• December 2nd, 2010mr meanerairports, more restaurants (not LA), NYC

    Resigned to an nine hour journey from Manhattan to Hollywood with nothing but a bag or two of potato chips to eat, I could not believe my luck when I stumbled upon an entire section of Vegan prepared foods at the busy Balducci’s Deli, right outside the United gates at JFK’s insanely busy Terminal 7.

    I opted for the two vegan dishes: Vegan Udon Noodles, and Vegan Shanghai Dumpling, with a side of Chick Pea Salad (sic). Right away I was astonished at the sheer weight of this food. There were easily three portions per package, and with two packages and the side salad I lugged at least seven servings of food back to my table!

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  • December 1st, 2010quarrygirlmore restaurants (not LA), NYC

    hey everyone, we have a new segment on the blog called quick bites! basically if you are ever dining out anywhere and you eat an epic vegan meal (good or bad), snap a pic (with your cell or whateves) and email it to me here…and it may end up on the blog. no promises, but it’s a possibility. if you could send a little description as well, that’ll score points. the first quickbite comes to us from none other than mr. meaner, who is traveling in NYC and hit up one of our favorite spots, franchia, for dinner. here are his quick bites (i am paraphrasing!):

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  • November 16th, 2010quarrygirlmore restaurants (not LA), NYC

    oh, the knish! i can’t believe i went through life for so long before trying one. the popular new york foodstuff was brought to america by jewish immigrants in the 1800s, and consists usually of mashed potatoes and vegetables encased in a thin layer of dough. of all the places to buy a knish in manhattan, yonah schimmel’s is known as the best, and by default their vegetable knishes are vegan.

    we popped by the knishery on our recent trip to NYC, and the food was so good that i know we’ll be back every time we’re in the city. the moment we walked in, i knew we were entering somewhere special…

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  • October 16th, 2010quarrygirlmore restaurants (not LA), NYC

    a couple weeks ago we told you about ten must-eat food items in the LA vegan bucket list…and today i am gonna tell you about a dish you need to add to your lifetime vegan bucket list: the open-faced turkey sandwich at curly’s vegetarian lunch in nyc.

    open faced turkey sandwich: sage and garlic rubbed soy fillet over corn bread stuffing and toasted rye, napped with gravy and served with cranberry dressing and greens. $11.95

    we have written about this sandwich before, and after eating it for a second time recently, i can without a doubt say that it’s one of the best (if not the best) dishes i’ve ever had. if i could choose one last meal on the planet, this would definitely be it.

    curly’s vegetarian lunch is a great little new york diner with an entirely meat-free, all-american menu on which every item can be made vegan. i have heard from friends that some of the dishes can be hit or miss, but i will never know if that’s true because i intend to order the open-faced turkey sandwich EVERY TIME i eat there. to call this thing a “sandwich” doesn’t do it justice. it’s more like a sandwich on steroids with it’s greasy fried bread and mounds of thick seitan covered in deliciously creamy gravy. i’d say it’s enough to feed about 3 people, so be sure to arrive hungry.

    size isn’t all that makes this sandwich special though…every component of it is pretty much perfect. the seitan and gravy are both the best i’ve ever had, and the mock meat comes all mixed up with an incredibly rich and juicy stuffing. the bread it’s on is cooked and seasoned specially as well, and it’s served with an enormous side of sauteed greens and squash. mix all the ingredients up together for the best taste….i promise you, one bite of this thing and you will be hooked.

    next time you are in NYC, you MUST VISIT CURLY’S, and YOU MUST order the open-faced turkey sandwich. and if you don’t have plans to be in NYC anytime soon, this meal alone is worth the plane fare.

    curly’s vegetarian lunch
    328 e. 14th st.
    New York, NY 10003
    (212) 598-9998

    PS: curly’s totally has healthy stuff too! and it’s great! look:

    vegetable plate: five steamed or grilled vegetables with grain, beans and mushroom gravy and a side salad. $11.95

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  • October 14th, 2010quarrygirlmore restaurants (not LA), NYC

    oh god, i love NYC. it’s freaking vegan paradise, lemme tell you. i have that happycow app on my iphone…you know, vegout? it’s this cool little thing you fire up and no matter where you are, it uses GPS to tell you which vegan-friendly restaurants are nearby. in LA, it usually results in a few pages of restaurants, depending on where you are in the city. in manhattan though, the app almost crashes…there are SO MANY VEGAN OPTIONS. it’s crazy. there are more vegetarian places per square foot in nyc than anywhere i’ve ever visited. anyways, this post isn’t supposed to be a vegan love letter to NYC…i am here to talk about kate’s joint!

