It’s Vegan Shop-Up time again! It looks to be as awesome as ever, and the weather promises to be a bit less oppressively humid, so come on over to Bushwick and get shopping! Or at least eating and drinking. It’s like our very own vegan microcosm Smorgasburg, only with a way better bar.
If you’ve never been check out the list of vendors to see what wonders await you. See you tomorrow!
The August Vegan Shop-Up runs from noon to 6 p.m. on Saturday, August 10, at Pine Box Rock Shop, 12 Grattan Street in Brooklyn off the Morgan L stop.
Restaurant review: Rawlicious Soho! »
Meave: Remember how I was saying last week that we are really lucky vegans? Let’s double that sentiment, because recently Megan and I were invited to a tasting at Rawlicious Soho, the new Rawlicious spot at 249 Centre Street in Manhattan. Of course we said YES to fancy free food, because what are we, not hungry? Not eager to try new dishes? Not kind of obsessed with cashew cheese and raw vegetables? Well, maybe the last one is more me than Megan, but still. To Rawlicious Soho we went!
Meave: First they brought us this plate of nut-and-seed flatbread topped with dill cashew cheese, caramelized onion, and cherry tomatoes to share. It was beautiful, vibrant, and really tasty. If you’re not eating all of the tomatoes you can get your hands on during the summertime, you are missing out. They’re perfect when they’re ripe and totally nasty out of season, so take advantage of the summer and get snacking.
Megan: Yeah, the whole thing was great but the tomatoes were out of control. I was like, where the hell did they get these and can I get a 100 more? That was true across the board—they must have some super taster finding their fresh veggies, everything was just perfect.
Meave: Next, they brought us each a plate of their taco salad, which was made of avocado, salsa, walnut refried beans, red and green onions, cashew sour cream, and sundried tomato nacho chips, over romaine lettuce. You guys, I loved this salad. I still think about it. The avocados were perfect, firm and yielding and buttery in that avocado-y way. The walnut refried beans I could’ve eaten alone, forever, but with the crispy lettuce and the tangy cashew sour cream—a really great combination. Though I have always been partial to taco salad (it was my main jam at Gratitude before all the ugliness).
Megan: The avocados were cray! Totally perfect! And ditto on the walnut refried beans—who ever heard of walnut refried beans?!
Meave: Then they brought us each a slice of flatbread pizza with cashew cheese, pesto, tomato, zucchini, mushroom, and basil. Rich! basil-y! Unctuous, you guys, the combination of cashew cheese and basil was unctuous, so rich and savory, plus the firm vegetables and the crispy flatbread—so good.
It was at this point that we realized we were both getting pretty full.
Megan: Loved the pesto! Additionally, damn, why’s Meave gotta use words I have to look up?
Meave: After we managed to eat our entire pieces of pizza, they brought us plates of their pad thai with kelp and zucchini noodles, carrots, red cabbage, green onions, and cashews in a “tangy Thai sauce.” Crispy-crunchy, savory-sweet, and very good. Not as spicy as I would have liked it, but the textures were delicious, and it was nice and cool on a hot summer afternoon.
Our lovely server, who had been vegan for all of three weeks (hooray!), had to box our dishes for us, as we were both reaching stomach capacity.
Megan: I have to differ on this one, I wasn’t that into the zucchini noodles. I’ve never been a big fan of raw food but everything here was so great I think I’m a changed woman! But this is the kind of dish I think of when I think of raw food—“noodles” that are all crunchy. Not my thing. Good sauce though (but I don’t like spicy).
Meave: But of course we had room for this tiny, flawless dessert: a brownie bite with coconut “frosting” and chocolate banana ice cream. Because it’s sweetened with dates (and bananas), you could really taste the walnut, cacao, and coconut flavors. Again, the texture was incredible. I should really stop being surprised that raw desserts can be so goddamn good, but still, this was amazing and I am in love with it.
Megan: Guys guys guys, this thing was OFF THE HOOK. Why am I not eating this little chocolate wonder all the time?! And I usually don’t even like coconut (I know, I’m that picky vegan) but this was perfect! The banana chocolate ice cream was awesome. The whole thing was awesome. It was my favorite part of the meal.
Meave: It stands to reason that we would be biased, as Rawlicious offered us this tasting free of charge, gave us a table with really great lighting, and were totally accommodating and very nice. Of course we’re biased. Still, the food was very, very good. The restaurant space itself is charming, light and airy with an exposed brick wall and bright, interesting art.
