New York, USA
8th July 2012
It has been 9 years since our last visit to see Mr Ikeda’s family in America. I would say this is one place I never had any fear about being able to eat in, so not a snack did I bring with me.
We spent our first few days with the relatives of New York. They live in a very picturesque area of New York called Larchmont, a leafy suburb filled with beautiful houses.
I was delighted to discover that Larchmont was very vegan friendly, in fact, Uncle Neil had before we arrived, already tempted me with promises of green smoothies and vegan cupcakes. Luckily for me they were very eager to show me all Larchmonth had to offer!
We had a lunch at Wraps & Things where they adapted one of their vegetarian wraps – Black Forest (spinach, roasted peppers, sun dried tomatoes, onions, olives and sprouts) for me by switching the dill dressing for balsamic.
I was then promptly whisked off to Trader Joe’s to pick up supplies. It’s a chain of supermarkets (think Whole Food’s only less pricey) stocking both organic and vegan products. Wahoo!
Now Mr Ikeda is not one for meat substitutes but he was impressed by everything I bought, plus he became a big fan of the Earth Balance spread.
As promised I did indeed get to try a delicious cupcake from Sweet and Social, vegan Oreo was the flavour on the day I visisted.
I also sampled the green smoothies at Andy’s Pure Foods, as well as their choose your own salad for lunch. It was simple and fresh (but also not cheap and charged by weight), the palm hearts were particularly good.
I was introduced to a family favourite Esy’s Kafe, who focus on healthy and organic ingredients, they had vegan options that were mainly salad that day as well as a soup but I tried the vegetable pasta with a side of greens.
Surprisingly although tasty, both dishes were quite salty (perhaps why I found it tasty??), as with all take outs I had the portion sizes were very generous and I managed to get two meals out of it.
We only made it into Manhattan on one occasion, getting the train in with Auntie Karen as she went to work, spending some time looking around 5th Avenue and Central Park and then meeting up again for lunch before heading home.
Burger Heaven was the chosen lunch venue, once I had checked with the waiter there was no dairy or eggs in the veggie burger we went ahead and ordered curley fries and some of their amazing sweet potato fries.
Our last meal in New York was at another family favourite Encore Bistro Francais. The restaurant happily created something off menu for me, a delicious tagliatelle dish with plenty of garlic, olives and peppers. I thought I was going to have trouble finishing it, but it was so good I couldn’t help myself. Just goes to show a hearty hot vegan meal can be produced with a few simple ingredients, take note all you ‘vegan option: salad and chips’ serving restaurants!!
Next stop New Jersey!