Sunday, April 6, 2008

In The Name Of All Things Fun & Vegan

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.

17 comments:

VeggieGirl said...

Vko, once again, I'm SO glad that we met, and cannot wait to meet up again SOON, in NYC (or in my neck of the woods!! haha). The desserts were phenomenal at Candle 79, so I think we should just go back there for THAT course ;0)

I always love reading about your vegan dining adventures, at a variety of different dining establishments - look at all that great food!! oh and BooBoo is too cute, as always :0)

Lovely catch-up post!! Can't wait for your next one!

VeggieGirl said...

P.S. - I baked mini versions of that V'con pound cake recipe too!! My parents said that the pound cake tasted "just like the real thing!" haha ;0)

ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

Chocolate pie, mini pound cakes, chocolate lentils (I love those things too)... you always eat so well!

Beautiful BooBoo :o)

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

I swear, we have to go to Candle 79 for dinner! I don't know about this brunch business. ;)
I've heard mixed reviews about Counter, so I opted to skip it last time I was in town. Also, can you believe I've never been to Economy Candy since I'm a total LES type?!
Cute little bundt cakes & UBER cute BooBoo kitty!

the little one said...

As always, glad to hear what you're up to. Delicious food! No apologies for lack of posting. Everyone should just subscribe to your blog through Google Reader and then they won't miss it when you get a chance to post again. ;)

Theresa said...

What a great post! You are so lucky to have so many fantastic restaurants nearby, especially those that know what vegan means. And how cool that you met Veggie Girl! Pound cakes look fab, and Boo Boo is so sweet looking!

bazu said...

Awesomeness! I love your posts, but the candy, the cotton (!!) hermes scarf, and the cute kitty put this one over the top for me! yum. I hope we can meet up in NYC sometime soon...

Erin said...

What a collection of delicious-looking food! I would probably keel over in a coma after visiting that candy store.

Urban Vegan said...

Wow, where to begin?! I'll begin with saying welcome back to blogland and "I missed you!"

I think you get the vote for most popular blogger--I'm sure meeting Veggie Girl was great. She's a sweeetie.

We have a Buddakhan here in Philly. The on eo NY is run by Steven Star, a Philly restaurant maven. (The NY 'kan is much more elegant.) Isn't it nie when you can order something and the waite rknows that vegan means?

That candy store looks like fun. I actually rmeember buying penny candy--so fun.

Nive that your cousin got you a cotton scraf...what you don't know about the hunting scene is the happy ending...The tiger gets away!

Oh, I just love following your chic, urban life.

Sam said...

So, you dine at vegan restaurants, head to lovely candy stores, go to Carnegie Hall, and get to wear things from Hermes? I AM JEALOUS. I'm stuck in a less-than-vegan friendly part of the world with a wallet that sure as heck does not allow anything designer and a massive M&M craving... Not fair.
;-)

stonielove said...

whoa, what a great post! that's so awesome that you met veggiegirl in person, too!

Jess - The Domestic Vegan said...

Jeez, what a great post! I don't even know what to comment on because there's so much here... But your date with Veggie Girl sounds awesome! I remember her writing about it, too.

That pound cake is probably my favorite dessert EVER. I made the lemon version covered in a warm raspberry sauce & my mouth was in HEAVEN!

Vegan_Noodle said...

I just love reading about your adventures in the city!

It seems like you meet the most bloggers! Lucky you!

And I have thought about going to counter this summer when I'm in the city, maybe it will be lower on my list.

Hope you are doing well and not too crazy busy :-)

Rural Vegan said...

You make up for infrequent blogging by posting these amazing Super Posts! I don't think I could safely be in the same city as the Economy Candy store. That is just FAR too dangerous for a candy addict like myself!

Wheeler's Frozen Dessert said...

Oooh all of those dishes look awesome! I'm heading down to NYC tomorrow, maybe I'll check out some of those restaurants and shops. You should stop by the Go Green Expo! We'll be passing out free vegan ice cream :)

Gnewvegan said...

Very nice post. I really like reading about your experiences and the places you eat. I know as well from eating out it is always a pleasure when you are eating in a restaurant where they know what vegan is...

http://www.invitationfrom-gnewvegan.blogspot.com/

very saucy vegan said...

Wow! Very informative stuff. Atlas is on my must visit list now when i visit NYC!

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