Monday, May 31, 2010

Celebrations.... May 31st

First of all, it's been ONE year since I've started this blog! I can't believe how fast time flies! Technically my first post was on May 30th of last year, but my first "eats" post wasn't until a year ago today (you can see my first posts here)... But I just got back from visiting family Upstate this weekend, so I was unable to post sooner! Anyways, here is a re-cap of my busy weekend, starting with Friday.

I went uptown Friday to go to the hair salon, and I stopped at Le Pain Quotidien at 53rd & 5th for a breakfast/lunch first.

I got an apple cinnamon muffin and their vegan quiche.

The muffin was really good (especially the topping), and the quiche was ok... it was a little too spicy and I prefer eggs in my quiche I guess. Still, it was really healthy none the less! (Oh, and the thing on top of the quiche was a piece of artichoke? At least, that's what they told me! lol)

And here I am riding back from the salon in a cab... I really had to rush home and pack!

For dinner that night we ordered pizza because we were in a hurry! We got it from Rivoli Pizza in the West Village (we've ordered from them before and the pizza is always great!).

I tried to take pics while I was Upstate, but it was hard to "sneak" them in! Most people don't understand the concept of taking pictures of what you eat... hell, my Grandma doesn't even understand or accept the fact that I'm a vegetarian!

So here are the eats I got in...

Grandma's coffee cake... this is AMAZING. Seriously, the best coffee cake I've ever had.

For dinner Saturday night Grandma made (or I should say my Mom made, because she assisted so much!) linguini & clam sauce. (Again, clams and shrimp are two of the only things I'll tolerate. And I usually only eat them in social situations like this one. It was good none the less!)

My Aunt brought up some cupcakes that she had made. I had a red velvet one... can't go wrong with that! ;)

On Sunday we had a family get together at my Grandparent's house... here I am in Grandma's living room (Mom is in the very back there, lol).

I had a good time playing with all the dogs that people brought over! Both my cousins brought their dogs, but my favorite will always be my Grandparent's dog, Mae. (You can see more about her here.)

Here is a better pic to see what she looks like (although since she's under the table it's kind of dark).

Unfortunately I wasn't able to snap a pic of my dinner that night. We had a BBQ. I managed to find Morning Star Farm's Italian Sausages in a grocery store Upstate! I had one with some corn-on-the-cob! Here's what they look like:

Tonight for dinner I used the remaining sausages in pasta. I kind of made my own pasta with "meat" sauce. I can't say enough good things about these "sausages." They taste like the real Italian sausages that I've had when I was little. Only they are WAY better for you and of course, meat free!

On our drive home this morning (and we got up EARLY this morning to leave), once we got back into the city, we got to have an up close and personal look at the Memorial Day festivities. We happened to drive right by the piers (it's "fleet week" here in NYC), where they were having Memorial Day services, events, etc. I wish I had taken some pictures, but we were going by it kind of fast in the car.

Still, there was someone who was VERY happy to see us when we got home!

How was your Memorial Day weekend?

And in light of my first year anniversary, how long have you been blogging?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Blogger Meet-up & Other Eats! May 26th

I've been meaning to post for a few days now, but you know how it goes... I'll start with some of my eats from last weekend...


A strawberry-pineapple smoothie from the street fair on my block.

Then later I had brunch at Sacred Chow.

I got their delicious tofu scramble! It was my first time trying it there and I really liked it. It came with hash browned potatoes and your choice of salad or fruit. I opted for the fruit. ;)

Sacred Chow is always slow, being that the restaurant is tiny and they are terribly understaffed. But taking that into account, they have a pretty good attitude there and try their best. They even apologized to me for taking so long (and I didn't even complain!). That's an example of good customer service. For a bad example, see my posts below on Blossom (and they STILL haven't offered me any apology for the "incident").


I had dinner with my parents at I Tre Merli. We go to I Tre Merli Bistro often (in the West Village), but we decided to try the newly renovated, bigger version downtown (in Soho on West Broadway).

Their food was good as usual, but sadly there were some disappointments. One, their penne alla vodka had bacon in it (!!) and it did not say so on the menu (despite their claims). Luckily they did bring the dish out without the bacon pretty quickly. But the second problem was that the portions were TINY. They literally were appetizer sized!! Their "bistro" in the West Village is WAY better than this place. We never should have strayed! LOL

We were still so hungry afterwards that we went to Baskin Robbins!

