vegansaurus!

03/26/2014

NYC gets a cupcake ATM with vegan red velvet cupcakes!  »

Extra, extra! Sprinkle’s in NYC opened their cupcake ATM yesterday! I’d heard of the one in LA and it sounded so fun. I haven’t been over yet but I emailed Sprinkle’s and the rep informed that the ATM will always be stocked with their vegan red velvet cupcakes. Yay! I’ll report back on the flavor as soon as I make it over! Has anyone tested the ATM yet?!

Pics from Sprinkle’s fb page. 

02/28/2014

Vegan Drinks NYC Recap: Chickpea & Olive serves the yum!  »

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Chickpea & Olive was the food vender for February’s Vegan Drinks last night and boy did they have their act together! The menu was pretty fun because they had polenta bowls and you got to pick from a bunch of toppings. I got slow roasted chickpeas and roasted Brussels. I also got a half of a beet parmesan hero—delish!

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And I got one of the cannolis! I’ve never had a cannoli, which everyone thought was absurd, but I just never had one ok! But according to Deb, Vegan Drinks founder, this cannoli was good but a little different as the “shell” (thanks Abby Bean! It’s not called a “cookie thing” guys!) was thicker than it usually is I guess. And the cream had amaretto flavor the girls said—which I thought was just almond extract and very yum as I love almond extract. The chocolate chips were a nice touch too! And I thought cannolis were stuffed with whipped cream but it’s more like custard and I like that much better. 

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As you can see, there was a nice turnout! And this was an early pic. And yes that is Deb on the lower left. And yes that is Party Girl on the screen. And yes that movie RULES. So does Deb. And thanks to Jess Davis for organizing and bringing Wild Bird Fund in! I hope they sold some shirts and got some new volunteers. If you want to volunteer (you actually get to handle the birds! Like, for their own good! OMG!), check out their site. You can donate there as well.

Come to the next Vegan Drinks! They are the last Thursday of every month! Follow their FB for reminders

BONUS: Cute goslings at the Wild Bird Fund sanctuary! Pic from their blog:

02/19/2014

NYC: Young’s next pop-up dinner is almost here! Let’s get down with American vegan food!  »

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Young’s, a cool NYC vegan catering company, is now hosting a pop-up series! And the next one is happening March 6th and 7th. That’s soon! 

I had the pleasure of meeting Jessica Young, a founder and the chef behind Young’s. I’m not going to say I’m in love, because you know my heart is made of ice cold stone, but it’s something close to that. 

The event is at Old Bowery Station and it sounds super awesome (because BOOZE):

Sticking to our roots, we will be offering vegetable based menus with an emphasis on American foods. All dishes consist of both a food component and a beer or cocktail component (or neither, if you’re not a drinker).

The beverages complete the dishes - foods are chosen with drinks in mind, and drinks are chosen with foods in mind. We are working with some of the best vegetable-minded chefs and mixologists in the city to create this truly unique experience.

You can get tickets here! It’s only $45 ($65 with cocktail or beer pairing), which is the cheapest pop-up price I’ve seen in this city. So basically, my dreams have come true. 

Also, let’s have a party and hire them to cater! They have an ENTIRE MENU of CANAPÉS for passed hors d’oeuvres. Why do I ever eat food that’s not canapés? I don’t know what I’ve been doing with my life.    

02/18/2014

NYC: Get a six course vegan dinner and support healthy school lunches for the kiddies!  »

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Hi guys! Remember when Meave and I went to Suite ThreeOhSix and had the best time? Well now you can go to Suite ThreeOhSix and have the best time too! AND raise money for the Coalition for Healthy School Food so that the kiddies get veggies at school. I believe we refer to that as a “win-win.”

The six course dinner is taking place a week from today, aka February 25th, aka MY BIRTHDAY. Get your tickets here. Tickets are 100 bones…I know, but it’s a fundraiser and the food is sure to be hella fancy. There will also be a silent auction so you can spend more money. ALSO RAFFLES OMG MY FAVORITE. So go! Eat! Drink! Be merry!

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Dessert from the tasting Meave and I went to! Totes pretty. 

02/13/2014

Three Letters serves delicious French-inspired vegan eats in Brooklyn!  »

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That’s Meave seated at the bar. She was dressed like a librarian, i.e. I had the hottest date in the place. 

Three Letters is a casual French-American spot in Clinton Hill, BK. They are not a vegan restaurant and maybe that’s why they were a bit off our radar, but it turns out they have SO MANY vegan options! And we are not talking a thawed Garden Burger here; Three Letters has some serious vegan food. The chef, Pip, invited Meave and me to come by for a free tasting, which of course we did because we are so selfless in our journey to provide you with all the important veggie news.

