It's tedious to keep apologizing for not blogging sooner- so I won't. It's also tedious to keep saying how busy I am with work- so I won't say that either. Will just dive right into the business of blogging with limited commentary because of not quite stated but definitely implied busyness.
First off - my lovely meeting with uber-blogger, Veggie Girl from Veggie Girl Vegan and her parents at Candle 79. I love Candle Cafe but had never been to Candle 79 so was really looking forward to the place & the company. The teapot was super cute & green tea yummy. The restaurant is suppose to be the more upscale sister restaurant, well the service was definitely not in line with upscale restaurants- service was slow and our waitress, not at all rude but definitely inattentive.
They do placate you with some yummy vegan strawberry muffins though!
My savory crepe with mushrooms & asparagus was quite tasty.
Veggie Girl's burger looked good too & those polenta fries were also tasty- a little crunch on the outside and soft on the inside.
Veggie Girl's dad had pancakes which looked good despite blurry picture.
And Veggie Girl's mom had the seitan piccata, also deemed good.
This live dessert parfait had by VG & her mom was pretty amazing. This is definitely the way to go here at Candle 79.
And my Mango Napoleon was yummy also!
So, the food was good but not mind-blowing- but honestly the company was the best part! Veggie Girl & her parents were super sweet and I could have easily spent the entire day hanging out with them. I really enjoyed our meeting and can't wait to welcome them back to my part of town.
Next up- dinner at the mega-restaurant fabulousness that is Buddakan. This cavernous restaurant in Chelsea is surprisingly always packed. Fcat & I dined with our fancy friends, so of course, the maitre'd/manager made sure to come over and introduce themselves and the service & food was of course, impeccable- where as I had read mixed reviews about both, we only had the best experience. Starting with my beverage named, Fate. Fate was sweet and this delicious pineapple based drink was easy going down.
Tried to get shots of how gorgeous the space is without disturbing all with the flash...
They are completely familiar with the term "vegan" and the restaurant sent over appetizers as a welcome. They were also nice enough to include a veganized fried rice with curry foam which was absolutely delectable. For my entree which I didn't take a picture of, they made a delicious tofu/veggie garlic sauce dish- they were even extra knowledgeable about avoiding oyster sauce.
Get thee to Buddakan for fabulosity and ask for vegan options! www.buddakannyc.com
As I've gotten older, my tolerance for any alcohol has really dropped. One fateful drink from the night before and I was ready for a reviving brunch at Counter in the East Village. Now, let's just say being an Upper East Side girl, I am loathe to travel downtown to the East Village which I still find a bit too grungy/potently scented for me, but there is Counter which I have been waiting to try forever. With Fcat in tow, I was ready for a big vegan brunch.
Much needed coffee...
North African spiced scrambled tofu with rice, peas and vegan merguez. I didn't really care for the merguez, but if I recall the vegan version is similar to the lamb merguez which is normally on the mushy side. I also didn't care for the tofu so much, it was over-salted. Was a bit disappointing.
The chocolate pie was pretty good, but I was a bit let down from the entree. However, I am willing to go back at some point and give the place another try, though not rushing back anytime soon.
Being a hop, skip and a stone's throw away, I wanted to head to the Lower East Side to buy some vegan chocolate lentils- I miss eating M&M's so off to Economy Candy on Rivington.
This is the best candy store, though unfortunately not so vegan friendly- like these gummy brains, definitely not vegan- hehehe. Actually, none of the gummy stuff is vegan not even swedish fish because even without gelatin as an ingredient, I look out for anything listed as natural flavors. Natural flavors can include castoreum, an anal gland secretion from beavers- yum! Castoreum is also used in most perfumes. Natural flavors can come from any plant or animal/insect, so most likely not vegan.
But just look at all this candy and Fcat next to a giant scale to weigh the goodies in...
Economy candy is a definite visit to oh & awe over wall to wall, floor to ceiling candy, but also for their vegan lentils & dried fruits & nuts. Fun fun fun. Smiling like a kid in a candy store with vegan options!
Fcat & I also had a lovely little dinner at Bar Pitti downtown with my cousin & her husband. I haven't seen them in years which is ridiculous because we all live in NYC. My cousin is super super busy though because she has a big big job at Hermes. Being vegan, I thought that I could no longer enjoy gifts that came in that gorgeous orange box, but my sweet cousin set me straight... I used to buy lots of exquisite Hermes silk scarves with their intricate handiwork, but alas, they are no longer a part of my vegan lifestyle. So I was somewhat filled with dread that this sweet gift would go unused- you can imagine my surprise when I saw that it was gorgeous cotton scarf! I will be sporting it in the summer for sure, though I just noticed that it is a scene of an Indian tiger hunt, hmm...
Asparagus in season and delicious with lemon at Bar Pitti.
Sauteed Tuscan Kale with garlic- yum yum.
Pasta arrabiata for me...
Attended an interesting Japan-US goodwill concert at Carnegie Hall one evening- these lovely ladies dancing are between the ages of 65- 85, yep, they still have the moves. Amazing.
What else was fun and a great thing to do? Earth Hour! Hope as many people as possible participated that Saturday in shutting off all their lights & tv for an hour starting at 8pm across the world. Could probably have cheated by using my charged up laptop but I am not a cheater- so I read Herodotus by candle light instead, the dimness gave me a headache. Next time, I will just play with Booboo and meditate.
Finally got to the Vcon and made some mini pound cake- aren't they cute out of the oven?
And even cuter with some vanilla soy ice cream...
Fcat made a great dinner one night...
And I was able to indulge in some delicious Lightlife Smart Chili that I heated up when grandma came over for lunch...
Also made a tasty "BLT" with Lightlife Smart Bacon, spinach, cherry tomatoes & Vegenaise- so like a BLT from days of yore...
I was able to indulge because I got a giant cooler of Lightlife products- I always buy their tempeh & tempeh bacon & Gimme Lean, but I was so excited to try all their other stuff! What's great about Lightlife is that not only do they have great vegan products- they also give back to charities. I find that their products are tasty enough to lure non-vegans like me sister & grandma to indulge. Very very exciting...
Lastly, I give you the funnest thing of my weeks & days- my kitty, Booboo. That coy sweet look belies a temperamental attack kitty, but she is still pure joy.