I got a praline cheesecake ice cream cone. It was okay, but I wasn't that wild about it (which is weird because I usually LOVE anything cheesecake!).

Yesterday I tried the new Spice restaurant that opened up in Chelsea (at 22nd St. & 8th Ave.). What's strange is that they opened up a new one on top of the one they already had on 20th St. & 8th Ave.! None the less, I liked the new location better because it looked more like a restaurant (was more roomy) and wasn't so crowded.

I got my usual though... spring rolls & broad black noodle with tofu.

This afternoon Katharina and I finally got to meet! Coincidentally it was her birthday too! She wanted to try Lula's Sweet Apothecary, which is a vegan ice cream place in the East Village (on East 6th St. b/w Ave. A & B). She picked a great day to go, being that it was miserably hot out here in NYC! (I am not a summer person, in case you couldn't guess! lol). But none the less we had a great time chatting and the ice cream was good too!

I got a cookies & cream cone. Oh, and this tasted like real ice cream! So for your non-dairy ice cream I'd go here instead of Stogo (see my review of Stogo here).

It's funny, Katharina pointed out that it was like we had met before because we almost seemed like old friends, rather than new acquaintances! That's the power of modern technology I guess!

Last but not least, some pictures of my "fatty," (aka "Peanut" ;)!

Don't worry, he's not really fat... his belly just looks that way when it's all flattened out!

That's all for today, my lovelies!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Veggie Tacos & More! May 21st

Well the good news is that I've discovered a way to make insanely good veggie tacos! And Katharina from Katharina's Food Adventures is coming to NY this week, so we'll finally get a chance to meet! :) The bad news is that I haven't heard a single thing from Blossom, after sending them a very detailed (and polite!) e-mail about how rudely I was treated at last Sunday's brunch (see the post below). And, it's been a rough week being that it's now been 2 whole years since I lost my cat, Cloudy to stomach cancer (he died May 19, 2008 at only 11 1/2 years old). I'll admit, since adopting Peanut last year, it has been easier. Not that you can ever "replace" your pet, but there is no sense in grieving forever and missing out on loving another animal the same way you did for the one you lost!

Speaking of Peanut, he "helped" me with my Red Mango frozen yogurt the other day. He loves to play with the round, plastic lid that they give you to cover it with!

Oh, and I get the medium original with granola & strawberries! :)

He actually picks it up in his mouth and carts it off! I have to watch him though because I don't want him cutting his mouth on the plastic! lol

Here are more eats from this week (in random order!):

Another terrific find was Amy's vegetable pot pie! I got the original, non-vegan version (it is vegetarian though, as are all of Amy's products).

I really liked this... it reminds me of the pot pies I used to eat as a kid, only this one comes with tofu instead of chicken or turkey (and it's a great way to eat your tofu... so good!).

A slice of Whole Food's strawberry shortcake... yum!

And Whole Food's vegan chocolate chip scone...

Re-heated pineapple fried rice from Wild Ginger (still just as good!).

On to the veggie tacos!! Ok, so I started off by getting Garden of Eatin's yellow corn taco kit. Then I got some of Boca's ground "meat" crumbles (these are unbelievably fantastic by the way!), and some Organic Valley mild shredded cheddar cheese! You just follow the preparation instructions on the taco kit as you would, but substitute the meat for a veggie substitute!

I haven't had tacos in years, mainly because I didn't think I could make a good vegetarian alternative... well think again! These tasted like the real thing and were totally meatless! :) And I split everything in half so I could get 2 dinners out of it... plus it makes wayyy too much for one person!

And for dessert tonight I had a Rice Dream vanilla mudpie!

I had never tried one of these, but it was really good... although nothing compares to Trader Joe's sublime ice cream sandwiches!

How about you guys... any new or interesting veggie finds?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Nice Lunch, Bad Brunch! May 17th

I don't know if I'm just going through an unlucky streak with restaurants or not, but I have quite a doozy for you all (read below!). But first, I met up with my friend Missy for lunch today at our usual spot, Sea Thai Bistro in the Meatpacking District.

I had the usual... spring rolls & broad rice noodles with tofu. We had a good time like always!

I got some cute shots of Peanut yesterday too...

Now you all know that I LOVE Blossom and have raved about this place many times (in fact Gabriela and I just had an incredible dinner there a few weeks ago!). But an unfortunate incident with an INCREDIBLY rude hostess at Sunday's brunch has left me with a "sour taste" in my mouth, to say the least! On to the story...

