Friday, November 9, 2007
What We Ate In New York
First things first: There are about a million vegan dining guides for New York. I downloaded a printable pdf version available from Friends of Animals here. Honestly this is pretty much the only thing we did to plan for our trip. Since we are totally over the touristy activities it was great to just plan around eating. Seriously eating and a visit to Mooshoes were the only things we planned on doing. Otherwise we just drank coffee and read the newspaper. Our friend Victoria was the best ever in catering to our vegan-centric plans over the three days we were there.
So two restaurants to mention. The first and our favorite is Vegetarian Dim Sum House in Chinatown. On the menu it clearly states multiple times "All we serve is vegetarian dishes." And since they didn't really have any dairy or anything like that they might as well have said "All we serve is vegan dishes." We went around 2 on Sunday ready to eat and drink tea for as long as they would let us sit there. Victoria actually lived in Chinatown until she was ten and her parents own a Chinese restaurant in Louisiana and she liked it so I guess it gets the gold seal of approval. She also laughed her ass off after I accidentally ate the rice paper on the bottom of my mock roast pork bun. I thought it was a bit chewy. Very good - go here.
Our other dining extravaganza was a visit to Candle 79 on the Upper East Side to celebrate our one year anniversary. So Candle 79 if you don't know what it is is the fancier version of Candle Cafe - an infamous vegan restaurant in the same vicinity. It had an intimate, quiet and elegant atmosphere in what seemed to be an old townhouse. We also met up with our Jersey City inhabiting friends Kyo and Chris who were intrigued by the idea of making cream from cashews. (Kyo and Chris just bought a place of their own - Congratulations!)
At any rate the price and atmosphere were comparable to Emeril's or some fancy-pants restaurant like that. Before we went there I checked up on the restaurant and it was rated #3 for vegan food in New York on Super Vegan but mostly everyone said the staff had an attitude. I'm not sure if it was an attitude really but sort of a daze that affected their ability to take our drink order within half an hour of sitting down. Plus the waiter sort of just flung/pushed a straw off his tray at Victoria instead of picking it up and setting in front of her. But lets talk about the food.
The food was pretty good. That's it. Not exceptional. It was nice to go somewhere fancy and be able to order anything from the menu but it's one of those places you want your parents to take you. For now I guess my tastes lay at places where volunteers serve food on folding tables with plastic tablecloths.