    kate’s is an all vegetarian spot that our friends have been recommending to us for quite awhile. i’d heard nothing but good things about the restaurant, so when they showed up on the vegout app as “less than a mile away” while we were drinking in the east village, i knew it was gonna happen.

    lemme preface: kate’s has an enormous menu, but it feels more like a bar than a restaurant. they’ve got tap beer, cocktails, and a huge bar lined with stools in the main area; dining tables are lined up along the windows. this actually got me pretty excited, because i love bars much more than real restaurants. so the fact that i can think of this place as a bar with an all vegetarian menu makes me love it even more.

    we hit up kate’s on a friday at around 5pm, and it was pretty slow. i had heard they made vegan white russians (my favorite drink ever), so i ordered one right away. the waitress had no idea what i was talking about, but she went to check with the bar and immediately came back with one. SCORE! it was so good.

    vegan disco fries: covered with mama's vegan gravy and daiya cheese. $6.25

    next up, we decided to order some appetizers. we started with the decadent “disco fries,” another legend i have been hearing about from several peeps. disco fries are ridiculous: french fries topped with GRAVY AND CHEESE. WTF, why didn’t i think of this?!?! these have been at kate’s forever, but are only recently vegan-friendly. not long ago, kate switched from a casein-containing soy cheese to daiya! thank goodness, because why would a VEGETARIAN RESTAURANT have a real cheese option, AS WELL AS a non-vegan cheese option?  that makes no sense. anyways, the disco fries are available vegan now and they are amazing. by far the best thing i tried at kate’s.

    hummus rolls filled with spinach, roasted garlic, tomatoes, tahini and lemon. $6.95

    after that deep-fried, cheesy, creamy starter, we were in the mood for something lighter and shared the hummus rolls. these babies were basically little tortilla pockets filled with hummus and vegetables including spinach, garlic, and tomato. nothing earth-shattering, but damn good.

    vegan un-turkey club: un-turkey, fakin bacon, lettuce, tomato, and vegan mayo. $9.95

    we had such honorable intentions of ordering like 5 entrees from kate’s, but after the two appetizers, we could only manage to share one main course. we went with the un-turkey club, another popular item that we’d heard people rave about. the club was delicious, but IMO we have better clubs here in LA. what took this sandwich over the edge was the side of mashed potatoes, served with kate’s deadly homemade gravy (the same stuff that was on the fries). it was phenomenal.

    next time i go to kate’s, i am gonna starve myself in advance and arrive completely sober. the menu is way too drool-worthy, and the drink selection is too tempting. to say that we have unfinished business with kate’s would be an understatement.

    kate’s joint
    #58 Avenue B, New York NY 10009
    (At 4th St)
    (212) 777-7059

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  • October 10th, 2010quarrygirlmore restaurants (not LA), NYC

    oh yes, a vegan cake batter and chocolate sundae from lula’s sweet apothecary in nyc.

    we’ve raved about lula’s before, and anyone who has eaten there knows it’s the most amazing ice cream parlor on the planet. it’s all vegan, and it sells the best vegan ice cream known to man. new york egg creams, flurries, cones, banana splits…they’ve got it all. my recent visit consisted of a sundae with soft serve cake batter and chocolate ice cream, hot fudge, cookies, and whipped cream. heaven.

    lula’s sweet apothecary
    516 east 6th street
    ny ny 10009
    646-481-5852
    sunday 3pm – 10pm
    monday closed
    tues-weds 3pm – 10pm
    thurs, fri, sat 3pm – 11:30pm

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  • September 22nd, 2010quarrygirlmore restaurants (not LA), NYC

    franchia is a beautiful and serene, entirely vegan korean restaurant located on park avenue in manhattan, and it happens to be one of our favorite restaurants in NYC.

    we visited franchia back in 2008 and were big fans of their noodles and curry hot pots, so when their sushi menu came highly recommended from chloe coscarelli, we knew we had to return. ravenously hungry and fresh off our cross-country flight, we hopped in a cab and headed straight to the restaurant.

    steamed spicy kimchi dumplings. $6.95

    we started with a pot of hot sake and the steamed spicy kimchi dumplings. i love kimchi, a traditional korean dish of fermented vegetables, but unfortunately it usually contains fish. i was so excited to see it on the menu at a vegan restaurant, where i knew i was all in the clear. franchia’s dumplings did not disappoint—they were plump and filled right up with spicy and flavorful vegetables. the sake really hit the spot too, especially after our long journey.

