A Very Vegan Day in New York City

A little while back I had a nice (and very vegan) day in NYC, and I wanted to share a few of the places I visited. They’re all in the same neighborhood and would make a nice day out if you find yourself in NYC needing something to do. I often plan outings based on where there are vegan restaurants I want to try. This particular day started with a stop for bagels with tofu cream cheese at Russ & Daughters, which I’ve mentioned in previous posts. This is a tiny little shop with a lot of character. It was packed when we went in, so I thought it would take a while for us to get our bagels. They were so quick we were in and out in only a couple minutes. The bagels were really yummy too! Definitely a good way to start the day.

We then went to the Tenement Museum, not vegan, but very interesting! They have tenements that are still set up how they were in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s when there was a big influx of immigrants to NYC. They have various tours, and the one we went on focused on the start of the textile industry in the area. I would definitely recommend a visit to this museum if you’re interested in the history of NYC or American immigrants. After the museum, we made a stop at Moo Shoes, which is a vegan shoe store right down the street from the museum. I didn’t end up buying any shoes, but it was nice to be able to browse and not have to worry about avoiding leather and suede.

After checking out a few more shops in the area we were hungry again, so we headed over to Caravan of Dreams, which was only a few blocks away. This place has a low key, relaxed atmosphere and the food was really tasty. We tried the Seitan Taquitos and the Applewood Smoked Tofu Sandwich. Both were really yummy and I would get them again. They have a lot of raw options on their menu as well. I definitely want to go back sometime! Unfortunately I only had my phone for pictures, so sorry about the low quality. After dinner, we went to Lula’s Sweet Apothecary, a tiny little vegan ice cream shop. They have vegan ice cream cones, sundaes, rootbear floats, shakes, etc. Our ice cream looked so good, we didn’t even stop to take pictures! It was the perfect way to end a day out in New York.

Rutherford Pancake House and Holiday Menu Time!

I already blogged about The Rutherford Pancake House once, but it seems there’s always more to love. I went for brunch on Sunday, as I often do. This week, the special was Vegan Stuffed French Toast with a layer of vegan cream cheese in the middle and fresh strawberries on top. I couldn’t resist! I love that they always try out new vegan dishes to keep it interesting.

We also got their vegan loaded nachos which were amazing. I really want to try making them at home. They’re topped with chili, daiya cheese, lettuce, tomato, and jalapenos with salsa and vegan sour cream on the side.

And of course, no brunch is complete without a latte or some sort of coffee. This one was pretty perfect. I just would like to applaud Rutherford Pancake House for their creativity. It keeps us coming back.

The holidays are fast approaching. No matter what holiday you celebrate or even if you don’t celebrate anything,  tis the season for gatherings of families and friends. As you plan your menus, I’ll be posting some recipe ideas for you to try out and hopefully add to your holiday menus! If you have a favorite or traditional dish you’d like me to try to veganize, leave me a comment and I’ll do my best!

Foodswings – Vegan Fast Food in Brooklyn

Over the weekend I ventured into Brooklyn to spend the day at the Brooklyn Museum and then headed over to a vegan fast food place called Foodswings. They have all the usual fast food/diner menu options you could want, and everything is vegan.

Their menu is pretty extensive, so it was a little hard to decide what to get. We decided to go for the Vegan Heart Attack, the Eggie & Cheese, the Sweet Southern Fried BBQ Drumstick, “The Seymour” shake, and a Cookie Dough Shake.

The Vegan Heart Attack and Eggie & Cheese were both good, but the highlights for me were definitely the drumstick and the shakes. I had “The Seymour” and it was amazing…pistachio ice cream with cookies and peanut butter blended in. Pistachio has always been one of my favorite ice cream flavors so this was the perfect shake for me. The drumstick was also good, crispy and fried on the outside and dipped in a tasty barbeque sauce. I could have done without the wooden stick in the middle as a fake bone, but otherwise it was quite tasty.

I would definitely like to go back sometime and try some of their other menu items. I’ve heard in reviews that their mac and cheese is really good and some of the other sandwiches look good.

I would say some of the other highlights of this place are the friendly staff and the novelty/convenience of quick vegan food with dubious nutritional value…something that’s rare to come by. Definitely worth a stop or two if you’re in the neighborhood!

Soy and Sake

My sister visited from California to go on a quilting retreat with my mom and me this past weekend. Afterwards, she came back to NYC with me, and we spent the past two days visiting art museums in New York. It was my first time at the MoMA and The Met. They are both great, but they’re so big it’s impossible to see everything in one go! After a good dose of art, I’m left feeling creatively inspired! I really want to paint, draw, take photos, and quilt (though that’s not so different from my usual state of mind)!

