The Bored Vegetarian

Why You’d Want to Live Here

LA and I have had somewhat of a contemptuous relationship since it stole away two of my closest friends a few months ago and have yet to return to them to Brooklyn, but as it was one of the cities I had yet to explore in my adulthood, it was time to go.  The weather didn’t quite behave (those who say it never rains in California lied…) but we got to explore tons of neighborhoods and most importantly, eat a lot of delicious food.  I came back feeling pretty inspired foodwise, which is one of the best things one can ask for. 

Nickel Diner (Downtown) : Try the strawberry donut.

Little Dom’s (Griffith Park/Los Feliz) : Eggs Fungi Poached with Roasted Mushrooms, Grilled Bread, Fennel Pollen Hollandaise; Fried Potatoes

Cafe Gratitude (Venice, thanks for the recommendation, Nicole!) : Warning - their way of ordering (I AM ____________, to which the waitperson replies YOU ARE _________________) is a bit pretentious and off-putting, but it’s the most delicious vegan food I’ve ever had.

I AM VIVACIOUS: Live marinated Kale Chips with Hempseed Ranch

I AM HUMBLE: Indian Curried Lentils over Quinoa with Sauteed Seasonal Vegetable, Sweet Potato and Spinach, drizzled with Spicy Mint Chutney & Sweet Tamarind Sauce 

Huckleberry Bakery & Cafe (Santa Monica) : Quinoa, Butternut Squash, Rutiz Kale with Sunny-Side Up Eggs (pictured above); All of the baked goods (we had blueberry ciabatta and roasted fig flatbread)

Jitlada (Hollywood) : Tom Kha Soup; Freshy Rolls; Native Fruit Green Curry with Coconut and Tofu

Wurstkuche (Downtown/Arts District) : Vegetarian Smoked Apple Sage (apples, yukon potatoes & rubbed sage)

The Pie Hole (Downtown/Arts District) : I forget which we had, but it was tasty! 

Other highlights:

The Varnish (in the back of Cole’s, Downtown) : Delicious cocktails

Cosmos (Little Tokyo, Downtown) : Karaoke with a 2 drink min., tiny stage and rules like “no jumping, no gum.” 

Point Dume : Beautiful state beach (pictured above) 

Disneyland
 : Weird, nostalgic feeling (and a Dole whip)

(special thank you thank you to Brooke, Mads, Mei and Joel for showing me a good time) 

Where do I go next?  I’d like to plan a trip abroad and at least one in the US for 2013… advice?  

I saw a $5 psychic named Reese within my first hour of being 31.  She told me some interesting things, including that I had been experiencing stomach pains.  I’m guessing she was referring to how I full I was from dinner at Back Forty.  She also asked for my card to discuss planning her nephew’s wedding, so at least I might get a new client out of the whole thing…
Here’s what we had from the menu tonight:
Yuca Fries with Tomatillo Aioli
Pickle & Cheese Board with Daily Selection of Housemade Seasonal Pickled Vegetables, Artisanal Cheese, Preserves, Housemade Crackers
Seared Cauliflower with Ginger Aioli, Currants, Mizuna 
Swiss Chard & Farro Risotto with Whipped Ricotta, Summer Vegetables, Baby Mizuna
Fresh Doughnuts (which I am eyeing with maniac eyes)

I saw a $5 psychic named Reese within my first hour of being 31.  She told me some interesting things, including that I had been experiencing stomach pains.  I’m guessing she was referring to how I full I was from dinner at Back Forty.  She also asked for my card to discuss planning her nephew’s wedding, so at least I might get a new client out of the whole thing…

Here’s what we had from the menu tonight:

Yuca Fries with Tomatillo Aioli

Pickle & Cheese Board with Daily Selection of Housemade Seasonal Pickled Vegetables, Artisanal Cheese, Preserves, Housemade Crackers

