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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!!!)
This past weekend was the 10th annual Vendy Awards in NYC. The Vendy Awards is a celebration of the city’s best food vendors, and it helps raise money for their cause. From their website:
There are more than 10,000 street vendors in New York City — hot dog vendors, book vendors, street artists, and many others. They’re small businesspeople struggling to make ends meet by working long hours in often harsh conditions. Most street vendors are immigrants and people of color and often face discrimination though unjust legislation supported by established business interests. In recent years, vendors have become victims of New York’s aggressive “quality of life” crackdown. Denied access to vending licenses, they receive $1,000 tickets for minor violations like vending too close to a crosswalk — more than any big business is required to pay for similar violations.
The event was held on Governer’s Island, and it was the perfect place for it. I’d never been there before and it was beautiful. We took the 11 am ferry, so it was free (it’s only $2 round trip if you catch an afternoon one). The amount of bees was a little alarming though. I don’t think they bothered any people, but the way they were attacking donuts was like a scene out of a cheesy horror movie. I got a picture of a donut with like 5 bees on it, but there were others that were totally covered and you could barely see any donut. #beesTakeManhattan
The very first thing I had was a Maple cucumber-mint slushy from Snowday. It sounds weird, but they were little samples so I figured why not. I’m glad I did because it was really light and tasty. My dad also tried the maple grilled cheese and said it was good. Snowday won the Rookie of the Year award, and what’s really neat about their truck, is that they are operated by Drive Change, a non profit that builds and operates locally sourced food trucks that hire, teach and empower formerly incarcerated youth.
A few steps later we were handed falafels from King of Falafel & Shawarma. They were seasoned perfectly with a crisp outside and soft chewy center. I may have had 2…
Chickpea and Olive was the first vegan vendor that we saw and their beet burger blew me away. My dad (very much not vegetarian) liked it so much that when we got home he tried to recreate it. I know I didn’t try the other Best of Market nominees, but I thought that Olive and Chickpea was a guaranteed win because the burger was amazing.
Somewhere in between the beet slider and getting drinks, we grabbed some ice cream samples from Alchemy Creamery. First I grabbed the Almond Marzipan, and then I tried the Salted Peanut Butter. Both were really, really tasty. As we were leaving I kind of wanted to grab another peanut butter one, but I was afraid if I ate anymore I might sink the ferry. =/ The other (non vegan) ice cream vendor had 3 different really funky/delicious sounding flavors and they won the best dessert category. I think maybe if Alchemy Creamery jazzed up their presentation if they could’ve won.
Not going to lie, I was a little biased knowing that the Cinnamon Snail was going to be competing, but it was amazing that there were 3 other exclusively vegan vendors and others that had vegan/vegetarian options. And luckily they were all in separate categories, so they all got my vote!
I mean how could you not think that this Vanilla Bourbon Creme Bruelee Donut isn’t the best thing ever. (Sidenote: I forgive you Cinnamon Snail for my temporary bout of diabetes.)
The VIP tickets were totally worth it. We only waited about 5 minutes to get checked in and then got to eat for a whole hour before general admission was opened up. This was kind of a good and a bad thing. It was wonderful being able to walk around with no lines and not many people, but at the same time, I wanted to stuff my face before the lines got long and I felt like I was going to explode in that first hour. I almost held off on getting food from NY Dosas, but I made a vow (to myself) to try all of the vegan offerings, and I’m so glad I did because the flavors were out of this world. I even got an explanation of how they’re made and got to take pictures (see gallery below) of the process.
The rain held off for a good portion of the day, but we decided to leave when it really picked up. We took a little break to let our food digest and explored the island a bit (a post of the art galleries coming soon), so by the time it started pouring we were a bit cold and tired. We missed the awards, but we in the car home I was ecstatic that the Cinnamon Snail won the Vendy Cup! Sorry if this post is sounding a little fan girl-ish, but well, they totally deserved it. It might not be fair for me to judge considering the fact that I didn’t try the meat dishes, but it makes me so happy that a panel of judges found a vegan dish to be the best. Whenever people say “I don’t like vegan food” (cue my inner eye roll) or other things about how boring it is I just want to explain that it doesn’t have to be boring and bland. The Cinnamon Snail has proved that vegan food can beat out some of the best meat dishes based on taste alone.
I heard some people outside of the gate saying there’s no way they could eat enough food truck food to justify buying a ticket. Well, there was also All You Can Drink beer, wine, soda, water, tea, coconut water, juice, etc… And besides walking around eating all day, you’re supporting a cause and helping people. This was my first year going, but I’m already looking forward to next year!