The Bye and Bye
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With two patios flanking the building, The Bye and Bye pretty much is a patio. Most of the seating is of the outdoor kind, and when the restaurant's two floor-to-ceiling garage doors have been rolled up, you can sit indoors and still feel like you're outside.
Forecast: It would be rare for you and your friends to not find an outdoor table. The front patio seats 40 (until it closes at 10 p.m.) and as many as 50 can sit out back.
SPF: If you're looking for sun, definitely sit out front. But if shade's your thing, the back patio has high walls and is covered by a roof, which still lets in a little natural light. And if you thought the air back there might get stale, think again: half a dozen ceiling fans hang from the roof. Also, the back patio is equipped with heaters, which keeps it open all year long.
Advisory: Dogs are okay on the front patio and kids are allowed on both, but only until 8 p.m. Also, order at the bar. And don't bother calling the phone number—it works but goes straight to voicemail. Smoking is permitted on both patios.
Barometer: The food is vegan, thoughtfully prepared, and delicious. Try the Eastern Bowl (tofu, broccoli and sesame seeds with spicy peanut sauce) and wash it down with a pint of draft Anchor Steam or the Bye and Bye, a Mason jar filled with cranberry juice, peach vodka and peach bourbon.
For years, the kitchen crew at The Bye and Bye experimented with the idea of a vegan grilled cheese, attempting, over and over again, to concoct a homemade vegan cheese that would taste—and melt—like real cheese. After oh so many trials and errors, they finally threw up their hands and decided to source their vegan cheddar from Vancouver, B.C.’s Daiya. The staff got behind this current version, and so should you because Daiya’s cheddar melts like real cheese and tastes like it too. And if you’re in the mood, you can always doll up your sandwich by asking to have yours stuffed with avocado, tomato, red onions or fresh jalapeños. Plus, the whole things is delightfully crunchy because the Grand Central Como bread gets panini-pressed, but not before it’s brushed with olive oil. Go eat one, carnivores—you won’t regret it. In fact, it just might become your new favorite.