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Vegan eats, sister-time & budget travel: a week in Brooklyn, NY for the holidays Continue reading
The first month of a new year has already come and gone, so let’s get on with this. Here are my top ten vegan eats from spending the month of December 2012 in New York, New York. These are in … Continue reading
I’ve returned yet again from sneaking the heck out-of-town for the holiday mess. This time last year, I was sipping from young coconuts in Cambodia, while this time last week, J. Legume and I were singing carols to rats scurrying … Continue reading
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Vegan Ice Cream at Stogo
Starting with the Ten Best NYC Vegan Experiences of my winter vacation, in no particular order:
- The entire Vegetarian Dim Sum House Experience
- Carrot Tahini spread and Terra Sana Syrah at Candle Café – nothing else I sampled there interested me. It was underwhelming the more ‘upscale’ dining attempt (on a budget) of my vacation. Photos below.
- Earl Grey infused Vodka Cocktail at Angel’s Share
- Toasted Cinnamon Raisin Bagel with blueberry tofu cream cheese from Bagels on the Square – plus the half dozen I brought back with me
- Dinner at Soy & Sake – specifically, the specialty sushi rolls and shrimp tempura appetizer. It was the vacation of fake shrimp and Daiya. Overall, the best dinner of my vacation was here. No photos, because every now and then I refrain.
- Gluten & Vegetables Pan Fried Noodles at Buddha Bodai – I get this every time I’m there.
- Vegan Knuckle Sandwich at Boneshakers -While I still think Daiya is more to look at than actually eat, I appreciated it in this glorious bagel sandwich.
- Dr. Cow’s cashew hemp nut cheese from Lifethyme Market – brought back to Portland, but in the running!
- The atmosphere & organic Ambrosia White Plum Tea at Wild Ginger, NYC
- Side note: They refer to themselves as a vegan cafe, but the menu notes a few non-vegan offerings with whey, for example. Order carefully. My lunch here was the night after food poisoning, so I can’t say much about my meal because I picked at it.
- Toasted Almond Joy ice cream at Stogo – I dig this solid, gelato style shop. I’m not trying to take sides in the vegan ice cream shoppe wars, I just really like their ice cream. I haven’t been wowed by every flavor I’ve sampled, but I’ve been at least intrigued. Toasted Almond Joy and Coffee have been my favorites so far, and my sister repeatedly orders the Coconut Vanilla..
- Veganized Novice Pesto slice with sun-dried tomatoes and Daiya at Slice – even though once my friend Millie sampled it and said the pesto tasted like pickles, it invaded my experience. You order custom, organic slices here, and they offer vegan pesto and Daiya – which again, was all over NYC.
- Soy Latte at Tillie’s of Brooklyn (another place with Daiya!)
- Soy Cappucino at the dear minibar, East Village
- and because it may have been the cause of late night food poisoning, but I’ll return for more, just the same: Oasis falafel, Brooklyn
- Economy Candy – because it rules.
Recs? I’m well aware of favorites I didn’t stop by during my brief vacation, and places I wanted to try (like Cocoa V, the freaking new vegan chocolate shoppe, Counter and Blossom) – any suggestions for my next pilgrimage?
The Photos and the arrival:
Upon arrival in NYC via good ‘ole Fung Wah from Boston, I decided to walk a few blocks into Chinatown for some vegan Chinese food. It was time for an early lunch after a long bus ride, the sibling I was staying with was just waking up for the day (of course), and her current neighborhood isn’t exactly known for its vegan options. Little did I realize, I was walking into the Chinese Lunar New Year Parade. I didn’t quite comprehend the growing crowds, and then I was stuck first inside, and then within 1 block of Buddha Bodai with my suitcase, unable to go further for a couple hours. On the plus side, I had meal in Chinatown, in New York City, and I witnessed the excitement of the New Year Parade! It was wild, and I remembered what crowds are like, to an extreme. Towards the end I did get a little angry, knocked over a few dozen people with my suitcase, and inched my way to a subway entrance and my mini family reunion.
Smiley Soy Latte at Tillie’s of Brooklyn (I was way too excited to be at a cafe named Tillie’s, with my friend Millie. It made my day).
Carrot Apple Ginger juice
Bread with marinara dip
Bread with carrot tahini spread
Daily Special Lasagna (with Daiya)
Cajun Seitan Sandwich
Daily Special: Macadamia encrusted tempeh with quinoa and sautéed vegetables.
