vegan!

I’ll state for the record that I’m not vegan, but I’d estimate that about 90% of what I eat is plant-based. This shift has been a fairly gradual one, but it’s gotten easier and easier as time has gone on, partially because I’ve realized I feel a lot better on a number of levels when I skip out on eating meat and other animal products. (Lately I’ve been identifying as “reducetarian“, which is a term that will probably make both hardcore vegans and hardcore carnivores feel annoyed, but that’s just where I’m at realistically speaking.) ANYWAY, this is not a lecture for you, this is more so that you understand what my deal is.

And if you’re thinking about trying to incorporate more plant-based foods into your routine, Rip’s is a good starting point. The menu is by no means healthy, and you won’t find any kale smoothies in its repertoire. But that certainly give meat-based fast-food competitors a run for their money.

I had a really tough time choosing what to order, so (naturally) I went with a Chicago dog (ft. all the classic toppings – pickles, tomatoes, neon relish, celery salt, diced onion, sport peppers and yellow mustard) AND a chopped cheese (which you’ll know if you’ve ever been to a proper NYC bodega). And both were insanely good. I wolfed the chopped cheese in about thirty seconds, but the hot dog was so gigantic that I couldn’t finish it all. The Field Roast dog was a little larger in size than a standard frank, and the taste was a little sweeter, too, but that ended up being a real asset alongside the tangy toppings.

Heidi ordered a burger, which also looked incredible. Definitely will order next time for an official weigh-in.

While we ate, two dudes came in and started to cruise the menu. After a few seconds, they said, “Wait…THERE’S NO MEAT?!” in panicked voices, then asserted that they were staunchly carnivorous, and promptly left. This made me LOL, because like, I get it if you just want to eat some meat, but your dick isn’t going to fall off if you eat a vegetable, you guys. Calm down.

In sum, the menu is vegan junk food at its goddamn finest, and I am just so happy to know that these guys are open for business! The restaurant isn’t in the most obvious location (10 Clermont in Brooklyn) considering the area around Navy Yard can be pretty desolate, but it’s just a few steps from Flushing Avenue, and it’s an easy walk from Fort Greene, Clinton Hill and Bed Stuy. And while the menu isn’t completely guilt-free since it’s genuine comfort food, I felt full of energy after downing an entire chopped cheese and half a hot dog (definitely wouldn’t have had they been animal-based). Excited to go back and try out the other items, especially the milkshakes, so if any of you guys wanna give me an excuse to go, just say the word and I’m there. 10/10 from me.

*Header image via Rip’s IG.

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