We loved the place as soon as we walked in because it’s freaking adorable. It’s like a real brasserie! Pip came over and introduced himself, and now he is my new favorite person. He’s not vegan (anymore), but he knows a lot of vegans and wanted to make sure the menu had good veg options. But there is no half-stepping for Pip! The vegan items on the menu are unique, elaborate, fun and, most importantly, delicious! He said he made it a point to make the vegetarian options (almost) all vegan, too, because vegetarians are usually happy to eat vegan and cheese is apparently boring to cook with. Pro tip: It also comes out of a cow’s boob! Ick!

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It was total mood lighting so the pics didn’t come out that well, but trust these things look nicer in real life. We started with fried pickled veggies and chickpea creppettes. 

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The pickled veggies were good but I’m not super into pickled stuff. The creppettes were my jam, though! And Meave loved the chimichurri sauce they came with, too, which was bright and herbaceous and perfect.

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Above is a collard green chiffonade salad with mustard vinaigrette. Yummy! Even I liked it and I think salad is for squares. Raw collards are way better chiffonaded than used as a “gluten-free” wrap at a raw place.

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OK, oK, here we have a bowl of their mushroom soup—or as we will now call it, a bowl of magic! I like mushrooms but I don’t think I’d ever order a whole mushroom soup. WHAT AN IDIOT IT’S THE BEST THING EVER. This soup, a mushroom broth with sautéed mushrooms, chive oil, kale chips, and tofu, was my absolute favorite thing we had. And it was hella cold yesterday so this was basically perfect. 

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The above is the tempeh bon mise. It was super good. If you like beefy flavor, this is your new best friend. The bread was great, too!

We also had the seitan au ragout which was awesome but didn’t photograph well. It came with the crispiest brussels! Plus the walnut oil mashed potatoes tasted both walnutty and potatoey, and the texture was perf under the crispy, meaty seitan and crunchy sprouts.

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Finally, we had this adorable apple cobbler. Meave loved it so much and basically ate the whole thing. JK! But I did let her have a bite or two. The crust on top was really nice—thick but not too dense. 

Oh and we also had some of their wonderful wine that’s ON TAP! Wine on tap! Hilar! It was great. And I had an apple ginger hot toddy which definitely hit the spot on the cold night. You could totally just go there for drinks, too, but because you always want a snack when drinking, you should 100 percent order the crepettes. You’ll feel so fancy and be so happy.

All in all, we love this place. The atmosphere is great, and there are so many different yummy vegan things to try! And like I said, this is not a vegan place. They serve all kinds of meat. I think that combo makes it special in NYC, where it’s hard to find a place that satisfies your omni fam but also has some awesome vegan options for you. It’s a tall order! Usually we just go to the omni place and get the salad sans chèvre. BORING. But now we can go to Three Letters! Huzzah!

SPECIAL HEADS UP! Three Letters is having a super fun Valentine’s Day event. They are having a prix fixe menu for you paired-off lovebirds, with vegan options complete with flourless chocolate and hazelnut cake (!!!) that Pip says is amazing. But they are also having a PALentine’s Day menu, too! Groups of three or more can get their own prix fixe menu full of vegan options. The Palentine’s special is $30 each and instead of a wine pairing, it includes a pitcher of beer! How cute? Hint: SO CUTE! Pals can also get the vegan flourless chocolate and hazelnut cake (!!!). Which is all I really care about. Well, the cake and the beer. Cake and beer are my best pals!

01/30/2014

NYC: Vegan Drinks is TONIGHT!  »

You heard it here last! NYC Vegan Drinks is tonight. Myself and my pal Grand Format will be spinning the best in adult contemporary all night long. There will also be yummy food and the proceeds from the night will go to Sea Shepherd! So you best come. 

BTW, have you seen Vegan Drinks’ new site and logo? LOOKS DOPE!

01/27/2014

Maimonides Of Brooklyn serves the vegan deliciousness  »

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I went to Maimonides of Brooklyn for brunch yesterday with my fave vegan couple. It was the second time I’d been there and reminded me I never posted about the first time I went! With the same couple, but for dinner. M.O.B.’s, as they call it, is pretty freaking awesome. It’s a vegan spot on Atlantic right by Barclays. I haven’t had the signature dish, some sort of pizza/flatbread shaped like the Brooklyn bridge, but everything I have had has been delicious. Above you can see the eggplant biscuit sandwich I had yesterday. The eggplant was smoked and didn’t taste very eggplant-y, which scores points in my book! It kind of tasted like bacon without the death. And I love the aioli on this! Oh and the biscuit itself—oh the biscuit itself! In a modified word, the biscuit sandwich is super-terrific. 

Now, here are the pics from my dinner there many moons ago! I don’t remember a ton of specifics but I remember I liked everything. And dang, these pics came out well! If I do say so myself. 

Yummy nugget things (the mustard that comes with these does have honey, so ask for mustard without honey—they are happy to oblige):

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Tri-color cauliflower! So good and so pretty! The aioli on this was the jam: 

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The veggie burger gets an A++!:

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Below is the mac and cheese with artichokes. I remember I liked it but it was slightly odd. I prefer the veggie burger. But who am I kidding, I’d totally get this again!

