Thursday, July 24, 2008

NYC - I Have Never Eaten This Much Food in my Life

So much I'm not sure how I digested all of it (maybe I still am ;-). My weeklong visit to NYC was full of amazing food, inspiring sights, blogger meetups, hanging out with two of my favorite people (my mom and sis) and lots and lots of baking (stay tuned for my vegan baking bootcamp post!). Watch out, this is a mega picture post.

After arriving in the city, I was in the mood for a light dinner, so I headed south to Sacred Chow in the village for vegan tapas. I ordered a trio of tapas including bbq seitan with cabbage, raw kale salad, and root vegetable latkes with Indonesian date butter. This was my first latke experience, and I was not disappointed. Friendly staff as well :-)


On my second night in the city, I went out with a new found friend from class to Pure Food & Wine for some fancy raw food. We decided to share all of our dishes. For starters, there was veggie sushi (I think the rice was daikon?) and an arugula salad with watermelon, a refreshing start on a hot evening. Then we enjoyed "chevre cheese" stuffed squash blossoms with heirloom tomatoes and avocado as well as a spanikopita with root vegetables (the dots are grapes!). Both dishes were amazing and it was hard to believe they were raw! We couldn't leave without dessert, and since it was quite warm sitting on their back patio, I chose the Thin Mint Sundae. Mint and chocolate ice cream paired with a chocolate cookie, very heavenly. I highly recommend trying Pure the next time you're in NYC.

Red Bamboo is know for its wide selection of tasty faux meats, and it did not disappoint. After a day full of dessert tasting, I was in the mood for something a bit lighter, and definitely not fried. The grilled bourbon chicken was very tasty. The plain steamed veggies on the side were a bit boring and bland, but I was actually in the mood for that.

Even with all the desserts from class, I somehow was able to make it to Atlas Cafe twice during the week to pick up something from the massive Vegan Treats dessert case (I did at least make the 2 mile walk from Chelsea!). There was Death by Chocolate Cake and Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake. Both were devoured, but the peanut butter (top right) with added fervor.

On Wednesday night I met up with VKO from Lifestyles of the Chic and Vegan at Candle Cafe. We started with the very popular seitan chimichurri, pleasant texture and delicious flavor. For dinner I had one of the evening's specials, walnut crusted tempeh over quinoa with sauteed green beans, good, but not nearly as delicious as the cajun seitan sandwich that VKO got (which she also recommended to me, doh! should have listened). We saved a little bit of room for dessert, the chocolate mousse pie, yum! But of course, the sweetest part of the meal was visiting with VKO! She was even kind enough to lend me her umbrella for the rainy walk/subway ride back to Chelsea.

My mom arrived in NYC on Thursday to spend the weekend (my sis took a red eye and came the next morning), so we headed south for dinner to Wild Ginger. Samosas to start, then I had the black pepper seitan while my mom went with the pad thai. Next time I would choose different menu options because none of these were particular favorites. But I've heard many good things about Wild Ginger, so I would definitely try again.

Friday night we enjoyed an early, relaxed dinner at Blossom in Chelsea. Lots of delicious food, including the phyllo roulade, sweet potato gnocchi, and stuffed portobello mushroom. My favorite was the roulade with the lentil stuffing served over swiss chard, very filling and hearty. For dessert we sampled the cheesecake, pretty plain and simple.

And another blogger meet up! Bazu from Where's the Revolution was in town with her husband celebrating his birthday, so VKO and I met up with the two of them at Blossom Cafe on the Upper West Side. Bazu brought us vegan butterscotch chips! All of my food photos were kind of so-so, but I had the grilled tofu salad, which was just what I needed after finishing cake day at bootcamp. Luckily the blogger photo turned out (on the left the three of us, and on the right from a few nights before). These two meetups were one of my favorite things about the trip...

Of course, I didn't just eat and blogtalk my way through NYC, I enjoyed spending time in Central Park getting lost in the maze of trails, spotting turtles, and seeing the first fireflies of my life (lower right picture, those bright spots!). We also spent time in the Metropolitan, Guggenheim, and MoMA (my favorite), saw a Broadway show (Legally Blonde), and shopped on 5th Ave (no purchases).

After a long day of roaming the city, we were ready for our fancy dinner at Candle 79. For starters we had some veggie sushi to refresh our palates, then we went seitan crazy!! My mom and I split the seitan piccata and one of their specials for the evening, a pumpkin seed crusted seitan over rice and a kind of cuban bean stew. Certainly some of the best seitan I've ever had. For dessert we split the brownie sundae with ancho chocolate sauce. I think I could have eaten three of these.

I viewed the city from atop the Empire State building, took a ferry out to admire Lady Liberty, saw some the the NYC waterfalls, and even saw a Houston Astros version of the Statue of Liberty (on parade for the baseball all star game that week).

On Sunday afternoon, we attempted to visit the Natural History Museum, but were turned away due to a "special event"... what a bummer! But we made up for it by revisiting Blossom Cafe for black-eyed pea cakes, quesadillas, and the best vegan burger I've ever had... the soy bacon cheeseburger. Greasy and good. And what goes better with a burger than a chocolate peanut butter shake? Well, nothing.

