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Whole Lotta NY

December 24, 2009

What a week it’s been! I left Toronto last Wednesday, spent five days in New York City with Caitlin, and then came back to my home in upstate New York two days ago, where I’ve been busy preparing for my family’s Christmas festivities. And more importantly, I’ve been eating tons of good food. Here’s a run-through of the many exciting meals I enjoyed with Caitlin in NYC.

Wednesday

Caitlin had a wonderful spread prepared for me after I arrived Wednesday evening. The main course was a scrumptious Mushroom & Thyme Soup (the recipe of which I believe Caitlin got from The Garden of Vegan—correct me if I’m wrong, Cait!). Along with this, we had a nice bowl of barley, rice, and vegetables, and some blue tortilla corn chips. Super super yummy. Here it is up close:

Thursday

On Thursday, Caitlin had her internship during the day and her last class of the semester at night, leaving me to spend the afternoon and evening in lower Manhattan, enjoying the Jefferson Market Library, the Union Square Barnes & Noble, and, for lunch, Think Coffee, a hip cafe right around the corner from NYU. I had a delicious light meal of Three Lentil Chili, but I was a little too embarrassed to snap a picture. But I’d highly recommend this place, as long as you don’t mind not being able to get a table while you’re there.

Between Caitlin’s internship and class, we met up and had dinner at Gustorganics, a fancy organic restaurant right around the corner from Pratt. We had a wonderful meal, despite not being able to get the greatest of photos. Here’s a recap…

Before our mains arrived, they gave us a wonderful bread basket of rosemary-y foccaccia. It was superb!

This was our pasta dish, the precise description of which I can no longer remember, but I know it involved artichokes, potatoes, and deliciousness.

And this was our Roasted Vegetable Pizza! The crust on this was nice, thin and crispy, almost matzo-like, and the vegetables were super fresh and flavorful. Overall, it was a great dinner—Gustorganics definitely gets my seal of approval! (Also, if you, like us, go there on a weekday from 5 to 7, you’ll get a nice discount on your meal!)

Friday

On Friday, Caitlin again had to go to her internship during the day, and so I spent another day in lower Manhattan. For breakfast/lunch, I went to a super awesome bagel place (per Caitlin’s recommendation), Murray’s Bagels. I got a whole wheat everything bagel with tofu cream cheese, and it was amazingly delicious. I highly recommend this bagelery (although the lines are super long and the seating is super limited).

After Caitlin finished up with her internship, we met up at Pratt for her department’s end of the term party. It was nicely put together (and nicely catered), and best of all Caitlin won a raffle, winning a Strand gift certificate and a book of chocolates, or rather, caramels. They were very fancy caramels from Vosges Chocolates, featuring nine different wild flavors:

The varieties included here were much too complicated and fancy for me to remember off the top of my head, but some of the exotic flavors included rose petals, bee pollen, pearl dust, Brazil nuts, and Hawaiian red sea salt. Even for someone who doesn’t much like caramels, these chocolates were absolutely amazing!

After the party, Caitlin and I stopped into Heartland Brewery for a couple of beers and some grub:

My beer was a Cornhusker Lager—nice, light, and crispy—and Caitlin had a Red Rooster Ale—darker, but also good. The burger above is the bar’s veggie burger, thankfully assembled in-house from beans and other good stuff. A little crumbly, but still good!

Finally, just as we were leaving, I was stopped in my tracks as I saw this guy pass us by on his way to the bar:

For those that don’t know (and don’t be ashamed), this is actor Geraint Wyn Davies. Both Caitlin and I immediately recognized him from his excellent work on the TV shows “24” (day 5) and “Slings & Arrows” (season 2), and it was wild to see him in person! This was also my first NYC celebrity sighting, which made it all the more exciting.

Saturday

On Saturday, Caitlin and I went to Broadway, as part of Caitlin’s Christmas present to me. She took me to see David Mamet’s new play, Race, starring James Spader and David Alan Grier, which I really enjoyed (but, then again, I’m a big Mamet fan). Afterwards, Caitlin took me out to dinner at Zen Palate, a nice little all vegetarian Asian fusion restaurant nearby. Having not eaten anything before getting there, we were really hungry, but that just meant we had an excuse to sample more of their wonderful and creative menu. Here’s what we had…

Appetizer: Taro Spring Rolls—yummy!

Main #1: Taste of Curry—lots of wonderful vegetables and tofu in a flavorful curry sauce!

Main #2: Crepe de Fleur—soy protein pancake with vegetables all around the outside and hiding in the center!

Dessert: Tofu Cheesecake—with a blueberry sauce on top! So in case you weren’t sure, Zen Palate gets high marks all around.

Later Saturday night, when we got hungry again, Caitlin fixed up a wonderful impromptu curry. I’m sorry if this photo doesn’t make it look like much, but it really was great! Then again, I do really love vegetables…

And, of course, what would any curry be without some naan bread on the side?

And that was Saturday!

Sunday

I probably should’ve mentioned that Saturday night was the night of New York’s big weekend snowstorm, which led us to decide to spend Sunday inside. It did provide the perfect occasion for Caitlin to make some chili! Check it out:

Some many good things were in this chili—beans, sweet potatoes, cactus, nutritional yeast, the list goes on and on. The only thing it lacked was a name! (This is one of the downsides to making your own original recipes.) We’re open to suggestions, but for now I think I will call it “Don’t Let Willie Get Chilly Chili.” Do you like?

Monday

Monday was my last day in New York, and as my bus left in the early evening, Caitlin and I decided to go out for lunch at one of our favorite spots in the city: ‘Snice! We had visited this cafe once before and loved it, and the second visit was just as fantastic as the first. We really had a vegan pig-out, but it was wonderful. Here was our spread…

Milkless (Soy) Malted Milkshake—it’s like drinking ice cream. Heavenly.

Tempeh Reuben—not an exact replica of the real thing, but rather (I think) a tastier improvement! I loved the tempeh, and the sauce and dressing were perfect!

“Chicken” Pot Pie Wrap—it’s a “chicken” pot pie in a wrap. Crust included. No, seriously. There’s pie crust bits inside that wrap. So so so tasty.

Vegan Samoa and Peanut Butter Chocolate Sandwich Cookies! (The pictures speak louder than words here.)

And that, my friends, was my six days and five nights in New York. Check back soon to see the various meals and treats I’ve been preparing in the last few days since I arrived back home, and also look out for a post of my family’s Christmas Eve dinner! Happy Holidays!

Until we eat again,

Willie


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3 comments

  1. […] come close to the real thing you find at Indian restaurants. Thankfully, Caitlin does have a delicious mini-naan recipe that she makes for me once in a while, which I adore. But a week ago, I wanted to try my own hand […]


  2. […] in New York, and we’ve documented some of the delicious reubens we’ve tried here, here, and here. It’s safe to say that I am now definitely a reuben fan. I love the combination of […]


  3. […] I’ve mentioned once or twice before on this blog, one of my favorite vegan restaurants in New York City is the cute little café […]



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