My hubby and I are headed to Boston the next two weekends and Worcester the second of the two weekends. Any suggestions for dining? We tend to go to the same places in Boston every time we visit and although I love them (My Thai, Lee’s, Bagel Rising, Addis Red Sea, The Otherside Cafe, ect) we are looking for new dining experiences. Also I’ve never been to Worcester so any suggestions there?
Cooking up some dinner
yummmy vegan chili dogs
The hubby eating it all up
taking a mini rest on our way down the mountain
At the top of the mountain
Beautiful view at the top the mountain
The best part of camping was the S’mores that were made with Sweet & Sara Vegan Marshmellows. These marshmellows are so simillar to non-vegan you would never know the difference and they roast up so well!
Also check out C’est La Vegan’s posting on these yummy treats.
So my hubby decided to take me on a wonderful weekend to Montreal just for fun. We had a great time and ate a lot of wonderful food and just walked around and enjoyed the city.
We went to Chuch on St. Denis for dinner Friday night and it was delicious! Now I know the menu seems kind of pricey (dinner cost us around $50 with 2 entrees, appetizer and 2 sides of rice- we brought our own wine) but is worth it. The food is authentic vegetarian thai and it was incredible.
For brunch on Saturday we finally went to Aux Vivres- we have been talking about going here for over a year but never seem to make it there- anyways it was incredible! (and vegan). I got the polenta that came with salad, refried black beans, salsa and guacamole as well as a chai and a tonic (which is fresh squeezed apple, lemon and ginger). Neil got the tofu scramble, with cornbread, tempeh bacon, roasted sweet potatoes and salad as well as chai and the cremesicle smoothie (coconut milk, orange juice and carrot juice and maybe something else) his was incredible as well.
We spent most of the day just walking and walking and walking. We decided to stop for a quick light lunch at Commensal near McGill and were disssapointed as we have been in the past. January 2008 we went to Commensal in Quebec city and it was horrible so we haven’t been back but we decided to try a different location and it was just as bad. The food was horrible as well as the arrangement of the buffet it was like shoving a bunch of people into an elevator and then trying to move. Just awful.
Luckly we ended our night with a beer at Divan Orange, then we watch a tango class practice in the park across the street and went to Aux Vivres for dinner where we had an amazing dinner minus the horrible dessert. For dinner Neil had the gazpacho and all dressed tempeh burger both very good. I had a small salad and baked chili fries – all the yummines without all the guilt! For dessert we decided to try the uncheesecake because neil was dying for some but this was awful nothing like I have ever seen for uncheesecake. As well as nothing like I have ever tasted. It was almost like chocolate jello it was disgusting I had to politely put what was in my mouth in my napkin it was that bad. At that point I was turned off and just drank my coffee, Neil finished the cookie crust but refrained from eating anymore of the “uncheesecake”. Over all it was a wonderful day, food and time together.
Just got back from Toronto last night and it was so fun- but not long enough 🙁
We were able to visit Cafe 668 which was okay- it was good but not great.
Fresh- which was amazing we got one of the espresso shakes, sweet potato fries and miso gravy, mushroom and onioin veggie burger and holiday wrap- YUM YUM YUM!
We also went to Sadie’s Diner – twice the first time I got the scramble which was alright kind of bland but the homefries and veggie sausage so good that i had to get both of those and a plate of fruit on our 2nd visit. My husband got the french toast which was soooooo good and the 2nd visit he got chocolate chip pancakes OMG THE BEST THINGS EVER!
Our other vegan adventure was to Udupi Palace in Little India where we had dosa’s and curries and pakoras that were amazing- this place is cheap and delicious!
The third and final day, rather morning, of our trip to NYC was a quick one we only had a few hours before we had to be at Penn Station to catch our train home. We got up early and made our way to Chelsea/The Meatpacking District. We strolled down 13th Street to Avenue of Americas/6th Ave and stopped in at Murray’s Bagels for a yummy whole wheat everything bagel with veggie tofu cream cheese.
As we made our way back to the subway we stopped in at the Integral Yoga Natural Foods where I picked up some Dr. Cow “Cheese”. The only had the aged cashew but I was happy to find it. We have yet to try it but will next week after our detox. We also picked up some yummy eats for the train ride home; some bbq tofu and a sesame noodle salad.
Although we would have liked to have spent our last hour doing something in NYC before we left we were so exhausted from our night out we went back to the hotel to sleep before checking out and heading to Penn Station to take our 8.5hour train back to VT.
