Category Archives: Travel

Bethlehem VegFest 2015

VegFest

Fall is becoming my favorite time of the year because of all the food festivals! This was my 3rd year attending the Bethlehem VegFest, and it sounds silly, but walking around all the vegan vendors and animal rights groups brings me so much joy.  This was the largest amount of people I’ve seen here, and it makes me so happy that it’s growing.

Cinnamon Snail Korean BBQ Seitan
Cinnamon Snail Korean BBQ Seitan

My absolute favorite, The Cinnamon Snail, was there and holy cow was the line long! It was totally worth it though. My mom and I both got the Korean BBQ seitan and my only regret was not taking better photos!

Cinnamon Snail Donuts
Cinnamon Snail Donuts
Cinnamon Snail Donuts
Cinnamon Snail Donuts

We got donuts to bring home and oh my goodness were they the best ever. I cut the donuts up so we could try a few. I had a Chocolate Ganache Stuffed S’mores, the apple crumb, and another one with glaze and (maybe?) candied hazelnuts. I can’t even begin to describe how amazing they were. If you ever get the chance to order food from the Cinnamon Snail….do it.

Vegan Treats
Vegan Treats

Okay, I do kind of have another regret. I didn’t want to get Vegan Treats too early because I didn’t want to carry it around and crush whatever we got, but then by the end of the day the line was loooonnnnggg so we just stuck with the donuts from Cinnamon Snail.

Vegan Treats Line
Vegan Treats Line

At the end of the day my husband said we should’ve just picked something up early when there was no line and stuck it in the car…::facepalm::

Gangster Vegan Organics
Gangster Vegan Organics

I loved seeing all the vegan food vendors and I really wish I had the stomach capacity to eat from all of them. I went in planning to get something from Gangster Vegan Organics, but after my BBQ seitan I was stuffed.

Heavenly Hot Dogs
Heavenly Hot Dogs

My husband got a hot dog from Heavenly Hot Dogs. He said it was good, but I just about scolded him for getting a plain dog instead of one of the specialty ones. (How could you pass up a chili dog, or one with spinach, peppers, and onions??)

Crowd

My dad and husband also got ice pops from Mompops, and I would’ve gotten one but I was way too full. I had a bite of a pretzel and it was salty and buttery and basically perfect.

Herbivore Good Luck Elephant Tank
Herbivore Good Luck Elephant Tank

I got to see Compassion Co in person, and got an Herbivore Clothing Good Luck Elephant tank from The Grape Cat.

There was music, cooking demos, people speaking, yoga, wine. It was a really well put together event. I can’t wait for next year!

Vegan in NYC: by CHLOE

Outside

My mom and I are huge Chloe Coscarelli fans. Her recipes are some of my favorites because they use simple, normal ingredients, and always come out delicious. When I learned Chloe was opening a restaurant, I immediately told my mom and we vowed to go when it opened. Well, they are opened two weeks ago, and we made the trip to NYC to check it out.

Casaer Salad
KALE CAESAR – SHIITAKE BACON, AVOCADO, ALMOND PARM, MAPLE-WHEAT CROUTONS, CAESAR DRESSING

Food

We spent a ridiculous amount of time looking at the menu (and pictures on Instagram) trying to decide what to order when we got there. Despite how amazing the burgers looked, I had my heart set on the Casaer Salad. I haven’t had one in years and it just sounded too good not to get. I decided to get a side of fries and an order mac n cheese too. I almost ordered the pesto meatball sub, but I’m glad I didn’t because after the huge salad, I could barely finish the fries and didn’t even touch the mac and cheese until later. The salad was humongous and delicious, and the shiitake bacon was the best not-bacon I’ve ever had. It was crispy, salty, fatty, and sweet. The fries were very much like other fast food fries, and you would never know they were air baked instead of fried. I generally don’t care for ketchup, and my mom doesn’t like beets, but we both loved the beet ketchup and special sauce that came with the fries. I ate the mac n cheese when I got home, my mom also got an order, and we agreed it was the best mac and cheese we’ve ever had. I realized when I got home that I had made her recipe for mac and cheese with sweet potato sauce before, but I don’t remember it being that good.

My mom got the Whiskey BBQ burger, and also loved it. Every single thing on the menu sounded so good, I wish they had a sampler with tiny portions of everything. We also ordered peanut butter banana smoothies (YUM) and desserts to go.

The cupcakes didn’t quite make it home in one piece but they still tasted wonderful. You can see what the Raspberry Tiramisu cupcake looked like when I ordered it below.  I had to order it since it was one of her winning Cupcake Wars cupcakes! The Chlotess cupcake had the perfect chocolate ganache and little vanilla loops. The chocolate chip cookie was the most perfect cookie, it was chewy with a little bit of crunch…I’m getting hungry just thinking about it.Desserts

IMG_20150809_225742
MAC N’ CHEESE – SWEET POTATO-CHEESE SAUCE, SHIITAKE BACON

Fries

IMG_20150809_230214
WHISKEY BBQ – SMOKY PORTOBELLO MUSHROOMS & SEITAN, SAUTÉED KALE, ONION MARMALADE, GRILLED PINEAPPLE, BOURBON BBQ, POTATO BUN

Price

The prices were very reasonable…especially for New York. My salad was $9.95 and was huge. My mom’s burger was $10.95 and also filling. The sides we got, sweet potato and regular fries, and mac and cheese, were $3.95 and $4.95. The 16 oz smoothies were $8.50, the cupcakes were $3.50 and the cookie was $2.50. Our bill was higher than we’d normally spend at lunch, but that’s only because we went a little crazy and got extra food to go.

