Tuesday, May 29, 2012

New York, New York--It's a Hell of a Town, for a Vegan.

The people ride in a whole in the ground . . .

Do you know that song? I love it. I grew up in a suburb of New York City and there were a phenomenal amount of television commercials advertising Broadway shows. It was a good thing. That lyric is by Leonard Bernstein for the musical On the Town.

But I digress.

I spent last week in The Big Apple at a trade show (The National Stationery Show) and before I went I was definitely more than a little concerned with how I would fare from an eating standpoint.
The Luscious Verde booth at the NSS. There's Megan, Marketing and PR Director at LVC.

Well, I'm here to tell you that it was a breeze. Shockingly easy actually. It gives me hope for America for the future. If New York is where the trends start, then we Americans are in for some exciting healthy trends in the near future. Here's what I experienced:

(1) FRESH juice and smoothie bars, like, everywhere. We happened upon Health King on 7th Avenue (between 38th and 39th) on our way from the hotel in Times Square to The Jacob Javitz Center. Green smoothies made with fresh fruit and vegetable/fruit juices made to order are their specialty. But I saw fresh juice and smoothie bars all over the place as we rode in cabs.

(2) Vegan restaurants all over the place.

Here's a line-up of where we ate dinner:
Candle 79
Cafe Blossom
Pure Food and Wine
Dirt Candy
The Grilled Kale salad at Candle 79 was extraordinary. 
I'll be attempting to replicate it when I've got some time!
Grilled Kale Salad/Candle 79
Seitan Picatta/Candle 79. Beyond delicious.
A beautiful salad at Pure Food and Wine
Pure Food and Wine is well known for their raw vegan lasagna.
Simply outstanding.

It really is too bad that by the end of the trip I was so pooped that I lost all enthusiasm for taking pictures. But I still enjoyed the experiences. Dirt Candy was our last restaurant in NYC and it was spectacular. Not just the food, but the whole scene. It's a tiny restaurant in the East Village where Amanda (the chef) and the staff cater to only a few diners at a time. Wow. All you have to know that it will be on my must return to list for next year in NYC!

Some dining experiences/dishes were definitely more memorable than others. There was a pattern-when we ate at the "flagship" restaurants the food was outstanding. The "cafe" versions of the restaurants just weren't as wonderful.

If you are wondering whether the food was "no-oil Vegan," it wasn't, by a long shot. Yes, the food was Vegan. And some of it was probably quite healthy, but a lot of it was just, well, not. I was so happy to be eating delicious, gourmet Vegan fare that I just didn't care.

(3) There wasn't a darned thing that I would want to eat inside of the convention center. Lucky for me, two things conspired in my favor: first, we found a nice "deli" one block away from The Jacob Javitz Center that provided us with some really great and healthy lunch food on the days when we had the time to get lunch, and second, on the three of the days that the convention was open we had no time to stop and eat all day, so it didn't much matter what was being sold inside the convention center.

That meant that from breakfast (about 8:30 am) until well after 7 pm each night, all I was able to consume was some trail mix, if I was lucky, and the Coffee Nips that we had in a bowl inside of our booth. We were so full of adrenaline that it didn't even phase us.

And that's it for the New York trip. I've got two more trips in the next two weeks, the end of school/beginning of camp for the kids and general life busyness at work and at home. I won't be able to blog again for another two weeks, but I'll be thinking about you the whole time! Thanks for bearing with me during this exceptionally hectic time in my life.

Stay strong . . . Plant Strong!

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