The next morning we decided to start our day early and head downtown to Atlas Café a small café that is known for carrying Vegan Treats as well as providing a number of vegan options. First impression of the café is that it is SMALL very very small so if there are more than 4 people going it probably would be best to plan on getting take out because seating is very cramped and limited. However as you enter this small establishment you will notice boards on either side as well as above the counter that feature an array of items and all vegan items are labeled. Neil and I decided on the vegan bagel with “bacon”, lettuce, tomato and tofu cream cheese on an everything bagel. Neil had fresh squeezed orange juice and I had a soy latte. The bagel sandwich was good nothing fancy or great but it was satisfying. The orange juice was really yummy and the latte was okay it had a nice foam and taste however there wasn’t as much espresso as I would have liked. It would have been nice to try some of their lunch dishes because they had a number of vegan chicken wraps such as a Mediterranean one as well as a Moroccan one. This place was cute, inexpensive and convenient.
Neil and I wandered a bit more in the morning stopping at Earthmatters to check out the shop, here you can get breakfast as well although they have very limited vegan options. We then popped into Cake Shop intending to check out some records however it seems that the café/record shop/bar has eliminated the record shop part of it, however I did notice on our way out that they have vegan cupcakes there. Our big find however was the Economy Candy Bar which Neil just fell in love with. When you walk in it is pretty much floor to ceiling with candy from all over the world, some are packaged and others you can purchase in bulk. Neil and I went on a search for some fun vegan finds and we actually found Chick-O-Stick which is a candy that is vegan that I had read about on a few different message boards but never have been able to find. It is similar in flavor to a Butterfinger minus the chocolate. We picked up a few vegan sweets and headed out to Café 88 for a coffee while we waited for our tour at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum.
We also made a quick stop over to Babycakes before our tour (it’s just around the corner) and picked up a number of goodies: 2 cupcake tops (1 lemon and 1 vanilla), a brownie bite, a cinnamon skinny bun and some day old biscuits. Everything was good, I had read mixed reviews about Babycakes and I have to agree with what most of them said- the cupcakes are pretty dry- however the frosting is good and the brownie and skinny bun so yummy and the biscuits were nice and flakey. Overall I am glad we stopped in and picked up some yummy treats! (I know at this point it seems we were going on a sweets overload, I would like to note though we did not enjoy them all at once).
The Lower East Side Tenement Museum is a great place for anyone to visit. They have a number of tours that are available to go on; we decided to on the Getting By Tour which detailed the lives of two different immigrant families that lived in two the apartments in the tenement housing where the museum is located. We were able to see where these families lived and learn about the changes that occurred in the late 1800’s/early 1900’s before the housing unit was closed down. The tour also gave an overview of the neighborhood and the focus of this tour was on how immigrants, specifically the two families they featured, got by during their time in the housing and in the neighborhood. It was really interesting and I would love to take another tour to learn more about the housing and immigration during this time. If you aren’t able to take a tour but are in the area you should definitely stop into their museum store it is filled with books and different things that are really interesting, I wanted to buy every book in there.
After our adventure to the Lower East Side Tenement Museum we decided to stop at Moo Shoes which is just next door to it. We went in looked around some but overall felt very unimpressed about what we saw. There were some Natalie Portman, Te Casan, shoes there that I wanted but for $250 they were not in my budget.
For lunch we decided to have dim sum at Buddha Bodia over on Mott Street in Chinatown. We stepped in and were quickly seated in a cafeteria like dining room that had tons of table squished in next to each other. They have an extensive menu of non-dim sum items however we went for the dim sum which you marked on a sheet of paper which ones you wanted, either small, medium, large or one of the specialties. We ordered the spring rolls, the bbq veggie meat, the veggie meat sticky rice roll and the sui mai. These were all so yummy! The BBQ Veggie Meat was so yummy and had a great texture. The Sticky Rice Roll was not exactly what we expected and our first impression was that it was going to be slimly because it was shiny and slippery looking. It was surprisingly good and not slimy. The Spring Rolls were your standard veggie spring rolls filled with bean sprouts, veggie meat and mushrooms, however although good nothing amazing. I would say the same thing with the sui mai they were very good but nothing incredible. The couple next too us got the fried stuffed eggplant and it look amazing I wish we had tried that. We ended our meal with the most luscious amazing desert ever…”it makes you go I can’t believe this is vegan!”…the vegan cheesecake. This was incredible, and it has the same taste and texture as a traditional cheesecake. This one really makes you wonder if they are telling the truth that it is vegan or not because it is so like the traditional kind.
After this Neil and I wondered around Chinatown some and then headed to the West Village to hit up some record shops. After spending a few more ours wandering around we headed back to our hotel to relax and have a drink at the hotel bar before dinner with a friend of mine and her boyfriend.
