Even though I've been back home from my trip to New York City for the Main Street Vegan Academy
for over a week now, I still have delicious, delicious flashbacks to some of the incredible eats from my trip. Check my prior post
for my first few days of vegan eats.
Being the Type-A person I am, I created a GoogleMap with all of the thoroughly-researched top vegan haunts, to make sure I would know what goodies were around me wherever I traveled throughout the city. Luckily, on the first full day of the Academy, the whole group made our way over to the only all-vegan joint in Harlem: Seasoned Vegan
It may sound odd to order some boring old hummus at a place where all the food is cruelty-free, but this stuff was tops! Creamy and sweet from the peppers, this was a light and excellent app, leaving plenty of room for my Crawfish Po'Boy! Made from burdock root, these vegan crawfish morsels were breaded, fried, and dipped in a delectable sauce. This stuff was spooky - reminding me of seafood's texture and taste. Very good!
And the staff were absolute sweethearts, as well.
After our first full day, I think some of us (myself, included) were too shy to make dinner plans together, and so I ventured out into the chilly night for a solo dinner. Having heard from Amey of Vegan Eats & Treats
that Superiority Burger
was a must-eat, I knew I had to make time for it. This tiny, downstairs, hole-in-the wall restaurant is serving up some all-vegetarian (easily veganized) fare and was quite busy. I ordered the classic burger and was surprised to find...
A tiny little slider where my burger should have been! Even though the size (for $6, whoa!) was a bit shocking, the taste - the TASTE - was out of this world. I don't now what their patties are made from, but these few bites were quite memorable.
The side of potato hash with onions and peppers hit the spot, as well!
Another Amey-inspired memory was that there are quite a few vegan ice cream shops lurking about. A quick Google search revealed that Blythe Ann Boyd's ice cream shop - in the same location as Lulu's Apothecary, I believe - was right around the corner. I stopped in for a decadent warm brownie sundae and impromptu chat with a lovely local woman. Check that Cake Batter soft serve on the right, y'all...
The next night 2 of my classmates and I made our way to Peacefood Cafe - one of two NYC locations with an extensive, all-vegan menu and swanky, yet approachable decor. A peer had raved about the chickpea fries and they were, indeed, perfectly spiced and satisfying.
Seeing an inviting and warming pot pie on the menu - with a kale salad for balance! - was all I needed on a chilly evening out and about. Perfectly flaky crust, creamy filling... this hit the spot. In fact, I dove in so quickly that I burned my tongue!
The next morning, the whole class met in the Financial District bright and early for our field trip day. Finding the take-away spot Terri in the heart of the hustle and bustle of the city was quite refreshing - vegan food accessible to the city's movers and shakers? How could you not love it? To make up for the pot pie, I opted for a wonderfully creamy green smoothie and some kale chips.
For lunch, Caravan of Dreams was on our itinerary - an iconic spot that has been in the city for decades. The menu is huge. Ginormous, even. Knowing we would be walking around for the remainder of the day, I choose the raw appetizer platter with everything from beet ravioli, squash manicotti, Brazil-nut and sesame "meat"balls with marinara, hummus on raw crackers, house-made sauerkraut, and mangoes. This was very, very good.
After our field day was complete, half of us were ready for a brew and some more munchies. Somehow, some way, V-Spot had not made it onto my restaurant map, but one of the locals recommended it highly. All organic Latin food, completely vegan? Count me in!
We knew we were in the right place.
I wish I could have ordered one of everything. The servings were big and everything was so very fresh. And the restaurant was roomy and very clean - something I couldn't say for every place in which I stopped. This quesadilla blew my socks off! The house-made sour cream was lick-the-plate worthy and I could hear moans of approval as my buddies enjoyed their dishes. Highly recommended!
For our final graduation lunch we all were eager to try Candle Cafe West, seriously upscale and fine vegan dining. The menu is a story of complex flavors and intriguing dishes and it was difficult to pick just one meal! In fact, some of the party shared a variety of apps and entrees.
For an appetizer, I was eager to try the potato latkes with ginger applesauce and horseradish sauce on top. This was very light and delicate - leaving just enough room for...
The fabled Seitan Piccata! Served with creamed spinach, mushrooms, mashed potatoes, and a white wine caper sauce, this plate was absolutely divine. Everything was tender and the caper sauce was salty and tangy and absolute perfection. I'm probably still burning those calories to this day, but man - it was worth it!
After an evening of touring the High Line and pausing for some brews and salsa dancing (have I mentioned that I just love my classmates to death?!), we made our way to By Chloe, a new all-vegan spot by Chef Chloe Coscarelli. This place had a line out the door, but it was worth it to wait and soak in the modern-diner motif and adorable details.
Why get fries when you can get mac and cheese with shiitake "bacon"? This stuff was amazing!
The main dish, however, was the Pesto Meatball sub and - OH MY GLOB - was my favorite meal of the trip, hands down, period. Portobello meatballs topped with marinara, sweet peppers, basil pesto, cashew mozzarella, and almond parmesan. Out of this world!
The next morning I made my way back to Blossom du Jour for brunch and selected a wonderfully flavorful Un-Chicken Griller Wrap: rosemary lemon un-chicken, vegan pesto, vegan mayo, and romaine. Top it off with a green juice and I was ready to take on my last day in the city.
After renting a CitiBike and pedaling through the beautiful Central Park, I stopped in Midtown for some more Beyond Sushi. I couldn't remember which roll I loved best on that first dinner of the Academy, so I spun the wheel and went with the Crunch N'Munch roll: black rice, alfalfa sprouts, cucumber, tofu, and kiwi with white miso sauce. The seaweed salad added extra green and crunch and a cucumber-mint lemonade punctuated this light lunch perfectly.
For my very last meal in NYC, I simply had to make it back to By Chloe and try the burger my buds were raving about, as well as the air-baked fries. Each of these items were mind-blowingly delicious. What really made the burger was the creamy special sauce and the sweet & savory beet ketchup made the sweet potato fries shine.
If you have a chance to make it to NYC and need recommendations for wonderful vegan food, I hope this post is a helpful start. For sure, I will be looking forward to when I can make it back to the city and experience all the vegan goodness it has to offer.
Labels: main street vegan academy, travel