Megan: I’m not at all biased because I’m stone cold and hard to impress. But I was impressed. I just don’t usually go in for raw food so I was skeptical, but the food was so good! And yeah, my first reaction was, whoa, this place is nice! It’s not at all hippie like Cafe Gratitude or something—which is another association I have with raw food (despite Pure Food & Wine). When I think of raw, I think of crunchy cold food and new-age crap. This place is not like that! I even liked the paintings, and I’m hella snobby about paintings. So the place is upscale—but comfortable all the same. Our waitress was soooo nice. Like Meave said, a brand new vegan! I gave her some tips of course because I’m me.
Meave: I would absolutely go again. Especially on a date! Definitely I would invite a gentleman here for a beautiful meal in an attractive space, where the lighting makes everyone look like a total babe.
Megan: Agreed except it wasn’t the lighting, Meave is a total babe. In conclusion: I WANT MORE CHOCOLATE BANANA BROWNIE BITES!
Bunna Café at Mama Joy’s for lunch! Ethiopian in Bushwick! »
The only way to improve this, I thought, would be to eat it sitting down, on a bigger plate, with even more food and more people to share it with.
Which is now possible at Mama Joy’s, where Bunna serves totally vegan Ethiopian lunch Tuesdays through Fridays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. You should go! Take your friends! Take a date! Go eat!
Here’s how it looked today:
Mama Joy’s is at 1084 Flushing Ave. in Bushwick, Brooklyn. Bunna Cafe’s Ethiopian lunch is cash-only.
The Vegan Shop-Up returns for July! Every time I go I eat something new and delicious, I buy something awesome, and my heart fills with joy to see what a crowd turns out for a vegan event. Also I just finished the last of my queso on Sunday and it’s time to stock up.
Interested? Check out the list of vendors! I’ll see you on Saturday.
As usual, the Shop-Up is open from noon to 6 p.m. at Pine Box Rock Shop, 12 Grattan Street in Bushwick, off the Morgan L stop. For more information, visit them online.
Stop New York’s annual slaughter of geese! »
Gothamist rounds up the info on the Department of Agriculture’s annual New York City-area goose-murder, this year targeted at the geese living in the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. Is that actual irony? It’s certainly disgusting.
If you want to help stop the totally unnecessary murder of hundreds of geese, get more info from Goose Watch NYC, and sign the petition addressed to Mayor Bloomberg and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY).
[Photo by Peter Roan via Flickr]
Suite ThreeOhSix tasting by chef Daphne Cheng! »
Megan Rascal and I are the luckiest vegans, I swear. We were recently invited to a press event at Suite ThreeOhSix, a vegan supperclub and cooking school featuring the fancy work of chef Daphne Cheng. It was delicious! All of it! So delicious we couldn’t get photos of all of it, which stinks, but we got some, so here they are for you.
Zucchini bisque, with red cabbage, cilantro, and chili oil. I had two of these. Not a real strong zucchini flavor, but very refreshing with the cabbage and herbs.
French lentil pastry with parsley scallion sauce and whipped bell pepper cream. I could eat the whipped bell pepper cream all day, it was rich AND light, and delicately bell peppery. Plus, lentils in a pastry pocket!
Cultured cashew cheese on baguette, plus mache and carrots with toasted buckwheat in a champagne dill vinaigrette. You guys know nut cheeses and salads are my favorites, and these were both very good. There were also oil-cured olives on the plate with the cheese that I did not photograph, but rest assured, they were also delicious.
Truffled ricotta, smoked agave, and broccoli microgreens on crisped yuba. I believe this was Megan’s favorite dish of the night. I was really into the truffled ricotta, of course, and the texture of the yuba was a nice change from bread. At this point I may have had too many glasses of wine to have remembered to go back to the spot with the best lighting.
Rosewater yogurt ice cream with apricots. So refreshing! I don’t really go in for rose-flavored (or -scented) anything, but this was very good, especially with the tart apricot. The texture was perfect, too, so velvety!
Delicious things I failed to photograph: rambutan on the half-skin; chocolate mezcal truffles with coconut chips (of which I ate like four). And she sent us home with gorgeous little brownies!
Suite ThreeOhSix hosts supperclubs and workshop and demo classes in the loft space, hosted by chef Daphne, who is somehow this talented at 24 years old. For more information, check them out online. Vegan food is really coming into its own; we already know it tastes good, but the techniques being applied to craft these gorgeous, delicious little works of art are really outstanding. The omnis are out of excuses.
Product Review: Buddha Cups, raw organic dark chocolate almond butter cups! »
Your Vegansaurus loves (vegan, fair trade, organic) chocolate, and your Vegansaurus loves almond butter, so when the lovely people of Buddha Chocolate offered to send us a sample two-pack of their fancy gourmet cups, you know we took them up on it.
