Friday, September 7, 2012

NYC Trip 2012: Part 1

I'm disappointed that I went on this great trip with such great food and wasn't able to photograph it very well. A lot of my food pics are dark or out of focus.
I blame this guy.

One of my goals for this trip was to try at least THREE new places. (I ended up far surpassing my goal!) This was significant because I definitely have my favorite places to repeatedly revisit. I checked one off my list an hour or so after we exited Penn Station. My sister strongly suggested I check out Caravan of Dreams. It did not disappoint. This was our Seitan Nachos appetizer.

This was my entree: Seitan Taquitos
pineapple, guacamole, chili d'arbol sauce, leafy greens

I was expecting more of a rolled up taquito, but it was tasty. I enjoyed the healthy feel to the meal plus the asparagus and citrus.

I'll definitely go back to Caravan of Dreams. I was tempted to try the raw dishes. And I'm certain there was live music, although I was a little tired and distracted to fully appreciate it. The downsides: it's pretty pricey, and it wasn't really kid-friendly. We sat outside so that part was fine, but inside it's a fairly cramped space. And it was REALLY dark. I highly prefer dim lighting; I mean, it's romantic - plus I just look better in dim lighting. But it was so dark (see dark pics above) I could barely see my food.

I spent a pretty penny at my #2 new spot:  one lucky duck. We were able to walk there since we were staying in Chelsea. It's located inside the very cute Chelsea Market. I would have enjoyed a more leisure stroll through the market, but I'll tell you, my son was not a fan. Some smell within the market did not agree with him, and he was in a huge hurry to leave ASAP. 

Back to our breakfast the first morning: I should have bought something more breakfast-y or filling like nuts or granola, but I couldn't bear buying something I could buy just anywhere. We each picked a juice/lemon-aid that was flavored with agave. I picked up this dish of macadamia "cheese." It was tasty but not really satisfying to eat plain for breakfast. I would have enjoyed it more on a salad. I liked our other three choices, which we shared at a nearby park.

Lemon Bar with almond, coconut crust

Chocolate Ganache Tart 
with yummy cream

I don't remember what this was, but:

raw chocolate with cream filling is 
generally going to equal good.

That night my son begged to go out for pizza. I had in mind a certain pizza place in Brooklyn for sometime that week, but I didn't feel like doing the whole subway thing that night. I tried to change his mind, and it's not like he's the boss. However, part of the point of this trip was to allow him to make a lot of decisions, a privilege not always allowed in a family of 6. So I found a place in the West Village - Slice, which earned the spot of New Place #3.

Fortunately, the pizza was more of the healthy & fresh variety. I liked the crust. I opted for kalamata olives and fresh arugula. They weren't kidding about it being fresh. I'm of the belief that lettuce makes anything better, and I was happy to eat my first green food of the day.

It wasn't crowded when we arrived but started filling up. The guys who worked there seemed very easygoing and friendly. I like the neighborhood, and there were parks nearby, which is a plus for us. They also offer gluten-free crust to those who are concerned. They also use other healthier options of ingredients, but I'm not going to talk about no longer living animals here so you can look for yourself if that's your thing.

That evening we were close enough to check out The High Line. It is a public park developed on an old elevated train track. It runs a good distance up western Manhattan, with several entrances. I thought it was nice with fun views of the city and water. There were quite a few people walking through since it was late evening.

The next day, guess who I got to meet? Some of you may have already read about it here. Maud from Food Feud joined us for lunch at Sacred Chow, which I certainly always believed was Sacred Cow when I apparently looked too quickly at it in print. So, Sacred Chow: New Place #4.

We both ordered Kale Caesar Salad with Tofu Croutons. I wasn't being a copycat. I had already looked at the menu before we arrived and thought it sounded the best. The tofu had the chewiness you achieve from freezing it. The salad tasted like my favorite salad I eat regularly at home, so I obviously liked it. I have never used my favorite caesar dressing on straight kale, though, so this was inspiring to me.

In a less green move, my son 
opted for the cheese "dog." 

I got a pic of Maud and me together, but I won't post it since she's pretty private. I should, though, since she's super cool and cute and pleasant, and we enjoyed our meal together. Plus, it's nice for my son to hang out with someone with...wait for it...real tattoos. Not just the kind you apply with water. He pointed this out later. I'm pretty sure he was impressed. He also likes her because she wrote nice things about him. :) I appreciated the suggestion for a new place, and I was able to broaden my NYC restaurant scope. I'll see ya next time we're around, unless you're living on a commune in the Appalachians by then.

Next up from NYC: 
doughnuts that changed our lives.


  1. You eat so great. Don't know how you do it.

    That's a beautiful pic of you with the VASF Baby. Almost as beautiful as the Lemon Bar pic. Any idea how one goes about getting one of those(Lemon Bars)?

    1. I eat too much. This was a terrible time to take a trip, when I have so much weight to lose.

      Thank you for saying that. It was a very quickly taken pic.

      I don't know about the lemon bar. I did really enjoy it because it's unlike any dessert I usually eat. I scanned their website for a recipe but came up with nothing. Perhaps it's time to take a little vacay? A little romantic getaway with the Mr.? Speaking of, does this post qualify me to learn more about the broad trying to get her hooks into him?