Later that evening we headed back to the West Village and went to Generation Records where Neil picked up 6 new records for his birthday. We then made our way to Red Bamboo for Neil’s birthday dinner. The Manhattan location is very small with limited seating. It was also very drafty which made for a chilly dining experience, also chilly was the waitstaff. We started our meal with the BBQ Buffalo Wings and the Rice Paper Rolls; the wings were fine the sauce was missing the spice you would expect from an item called a buffalo wing but overall they were good. The Rice Paper rolls were slimy and pretty much awful there was hardly anything in them and what was in them was too much ginger, it just overwhelmed the roll completely. For dinner I got the Voodoo Sticks which I heard were really good, Neil got the Tofu Club, and our friends both ordered vegetable stirfrys. Going into mine I had expected the rice and veggies to be bland and boring….but the Voodoo Sticks (veggie meat on a stick) I had heard were super tasty….but they weren’t. They were super dried out and boring. They rice although bland was kind of nice. The veggie were fine except for the two giant carrots that were not cooked enough to cut up and eat with my fork and I wasn’t about to pick it up and start chomping down on it. Neil’s sandwich was okay nothing great. The bread however was awful- they used conventional sliced bread which just got soggy and fell apart. The veggie bacon boring, the tofu overcooked and rubbery. The only really good thing on Neil’s plate where the crispy fries. My friend’s black bean ginger stir fry was probably the best tasting thing on the table …..but how can you really mess up stir fry that involves adding some ginger and black bean sauce? I have to say I was really disappointed and would never return to the Manhattan location of Red Bamboo…maybe next time we head to Brooklyn.
We ended our night at this really interesting bar called Madame X “A boudoir-themed bar with miniscule cocktails and a gigantic attitude problem” although poorly reviewed/described by New York Magazine this place was nice on a Sunday night. It was quiet and there were lots of couches to sit on in this dimly lit bar. We had some strong drinks that were decently priced and it was great to people watch and socialize. I am not sure how it is M-Sat but it was nice and quiet on a Sunday night.
This weekend Neil and I went on an adventure to NYC for Neil’s 28th Birthday. We took the train from Vermont to NYC (Neil’s desire and the most affordable; however I have to admit it was nice to sit back and relax). We had to start our night off with a big slice of pizza from Two Boots at Grand Central Station . Having done a little (okay a lot) of research for our trip I had read that they always had at least one vegan pizza that you could get a slice of (there are a few others that you can order an entire pie). We got the Earth Mother Vegan slice that was topped with mushrooms, onions, peppers, spinach and sauce. It was on a Sicilian crust and was very yummy!
Our first night, following our slice of pizza, we went to Chennai Garden a vegetarian Indian restaurant that specializes in Southern Indian cuisine. The menu was great it clearly identified which items had dairy in them so vegans or those who do not eat dairy could avoid them without having to ask which dishes include dairy (which is great). We started with some pakoras, they were nice and crispy and served with two different chutneys one tomato and the other cilantro. I dived into the cilantro chutney, my favorite, but we never have it unless the dish comes with it because Neil doesn’t care for cilantro. For our main dishes we chose the Chennai Rava Masala Dosai rava dosai with a hot and spicy potato filling and the Mushroom Onion and Garlic Utthappam Neither of us had ever experienced Southern Indian food so this was a treat to try something new. The dosa was spicy and filled with a potato mixture; it was served with sambar and a coconut chutney. It was so yummy and nice to just sit there and eat with your hands dipping into the different sauce and chutney. The utthappam Also came with the sambar and the coconut chutney but it also came with another chutney that was delicious! Overall this was a great experience and the food was amazing! The place is small and loud and crowded but it doesn’t take away from the dining experience rather it adds to the lively atmosphere and yummy food. Also I would like to note that all food is made to order so it is fresh! Neil would have eaten here all weekend had we not had a million other things to do and places to try. We almost didn’t even go here because we were hesitant on whether Indian would be too heavy on our bellies since we were doing Top of the Rock later that evening but we both are glad we did!
Top of the Rock was an amazing experience that gives you the opportunity to view all of the city. For those of you have experience the Empire State Building and are like done it seen it, over it. I would ignore all of those feelings and try Top of the Rock, it is a whole new experience (trust me I was one of those Empire State Building-done it over it people) but this was great. You have three different levels that you can visit and so long as it is a clear night (luckily for us it was) you will have an amazing view of the entire city. They also have four 4min videos that talk about Rockefeller Plaza and the history of the area. This place is great for families, friends, or couples (trust me at night it is so romantic).