My last day in the city came too quickly. I had some errands to run on the Lower East Side, so we stopped at Teany cafe for a quick lunch. I was most impressed with the chicken salad sandwich and my raspberry lime ricky, a refreshing drink on a hot day.

And the errands? Cupcakes from Babycakes. On the left gluten free chocolate and on the right spelt lemon. I wasn't thrilled with the texture of either cupcakes, but I did really enjoy their brownie bites. And such a cute little bakery! And I loved quote on the back of the cupcake boxes, "Saving your behind, one cupcake at a time".

Had to hit up Economy Candy for vegan lentils (aka m&ms). Just inhaling the sugar in this place is enough to send you into a coma. And since my favorite pair of work shoes was ripping at the seams after years of wear, we visited Mooshoes where I walked out with some green Molly shoes and an herbivore shirt. Now that's my idea of shopping... who needs 5th Ave?

Whew, sorry if some of that seemed random, I've been trying to get this post up for almost two weeks now! But this isn't the last you've seen of my trip to NYC. Just wait for all the bootcamp desserts!! And thanks to everyone who gave me vegan foodie advice!
I'm on Cape Cod right now with all of my inlaws, sorry I haven't been visiting blogs regularly! I return home for good this weekend and will play catchup.

46 comments:

VeggieGirl said...

Haha, you definitely can't go hungry in NYC!! :0)

You met Bazu and vko!!! So fun!! I met vko when I was in NYC, and she's so lovely!!

Ahh, I'm not happy to read that the gluten-free cupcake from Babycakes wasn't good - now I'm even MORE afraid to bake gluten-free, haha ;0)

vegan addict said...

you are a vegan goddess! wow! all that super food, travel, and bootcamp... I am forever impressed and jealous.

Katy said...

All that travelling and good food - I'm jealous! Looks like a great time though!

Bert said...

Your post is a culinary tour of vegan delights, who needs the empire state building or the statue of liberty... Just kidding of course but all that food talk and photographs are so inspiring I think I will attempt some Moroccan kebabs with couscous this weekend!

Animal-Friendly said...

It's official- I must go to New York! You trip looks like so much fun and all the food looks soooooooo good. I can't wait to see all of the vegan bootcamp desserts you made!

The Vegan Snorkeler said...

Sounds like you had a great time! It was fun reading about your experiences in some of my favorite NYC restaurants. Looking forward to reading about the vegan dessert bootcamp!

Ricki said...

Well, now I want to get back to NY more than ever! It all sounds so wonderful--what a great review of restaurants in the city! And sorry about the Babycakes disappointment--I've heard mixed reviews about them. But I guess for people who can't have gluten, they're a godsend :)

Bianca said...

Glad you're back! I'm so freakin' jealous though. I've never been to NYC....I've gotta schedule a trip soon...must...have...baby...cakes....

ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

OhMyGOODNESS! This has got to be one of the BEST blog posts by ANYONE I've ever read! Yum times 1000 (I'm especially jealous of the chocolate mousse pie, since Candle's mousse pie is one of my all-time favorite desserts).

Nikki Douglas said...

Wonderful sights and deliciousness abounding. You know I have not been in NYC since I was 14 - so it's been over 25 years! It certainly has changed. Strange that once I left the east coast I haven't been back much - just continued to move west. I am actually most jealous that you are n Cape Cod now where I spent every summer of my life until I was out of college. Time certainly does get away from you. I have not been back to the east coast since my early twenties. I do miss it something fierce.

It really is something to see so many vegetarian options. Kind of gives me hope.

Ruby Red Vegan said...

Girl, that is a lot of food! You must have been in heaven the whole time, except for the few mediocre eats here and there. I don't even know where to begin with the comments...so I'll just say I am definitely using this post as a reference next time I head to NYC!

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

That's my kind of NYC trip! I think you hit all my favorite spots & a bunch I haven't tried yet.

Theresa said...

Wow, that sounds like an amazing trip with tons of great food and good friends! I can't wait to hear about the class.

CeciLiA said...

OMG!!! Thanks for the review! NYC has SO many vegan friendly eatery ... YUM!! The desserts make me swoon!! And of course, I'm SO jealous of you ;0) .... oh yes! yes! I can't wait till your next post!!

Have a great day!

Tofu Mom (AKA Tofu-n-Sprouts) said...

Oh so so so cool. Meeting fellow awesome bloggers ANNNNND eating yummy vegan goodness.

Way too fab!

Pink Theory said...

what an awesome trip! I'm so amazed at the connections and friendships made through vegan blogging. It rocks! And those cupcakes...drool. Looking forward to the vegan baking bootcamp post!

julie hasson said...

So awesome to read about your time in New York! Thanks for the picture tour Vegan Noodle!!

I can't wait to see all of your boot camp pictures.

bazu said...

Ok, this is the best post ever. The photos and mosaics, the food, the descriptions, awesome! It was so nice meeting you, we should do it again some time soon! I'm working on my baking class post too...

madcapcupcake said...

