Alchemy Creamery: Brooklyn-based vegan ice cream with wacky flavors!  »


Look what I found in the Carroll Gardens Union Market last night! A new (to me) vegan ice cream, Alchemy Creamery. It’s all vegan and also gluten-free, though I don’t know if gluten is a concern with vegan ice cream.

There was some sort of pumpkin spice flavor, an apple cinnamon flavor, and then the chocolate chai-flavored “Fixation,” which I bought and you see above. It’s nice and creamy. In a word: delicious. The flavor is more chai than chocolate I think. The chocolate is bitter enough to balance out the chai though, which I usually find too sweet. Right? Chai is always so sweet. So yeah, this flavor isn’t that chocolatey but it is bittersweet enough to balance out the chai sweetness.

I want to try the apple cinnamon one next! Actually, if you look on their site, there’s hella crazy flavors I need to try. I will let you know what progress I make. Of course being Megan Rascal, I had to suggest a flavor I want to the makers, that flavor being coffee. Not mocha—strait-up coffee! A nice person named Giuseppe (right?!) answered my email saying he’s working on an espresso and donut flavor that will be out in the summer. I say hells yeah to that. 


Apparently you can now buy the ice cream at all the Union Markets in city! And they will also deliver to the NYC area. How will we get it to our west coast friends?! I will work on this. But you will have to trade me those vegan cinnamon rolls they have at the SOMA Whole Foods. 


Bliss Grand: New vegan restaurant in Brooklyn!  »

About two weeks ago, I got to attend the opening celebration of the new Bliss Grand restaurant in Williamsburg, BK! Finally I can tell you all about it. The Bliss Grand owners have another venue in the area, a more casual place, but they wanted to open a more upscale restaurant. Mission accomplished! The place is very nice. Here’s the back bar area:


I love the exposed brick! The party was hosted by none other than Joshua Katcher. Here’s our handsome host:


To his right is the main dining area.

I totally drilled Joshua on vegan fashion. He told me he has some more items coming out from Brave GentleMan now that he’s launched the suits. He’s going to have some more affordable accessories and home items to complement his suit line. We also discussed the diligence it takes to create ethically sourced, sweatshop-free fashion. He is thorough! 

They had a number of dishes out for us to try. My favorite thing we had were these little empanadas!:


Well actually, the empanadas were great, but it was the sauce that blew my mind! It’s a cashew margarita cream sauce and it is out of control delicious. It had a rich parmesan cheese flavor. And it totes has tequila in it because they are hardcore. 

Other super popular items were these truffle oil fries (we eat truffle oil, no? They don’t still use pigs to find truffles, do they?) and this kale salad. Someone said the fries were possibly the best fries they ever had. And they were definitely delicious:


Other than the amazing food, I must also say the owners were incredibly nice. And not JUST because they kept me rich in delicious vegan wine. 

The Bliss Grand is located at 167 Grand street at Bedford. Definitely worth the trip!


Vegan Spring Shop-Up!  »

The Vegan Shop-Up is back in BK! And it sounds more exciting than ever:

SPRING HAS SPRUNG! Join us for the Vegan Spring Shop-Up on Sunday, April 15, from noon to 6 p.m. at Pine Box Rock Shop! Vegan Shop-Up is NYC’s only all vegan pop-up market featuring the best small businesses around.

We’ve got you covered for your springtime needs: Juices for detoxing! Chocolates for wooing! Soaps for cleaning! Plus it’s happy hour, and the whole world’s fresher a few drinks in. Don’t forget, NY’s only vegan food truck, The Cinnamon Snail, will be parked right outside just for us.

Visit our site for the full list of vendors. And join our Facebook and Twitter for even more updates!

OMG so excited for Cinnamon Snail! They’ve been making the rounds in NYC but I keep missing them. Everyone has been raving about them though! So make sure you are there for all the excitement. That was my hard sell. That’s how serious I am.


Guest post: Vaute Couture storefront’s grand opening!  »

My bridge-and-tunnel ass hightailed it from Jersey to Brooklyn on Sunday for three things: Blue Bottle coffee; a vegan breakfast at B.A.D Burgers; and to witness the grand opening of the long-awaited Vaute Couture storefront.

Caffeinated to bejesus, my hubby and I waited outside in the 30-degree weather, excited to see the inside of the shop and get our grubby hands on some of those sample sale coats. Leanne appeared and told the crowd that she “really wanted everything to be perfect for us,” so it would be another few minutes. Frozen and grumpy, I decided to give it five more minutes before stomping off empty-handed. Luckily, the doors opened and we were invited to immerse ourselves in the vegan goodness that is Vaute Couture.

