Any time I’m in the Lower East Side, I try to hit up Babycakes.
Babycakes is a vegan, gluten-free bakery who has I kid you not won awards for the best cupcake in New York City. I’m not saying vegan cupcake, just cupcake in general. Their cupcakes are freakin’ fantastic.
Another awesome thing about a visit to Babycakes? It’s literally right around the corner from MooShoes. What vegan girl doesn’t consider sweet treats and shoe shopping the best day ever?
Since getting back from Boston, the entire month of July just FLEW by! Between being busy at work and just having a lot of commitments, before I knew it it was my birthday!
Last year I turned the big 3-0, and I had a pretty big party to celebrate. This year I really just wanted to have a small dinner with some close friends. We all celebrated at an amazing dinner at Pure Food and Wine. For most of my friends, it was their first time at a vegan, never mind a raw food restaurant and Pure Food and Wine did not disappoint!
We ended dinner pretty early, and afterwards a few of us went out for some karaoke to continue the celebration. At this point, having a birthday without karaoke just seems weird!
My BFF Nikki and I have been finding it’s pretty tough to get together lately. We’re both so busy with work, and she’s living in Manhattan while I’m obviously in Brooklyn. That may not seem like it’s that far, but it’s far enough not to be super convenient to get together, especially being such over-career-achievers. So what we’ve been doing lately to make it a priority to see each other is doing dinner every few weeks, and alternating between new places to try in Brooklyn and Manhattan.
Last week, the dinner spot we chose was my absolute favorite, Wild Ginger. If you’re vegan and have yet to try them out, make sure you stop by there while visiting NYC. There’s several locations ranging from Manhattan to Brooklyn. We decided to meet up at the Williamsburg one in my neighborhood. I’m not ashamed to admit I order take out from here waaaay too often. We gorged on some of my favorites, including their miso soup, fried spinach and “cheese” wontons (the sauce is to die for!), general tso’s soy protein, and finished up the meal with a good ol’ peanut butter bomb!
As mentioned in my post yesterday, Jim and I took a quick detour to the Old City District of downtown Philly on our way home to Brooklyn. Here are some of my favorite shots from our quick, hour long walk.
Here are some of my favorite images I shot during our visit to the High Line park extension this past Tuesday.
Edit: There’s been a lot of comments on the man waving from the window in the last photo. He’s actually a cardboard cutout, which I had though was pretty rad.
Jim and I have been on somewhat of an art kick lately. The last day of the Whitney Biennial was last Sunday, so we decided to check it out.
All in all, I wasn’t blown away by any of the pieces in the show, but there was still a lot of great art to look at. In particular, my favorite piece was an installation with a room filled with baseballs and a very serene soundtrack playing. It was quite stunning, especially being it consumed you as soon as you stepped off the elevator.
Another highlight of the show was this installation of this animatronic dummy who would speak in this incredibly creepy voice. I for the life of me couldn’t figure out what the piece meant, but it was so creepy while I was in there a kid came in and was so terrified started screaming and broke down crying. Does that being the highlight make me a bad person?
A non-vegan friend of mine had mentioned a few weeks ago that last time she was in a Le Pain Quitoden, they had a ton of vegan options. I used to frequent the chain a bit while marathon training in Central Park several years ago, and didn’t remember them having a ton of options so hearing this surprised me.
This past Saturday prior to heading over to the NYC Vegetarian Food Festival, Jim and I met up with some of his relatives in town visiting at one of their locations mid-town, and I was blown away by all their options! Damn vegans, we’ve come a long way! If you’re a vegan living in NYC, be sure to stop in, they’re trying to win our business and doing a really great job!
This past weekend, Jim and I hit up the NYC Vegetarian Food Festival. I had tried to go last year with a friend, but the line to get in was over 2 hours long and wrapped around the block! I had almost dismissed going again this year, until I saw a Living Social deal for VIP entry tickets on the cheap, so I grabbed them. This time around when we arrived there was still a crazy line, but it didn’t matter because the VIP entry line had no one on it, so we got right in.
All in all, there was no shortage of tasty bites of great vegan and vegetarian food (though mostly vegan). They even had vegan marshmallows and caviar! I do have to say, I had come that day really expecting to stuff my face, but with the small tastes most of the vendors gave, I still left a bit hungry. You could get larger plates of food, but you had to cough up anywhere from $3-$5, which kind of put me off considering I had spent money on a $30 VIP entry ticket expecting to eat all day. It’s a small gripe, I still had a fantastic time and sampled some amazing food.
That aside, the event had some great speakers and demos going on. There were three separate stages, one of which was a speaker stage, another for musical acts, and a third for cooking demos. My friend Ashley who works for Peta gave a great presentation on the best ways to approach vegan advocacy.
The festival was a great way to spend the afternoon. We actually had two-day passes, but since the L train wasn’t running to the city this weekend we decided on just attending the one day.
Did anyone else attend this year? How did you like it?
Last Sunday my friend Tracy and I went to yoga class, and afterwards decided to go have brunch. She had earlier in the week suggested we eventually try Rockin’ Raw, Williamsburg’s local raw vegan restaurant. Since I was super impressed with the raw food at Pure Food and Wine, and the both of us love healthy fare (we’re both fitness nuts) we decided it was the perfect choice to check out for brunch.
It was an absolutely gorgeous, Indian Summer day, so we took advantage of their outdoor seating.
You can’t call it brunch without a bloody mary! Rockin’ Raw’s bloody’s were great. They had a slight fruity taste, which was a pleasant surprise.
As an appetizer, Tracy and I shared the nachos. They were made of flax crips topped with vegan cheese, tomatoes, and all the nacho topping standards. They were surprising delicious. Tasted just like the normal thing, just at room temperature.
We both coincidentally ordered the same thing as our meal. The lasagna. It was really flavorful. You could taste the concentration of flavors in the sauce. I could easily pinpoint sun-dried tomatoes and basil. The layers included zucchini and mushrooms, which I love. The kale topping with the nutritional yeast was a great addition. This dish was very, very filling. We both only managed to finish half of it. I took the leftovers home and they lasted very well the following day in the fridge.
For dessert, we both shared the Chocolate Pecan Tarte, yum! I never in a million years would have guessed it was raw. It was delicious.
Though it was an expensive brunch, it’s definitely a place I’d hit up again. The food was well worth the money. Check it out if you’re ever in the neighborhood and are looking for a good, healthy bite.