New York: Day 1

“In New York, concrete jungle where dreams are made of, there’s nothing you can’t do, now you’re in New York, these streets will make you feel brand new, big lights will inspire you, let’s hear it for New York!”

Come on, you knew that I was going to open with some Jay-Z, so don’t seem so surprised. This was my second time back in the Big Apple, and it just gets better with age I do believe. I went this time with B, his brother Michael, and Absola. The perfect combo, for livin’ it up. Wakin up at 5 am to hop on a plane to get us there, we were ready to eat some good NY food. I had heard about this place called H & H Bagels, up near our hostel on the Upper West Side, but after our little walk over there, I came to realize that it was just a small little place where you had to buy the Toffuti cream cheese separately and put it on yourself..yeah I wasn’t having any of that. I needed something prepared for me. It totally worked out in our favor though, we found this little place called Peace Food just a block away. I hadn’t heard about it before, so I was a little hesitant. The decor was light and airy, plants and vegan cookbooks adorned the old white porcelain tiled walls of this cafe. I wanted to just become one of the surrealism portraits hung up and live there for awhile.

The menu was a good size and the prices were great, about 9-11 for an entree, impressively cheap for the big city. To start out with Abby and Michael split the Asian greens salad: seasonal baby Asian vegetables, mixed sprouts, shredded carrots, tomatoes, marinated & baked tempeh, ground peanuts, in a garlic, ginger, cilantro, ponsu & sesame dressing. This was by far the best dressing (and the most different) I have ever tried. I must learn to remake it.

For the warmer dish, mushroom duxelle pizza with roasted sweet peppers, onions and zucchini. The sauce was pureed mushrooms. It was perfect!

For B and myself, we split a couple of sandwiches, the tempeh avocado : baked marinated tempeh, creamy avocado, pickled radishes, shredded carrots and cilantro. It was cold, which kind of caught me off guard, but the pickled radishes really made the dish.

But the creme de la creme was the pan-seared french horn mushrooms panini. It came with sun-dried tomatoes, arugula, artichoke aioli, mint & basil pesto. I would eat that as my last meal if I could.

After our bellies were nice and full (not even room for dessert!) we headed down to Time Square, to make it feel like we were really in NYC. Of course it is always a little overwhelming, I never know if I love all the chaos, or if I hate it, either way it is definitely an experience to have.

We hit up the Hershey store and eyed the walls of varies colored M&M’s, but when are we getting to BabyCakes?? I really had one mission that day and it was to go to the East Village to check out the best vegan bakery in the world…


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