I cut one in half to share with whoever else was in the apartment that day, namely one of my roommates, her boyfriend, and my brother, all omnivores.
The results were … mixed. While the chocolate was rich, the almond butter was dry and crumbly. The omnis all said they could “tell” the chocolate was vegan; I haven’t had dairy chocolate in like seven years, so I wasn’t really sure what they were tasting that I wasn’t (or vice versa?).
I suspected user error, though—they’d gone from a hot package in the mail to the fridge, and then right back out to a hot apartment—and the second one I let sit on the counter a while before eating it. Much better. The almond butter was softer, the chocolate melted into it, and it was really satisfying. Not too sweet, so you could totally eat one for breakfast (seriously, the fat and protein? Awesome to start the day) if you didn’t want to wait till dessert.
Buddha Cups are handmade in Brooklyn by a couple of awesome vegans, and are available at select Manhattan and Brooklyn locations, or you can buy them online. They’re like Justin’s, but almondy and harder to get! I recommend them. In fact, I’d eat one right now if I had it.
[Top photo via Buddha Chocolate; second photo by me]
You hot New York vegans gonna check out the June Vegan Shop-Up? It’s happening on Saturday, June 15 (tomorrow!), from noon to 6 p.m. at Pine Box Rock Shop, just like always, and just like always we can expect it to be terrific. Look at the vendors and start making your shopping list! See you there!
Well-dressed vegans everywhere know Vaute Couture is the place for the chicest, warmest, best-looking, and best-made vegan coats on the market. Leanne is a beautiful genius and we should be thanking her on every cold day that we are looking good and feeling gorgeous.
Now’s our chance to scoop up even more gorgeous Vaute clothes! Per Leanne:
By appointment only, you can come in and preorder a dress in a new print, or a soldout size, one of our new summer pieces, or take home something from the store—all at special Favorite Fan prices only (25 percent off everything that’s full price, plus sample sale prices on winter coats)! (Walk ins won’t get the same discount you will.) So if you’ve had your eye on something, like our Waxed Canvas Motorcycle jackets, or tees or sweatshirts, button downs, etc, now’s the time to stock up!
WHEN: This Saturday through next Saturday, June 8-15, BY APPOINTMENT ONLY
WHAT: Fav Fan 25 percent off pricing on EVERYTHING (and Sample Sale pricing on winter coats), including preorders on new summer pieces, new summer prints, soldout sizes, all special pricing!
HOW: By Appointment Only! (Walk Ins won’t get to preorder or get special pricing or get to preorder.) Make an appointment by emailing Kristina at KristinaVaute@gmail.com with your ideal day and hour, and we’ll email you back with your half hour time slot. You can bring up to 4 friends (to help decide what to get, or shop too!)
PLUS Vaute is having an empty-the-warehouse coat sale! Shop online from 1 p.m EDT Tuesday, June 11 through 1 p.m. EDT Thursday, June 13, and in person on Sunday, June 16 from 1 to 8 p.m. Even more opportunities to buy glorious Vaute coats for way super-cheap.
Inventory is limited, prices are insane, clothes are beautiful. Go Vaute!
For more information, visit Vaute Couture online. RSVP for the Summer Love pop-up and the sample sale at KristaVaute@gmail.com. Miss this and you’ll end up paying full price—what are you rich?—or freezing come winter (and winter is always coming).
This month the Cinnamon Snail has a prior engagement, but that means more room for Bunna Cafe, whose Ethiopian food I have yet to try (because of this I’m kind of obsessed with it). As a one-Shop-Up veteran, I recommend getting there on the early side; I rolled up to the April Shop-Up around 4 and almost everything was sold out. And then the Cinnamon Snail truck’s battery died, and they had to stop taking orders! It was nuts! At least there were scrumptious, not-too-strong bloody marys.
Check out the full list of vendors, and bring your cash. Mother’s Day is Sunday, so if you can bring your mom, too! Moms love bloody marys (and sober moms love virgin marys, because moms love tomato juice).
The Vegan Shop-Up runs from noon to 6 p.m. on Saturday, May 11, at Pine Box Rock Shop, 12 Grattan St., off the Morgan L stop in Bushwick. See you there? Ice cream and Ethiopian food and macarons, oh yes! [And Alchemy Creamery will be there! And they should have their new espresso ice cream! OMG! -Megan]
Got a tip about an awesome vegan-friendly event? Let us know! We love fun!