Not only were there several coat styles to choose from that I had been eyeing on the website for over a year, there were mini-cupcakes to nibble—and Leanne, people, LEANNE! She is beautiful, as kind as they come, and well deserving of a successful Brooklyn business.

The décor is warm and rustic, and the photos of Leanne with her dog and the models with the rescued kitties just made me smile. The employees were helpful and smiley too, and despite all the pressure they must have been feeling, they handled everything with ease and excitement.  

The shop is made from a variety of salvaged materials.  The fitting room is a starry light box, and the mannequins (and their tan abs) came from Abercrombie. The photo booth is vegan, of course. Don’t miss the animal heads by local artists Becka & Marta.

Now, to make you all jealous, I made the first-ever purchase at the shop: a bunny sweatshirt and the FW10 Vaute in Red jacket (left) at a heavily discounted price. I was not aware that these coats are made of Polartec fabric, which is snow-proof and super-warm. They hold their shape, even through a cycle in the washing machine, which RULES! I only shop thrift stores, so buying this new coat was extra-special for me.

Thank you, Leanne, for bringing vegan fashion to Brooklyn and to the mainstream! Everyone who didn’t go, get yourselves there immediately.

Keri Siry lives in New Jersey with her 2 dogs Sammy and Honey Bee, new cat Hank and her 4 year old daughter Gemma and husband Darryl. Vegan for 8 years, Keri loves to share recipes and meatless know how via her blog at the Politics of Food.


Guest post: Second NYC vegan and animal rights book swap happening Saturday! Be there!  »

The first vegan and animal rights book swap was such a hit, we are gearing up for Bookswap 2.0 on Saturday, Dec. 10! At the first swap, we raised $124 to donate to Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary, with about 20 swappers donating $62 dollars, which got a matching donation. All books that weren’t swapped were donated to nearby thrift stores. Success!

For the second swap we’re moving to Brooklyn’s community space Launchpad, with raffle prizes from local Mexican restaurant Chavela’s, a $20 gift certificate from the vegan restaurant Terri, and donations from local shops Owl and Thistle General Store and Raganella, which makes handmade body care products.

Once again, the swap is free, and all money raised will be donated to Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary. What’s more, through the end of the year, all donations made to Woodstock through Dec. 31 will be matched dollar-for-dollar, up to $100,000! Your money is going even further! Read an FAQ about the event, find out about volunteer needs, and keep updated on further swaps with our mailing list. Come and swap me your books, won’tcha?

Jamie Hagen makes money by walking dogs in Manhattan while her blog posts and political science M.A. lounge around reaping the rewards. Some places she currently blogs include the Line Campaign, Autostraddle, and Persephone magazine. Twitter tags frequently used by Jamie include include #feminist #vegan and #lesbian.

[photo courtesy Jamie Hagen via Flickr]


Vegan doughnuts in Brooklyn: Dun-Well Doughnuts is getting a store front!  »

Hello world! I bring you happy news! Williamsburg, Brooklyn is getting its own vegan donut shop (I can’t decide how to spell doughnuts so just bear with me)! Dun-Well Doughnuts has been supplying local coffee shops and stuff but now they will have their own storefront and I couldn’t be more excited!

Dun-Well was started by Christopher Hollowell and Dan Dunbar after watching a donut-laden Simpsons episode. And the vegans of New York have been grateful ever since! We think they’re pretty great

The storefront is having a soft opening late November and will be at 222 Montrose Ave in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Hopefully Christopher and Dan will be there like every day because I’ve seen them at Vegan Drinks and they are adorbs. They dress so cool. And how much do you want a French Toast Doughnut? Pro tip: so much!

Make sure you visit their Indie GoGo page and throw down for some donuts. If you give $1000, you get to invent a donut!! I just sprung for a few coupons. But one day there will be a Megan Rascal donut. Or a dino-shaped pink Vegansaurus donut! What? We’ve already got a sandwich. That’s right!


Vegansaurus NYC: Farm Funding Tuesday! TONIGHT!  »

Party time! Some great people have organized an event to raise money for Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glen, NY: Farm Funding Tuesday! I love Farm Sanctuary! They have the best little animal stories of triumph. And I love bars! That’s where they keep all the booze. 

It’s at Halyards in Park Slope/Gowanus, Brooklyn. Check out their donors and sponsors:

Sun in Bloom 
Champs Vegan Family Bakery
Vaute Couture
PS9 Pet Supplies
Bergen St Comics
Level 2 Boutique
Skinny Skinny 
Plus art from local artists!