    for my entree, i stuck to chloe’s advice and ordered 2 different sushi rolls: the mountain greens and roots roll and the seaweed salad roll. they came together on an absolutely beautifully presented platter—so pretty, i almost didn’t want to eat it.

    mountain greens and root roll. $6.50

    the mountain greens and roots roll was my favorite, the crunchy roots made the perfect center in between all the soft rice.

    seaweed salad roll. $5.50

    the seaweed salad roll was also delicious, light and very ocean-y tasting (in a good non-fishy way). there were so many other rolls that looked fantastic as well…a green tea roll, spicy tuna, and crispy tofu skin…i can’t wait to return and try them all.

    organic soba noodles: topped with a variety of vegetables and mushrooms, served with spicy sauce on the side. $12.95

    my husband, on the other hand, went with a noodle dish: organic soba noodles topped with vegetables and served with spicy sauce. he let me try some of his, and it was phenomenal. a colorful bowl filled with many asian vegetables, i couldn’t even identify them all. it was also served with side dishes of kimchi and hot sauce that i kept stealing throughout the meal.

    inside, franchia is absolutely gorgeous. it’s a dimly lit, multilevel restaurant with a calm interior that provides the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of new york city. it’s a great place to bring a date, or anyone you’d like to enjoy a peaceful fancy meal with. i know i’ll be back!

    franchia
    12 Park Ave
    New York City New York 10016
    212-213-1001

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  • September 14th, 2010quarrygirlmore restaurants (not LA), NYC

    sacred chow is a cute little vegan restaurant in nyc, and ever since we had a good experience there a couple years ago, i have been dying to return for brunch. it’s only served on weekends, and the menu is small but mighty. there are only 9 items available, but within those items you’ve got biscuits and gravy, a breakfast sandwich, banana french toast, and all kinds of other good stuff.

    whenever i see vegan biscuits and gravy on a menu i HAVE TO order them, so naturally that’s what i got…

    better than biscuits and gravy: two biscuit halves layered with steamed greans and tofu scramble; with white gravy and choice of side. $13.75

    the plate was HUGE, as it should have been for almost $14. i mean, that’s expensive, right? i dunno how they roll in NYC, but here in LA you can get a massive plate of biscuits, gravy, sausage, and bacon for under ten bucks. anyways, i must say the gravy was fantastic and was the highlight of the meal. it was of the thicker and whiter variety, which is my favorite kind. the tofu scramble had a great flavor, but was a little to mushy for my taste. the biscuits were decent albeit a tad dry.

    the meal came with a choice of side (steamed greens, salad, or fruit), and i went with the steamed greens, not realizing they already came with the dish…so an extra side of them was way too much. look at the plate above, it looks like its about 50% greens. what you can’t see though, is that there were greens in the tofu as well and on top of the biscuits. it was greens mania! sadly, they kind of overpowered the whole brunch.

    tofu scramble: tofu crumbled and sauteed with onion and special seasoning, served with home fries and choice of side. $13.75

    my husband was initially going to get the breakfast sandwich (a biscuit topped with tofu scramble and tempeh), but fearing it would be too much like the biscuits and gravy, he went with the tofu scramble instead. this was also $13.75, and it came with a huge lump of scramble, roasted home fries, and choice of side (GREENS!).

    the home fries at sacred chow are amazing, and were probably the best thing on the table. huge hunks of roasted potatoes that were crispy, perfectly seasoned, and not the least bit oily. the greens and tofu were the same as in my dish, there was just more tofu and less greens…which was a good thing!

    overall, brunch was pretty good…but it was very expensive and the biscuits and gravy didn’t live up to my super high standards. i know i will be back to sacred chow though, i really like the vibe of the place and our previous visit was so outstanding.

    sacred chow
    vegan bistro – tapas, wine and beer on tap
    227 sullivan street
    nyc, ny 10012

    (212) 337-0863

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  • September 3rd, 2010quarrygirlmore restaurants (not LA), NYC

    maoz vegetarian is our favorite chain restaurant by far, so imagine how excited we were on our recent trip to new york to see that they’d opened a new location in times square. we hit up the new maoz, which is the most vegan-friendly one we’ve visited to date, on our way out of town right before heading to the airport. it was quite a wonderful send off.

    maoz sandwich with hummus: falafel, hummus, and buffet salad bar! $5.70

    in case you don’t already know, maoz is a tiny little falafel shop, and the menu is the same at locations across the globe. you basically get a sandwich or salad box with your choice of filling–falafel, hummus, etc. then you add as many toppings as you like from the enormous buffet-style salad bar. there are tons of vegan options, and at this maoz, every item in the salad bar was clearly marked as to whether it was vegan or vegetarian. i’ve never seen this labeling system at maoz before, but i love it! it took out all the guess work.