Seared Cauliflower with Ginger Aioli, Currants, Mizuna 

Swiss Chard & Farro Risotto with Whipped Ricotta, Summer Vegetables, Baby Mizuna

Fresh Doughnuts (which I am eyeing with maniac eyes)

This weekend was a bit of a blur with no time spent in the kitchen.  
A few of my favorite neighborhood things instead…
Spicy Rice Cakes from Mrs. Kims
House Made Ricotta at Five Leaves
A simple cup of coffee from Cafe Grumpy
Every donut at Peter Pan Bakery
A cocktail in the cozy Oak & Iron
Soyrizo Tacos & a Tecate at Papacitos
Pizza from Paulie Gee’s
The view of Manhattan from the end of Java Street. View high resolution

This weekend was a bit of a blur with no time spent in the kitchen.  

A few of my favorite neighborhood things instead…

Spicy Rice Cakes from Mrs. Kims

House Made Ricotta at Five Leaves

A simple cup of coffee from Cafe Grumpy

Every donut at Peter Pan Bakery

A cocktail in the cozy Oak & Iron

Soyrizo Tacos & a Tecate at Papacitos

Pizza from Paulie Gee’s

The view of Manhattan from the end of Java Street.

Dessert calzone from the soon to be opened Via Tribunali in NYC. Stuffed with nutella. Save me from myself. View high resolution

Dessert calzone from the soon to be opened Via Tribunali in NYC. Stuffed with nutella. Save me from myself.

I’m headed to Berlin in a few weeks!  Do you have any restaurant recommendations? View high resolution

I’m headed to Berlin in a few weeks!  Do you have any restaurant recommendations?

New Orleans Recommendations

This morning I booked my 30th birthday flight to New Orleans for October.  Since my birthday falls during CMJ craziness in NYC and I’m planning a wedding the day after, I’m going to leave town on the 22nd to hang down South for a few days.

I was there last November, so I got a lot of touristy things out of the way, but I’d love recommendations for restaurants/activities while I’m there!  Anyone know of any places I shouldn’t miss this time around?

Compliments to the Chef(s)

I’ve spent the last week or two letting other people cook for me.  While I apologize for the lack of posts, it’s been worth it.  So, so worth it.

Last Sunday I spent an evening with a nice mix of friends and strangers down on Java Street.  Brooklyn Fork and Spoon is a monthly vegetarian-based supper club in Greenpoint, run by Mardi of Sprout & Pea and Rebecka of Martha, Mom and Me.  For around $35, you get a four-course dinner, wine and lively conversation.  I’m not exaggerating when I say it was one of the best meals I’ve had in recent memory.  The red beet and ginger puree was a runaway favorite, and the rosewater cake was served with sugared rose petals.  The May dinner has already sold out, but rumor is that they’ll be adding a second.  I will be attending again.  And again.  And again.

 

You can see pictures of us all ooing and ahhing here.

Tuesday was the first annual Tasting Brooklyn event put on by Brooklyn Exposed at the DUMBO loft in Brooklyn.  I volunteered to help at the event - which was a great way to meet some new food-loving people and try samplings from a wide selection of local restaurants.  There was a surprising amount of vegetarian options.  Here’s what I ate:

Linger Cafe & Lounge
533 Atlantic Ave.
Watermelon Gazpacho, Raw Kale and Quinoa Salad
The winner here was the gazpacho, but I loved how their selections screamed summer.  I can’t wait to get out of warm comfort foods and take advantage of all the fresh produce in the next few months. 

Palo Santo 
625 Union Street 
Vegetarian street tacos (served on a square of newspaper).  
Palo Santo and Barrio were next to each other, so there was some comparison in my mind (or mouth?)  Palo Santo were the winners - they were making their tortillas fresh at the event and had a salsa verde that gave the perfect kick.  

Tanoreen
7523 3rd Ave. 
Fried Brussels Sprouts with Tahini and Pomegranate Molasses, Hummus
Brussels sprouts are one of my favorite foods, so the fact that I was so blown away by Tanoreen’s version is a testament to how delicious they were.  The hummus was good to, but man. Brussels sprouts.   

