Tuesday, January 29, 2013

New York City (Part II)

(See Part I of our vegan food tour of NYC!)

Me upon arrival at our NYC apartment sublet, summarizing how I feel about the whole trip

Ahhhh...another entry to profess my love for NYC and all the vegan noms and fun things to do within it.
We're huge fans of Louis CK and the show Louie, so on Tuesday night we went to the Comedy Cellar, which is in the opening sequence of the show, and where Louis does the stand-up bits in his show.  In the opening sequence, he's walking around Greenwich Village.  

He comes up from the Washington Square subway station:

Walks down the street and gets pizza, and ends up here:

We walked around singing the song in the opening sequence ("Brother Louie") and had a grand old time laughing until our faces were melting at the Comedy Cellar (some of the comics that night were from Louie, and one of them plays Frank on 30 Rock).  

Before we got to that point though, we had dinner at Red Bamboo (West 4th St/6th Ave):

I had the "chicken" parm sandwich, which was absolutely incredible.  Following that with the oreo cheesecake was not my best idea due to how full it made me, but I don't regret it at all.  Not even a little bit.
Trevor had the Philly cheesesteak, which he didn't take a photo of but says, "It was the best sandwich I've ever had!"  Pretty high praise.

The next day, we got up bright and early, ready for what we dubbed the "Art Day".  That would include me getting tattooed at Kings Avenue in Manhattan by the talented Philip Szlosek.  Not all tattoo ink is vegan, but many of the dudes at Kings Ave are vegan (and straight edge!) so they know what's what when it comes to that.  
Also, not related to art, but we walked over to Moo Shoes and bought some kicks and pet the cats who take up residence in the store.  
We then headed back to Midtown so we could go to the MOMA and look at some of the most famous and influential art of all time:

We hadn't really planned our food for this part of the trip, figuring we could find something.  WRONG!  Turns out, the area surrounding the MOMA sucks for vegan food.  We ended up buying the most stale big pretzel from a street vendor, and our saving grace was another street stall that had fresh juices, so we got some sort of kale/celery/apple/ginger concoction which was at least some sustenance.  

After an exhausting day, and I still had a ton of leftover adrenaline and endorphins in my system from being tattooed, we got totally dressed up and headed to Candle 79, the crown jewel of vegan restaurants.  This, for me, was the highlight of the whole trip.  Located in the Upper East Side, one of the wealthiest neighbourhoods in the world, this make-reservations-a-month-ahead restaurant is worth the trip to NYC alone.  The service was impeccable, the ambiance was gorgeous, and the food was truly some of the best I've ever eaten.  We couldn't really take photos since the whole restaurant is dimly-lit by candlelight.

We started with the steamed dumplings (seitan, shiitake mushrooms, baby bok choy,
sesame-ginger soy sauce), and the chef brought over an amuse-bouche of a delicious chickpea salad.  For entrĂ©es, I had the Seitan Piccata and Trevor had the Pomegranate Chipotle-Grilled Tempeh.  We finished with Trevor having the spiced espresso (espresso, ginger-agave, cinnamon, chili pepper, mole bitters, orange twist) and I had the cannoli (chocolate chip-vanilla cream filling, coconut ice cream, chocolate drizzle).

Again, I have to say, every detail about that meal was just incredible.  After we returned home to London, I received a personal email from the manager thanking us for our business, and hoped we'd return next time we found ourselves in NYC.  Now how's that for service?


The next day was BROOKLYN/vegan meetup day.  A group of us from the PPK met up for breakfast at Yonah's, since no one else had been there yet!  See that gorgeous, rolly-polly baby in the background?  Vegan from birth, yo.  And she's just the most energetic, squishy, huggy, fun baby around.

Stuffed with knishes.  Rachel (red shirt) ordered two because she didn't believe me that they're filling and was only able to finish one!  I tried her sweet potato one and it was really good.

Next up was hopping back on the subway to head over to Brooklyn.  The Williamsburg neighbourhood of Brooklyn was probably my favourite, most-livable place we visited in NYC.  It has a really different energy than Manhattan; less manic.  Plus, vegan donuts and pizza.  Behold:
"Lunch" #1:  Two donuts each.  Mine were chocolate with sprinkles and raspberry-jam filled.    Trevor says jam-filled is gross (hater!) so he opted for cinnamon glazed instead.

Our take-home box that made it home in our luggage!   Chocolate sprinkles, chocolate, cinnamon, raspberry filled, raspberry glazed, vanilla with chocolate sprinkles

Mac and cheese pizza, soy BBQ chicken pizza

The donuts were from Dunwell Donuts (Montrose/Bushwick, Brooklyn) and the pizza was from Vinnie's (Bedford/N 6th St., Brooklyn) and they were everything I could've hoped for.   

Next up was Champs (Ainslie/Leonard, Brooklyn) for our last dinner in NYC.  We met up with more vegan friends!

No one goes away starving at Champs.

Where's the photos of the food, you ask?  Good question.  I totally forgot.  Just like I forgot to take photos of our ice creams at Lula's later that night...

Lula's Sweet Apothecary (Avenue B/E 6th St.) was going to be our first stop on the trip, but their shortened winter hours went into affect the weekend before our trip, so the first time they were open on our trip was Thursday.  It was the last thing we did, and it was really the cherry on top of the whole trip.

Everything at Lula's is handmade, and their policy is giving those of us with dietary or ethical requirements for what we eat the experience of being a kid in an ice cream shop.  You want it, you got it.  I got the banana split, and when asked what sauce toppings I wanted (caramel, chocolate or hot fudge), I asked which was the best.  The man behind the counter said, "Well, why don't you have all three?"  Yessir!  You don't need to ask me twice.

I totally failed at getting any photos, like I said.  It seems like more than enough people have captured the experience though, a quick google search tells me.

Anyway, this entry was kind of hard to write because when we took the trip, I wasn't in a blogging mode and didn't think I'd ever write this all out.  But if you have one takeaway from this poorly-written entry, it's that you need to go stuff your face in NYC.

The end.

- Crystal


vegan.in.brighton said...

I'm so jealous of that adorable Yonah's meet up! I've never been either but I'll definitely be heading there on my next trip. We didn't manage to make it to Vinnie's either & that pizza looks insane so I've added it to the must visit list.

Claire said...

I didn't know you had a blog! :)
Looking forward to having a browse!
And I want pizza now!