    the seating is always cramped at maoz, with usually a few tables and maybe some stools lining the window. this maoz, however, had no seats inside! just a counter to stand at, and a bench outside the front door. that’s cool though, because eating this kind of food is super fast, and a counter is all you really need.

    we each got the traditional maoz sandwich, which comes with a generous amount of falafel, and added hummus for an extra 75¢. we filled those up until they were overflowing with fried broccoli, cauliflower, corn, radishes, hot sauce, and creamy tahini. talk about delicious, stuffed, and colorful sandwiches. i so wish i could get something like this back home.

    belgian fries. $3

    we also tried the belgian fries for the first time, which were excellent. thickly cut, warm, and not too greasy. i stole some hot sauce and tahini from the salad bar to dip them in, which went down perfectly.

    i am so happy to see new maoz restaurants popping up all over the place. i just really hope their next stop is somewhere in los angeles. don’t you think this kind of restaurant would do great on hollywood blvd, or maybe westwood, or downtown la? somewhere that gets a lot of foot traffic? come on maoz!! until then, i guess i will just have to keep eating maoz whenever i visit a city where they have a location. i hit them up loyally on every single trip to nyc and london. :)

    maoz vegetarian
    check website for locations

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  • September 1st, 2010quarrygirlbrooklyn, more restaurants (not LA), NYC

    do you have a list of vegan food places you need to visit before you die? i’m not talking about an LA-based list, but a one that knows no boundaries. a “wish list” of all the insane animal-free food on this planet that NEEDS TO BE EATEN at some point, some point SOON. if you do, add foodswings in brooklyn to that list.

    i’d heard people rave about foodswings forever, i don’t know why it took me so long to get over there. it’s basically an all vegan fast food joint with a giant menu full of deep fried and hearty goodness. if anyone were to ever say they had a hard time going vegan because they missed “normal food,” this place would quickly change their mind.

    gyro: seasoned homemade seitan w/ lettuce, tomato, red onion, and vegan tzatziki sauce wrapped in flatbread. $7.50

    i had a super hard time deciding what to order. i went back and forth between the baked potato skins, the reuben, and fish n chips…but eventually decided on the gyro. i had a meat gyro once years ago when i was a kid, and i remember really liking it, so i wanted to see how this one measured up. naturally, it was amazing. it came filled with foodswings’ homemade seitan, lettuce, onion, and tomato all covered in a vegan tzatziki sauce then wrapped up in warm flatbread. the seitan was spongy and slightly spicy, so wonderfully seasoned. the tzatziki was also delicious, super milky (you’d never know it was vegan), and filled with cucumber flavor. let’s just say i loved this sandwich.

    combo plate: 3 drumsticks with choice of side. (here we have 2 southern fried, 1 buffalo style drumstick, + the creamy mac n cheese!) $8.75

    we also got the combo plate, which comes with 3 of any flavors of foodswings drumsticks, as well as a side. again the decision was tough, but we went with 2 southern fried and 1 buffalo drumstick, with a serving of mac and cheese. i’m pretty sure the drumsticks were just pre-packaged mock meats, but foodswings did wonders to them in the cooking process. the buffalo one was breaded, fried, and smothered in spicy sauce and served with a cool and creamy bleu cheese dip. the southern ones were battered and fried—super bready and crispy on the outside. there are two types of mac and cheese to choose from at foodswings, original (which is made with nutritional yeast), and creamy (which is daiya-based). we went with the creamy one, and it was fantastic. it reminded me a bit of the amy’s frozen mac and cheese, but even better.

    inside, foodswings is like a cleaner and hipper version of a normal fast food place. there’s a huge chalk board menu, and you order at the counter then wait for them to bring the food for your table. it was a super quick and comfortable dining experience. oh, and i think it’s also byob!

    overall, we loved foodswings and cannot wait to return. this was definitely the best vegan fast food fix i’ve ever gotten; with a blend of pre-packaged ingredients and their own homemade recipes, foodswings makes magic in their kitchen. you gotta check this place out!

    foodswings
    295 Grand Street Brooklyn, New York
    718-388-1919
    Hours
    Monday 11:30am to 11pm
    Tuesday 11:30am to 12am
    Wednesday 11:30am to 12am
    Thursday 11:30am to 12am
    Friday 11:30am to 2am
    Saturday 11:30am to 2am
    Sunday 11:30am to 11pm