Sweet list, man. There will be lots of vegan food and you get a free drink with admission. You can also win prizes! I love prizes. So everybody come out and party for a good cause!


Product review: Rising Moon Stuffed Shells!  »

This new store, Ivy Garden, opened in Park Slope (Gowanus?) and it’s my new favorite place on earth. They have so much vegan food! AND it’s right off my subway stop (stop stalking me!). One thing they have that I hadn’t tried before is Rising Moon Stuffed Shells. Jeez louise, guys! These are SO GOOD! I love them. The ricotta is totally great. I don’t remember if it’s exactly like dairy ricotta but it’s hella good.

That’s kind of all I wanted to say. If you see this stuff somewhere, totally try it.


Guest post: Vegansaurus NYC: Red Bamboo is delicious!  »

Go to Red Bamboo. GO NOW!

This is what it looks like.

I’m pretty sure those two people aren’t always there so don’t consider them a landmark.

I have been fairly interested in having a big meal at this establishment ever since I’d first heard the buzz. One of my louder vegan pals had raved about one of their burgers declaring it the NYC faux-meat mecca; I raised my eyebrow.

I invited my friend, Michael, he’s a lovely vegan and also a lovely person, and we had  great time. The ambiance is pleasant and the service was excellent. Please note that I work in the restaurant business and I don’t just throw around the word “excellent” when it comes to waiter skills. I got standards! And I thought the food was super good.

They have an extensive menu with a TON of options on it. However, it is a vegetarian place, not a vegan place, but all the vegan food items are clearly marked. Yay for convenience. Boo for not being 100 percent vegan.

To be clear. This Red Bamboo food is not healthy food. It is not for the ultra-health-conscious. Do not go to Red Bamboo if you are in the mood for a salad. I know many folks like to keep their grub on the “whole food” side, and I would not recommend a Red Bamboo outing for you folks. It is for junk food lovers!

We had buffalo wings for an appetizer. (sorry, no photo, I was busy EATING) Then we had 2 entrees. Michael is nice so we shared a little.

I had the cashew “chicken.”

Yum city! Seriously some of the best “chicken” I’ve had in my young vegan life. My mouth is totally watering looking at this pic.

Michael had a dish whose name I can’t remember. I think it was Dante’s Cuisine? I scanned the online menu and that was the only thing that sounded familiar. Whatevs. It was good.

I’m way too hungry to be writing this right now.

I say yay Red Bamboo. Deliciousness! Not too expensive either and huge portions; I took some home and ate it for lunch the next day.

We also had a peanut butter chocolate something cake? It was awesome. I LIKE EATING! I especially liked eating at Red Bamboo and will definitely go again. Yum yum. Apparently they had another location in Brooklyn and it used to be yummier but they revamped it and serve dead things now? Two thoughts on this: 1) TOTAL HATE; 2) The West Village one is plenty yummy. Still eat there. Don’t let that Brooklyn incident keep you away from the drumsticks. You’re worth it.

Laura Yasinitsky is a writer, comic, waitress, and animal-lover based in New York City. She has appeared on Comedy Central’s Open-Mic Fight and writes for US Weekly’s Fashion Police. You can follow her silliness on Twitter @LaraYaz and read about her animal friendly adventures here.


Vegansaurus NYC: Champs Bakery in Brooklyn!  »

I stopped by Brooklyn’s Champs Bakery the other day specifically so that I could tell you all about it. I’m so nice to you. It’s not a shiny-happy-people-holding-hands type of bakery but it feels like a neighborhood joint, which has its own appeal. I will definitely have to go again because they had all these sandwiches I didn’t try. I did, however, get some biscuits and gravy! They were jalapeño biscuits so they were a bit too spicy for me (they ran out of the regular, I think you have to show up on the early side for the full selection), but they were still totally great, and the gravy was good too.

I also got a rosemary scone that I was pretty into. It was odd to eat rosemary in something sweet, but it was interesting and good. They don’t have the widest selection but it’s all the necessities—lots of muffins and scones. I love vegan scones! It’s the food of my people, plus vegan. There were also cupcakes and cinnamon rolls and whatnot. I think though that the savory items may be what set this bakery apart from the Babycakeses of the world. And you can totally sit down there and eat so that is nice.

So I say, if you’re in the hood, you should definitely stop by. You can get lunch and then grab a scone to save for breakfast.

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