Slutty Vegan — a fast food chain famous in Atlanta for its menu of plant-based comfort food, its party atmosphere, its long lines, and its founder, the inimitable Pinky Cole – brought all of the above and more to Brooklyn last weekend for a grand opening party for the ages.
Seriously, it was nuts: They closed down the whole street to accommodate the crowds. They sold out of everything in five hours. “We had a festival just from a restaurant!” Cole tells Brooklyn Magazine. “So many people came out, camped out. The first person on line, I gave her $500 she was there so long. People really love this brand.”
And the love doesn’t seem like it’s going to dim any time soon. On Wednesday afternoon, three days after the opener, we checked in on Slutty Vegan’s new home in the Comandante Biggie building, and the party was still going strong, with a line down the block, a mobile photo-booth set up curbside, bangers blasting from the sound system, and celebratory announcements booming out onto the street from the enthusiastic counter crew.
Fortunately, the food is also good. The Slutty Vegan menu sticks to fast-food basics made with plant-based ingredients, and everything has a provocative name. There’s a “cheesesteak” called Hollywood Hooker, a Cajun “shrimp” platter called Side Heaux, and a jalapeño-covered burger called Sloppy Toppy. The signage, too, begs for your attention. “Drink the Fuh Cup” shouts your beverage container.
Cole explained the slutty strategy. “If I can merge the two most pleasurable experiences, sex and food, then I know I can get people to pay attention,” she says. “We all want to eat, and I think a lot of us like sex. So even though Slutty Vegan itself has nothing to do with sex, the name draws you in. It sparks conversation and creates dialogue among people who maybe wouldn’t normally talk around vegan food.”
After the grand opening deluge, they’re offering just three sandwiches per day for a while, plus fries and a dessert, or “happy ending.”
We wolfed down a Fussy Hussy standing on the sidewalk — there’s no seating of any kind at Slutty, though Fort Greene Park isn’t far away — and although it’s seriously sloppy, with all that orange Slut sauce and oozy vegan cheese playing havoc with the soft Hawaiian bun, it hits the proper comfort food notes: gloppy, salty, a hit of acid from the pickles, plenty filling.
The One Night Stand, which adds some smoky fake bacon to the mix, also delivered. Both sandwiches come with crinkle-cut Slutty Fries, which are nice and crispy and well seasoned with “slut dust.” It’s all very satisfying, as is the super-sweet banana pudding with bits of crunchy cookies.
Cole and her crew couldn’t be happier to be in Brooklyn, their first Slutty Vegan location outside of the South. “Broccoli Bar [the previous tenant in the triangular space] decided to move on and they reached out and asked us if we wanted to take over, and we loved it,” she says. “It just felt good, and the energy felt right in the neighborhood.”
Cole is not done slutting up our city either. “I have another grand opening announcement coming very soon,” she says. “Stay tuned.”
Slutty Vegan is located at 690 Fulton Street, at the corner of South Portland Avenue, and is currently open Tuesday through Thursday from noon to 8 p.m., and on Friday and Saturday from noon to 9 p.m. Closed Sunday and Monday.