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  • June 24th, 2010more restaurants (not LA), NYC

    westville. again, this was a place on the fly. i was headed to get my hair did at ‘seagull salon’ by the lovely shaun sure thing and this joint happened to be steps from the salon. this isn’t a hair blog so i will talk about the food.

    grilled vegan hot dogs: single or 'special' (special = 2 hot dogs w/ fries, salad or 1 side from the market) this is the special with "brussels crowe" spouts, sub the honey dijon for mustard sauce.

    grilled vegan hot dogs: single or ‘special’ (special = 2 hot dogs w/ fries, salad or 1 side from the market) this is the special with “brussels crowe” spouts, sub the honey dijon for mustard sauce.


    pick 4 for $13 (daily market sides): Lemon Grilled Asparagus(no parm), Sauteed Broccoli with Garlic, Seared Marinated Tofu, Sweet Potato Fries.

    *bullet points
    -tiny yet homey
    -like your own kitchen table
    -delicious food, organic produce, friendly staff
    -i’d compare it to a place in MOZangeles yet comparing is pretty boring
    -so many options and the daily “market” menu is literally a ‘to do’ or ‘laundry list’ of amazing greens/produce
    -fresh vegetables were at their best, no need for fancy presentation and plating
    -i was having a 7th inning stretch flashback so i went with the 2 hot dog special with a side of ‘brussels crowe’ sprouts.
    (who is fucking A-Rod anyway?)
    -hot like fire, a vegan food quickie.

    westville
    210 W 10th Street, New York, NY 10014
    Between Bleecker and West 4th Street
    Phone: 212-741-7971, 212-741-4780

    Lunch Monday-Friday 11:30a-4:30p
    Dinner Monday-Sunday 4:30p-11p
    Brunch Saturday-Sunday 10a-4p

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  • June 18th, 2010more restaurants (not LA), NYC

    hey guys, qg here. today is an exciting day, because our very first field reporter is now an official quarrygirl writer. i’d like to introduce you to this.charming.man! from now on, i won’t preface his entries. so sit back and enjoy his brief, honest, and often hilarious posts…the first being this one about zen palate in nyc.

    this.charming.man

    zen palate. nothing cray cray to rave about this place besides how great the food was and how quick it came. convenient and true vegan “fast food.” QG has already posted one of these dishes, the tofu delight, so i chose to try that myself yet opt for the fresh moo-shu rolls instead of fried taro roll which more fits my “palate.” after walking 50 some blocks from the upper west side, exploring where we now will call home, 2 iphones in hand: one with google maps blazin and the second with QG.com screaming, we choose ZP to cure our craving for chinese food….

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  • June 13th, 2010quarrygirlmore restaurants (not LA), NYC

    hey everyone, time for another vegan field report! it comes to us from our very first correspondent ever, who is now stationed in manhattan. in this post, he reviews one of our favorite restaurants in the world, candle 79. here goes!

    where to start besides, where have you been all my life candle 79. we had 8:30pm reservations and the place was packed, we waited at the bar an extra 15 minutes but no complaints a beverage was definitely in order.

    we were seated, drinks ordered, and then it all started.

    the server brought us out some complimentary radish starters and all i can say is they were more then RAD_ish, they were excellent. mango, cucumber, onion murdered in seconds flat.

    we chose to order a few things seeing neither one of us could make up our minds.

    smoked hummus: grilled paratha bread, olives, roasted garlic bulb, red pepper oil. $13

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  • April 12th, 2010quarrygirlchipotle, LA restaurants, more restaurants (not LA), NYC

    finally, after much ado, we have our very own report on the vegan garden blend burrito (bowl) at chipotle that’s made with gardein chicken. no, the burrito has not hit los angeles yet…but luckily our field operative is stationed in new york where it’s available and was able to send us a brief rundown, complete with mouthwatering pictures. as usual, words taken from the agent’s report are in quotes…

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  • March 27th, 2010quarrygirlmore restaurants (not LA), NYC

    UPDATED 3/27/10: while soy & sake offers absolutely incredible vegan food, they do have a fish tank in their restaurant…and fishes do not belong in tanks. we’ve removed the fish tank photo because, well,  fish tanks suck. for the record, we do not endorse aquariums! xo

    soy & sake is manhattan is one of the loveliest places i’ve ever had the pleasure of dining. the vegetarian cafe is located in west village and serves up japanese/pan-asian cuisine with an emphasis on fake meat and sushi.

    the menu is extensive and almost entirely vegan with just a handful of clearly-indicated items containing dairy. when you visit though, i would skip through the pages of noodles and rice and head straight for the sushi…because it’s mind-blowlingly good, and like nothing available in los angeles.

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