Tag Archives: dessert

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.

My Raw Vegan Pilgrimage to Pure Food and Wine

Pure Food and Wine
Pure Food and Wine
Pure Food and Wine
Pure Food and Wine

I’ve been a fan of One Lucky Duck and Pure Food and Wine for years, ever since I discovered raw food-ism. There is a high-end, gourmet feel to their brand, and I think it’s well deserved. I’ve ordered from the site and visited the takeout bar a bunch of times, but I finally made it to PF&W this past weekend.

I always had an excuse for not going, it was too expensive or I didn’t plan well enough to make a reservation in time, but after their brief hiatus earlier this year, I made it a point to get there ASAP.

Pure Food and Wine Garden
Pure Food and Wine Garden

It was a bit chilly when I got there, but I asked if I could sit in the garden. The hostess was super nice and said of course, and gave me a choice of seats. It was just after 2pm and there were a few tables of people, but it was very quiet and peaceful.

Pure Food and Wine Corner Seat
My Corner Seat

The garden area was beautiful. The plants and trees were a nice little oasis in the city and I can only imagine how gorgeous it must be at night with the lighting they have.

Pure Food and Wine
Pure Food and Wine

I was glad it wasn’t crowded because I had the opportunity to take pictures without disturbing anyone and really got to enjoy the atmosphere. The wait staff were really helpful and attentive. Right away my server asked if I had any questions about the food.  I asked for tea mid-meal and they brought me a menu and tea within minutes. I also added some to-go items which my server helped pick.

Tea - Indian White
Tea – Indian White
Spicy Sesame Salad
Spicy Sesame Salad

I ordered the Spicy Sesame Salad (shredded cabbage, beets, jicama, daikon, cashew, sesame crunch, wasabi aioli), Mint Sundae
(chocolate, fresh mint, and mint chip ice creams, mint chocolate cookies, chocolate sauce, vanilla cream), a pot of Indian White tea, and a Mallomar (chocolate coated pecan cookie with vanilla cream) and Moon Pie (chocolate brownie vanilla cream sandwich) to go.

Honestly, I came for the mint sundae. Pictures don’t do it justice. I almost didn’t order it because I read a yelp review that said it wasn’t that great, but I’m glad I didn’t listen. It was amazing.

Mint Sundae
Mint Sundae

The spicy sesame salad was also really good. I got a salad because I was pretty hungry and I knew how filling the salads were. I was afraid if I got one of the smaller entrees I’d still be hungry, but now I’m kind of regretting not trying something more fun. I did like the Mediterranean Salad (arugula, kale, kalamata olives, tomatoes, pumpkin seed macadamia parmesan, balsamic vinaigrette) that I got another time at the take out bar a little bit better than the Spicy Sesame because of the kalamata olives and the parmesan, but both were huge and really filling.

Mediterranean Salad
Mediterranean Salad

I ordered a Mallomar to go because they are incredible, but I should’ve just eaten it while I was there because it was crushed by the time I got on the train. I still ate every single drop. To be fair, the server recommended the Chocolate Caramel Bar (chocolate dipped pecan caramel bar) because it would hold up better, bit I’m a sucker for the Mallomar. The Moon Pie held up perfectly. I got it for my mom and she raved about it. They look pretty small, but they’re really rich and it is the perfect amount.

Smushed Mallomar
Smushed Mallomar
Mallomar
Mallomar Not Smushed
Moon Pie
Moon Pie
Moon Pie
Moon Pie
Chocolate Caramel Bar
Chocolate Caramel Bar
Pure Food and Wine Garden
Pure Food and Wine Garden

I can’t wait to go back!

Weekend Update: Birthday Edition

Saturday was my birthday and yesterday was my government birthday*. The celebrations started on Thursday with a trip to Vegan Treats in Bethlehem, about 2 hours away.

Vegan Treats display case
Vegan Treats display case

We got a chocolate encased chocolate chip cheesecake on a stick, a soft serve ice cream cone, 2 cannolis to take home, and a cannoli cake for Saturday. The cheesecake was good, it was very rich and a bit too sweet for me…not that it stopped me from eating it.

Chocolate Encased Chocolate Chip Cheesecake (on a stick)
Chocolate Encased Chocolate Chip Cheesecake (on a stick)

The soft serve was blueberry cheesecake swirl and it was AMAZING. It was probably the best soft serve (dairy or non) that I’ve ever had. I kept saying “this is SO good!” despite all of my husband’s massive eye rolls.

Blueberry Cheese Cake Swirl
Blueberry Cheese Cake Swirl

We ate the cannolis later that night (yes we gorged on sugar that day), and they reminded me of getting pizza and cannolis on Saturday nights from this Italian restauant as a kid. We’d stop every night after dance class, and while we wouldn’t *always* get cannolis, it was probably my favorite part. I like the plain ones better as opposed to the chocolate dipped ones, but they were both to die for. I think I actually started eating healthier when I became vegan because the sheer amount of crap wasn’t as easily available. I’m pretty glad Vegan Treats is 2 hours away, otherwise I’d probably be 20 lbs heavier, and a lot poorer.

Cannolis
Cannolis

My parents came down for the weekend to visit. I made mock lobster rolls for dinner on Friday, and my mom’s favorite enchilladas on Saturday. (Speaking of my mother, the 27th marked her 1 year vegan anniversary! She had blood work done from WellnessFX, and her cholesterol levels are now awesome!) We had the cannoli cake for dessert and it was great. I was a little nervous at first because I used to fall for all the pretty cakes in the glass display at the local diner, but they never had any flavor, they just tasted like sugar.

Cannoli Cake from Vegan Treats
Cannoli Cake from Vegan Treats

This one was pretty and it was tasty. The chocolate was moist and rich, and the cannoli cream was slightly tart. It probably could’ve had a little less frosting on the outside, but once again, I ate it with no complaints.

Cannoli Cake from Vegan Treats
Cannoli Cake from Vegan Treats

My husband ordered me chocolates from premiumchocolatiers.com, and I have love/hate feelings about it. He got me 3 packs of No-No’s (both plain and “peanot butter”), 6 chocolate bars (2 dark, 2 milk(less), 2 white), and 3 packs of peanot butter cups. Everything is delicious (yes, I’ve tried a little bit of everything), but the peanot butter cups taste almost identical to Reeses cups, except more flavorful. I love the taste, but oh my goodness I have zero self control. Just knowing the stuff is in the fridge is torture.

Vegan Candy
Vegan Candy

Oh a slightly healthier note, I did Jillian Michael’s Yoga Inferno level 1 this past week, and thought it was pretty good. Not going to lie, I kind of skipped the cardio parts, and just went into a deeper stretch, but I was sore for the next few days, which is always a good thing.

I’m also thinking about starting the Whole30 in a few weeks. I generally eat pretty healthy, but I need to kick this newly found sugar habit. If anyone has any tips, especially for vegan meals, I’d love to hear them. I think my plan is to find a few basic meals and repeat them 4 times or so.

(*The day I was actually born on is not the same day the SSA/IRS says I was born on, and they refuse to change it. So two birthdays for me!!!)