Casaer Salad2
KALE CAESAR – SHIITAKE BACON, AVOCADO, ALMOND PARM, MAPLE-WHEAT CROUTONS, CAESAR DRESSING
Peanut Butter Banana Shake
PB – PEANUT BUTTER, BANANA, RAW CACAO, HOMEMADE ALMOND MILK, RAW AGAVE

fries2

tirimisu
RASPBERRY TIRAMISU CUPCAKE
chloestess
CHLOSTESS CUPCAKE
cookie
OLD-FASHIONED CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE
trio
Dessert Trio

The Interior

The restaurant was packed when we got there, which was peak lunch time, at a little after 1pm. I took more pictures of the inside but it was mostly the tops of people heads or their backs. The decor was very modern and I would’ve loved to really look around and see the other merchandise she was selling, but I didn’t want to waste time or be in anyone’s way. We had to stand and wait a little bit for a seat, which was okay, and it was slowing down a little bit by the time we were leaving. The lines/people standing around waiting was a little confusing. I ended up standing in line 3 times (more about that in a second) once behind someone who was waiting to get their food, not order it, and the second time I decided to ask the person in front of me just to be safe and he responded like “of course I’m in line, why else would I be standing here.”

to go

The Service

I ended up in line the second time because after we sat down, I was looking at my receipt and realized the woman at the register missed a bunch of our food. I went back and reordered what was missed, so no big deal.

When we were ordered, my mom asked me if Chloe would be working there and I said I wasn’t sure. When we were eating she was walking around asking people how their meal was and was giving smoothie samples out. She was also cleaning tables, and asked my mom if she could take our trash when I was ordering desserts.

I can only image how hard it is to run a restaurant, especially in NYC. And while I have no clue how much of the business responsibility is on her, I saw first hand how hard she was working. Chloe has been one of my favorite “celebrity” vegans for a while and I love her even more now. She is incredibly inspiring and is showing people vegan food can be reasonably priced, filing, and delicious.

fries3

Overall

If you’re in the tri-state area, get to By Chloe, and come hungry. If you can’t get to NYC to eat at there in person I highly recommend her cookbooks. They are all filled with easy, recipes that everyone will love.

NYC Weekend

A few weekends ago I took a trip to New York City. I really wanted to visit my friend Mallorie’s popup shop, and other than that, I basically just planned to eat my weight in delicious NYC food. When I got into the city, the first thing I did was head to a raw vegan restaurant, Pure Food & Wine. It was kind of a bucket list item for me. I always wanted to go but kept putting it off. When they temporarily closed over the winter, I knew that when they reopened I needed to get my butt there. It did not disappoint.

Pure Food and Wine Garden
Pure Food and Wine Garden

I got a Spicy Sesame Salad, a Mint Ice Cream Sundae, and a pot of white tea. The salad was huge, the sundae was incredible, and the tea was perfect since it was a little chilly sitting out in the (gorgeous) garden.  I wrote about the visit here.

Mint Sundae
Mint Sundae

Next up, I stopped at SmartGlamour, a women’s clothing shop owned by a friend I grew up with. She designs everything herself and everything is handmade. SmartGlamour makes clothing for every body type and size, and they promote a strong message of empowerment for women. I picked up an incredibly beautiful dress. Read more about my experience with SmartGlamour here.Smart GlamourI asked Mallorie if there were any vegan cafes in the area of her shop. She wasn’t sure but pointed me in a general direction. Right around the corner was a sign for…vegan ice cream! It was a little shop that had natural goods and some vegan food. Not everything was vegan, so I just grabbed a cup of maple cone ice cream and went on my way.

Vegan Ice Cream

I ate my ice cream and relaxed in Tompkins Square Park. I day dreamed a little that that’s what I’d be doing if we lived in the area. I always tell my husband we need an apartment in NYC to get away to. He’s okay with it, or will be after I hit the lottery.

Caravan of Dreams, NYC

I still wanted to find a place to get some food for my mom (other than the desserts I grabbed from PF&W) so I wandered in the general direction of the subway station I was headed to and found Caravan of Dreams. I think I read on the sign (or on my phone) that it was an organic, kosher, live (raw), and vegetarian restaurant, and when I was asking the host what vegan dish he would recommend for takeout, he said (very politely) that everything was vegan. I cannot tell you how awesome it is to hear that and know you can order ANYTHING off the menu. I wish I had time to sit and eat in because it was really cute inside, and there were a bunch of things I’d love to try off the menu.

Caravan of Dreams

I ordered the Tempeh Ruban (grilled onions, Russian dressing, tomato, rye toast, house sauerkraut and pickle) for myself, and a Rosemary Shiitake Burger (tomato, grilled onions, tarragon ali-oli, olive ciabatta and house-made pickle) for my mom, both came with  salads. We ate them later that night when I got home, and I have to say my ruban was out of this world. My mom loved her burger too. 

Grilled onions,Russian dressing,tomato,rye toast, house sauerkraut and pickle
Grilled onions,Russian dressing,tomato,rye toast, house sauerkraut and pickle

I had an incredible time in the city and cannot wait to go back. My mom and I are excited to go to Chloe Coscerelli’s new cafe when it opens.