Looks like you had an awesome trip!! I love NYC :) All the food looks delish - I can't wait to get my butt back there! AND, I'm so jealous that you went to vegan baking bootcamp - I'm dying to go!! I can't wait to see what you do with all that new found vegan baking know-how - you will be unstoppable!!

jessy said...

wow, wow, wow! looks like you had a super stellar time in NYC! i would still be digesting after that trip, too! all the foods look amazing - and the park, the shops, the friends! yay! i'd say your trip was a wonderful success! hoooooooray!

i can't wait for the vegan baking bootcamp post! superw00t!

Lauren said...

Hey Amanda,

So funny, I ate most of the same things are you when I went to those restaurants. The Thin Mint Sundae at Pure Food and Wine was unbelievable! I could not get over that it was raw! And I also had the Phyllo at Blossom, and I have ordered the Picatta at Candle 79 before. All great choices! I am glad you had such a great time! I hope to try out Blossom Cafe next time I am in the city. I am only 20 min away without traffic! :)

Paulina said...

Oh.My.Gosh. You are way too lucky. Going to NYC would be my dream come true!

Vegan Invasion! (Ashley Nicole) said...

Oh my gosh, this is the most eye pleasing blog post ever. So many photos of delicious meals! What an excellent trip; great food, good friends, sightseeing and more great food!

We're going to have to trek up to NYC sometime to indulge ourselves in all it has to offer after seeing this!

Looking forward to your next post!

Peace by Pastries said...

i'm sooooo glad you had a great experience in new york! it is one of the best places EVER! i went there a few months ago and also ate myself silly...totally worth it! i pretty much went to all the same places you did, so i know you got some great meals! did you happen to try out angelica kitchen? it was wonderful too!!

Jenny said...

Great NYC write up! It looks like you had such a great time! I love how you post your photos, by the way. The groupings look so neat!

Vegan Girl said...

Great Blog. I just love NY. I spent a lot of my life in NY but unfortuantely it was before I was vegan. I can't wait to try these places when I go back.

Alice (in Veganland) said...

Oh my, I can't believe you sampled so much tasty vegan food. I was in NYC just before I became vegan, with lots of restaurants to visit, and then I got super sick and spent almost all my vacation in bed. Now I'm jealous and want to go back!

shellyfish said...

What a great vacation! Vegan food, vegan friends... wow! And all that food!! I'm so jealous, and, well, hungry!!

Melody Polakow said...

What a great time! How cool you got to meet VKO and Bazu!!

Jennifer said...

So glad to see a new post from you and to see all the wonderful food pics from NYC! Everything looks so delicious. Welcome back!

aTxVegn said...

I'm so glad you're enjoying your vacation and all that great food. I would not be able to resist any of it.

Jes said...

Looks like we were in NYC the same week! You definitely did a great food tour of the city!

the little one said...

I'm so glad you had such a great time in NYC, you little vegan globetrotter! I love that city. Definitely has a feel like no other. Sounds like it was great to enjoy it with family and fellow bloggers as well. Hope Cape Cod was/is as much fun!

Tracie said...

Next time you're in the city, you should check out Angelica Kitchen.

I went there this weekend with some friends and the food was extremely tasty. I had thought that it was a vegetarian place, but I was happy to find out that it's actually vegan. They don't use any animal products at all in any of their food :)

Kumudha said...

Thanks for sharing so many great pictures! New York looks like the vegan capital of the East coast!

kree said...

WOW! I can't believe how many vegan friendly restaurants there are in NYC! I guess it's a much bigger city than I am in now, but I'm still so suprised! And all the food sounds great!

Hannah said...

I live right near NYC, and yet I still haven't eaten at most of these places! They all sound incredible.. I must do some serious investigating next time.

Lisa (Show Me Vegan) said...

I loved your tour of NYC! Thanks for all the restaurant advice. I'm actually noting these places for my next visit!

The Voracious Vegan said...

This is like the fiftieth time I've looked through this post and it makes me drool every time. I just might have to move to NYC.

Urban Vegan said...

Wow--what a trip. Looks like you hit every great vegan hangout--and then some.

I would have loved to have met you, too.

Carrie™ said...

I've never been to NYC and after reading your post, I want to go more than ever! All of the food pictures look wonderful. You certainly got to visit a lot of hot spots and meet fellow bloggers. That is always cool. I can't wait to hear about the baking bootcamp. Sounds intense. Oh, I noticed you forgot to post a picture of your shoes!!

Cakespy said...

Ohhh you hit so many places I love! It is making me so homesick!!! I'm so glad you had fun and so much delicious food!

Bueller said...

I just found your blog via VegNews. I'm a raw vegan. I just did the NY roundup on my blog from my last trip to NY. Check it out. www.buellerskitchen.com I added a link to your blog under Vegan blogs. Feel free to reciprocate. Love your blog!

Bueller

Louise said...

Oh wow, it looks like you had such a good time in NYC! I've just read this post, and your Vegan Bootcamp one too. I'd love to be able to do something like that =)

Foodeater said...

I think you might have just helped me decide on where to take my next vacation!

Erin said...

Holy cow, you tore NY apart! All that food looks so amazing, and very cool that you got to meet Bazu and VKO. And Economy Candy and MooShoes! Now I want to go there too.