The Chocolate Room
269 Court Street 
Chocolate Truffles, Mini Cupcakes, Chocolate Caramel Popcorn 
I’m not a huge sweets person, but I love popcorn to an unhealthy degree.  The truffles and cupcakes were good but the caramel popcorn was so yummy that I finished the bag before I even got to the F train. 

The Castello Plan
1213 Cortelyou Road 
Stewed Mushroom Crostini
I’m not a fan of mushrooms (I’m trying!) but these had a nice firm texture and good flavor.  

Thistle Hill Tavern
411 Seventh Ave.
Green Pea Falafel
The ladies at Thistle Hill were incredibly nice and the falafel was tasty, though I’d have to visit the restaurant to get a better idea of what their menu has to offer. 

Robicelli’s Cupcakes
Various locations
Have I mentioned that I love these cupcakes?  Cause I do.  They give me a delicious heart attack.  Some guy actually asked me if I was okay as I was having a Robicelli’s cupcake moment.  Can’t a girl enjoy her buttercream? Sheesh.

Stone Park Cafe
324 5th Ave.
Cappuccino Cheesecake
Light, creamy, beautiful and delicious. 

reBar
147 Front Street 
Chef’s Signature Polenta with Sunny Side Up Egg, Truffle Oil, Pine Nuts, Parsley Salad
This dish was the winner of the night for me.  I have never had a more perfect polenta, and the truffle oil really sealed the deal.  reBar has a crazy $4 weekday breakfast special that includes coffee, fruit and a sandwich, and their a la carte menu is a cheap build-your-own-breakfast.  I also want to go here for dinner.  For more polenta.  And perhaps polenta for lunch.  Polenta forever and ever.

Bati
747 Fulton Street 
Buticha, Misir Wett, Injera
I haven’t had Ethiopian food since I moved to New York, so I’m glad I know where to go now.  Their injera was especially good - a tangy balance to the spiciness of the Misir Wett.  

Barrio
210 7th Ave.
Tortilla Chip with Market Vegetables
Tasty vegetables but I’m guessing the meat offering was more of a winner for them.

Mojito
82 Washington Ave.
Croquetas de Queso
This was the last thing I ate, which was near the end of the evening.  I was too full to enjoy it. 
 
 My final culinary adventure happened during a impulsive trip to Philly to take advantage of an 8th row seat at the Phillies/Astros game last week (Thanks Bsullz!)  Lacey introduces me to “crabby fries,” which are crinkle fries, Old Bay seasoning and cheese dipping sauce.  I highly recommend them.  I also highly recommend not eating a lot of them because your arteries might collapse.  


A non-food related project I’ve been working on for the past month is starting to come together.  The flier is still being created, but I’ll give you the lowdown on what’s to come in June.  Mark your calendars!

BYOB (Bring Your Old Books)
A community book swap and benefit for the Housing Works Bookstore
Sunday, June 19th 12pm-6pm at Public Assembly
Bring a book/take a book or $1 per book/raffle ticket
A portion of the proceeds, as well as extra books will go to Housing Works
DJs Smooth Move, Spindler, Robert Rhymin’ 
Raffle prizes from WORD, Eastern District, The Drink, Fornino, Public Assembly & more (please get in touch if you’re a local business who’d like to donate!)

I made a collegiate banner out of felt, cause why not. 

 

 I’m really excited about this event and I hope ya’ll will come out, say hello and swap some books!  More details in the coming weeks.  Happy Sunday!

Manhattan’s Best Veggie Burgers

The New York Times has listed nine veggie burgers of note around Manhattan.  I’ve only been to Five Napkin Burger, so I have some work to do.

(p.s. I love how they preface the article with “here are a few veggie burgers of note around Manhattan, in approximate descending order of preference.” How diplomatic.)

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