Posts tagged nyc
Posts tagged nyc
After three days of being held (hostage) in NJ, I made it back to NYC and have been catching up on vegan food. Tonight, I picked up dinner from Hampton Chutney Co. on my way back from Angelika Film Centre. The concept is a take on South Indian dosas and uttapams.
I got a bit nervous when I spotted the “Masala Deluxe” on the menu: not sure whether jack cheese and chicken can really “embellish” this beautifully simple spicy potato pancake, but persevered all the same.
I had the “seasonal” dosa, without cheese: pumpkin, spinach, mushroom and avocado. It was good, but not quite the real deal. I think where they went wrong is by adding the vegetables as separate chunks, rather than mashing up at least some of the ingredients (the squash for example): the result was more of a salad wrapped up in a crepe, and it missed the unctuousness of a proper dosa. Oh well. I guess we *are* far from Thiruvananthapuram.
It took me a while, but I now know how to navigate my vegan way around NYC. The same is not true of New Jersey. Here’s what I managed to scramble together from the hotel’s business buffet. Coffee with soy milk, fruit, and a PB bagel. I might try and escape to Manhattan for the day!
After the incredible Bjork gig at the Roseland Ballroom last night, Poppy and I went and queued up (for a good hour and a half) at Totto Ramen. I had the Spicy Yasai Ramen. The broth was incredibly tasty, which is a big achievement for a vegan broth - it’s made from seaweed and mushroom. The top of the soup looks almost like salad with lettuce and avocado, but underneath lies the hot ramen, mushroom and enoki.
Well worth the wait and the hype.
Vegan dinner last night from Caravan of Dreams in the Alphabet with Poppy, Alex, and a secret guest. We had the Appetizer selection to start (with a delicious mushroom pate and lots of great creamy vegetable dips). Poppy and I shared a Spanish Paella and Wild Rice Risotto Croquettes, Alex had the Huitlacoche and Chorizo Quesadilla and the secret guest, raw Zucchini and Yellow Squash spaghetti.
All thoroughly delicious and in a great atmosphere (although a bit dark, which doesn’t translate so well in the photos!).
I had the no-carb vegan lasagna, with courgette ribbons, sundried tomato sauce, pesto and nut cheese. Impressively delicious.
And to conclude this New York City special, a few Manhattan highlights. I don’t normally do fake meat, but a few places have got it right here. Buddha Bodai, a vegetarian restaurant in Chinatown, is one of them. We had Chinese broccoli, Oyster Mushrooms with Garlic and Basil, and delicious General Tsao’s (not) chicken. Similarly, I tried and really enjoyed the vegan BLT from Teany (actually the bread was a bit gross but fake bacon v. good).
Mexican and South American food is everywhere here and very good + a relatively safe bet for vegans. You’ll normally be able to get a vegan version of tacos or huarache and then there’s always the yucca fries and spicy salsa to get you going! Photos are from Papatzul on Grand St.
Finally, breakfasts are easy too. I was surprised to find out that most bagel joints offer vegan tofu cream cheese - the one around the corner from the office, Tribeca Bagels, does and they’re as standard as it gets. Similarly, most delis will have a salad and fruit bar where you can piece together a decent vegan meal.
It feels like I’ve only scratched the vegan surface of the city, but I will be back for some more soon… in the meantime please send your recommendations!
Finally, a big juicy vegan post. This week-end was dedicated to the exploration of vegan Brooklyn. On Saturday, ignoring the Welsh weather, we toured the markets. Starting at Smorgasborg where I sampled a delicious garlic condiment by Cheeky Monkey Foods, some lentil-based vegan paté from the Regal Vegan, considered vegan pizza from Electric Blue Baking, and finally ate a vegan hot dog with spicy ketchup and zingy mustard.
Later on, we moved to the Brooklyn Flea in Fort Greene where I (for the purpose of vegan research) had an amazing vegan huarache.
I was pretty full by then but still popped into Food Swings, a vegan junk food spot in Williamsburg, where the owner Jeff insisted on offering an Oreo Cookie donut (the girl behind the counter is Julie not Jeff!). Definitely have to go back in at some point to try the vegan doner kebab.
We had dinner at Caracas, a Venezuelian restaurant that specialises in arepas. I had one filled with black beans, fried sweet plantain and jalapeno pepper, and stole some of Bridie’s fresh summer vegetable salad.
The next day, in Park Slope this time, we went to Israeli restaurant Miriam. I had a falafel platter with spinach falafel, hummus, tabouleh, pitta bread, basil tahini and mango chutney.
Verdict: Brooklyn is definitely the Stoke Newington of NYC
Vegan New York City week, part 1: The Struggle. We had been told that it was easier to be vegan in NYC than not… We were lied to.
An example? On my first day, on entering a deli and asking what they could make me that was devoid of meat, fish, eggs or dairy, the man replied: “How about turkey?”. Classic.
Random meals I’ve managed to collect so far include: a quinoa and raisin salad with a bagel and baba ghanoush from across the road from the office, a watercress salad and mushroom, truffle and potato croquettes from Macau (it was actually very good!), and finally some pasta salad from yesterday’s workshop.
Today, I’m heading to Williamsburg. Apparently, it’s going to get better. Let’s see…
Vegan NYC part 7: some American weirdness at last, in the form of fake meat from Whole Foods. They even had fake liver spread. How can you have vegan LIVER? It’s an ORGAN! Honestly.
Vegan NYC part 6: hummus, hummus, hummus. Try Nanoosh in Union Sq.