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February 12, 2024
BROADWAY EATS with Charity Angél Dawson

Though we understand their circumstances may have been a bit different, like Oliver and his clan of orphan boys, we’ve all fallen into a daze dreaming of “food, glorious food” at one point or another.

After all, it’s been said that food is the great equalizer, connecting us and bringing us together, either with family or friends, colleagues or companions, or any others from all walks of life, to dine often at a communal table or gathering space wherein we share stories and reveal the most authentic parts of ourselves.

In our continued effort, however, to find our way into others’ hearts (and stomachs!), sometimes it helps to venture beyond our tables and into the kitchens of others — especially in a city with such a diversified abundance of eateries as New York.

And of course, you can’t spell “theatre” without “eat.”

So, in this new series, we’ve polled some of the Great Bright Way’s best to “dish” (get it?) on where they love to eat, drink, and take in the vibes either pre- or post-show, while also answering why they love to sup there, sharing a favorite dish or two, and more.

Photo Credit: Darnell Bennett Photography

We continue now with Charity Angél Dawson, who recently stepped into the sneakers of & Juliet’s Nurse Angeliqué, and finds herself nightly enveloped in — and attempting to break free from — a teenage dream with a former flame amidst her protégé’s adventures.

In addition to her role as Juliet’s protective, yet fiery, confidant, Dawson, who made her Main Stem debut in the 2014 revival of Side Show, has also appeared on Broadway as Mama Morton in Chicago, Wanda Sellner in Mrs. Doubtfire, and as brassy Becky in Waitress, for which she reprised her role in the recent live-capture film adaptation, now available for purchase on all streaming platforms. She was also seen Off-Broadway in Disaster!, and her regional credits include Kiss Me, Kate, Dreamgirls, The Color Purple, and Aida.

Additionally, on the subject of food, she runs a vegan food business out of her home, initiated during the pandemic, called Who Tryna Get a Plate?!, wherein she cooks healthy meals for smaller dinner parties, creates weekly menus, takes orders, and delivers to each of her customers. (“It’s been wonderful tapping into a new passion and [being] creative in a new way,” she says, of the venture).

But where does this powerhouse performer love to eat herself?


P. S. Kitchen

(246 W. 48th Street)

Launched by entrepreneur April Tam Smith and restauranteur Craig Cochran in an effort to bring more vegan-friendly options to the heart of Times Square, P. S. Kitchen has established itself as the prime spot for plant-based diners since 2017.

Like others in our series have said about their chosen restaurants, Dawson claims her pick is so good, “you can’t go wrong with anything” on the entirely-vegan menu, though she can’t get enough of the crab cakes; dubbed “Crabby Cakes” in P. S.’ upscale vegan twist, they’re made with a combination of chickpeas, artichokes, chopped onion and garlic, and tossed with herbed panko breadcrumbs and lemon.

Another of Dawson’s favorites is the lasagna, layered generously with herbed tofu ricotta, crumbled meatball and spinach, and topped with homemade marinara sauce.

Other specialties include a Golden Beet Salad, with baby arugula, feta cheese, and toasted sunflower seeds, tossed in a Balsamic Vinaigrette; the signature P. S. Beyond Burger, served with queso, lettuce, tomato, red onion, and Thousand Island dressing on a pretzel bun lettuce wrap, and a generous portion of Maitake Mushroom wings, served with Potato Salad, Celery Sticks, Carrot Sticks, and House Bleu Cheese. (There’s also a special Valentine’s Day menu, reserved for February 14th, and an innovative drink menu, complete with signature cocktails and aperitifs.)

Photos courtesy of P. S. Kitchen

In addition to their delectable variety of extraordinary goodies, P. S. Kitchen is also unique in that almost all its staff hires come from marginalized and underprivileged communities, aiming to empower these folks, and give them “a hand up, not a hand-out,” according to Cochran, who also serves as co-owner.

“And they have a charitable component,” Dawson adds, of their appeal. “They donate 100 percent of their profits to their favorite charitable organizations,” both local and international, which rotate every month, and have included Share Hope, Justice Rising, The Doe Fund, and Restore, among others.

With a long-harbored dream of opening a vegan, non-profit, “pay-what-you-can” restaurant of her own – the bones of which are represented by her aforementioned at-home meal business – Dawson notes that P. S. also serves as a place of deep inspiration – to enjoy a good atmosphere and fantastic food “while supporting something greater than themselves, instead of just writing a check,” in keeping with P. S.’ honorable mission.

Because, at the end of the day, as founder Smith states – and, coincidentally, as & Juliet, in its own way, also extolls – “if there’s such a thing in life, [it’s] about affirming significance and inspiring hope.”

P. S. Kitchen is open Sunday-Tuesday from 11am-10pm, and Wednesday-Saturday from 11am-11pm. 

UT47 Kitchen

(358 W. 47th Street)

“Hey girl, you thirsty?” is the tagline for this “hip” coffee shop, located just off the corner of 9th Avenue and 47th Street. No matter your answer, you’re sure to be satisfied given the plentitude of offerings at this delightfully quaint Korean-fusion café. Opened in 2017, its title comes from a childhood nickname of its owner, Mi-Young Yu, and offers everything from dumplings to burgers and tacos to beer and bubble tea.

“I want to make food everyone can eat,” Yu says, noting that other than an understandable swap of ingredients, “vegan food is just food. It’s really not that different [from non-vegan foods].”

“Anyone can be a part-time vegan,” she says, to that point. “I want to get people out of their box.” (To that end, one notable way she’s doing that is with the implementation of a “no laptop” policy, which encourages friendly conversation and connection with neighbors and tablemates).

But for Dawson, as for many others, the food is a definitive draw. In addition to an extensive omnivorous menu, featuring both vegan and non-vegan comfort foods like a Grilled Cheese Panini or an Avocado Tuna Melt, our subject is quick to highlight the specialty vegan sandwiches. “It’s my go-to [spot] for vegan sandwiches in the area,” Dawson says, detailing each one’s singular preparation in a Bento box alongside pastry and fruit.

Photos courtesy of UT47 Kitchen

Selections include a Vegan BLT, served on multigrain bread, a Vegan Soy Chicken Panini, with arugula, avocado, vegan cheese, and a homemade sun-dried tomato pesto. All sandwiches can be served on gluten-free bread with an optional gluten-free tomato soup on the side for an additional price.

“They also have a full menu of delicious teas and lattes,” she continues, in addition to pressed juices, spring water and alcohol. Highlights on the former menu include a Thai Iced Tea, a tart Pomegranate Tea, a cold brew coffee, and a dirty chai latte. But Dawson recommends the hot ginger honey tea, “with fresh ginger, I might add,” canned – naturally – in-house. “It’s my absolute favorite tea,” Dawson gushes. But don’t take it from her alone, she asserts, adding that & Juliet co-star Paulo Szot calls it “a healing elixir!”

Well, if there’s anyone we would know to agree with Angeliqué…

UT47 Kitchen is open for dine-in & takeout orders seven days a week from 8:00am-3:00pm; coffee & teas are available until 4pm. 

We’ll continue to present a new performer with new restaurants and new menus, so keep checking back to see who we poll and what’s on their mind at mealtime! Until next time, as always, bon appétit!

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Written by: Matt Smith
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