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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.

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!