I hadn't made a reservation since it was just myself. The hostess walked up to me and asked me if I had a reservation, and I said, "No, because I didn't think I needed one for just myself," or something to that effect. Then she said, "Well I don't know if I have room for you," and proceeded to look at her seating chart. She then was then saying all this confusing crap about which tables she had available and when, and said something about 2 o'clock… and then I finally said to her, "Look, do you want me to leave or not?" Then she had the nerve to say to me, "Wow, you're really aggressive!" I said, "I'm not being aggressive, but I just don't understand if you want me to leave or not." So finally I got it out of her that yes, there was a table available, and that I'd have to leave by 2. Which gave me plenty of time. She then reluctantly seated me! I absolutely could not BELIEVE her nerve. How dare she say I was being "aggressive" when I was speaking in a completely normal tone?! If anything she was acting like she wanted me to leave!!! YET, there were plenty of tables open! And guess what, the WHOLE time I was there (all 20 minutes at most?), there were several open tables. So you know what Blossom? F*** You!

The problem with Blossom is that they really do fit the stereotype of a vegan restaurant. They have a snooty and "holier than thou" attitude that really bothers me, despite how much I like their food! I really don't know if I even want to go back there again after this incident, because just the fact that they could speak to me that way after I've been such a good customer is unbelievable. They may be cruelty free to animals (which I applaud, of course), but what about their customers?!

I wrote a very good e-mail to them today, explaining the situation, so I'd better hear some sort of apology from the manager... I'll let you all know if I do!

Oh yeah, and I got the french toast! lol And funny... it wasn't as good as I had remembered it to be! Maybe I had just lost my appetite by then, who knows...

Now, if you'll excuse me I'm going to go indulge myself with the cheesecake Mom made this weekend! :)

So how about you guys... any rude restaurant stories to share? Have any of you actually had someone pick a fight with you because you didn't make a reservation (for one person!)? Am I over-reacting or do they owe me an apology?

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Weekly Eats (and rants!) May 15th

Hey guys! I know it's been a while, but here are some of my eats over the past week (which includes a scathing review of a popular veggie restaurant-- sorry, but I had to do it!).

I tried giving the Van's cinnamon gluten-free french toast sticks another go...

But sadly they were still pretty tasteless with a weird texture. So this was a "no go" for sure!

Luckily their mini chocolate chip waffles were a winner though! :)

Alright, so last Monday I decided to try 'Snice in the West Village (on 8th Ave. at West 4th St.) because I've always heard pretty good things, but had never gotten over there before. I ordered their tofu scramble wrap...

Ok, so this was an ENORMOUS disappointment. And I'm a HUGE fan of tofu scrambles... everything from Amy's frozen ones to the one at Blossom's restaurant, etc. But this was a disaster. Absolutely NO taste. It was so bad I actually got up and left! And I NEVER do this. It was a waste of $6. Especially since nearly every restaurant in the West Village is fabulous... I certainly won't be going back and do NOT recommend this place.

Speaking of Amy's tofu scrambles... I actually came home and made my own lunch of an Amy's tofu pocket scramble, along with a cheese stick and a Mott's peach medley apple sauce (by then I was starving!).

This week I went to the new Limelight Marketplace on 6th Ave. (and 20th St.). They basically took a church and turned it into a mall... Very strange and I wonder if Jesus would approve?! LOL But it's up the block from me none the less, so I had to check it out!

I took a good look around, wasn't impressed (it's more like a rat's maze if you ask me!). However, they did have an awesome sweets section, including the Cupcake Stop. (There are several locations in the city, one is inside the new market.) I got a cookie dough cupcake. This was awesome, and they have so many unique flavors, I'll definitely be back! :)

Today I ran some errands in Union Square and stopped in a nearby Starbucks. I got their protein plate which includes a mini bagel, peanut butter, apple slices, cheese, grapes, and a hard-boiled egg.

While it sounds like a lot, they actually give you very little of everything. I used to get this lunch all the time at the Starbucks in Soho by the school I used to go to. It was better quality then, but it's still a good pick-me-up!

As for Peanut, I got a few pics of him on the top of the laundry today! :)

I told him he looks like a lion on top of the pride! lol

I hope everyone is having a nice weekend! I just wish I could get more sleep on mine. :(