      Yes, I really do think you could use a little vacation adventure. What do you say?

  2. Aww what a beautiful pic of you and your baby. Sounds like so much fun and I love that you made it a goal to try three new places. It's so funny because I was really overwhelmed by One Lucky Duck even though it was such a small space. Your treats look so good! That lemon bar, yum! I think the third one was a mallomar? If I remember the menu correctly?

    That's so great that you and Maud had a chance to meet up! I remember her post as well :) That salad sounds so seriously amazing, I'd love to try it, and I'm not a big raw kale fan. The tofu croutons sound so yummy! Great post! Can't wait to hear about those donuts ;)

    1. Thank you very much! My adoration is becoming, I guess. I was overwhelmed, too, but honestly I'm having a hard time remembering what all of the choices were. It really was because of whatever my son had smelled, and he was complaining and ruining the ambiance of my raw store experience! :) I don't know - maybe it was a mallomar. I looked on the menu, and none of the descriptions seemed familiar.

      The kale seemed much softer, much more like lettuce in the salad perhaps.

  3. Aw, that is a great first photo of you and baby! The food all looks great too, especially the stuff from One Lucky Duck. This is what I mean - people who visit here eat so much better than I do on a normal day! I still have yet to go there. Or walk the High Line, which is also on my to-do list. Hopefully before it gets too cold.
    Yeah, I'm really glad we got to meet up, I had a lot of fun. Hopefully your son wasn't TOO impressed with the tattoos. You don't want him to get any ideas, right?
    Can't wait to hear about the donuts...and all the other food I forget to try, too.. (Which pizza place in Brooklyn were you going to go to?)

    1. Thanks!!!

      And I don't eat pretty well, it seems. I think my bill at OLD was $48. Jinkies! Obviously I wouldn't have spent that much if I was just swinging by. I wanted to make sure Kid liked one of the choices, at least.

      About the tats - obviously he sees people all of the time with them, he just never hangs out with any of my friends who have them, and kids are very detail oriented; they don't miss anything. Well, I'm in no hurry for him to grow up and do anything, and he'd have to be much braver than his needle weinie mother.

    2. Oh, and maybe I was thinking of Vinnie's?

  4. Replies
    1. haha! I like to keep things exciting around here.

  5. It sounds like you had a great trip! Lucky you to get to meet Maud. She does seem super cool. :)

    The picture of you with your son is SO beautiful! <3

    1. Yeah, I am partial to my veggie blogging friends. I don't have a lot of vegan companionship in my real life.

      Thank you!

  6. Wow, another great installment of your NYC trip. I hope your son appreciated what a gift the trip was. (Same trip, right?) Love the photo of you and the little dude — and too bad you can't publish the one of Maud, but nice of you to respect her wishes. I have some photos from a meet-up (not Maud) that I can't publish, either. I must have missed Maud's post about the meetup but it sounds like it was fun for all of you. You sure got to try some wonderful restaurants. Do you know Abby Bean? Next time you should try to meet her, too — she's a goldmine of NYC eating establishments.

  7. Andrea, I don't know if he truly appreciates it. He's 7 and a work in progress. I think he does in the way he is capable at this point. Same trip, yes. I can't seem to blog more than 10 minutes at a time so it takes me awhile to get a post up. She didn't say I couldn't post it, but she never posts pics unless they're half hidden or blurry so I assumed. I don't know Abby, but I think I've been on her blog. I'm going to go look right now. :)

  8. It all looks so good! No wonder my husband wants to move to NYC. Yes I remember Caravan of Dreams being really delicious but also we ate outside, I guess that was a wise choice with the lighting.

    Raw treats at OLD, yum. I think the chocolate thing was a moon pie. They are sort of legendary.

    I need to try Sacred Chow!

    It would be fun to meet up with you, foodfeud is lucky, well and so are you because she is awesome too.

    1. You don't want to move to NYC? IF ONLY my husband wanted to...

      I would love to meet up with you sometime! I'll be sure to say something next time I'm that direction.

  9. Great post! I like the picture of you at the top, even though you think you look better in dim lighting. ;-) I really need to get to NYC for a vegan food fest. I wonder if that lemon bar was made with vegan cream cheese, kind of like cheesecake - ? The thing that looks the best to me is the pizza; I think I might want to try that at home.

    Happy Sunday.

    1. :) Thanks. I'm not sure how the lemon bar was made, but I forgot to mention in the post that it was raw so not regular cream cheese. I love lemon-y things.

  10. That first photo is one fantastic picture. Mama/baby love is the best. The BEST.

  11. Aw, you got to meet Maud?? Lucky girl. Well, both of you are lucky then. And, I agree with everyone else: that's a beautiful first picture. That park looks a little hazardous, but I'm guessing it's supposed to be that way. Your little guy seems to be completely enjoying himself.

    1. I don't remember it feeling hazardous. It probably sounds weird that I think NYC is a great place for kids. Except for the pollution. That's not great. But other than that. :)

  12. Love all of those places!! New York is the best vegan city on the planet!

  13. i am far from having children, but i catch myself reading your posts and saving parts of the way you build your little family to the back of my head so i can think about it later.
    you are lovely.

    1. Well...I don't know what to say. Your comment floored me. So very nice. I really appreciate that you said that.