During our excursions, we also tried out a vegetarian restaurant I’d never been to before. It’s in West Village, and it’s called Soy and Sake. It’s completely vegetarian and mostly vegan. They describe themselves as “a unique blend of soy products with traditional styles of Japanese, Chinese, Thai, and Malaysian cuisine.” It has a nice ambience. There are a ton of windows for people watching, and a large fish tank in the middle. It’s nice without being overly fancy or stuffy and the prices are decent for dinner in NYC.

There were a lot of tempting appetizers and soups to choose from. We decided to try the veggie Roast Pork Buns, which were fluffy and tasty. We also got the steamed Japanese Vegetable Gyoza, which were also pretty tasty, but I must say I like homemade ones better. They had a Tom Yam Soup, which I didn’t get to try this trip, but I’m looking forward to trying it the next time I go.

As entrees we tried the Sesame Chicken and the Sweet and Sour Chicken. The “chicken” they use was battered and fried and had a seitan-like texture. There are some types of veggie chicken that I’m not fond of, but this was good. Sweet and Sour Chicken was one of my favorites as a kid, so it was nice to find a vegan version. For desert we shared fried bananas with a scoop of vegan pistachio ice cream. Both were yummy!

Overall, nothing was a real standout for me, but everything we had was good. There were no duds. I would definitely go back. There are a lot of menu options that look really tasty that I’d like to try. It’s definitely worth eating here if you’re in West Village and looking for a good vegan option! Thanks to my sister Jean for taking photos!

Terri’s and Tucker

One thing that’s nice about working in Manhattan is that there are a lot of vegan lunch options. I’m lucky to work down the street from a little vegan restaurant called Terri. They are completely vegan and certified Kosher, and they also have gluten-free and soy-free options. They’re mostly take out, but do have a little barstool seating area.

My favorite items on their menu are the Chickpea Tuna Melt, the Green Power Smoothie, and the Apple Cider Donuts. I used to work at a farm market bakery, and apple cider donuts are so reminiscent of fall. It’s nice to have a vegan version! If you ever find yourself in the Flat Iron District, this place is definitely worth checking out for a quick bite to eat. The staff is also incredibly friendly, which makes it even better.

Also, to update the kitten story, I picked him up Saturday and he is settling in to his new home. Here’s a cute video of Tucker falling asleep. This is not at all representative of his usual energy level. He is quite a rambunctious kitten, but I do love these sleepy moments.




Francia – Korean Vegan Cafe

We went into NYC today to see Wicked. For some reason I hadn’t seen a play on Broadway yet, so it seemed about time to go see a show.

Afterwards we decided to try out a restaurant we haven’t been to before called Franchia. It’s a vegan cafe that has “Korean inspired Asian fusion vegan cuisine” according to their website. The atmosphere was really nice, peaceful and relaxed, but still had a fancy feel to it. There are three tiers of dining levels, draped fabrics, and simple Asian design, which I love.

We ordered two “small plates/quick bites” as they call them, the crispy scallion pancakes and the soy ‘chicken satay’ sticks with barbeque sauce. We were almost brought down by the metal chopsticks. I’ve gotten much better at using chopsticks after a long lesson at a restaurant with one of my friends a few years ago, but I’d never encountered metal chopsticks before. They’re so slippery! I really liked the scallion pancakes and would get them again. They came with a tasty soy and scallion dipping sauce. The ‘chicken satay’ sticks were decent, but they didn’t stand out as something special to me. Also, the sauce didn’t taste like barbeque sauce to me, more of a peanut sauce maybe.

As an entree I ordered the Soy ‘Beef Cutlet’ Stone Bowl. In the menu they claim the stone bowl comes “out sizzling hot to create a layer of delicious crispy rice all around the bowl”. They’re not lying when they say it comes out sizzling, you can literally hear the sizzle…and I have a burn on my wrist to prove it! Injuries aside, the presentation of the appetizers and the entrees was really nice. My entree was also decent, but not special. I haven’t had much Korean food before, so I wonder if Korean food just isn’t my thing, or if I just need to try other things on the menu. The food was made well, but just wasn’t really my taste.

The atmosphere was really nice though, and there are other menu items that look intriguing to me like their dumplings, their wide tea selection, some of their noodle dishes, and banana fritters on the dessert menu. I would definitely go back for another try.