This was my entrée – the sides well cooked, but utterly boring, and the tempeh was bland, which breaks my heart to say that anything encrusted, in macadamia nuts, could be.
Vegan Knuckle Sandwich with soy sausage, Daiya cheddar, and tofu scramble on a bagel at Boneshakers in Brooklyn
Vegan sausage sandwich at Boneshakers
Cappuccino from miniBar
Falafel at Oasis, Brooklyn
My sister, Jen, creepily waving her hand, in front of the Vegetarian Dim Sum House. The rest of my photos can be found on the Stumptown Vegans Guide.
Pesto Slice, at Slice
Lifethyme Natural Market - I’ve rarely been in NYC and not stopped here.
Wild Ginger – first time.
King Oyster Mushrooms appetizer
Sauteed Tofu & Vegetables in Brown Sauce (lunch special, my order – I really appreciated the side of kabacha squash)
Smoked Teriyaki Seitan with Sugar Snap Peas (lunch special, not vegan, not mine!)
Singapore Mai-fun with vegi fish cake (lunch special)
Ambrosia White Plum Tea
Wild Ginger, and my reckless suitcase
Only in New York.
Jenny, Millie, and Mike in front of MooShoes
Knuckle Sag Bagel Sandwich from Boneshakers in Brooklyn, NY
Memories & Musings.
Every now and then I grab a bagel from a certain local bagel chain in town. The owner is actually from New York, though their boiled bagels aren’t quite channeling even half the perfection that belongs to true New York bagels. Hailing from the fish shaped part of the Empire State myself, I’m admittedly a bagel snob. I think this local chain has some of the most easily accessible, better quality bagels Portland has to offer (though the consistency wavers), and that nearly all the others in town are like rolls with holes. Big ups to Sweetpea in Portland for offering a variety of flavored Tofutti along with their bagels.
The sight of a big brown bag with a dozen from Bagel Boss was a regular sight in my house growing up. Sesame, Poppy and Cinnamon Raisin have long been my favorite varieties of these thick and chewy representatives of New York. It was normal to opt for a bagel with cream cheese for lunch in high school, even when you’d likely be eating one the next day for breakfast. Go, carbs, go! Same for college. While I was stunned by the difference of airier Finagle Bagels when I moved to Boston for college, I still have a small soft spot for them. Ironically, and adorably, my younger sister in New York still asks me to bring her a super cinnamon raisin back whenever I’m going between the cities, years later.
On my recent NYC vacation, I took home half a dozen from Bagels on the Square. My sister works nearby and is often picking up a bagel there for lunch while we’re on the phone. Photos of their selection are below – these are the kind of bagels I’m reminiscing about! The kind I’ll rave about for minutes!
I don’t have my sister fed ex me bagels or anything, and they certainly didn’t keep me in New York, but the memory, and reality, of true bagels, holds. Thick and chewy circles of memories.
Great New York bagels make the rest pointless…or simply vehicles for Earth Balance or peanut butter or Tofutti or whatnot. I’m not saying I always stick to this, but I can maintain an authentic bagel hiatus knowing I’ll be back. I wasn’t even aware of this emptiness in my life until a few months into my move to Portland – I had returned to NY, suddenly, and needed a bagel.
Bagel Case at Bagels on the Square, NYC
There were at least 5 or 6 varieties of tofu cream cheese in there!
The Boneshakers bagel sandwich was a beautiful sight. Turmeric colored tofu scramble, melted Daiya cheddar, browned veggie sausage, and that swell bagel. I’ve come to accept that Daiya has taken over the world and it undeniably worked and melted in this bagel sandwich. This sandwich could be part of civilization! It could star in a commercial!
That being said, it was on the bland side, overall, but there’s always hot sauce – and again, just look at it! I look forward to spending more time at this cafe on a future visit. Their menu was really appetizing and the location reminded me of Red & Black.
More on Bagels:
- Serious Eats Finds New York’s Best Bagel
- New York Times: Montreal’s Bagels Square Off Against New York’s (as for me, I’ve yet to visit Montreal, so I have no opinion here)
- I’ve never made my own bagels since I am well aware that my dough skills aren’t up to par with my expectations. However, if I ever feel adventurous, I’d use this recipe.
- Kenny and Zuke’s has boiled bagels that are quite good. They’re simply smaller than I’d prefer, and not as convenient as the aforementioned local chain with Tofutti and hummus offerings (and Stumptown coffee).