My Summer Vacation: A vegan on Shelter Island!  »

Hello, pals! I’ve been on vacation! Your friend Megan Rascal went to Shelter Island, N.Y., for an entire week with my bro and my sister-in-law. What a time I had! I saw a turtle and these cool turkeys above and like 80 million bunnies. And deer too! Not kidding. 

Mostly we grilled food at the house we rented but a few times we did go out to eat. One place we hit was Sunset Beach, a pseudo-Euro hotel. It’s overpriced but they had this great tofu curry dish that I totally loved. It wasn’t super-special but it sure was good. And what’s not overpriced is the view! Check it out:


The first few days we were there, I was starving for coffee. I don’t like regular coffee, just froufrou lattes and whatnot, so I didn’t want what we had in the house. But my brother was like, “We are not driving to town every morning just to get coffee!” That is, until he ran out of his coffee! Ha. Then suddenly we could go to town every morning to get coffee. The only two places where it seemed like you could get coffee were Stars Cafe and Reddings Market. To my surprise, both had soy milk! And Reddings has La Colombe coffee. Reddings also wins in the frothing soy milk department—Stars didn’t really know what they were doing. It’s a cute place, though, and a good spot to get something healthy to eat.

The one place I really wanted to try was 18 Bay. I read online that they were very accommodating to vegans. They just do a prix fixe menu and it changes frequently based on what’s good at the market that day or week. Very exciting! I called the day before our reservation to let them know that I would need a vegan meal and they were just like, “of course!” Very exciting!

Above is the appetizer course. Everything was really great. I was a little apprehensive because at least one item—the eggplant—they said they would make vegan just by taking the cheese off. I’ve never like that; it’s basically like you’re taking away half the flavor profile and serving me that … and for the same price, even. But this actually worked out very well. Some of the other items were tailored just for me, like the radish and melon salad, and others, like the pesto beans, were already vegan. This was probably my favorite part of the meal. So many things to try! So fun!

There was also a pasta course, and I got my own risotto and everyone was jealous! It wasn’t amazing but it was good. For the entree, I had a lovely squash and spinach creation. Good as well. And you won’t leave this place hungry—it was quite a bit of food!

The only disappointment was the dessert. It was a fruit plate. Mind you, a really great fruit plate, but a fruit plate all the same. I thought since I told them I’d be there ahead of time, they could come up with something more exciting. Alas. But it wasn’t some grapes and honeydew: It was delicious peaches and blackberries. So it was nice, just a bit of a let-down. 

Another delight on the trip was the fresh veggies! We stopped at a farm stand on the way there and then there was this farm stand, Pete’s Produce, on the island that had great stuff too. The tomatoes were super amazing and I’m not usually into raw tomatoes. Here’s our meal from the first day! My brother turned out to be quite the grilling genius (ignore the cup of feta—your know those omnis are addicted):

Yes, a successful vacation indeed! And I got a tan. I decided that I love getting a tan because people act like it’s a real accomplishment. If I lay around my house, I’m lazy, but if I lay around in the sun, I’m productive! That’s awesome. 

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