For Part 1 click HERE.
There is nothing more frustrating than writing up a whole blog post and then having the computer delete it as you’re ready to publish. Hence the delay in this NYC Vegan Eating update, all 7 of you anxious readers.
Today we lunched in the Chelsea Market, which had surprisingly fewer vegan options than I’d expected, yet despite that I absolutely love this place! We ate at The Green Table, as it advertised having a vegan chili as the soup of the day so I figured it would have other veg items on the menu. This proved to be untrue, but I had the chili which was just fine. I was in need of protein, and it was full of legumes, so no complaints on my end. If you go to the Chelsea Market, don’t miss the Highline, just a block away, for one of the most beautiful strolls in NYC.
The Green Table: Chelsea Market 75 Ninth Ave., New York, NY 10011
Later on enjoyed some more drinks at Metaphor (so handy to have a delicious swank place where you’re staying, although makes one less motivated to get out and explore! We did have the excuse of A.’s ginormous blister from walking miles around town every day, so didn’t feel too bad staying put) and we tried some tofu, steamed in a banana leaf, topped with a cilantro coconut chutney served with chickpea fritters. The dish was mediocre—to me the coriander-coconut chutney had a strange plasticy-taste, but A. loved it. I was a fan of the chickpea fritters, which were essentially onion rings with chickpea flour for batter (always looking out for vegan onion rings!). For dessert I had the Prosecco Lychee Martini which was not nearly as good as my giant glass of prosecco (this place pours a hefty glass). I always think it’ll be fun and exciting to try some special cocktail thing, and then the reality is always so disappointing.
This morning, after a lovely stroll along the Hudson River, we stopped in at Birdbath Neighborhood Green Bakery, a little spot we discovered a block from our hotel that offers soy lattes, vegan baked goods and even raw kale chips! Mmmm. The first day we popped in the super-nice and vegan-enthusiastic barista gave me one of their vegan Rice Milk Cakes on the house to taste, and it was delish. Dense, nice texture, sweet but not too-sweet…So this morning we got excellent coffees, and tried both the Sesame Banana Cake and the Raspberry Bran Muffin. The former is made with agave, so not only vegan but sugar free, and it was really tasty. Very dense and flavorful with big chunks of bananas, and crunch from all the sesame seeds. The Raspberry Bran Muffin was good but kind of fluffy, and I like my breakfasts dense and hearty. Still, both had great flavors, and the coffee was excellent. Oh and A. had never had kale chips and she’s now a convert! Mmmm. I’ll be experimenting with my dehydrator when I get home, attempting to replicate. YUM.
Birdbath Birdbath Tribeca: 200 Church St., New York, NY, 10013
It’s hard to find a good spot to eat around Central Park and 5th Ave, where we were having a little stroll and drooling over the unattainable haute couture, but the food looked decent on the patio tables of Sarabeth’s so we decided to give it a try. We shared the Grilled Asparagus (hollandaise on the side) and I had the Market Vegetable Salad sans cheese. This salad was supposed to have actual market veggies but sadly it just had a meager supply of chopped peppers, some seemingly-canned peas and corn…maybe a few chopped tomatoes but was really disappointing. The asparagus was fine, but I really felt like I’d had a big bowl of rabbit food, which is always what I insist I don’t eat when people ask about my vegansim, and here I was, feeling hugely protein deprived. Oh well, I could always re-up with a bag of nuts or a smoothie later, and A. thoroughly enjoyed her Nicoise Salad. When on vacation, and in general, actually, I like to be laid back—meals out are a time to enjoy being with a friend, the food is always secondary.
Sarabeth’s: 40 Central Park South New York, NY 10019
At this point, after socially wonderful but nutritionally mediocre meals, I was severely in need of a good protein wake-me-up, so I looked up the best nearby place to get a hefty boost in shake-form. If only I’d known that just around the corner from us is an awesome little health food store with a full coffee, juice and smoothie bar. I got the Pro-shake it was super tasty and filling and truly hit the spot. They offer any kind of milk in your smoothie, I had almond and it was creamy and awesome. This shop also has a ton of great natural, healthy groceries and goods!
Bell Bates Natural Foods: 97 Reade St New York, NY 10013
A. and I were meeting a friend for lunch who had selected Kutcher’s Tribeca as our destination. Kutcher’s is basically a fancy Jewish deli, with an actual executive chef and beautifully-presented dishes. Not much in the way of vegan fare, but I managed. I had the (very large-portioned) side of Quinoa Varinishkes that they were able to make sans butter. I had a feeling the noodles in the dish were egg-based so I just picked around them and the whole thing was super-tasty. I also had the Country Club Chopped Salad (hold the challah croutons) which beat the previous day’s salad by A LOT. Beautifully presented in this fancy little tower, super flavorful and full of nice fresh veggies and real lettuce, not some iceberg crap. I don’t know if I’d return here because I’d probably have to eat the same thing every time, but my singular experience was absolutely fine. And the non-vegs I was with were very happy with their food.
Kutcher’s Tribeca: 186 Franklin St, New York, NY, 10013
It’s always nice to have a post-theatre coffee and piece of cake, especially when it’s been drizzling all day and was 50 degrees in said theatre (saw the fabulous Venus in Fur, and froze my ASS off despite how hot and steamy and amazing the play was!!!). If you’re in NYC and dying for some vegan treats and Babycakes etc. are no where nearby (they are far from the theatre district), know that Le Pain Quotidian offers all kinds of vegan treats and has soy milk for your coffee etc. I’m not going to rave about the carrot cake I had cause it was decidedly not amazing, but I was in need of a pick-me-up and it did the trick. It’s always handy to know the chain cafes that accommodate vegans when you’re traveling so keep this one in mind, you can find it all over the country.
Le Pain Quotidian (locations all over the country)
Ok so finally we hit a truly vegan-friendly restaurant, Souen, a cute little spot that offers macrobiotic sushi (and other Asian delights). A. and I were feeling sort of health-food deprived and I’d read about this place on The Kind Life and couldn’t resist. While the food was indeed healthy and totally satiated our desire for a nourishing, filling whole, unprocessed meal, I wouldn’t say we had anything that we couldn’t have made on our own. We started with a tempeh-avocado sushi roll—fine but nothing exciting, and I had the special soup which was cauliflower-beet, also fine, but not spectacular. I had the pad thai with soba noodles, and really enjoyed that it was FULL of broccoli, among other veggies, but it really just tasted like soba noodles with veggies in a peanut sauce. Still, it was nice to have that kind of food for the first time in almost a week. And then dessert…well we couldn’t pass up their offer of gluten-free, sugar-free and dairy-free treats, so we tasted the special coconut pudding with raspberry coulis and their cocoa mousse. These two were lovely. Not too sweet, nice simple flavors, not at all rich or heavy or overwhelming…just right. All in all, a great meal that was absolutely needed!
Souen Soho: 210 Sixth Ave at Prince St, 10014