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And for dessert, chocolate hazelnut torte! Very rich and creamy: 

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The place is not big and you do have to sit at communal tables but I’ve never had to talk to strangers (heaven forbid!); It was still like I was just there with the people I came with. Maybe because the tables are so roomy. Honestly I’m not one for communal seating but it doesn’t bother me here. 

For some weird reason this place doesn’t seem to be well-known. I have no idea why—it’s great! The food is delicious and the atmosphere is fun and positive. I love it. 

Coincidentally, my cousin, the famous philosophy expert, just released a podcast on Maimonides, the philosopher for which the restaurant is named. Time for some learning!

01/24/2014

Field Roast vegan sausages and burgers on the menu at the SuperBowl!  »

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You heard me! MetLife stadium is selling Field Roast sausages and burgers at the SuperBowl this year! Wait, they have burgers?! I didn’t know! But according to their FB, their burgers are on limited release at a few stadiums. I’m pretty happy with the sausages though so I’m not even mad. But that’s so awesome! Way better than some dinky vegan hot dog people will laugh at. Even omnivores like Field Roast when they try it! So it will be a good vegan food rep. Those apple sage sausages, right?!

The company is from Seattle so obvi they are repping hardcore for the Sea Hawks, as you can see above. They also did a bunch of Superbowl-inspired recipes you can check out on their site

In conclusion: Go sports!

01/10/2014

Fine & Raw: Organic raw chocolate from Brooklyn!  »

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Hey raw chocolate lovers and all the other kinds of chocolate lovers! Fine & Raw is a Williamsburg, Brooklyn-based raw chocolate company that makes yummy organic, vegan chocolates! They sent me some free bars to try and now I will tell you all about them!

Their mission “is to save the world through silliness and chocolate!” They use low-heat techniques and you’ll also be glad to know they make every effort to be environmentally friendly. Plus, reading their site is positively delightful! They are funny. And there’s some good info about chocolate on there like this!:

Cacao has been report to have these benefits:

  • #1 food source of antioxidants
  • #1 food source of magnesium
  • Phenylethylamine (PEA) - the compound which scientists believe is released when you’re in love
  • Anandamide - the ‘bliss chemical’
  • Tryptophan – the precursor to serotonin.
  • MAO Inhibitors – allows more serotonin to flow in your body. read: more fun
  • Appetite suppresant & aphrodisiac
  • None of the above statements have been evaluated by the FDA, although they told us they really love chocolate.

Yay chocolate! Don’t mind if I do!

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Above is one of the truffle bars. Creamy and good! I had the peeps at work try all the chocolate of course because I am so nice to them and this was very popular. It’s not sweet but it’s not too bitter. A good balance.

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Now, my friends, THIS IS WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT! As I’ve said a million times, I love salty chocolate so this epic dark chocolate sea salt bar was music to my taste buds. And just look at that bar, they are not messing around! It’s a solid bar of chocolate. On the bitter side, so this is a grown-up kind of bar. And you can break it into sticks! 

And maybe most importantly, they like dinos too!:

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For you non-New Yorkers, you can order Fine & Raw chocolates from their website. Get your raw chocolate on around the globe!

01/09/2014

Today! In NYC! Do Good at the Grocery  »

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Get your shop on today, Thursday January 9, at any Manhattan Whole Foods and 5% of your purchase supports the efforts of statewide nonprofit the New York Coalition for Healthy School Food (NYCHSF).

With a mission to educate participating school communities—students, teachers, parents and administrators—about ways in which they can consume more nutritious foods (i.e., more plants, fewer animals), we’re all about backing them. And what better way to do so than by picking up a few foodstuffs we were bound to buy anyway? You know you want to.

Funds raised will specifically benefit the coalition’s work with the New York City Department of Education Office of SchoolFood, a partnership promoting plant-based protein options and salad bars. Food UnEarthed, interactive curriculum developed by NYCHSF and currently taught to over 500 students a week in NYC, will also reap the rewards of your (hopefully gluttonous) trip to the Market. (By the way, we want in on this Food UnEarthed thing; kids get to act as detectives, using critical thinking skills to, as its title implies, uncover the truth about food. Then, following a rigorous investigation, they get to sit back, relax and enjoy a yummy—and healthy!—vegan snack. Sign us up!) 

If you’d like to learn more about the org or just say hey to the brains behind this genius means of feeding kids greens, NYCHSF representatives will be tabling at all seven stores in the city from 11 AM to 7 PM. From 11 AM to 3:30 PM, meet Executive Director Amie Hamlin at the Bowery location and from 11 AM to 1:30 PM, meet board chair Lisa Suriano at the Midtown East location.

Or, you know, just go get some noms, preferably free of flesh, dairy and eggs!

Nell Alk is a writer and editor based in New York City. If something #vegan is happening in the world, she is on it. Twitter with her here

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