• 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 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!

    295 Grand Street Brooklyn, New York
    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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  • February 3rd, 2010quarrygirlmore restaurants (not LA), NYC

    a warning to all my los angeles readers, before you get your hopes up, lula’s sweet apothecary is located in new york. sad but true…

    lula’s is like a modern version of those romantic 1950’s ice cream parlours you grew up hearing about—it’s got a huge menu of various frozen treats, bar stools lining a counter, and friendly staff members who greet you with a smile. the big difference with lula’s is the whole place is 100% VEGAN. that’s right…the floats, shakes, malts, cones, sundaes, and banana splits are all entirely animal-free. woooooo!

    brownie sundae: 2 scoops or soft serve + 1 sauce + 1 topping. topped with whipped cream and a cherry. $8.50

    my first trip to lula’s in manhattan was in december on the coldest day of 2009. even in that ridiculous weather, a huge brownie sundae smothered in hot fudge and cookie crumbles went down extremely well. for my two ice cream flavors i chose the soft serve “cake batter” and the hand-packed “mint chip,” both of which were exquisite.

    when i asked the girl behind the counter what cake batter would taste like, she said casually, “oh it’s like when you are making a cake and then you lick the batter off the mixer…”. granted, i had no idea what to expect after that explanation, but she was right on the money. i haven’t made a cake like that in years, and it’s a taste i would have forgotten entirely, but lula’s really nailed the flavor of old school boxed cake batter. it was like being 8 years old all over again with a box of betty crocker.

    everything from the cherry on top to the moist fudgey brownie on bottom, was absolutely perfect. if you are vegan and you like desserts, you will highly appreciate lula’s sweet apothecary.

    nothing tasted “dairy-free” at all, this was just seriously some of the best fucking ice cream i’ve ever had in my entire life! and the menu is so massive…i may have to move to new york just so i can make my way through it. wow, so good. vegan bakeries are cool, but i’d like to see a lot more vegan ice cream parlours.

    hello! los angeles, you are failing! it is always hot here….and it is always cold in nyc. why do they have such a bad-ass ice cream place and we don’t? sad. sad. sad.

    lula’s sweet apothecary
    516 E 6th St
    (between Avenue A & Avenue B)
    New York, NY 10009
    (646) 912-4549

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

    ‘snice is like the nyc equivalent of cafe muse…but even better. the small and comfy coffee shop in the west village boasts an impressive and entirely vegetarian menu, with plenty of vegan options to choose from. breakfast dishes, sandwiches, salads, wraps, and specials—‘snice has it all.

    vegan reuben: kraut, vegan thousand island dressing and daiya cheese. $8.75

    we tried ‘snice on our recent trip to new york, and after all the talk of vegan reubens in LA, of course i had to their take on the classic sandwich. unfortunately we arrived at ‘snice at around 10:45am, and although they open everyday early in the morning, they don’t serve lunch until 11. the breakfast options are kind of limited and full of bell peppers, so we decided to wait it out until the full menu was available. when my sandwich finally did arrive, it was well worth the wait! while i wouldn’t call it “the best reuben ever,” it was hearty and delicious….with a huge helping of soft tempeh and melty daiya cheese. i’d recommend it.

    vegan panini: smoked tofu, pesto and sun-dried tomatoes. $8.75

    on top of the reuben, we also split a vegan panini…which was un-fuckin-believable! soft grilled bread, creamy dairy-free pesto, sun-dried tomatoes, and huge slabs of firm tofu; could anything be more perfect. while i was a fan of the reuben, this thing was definitely more memorable. if you go to ‘snice, you GOTTA TRY the vegan panini.

    so visit ‘snice when in manhattan for cheapish, satisfying, casual vegan food. it really hits the spot. just be sure to show up AFTER 11am…when all the good stuff on the menu is available.

    45 8th Ave
    (between Jane St & West 4th St)
    New York, NY 10014
    (212) 645-0310

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  • January 12th, 2010quarrygirlmore restaurants (not LA), NYC

    there is a lot to be said for food tourism. sometimes, you just haven’t been somewhere unless you’ve eaten certain things. as far as i’m concerned you’ve never been to paris if you haven’t eaten a warm baguette while walking the streets, nor london if you’ve not enjoyed a crispy basket of chips alongside mushy peas, nor new york city without a fresh bagel and a hot cup of black coffee. i have been lucky enough to check all these things off my list, the last being breakfast at H&H midtown bagels in manhattan.

    H and H bagels are famous for being new york’s best, and it’s a good job too…because they are very vegan-friendly. not just are they water-brushed (where as most bagels are coated in egg), but H and H offers THREE TYPES of vegan cream cheese. yep, they’ve got tofutti regular, scallion, and vegetable….all available for your smearing.

    i went with an onion bagel slathered in scallion tofu cream, and it was absolutely amazing. seriously, the freshness and thickness of the bread along with the delicate flavors was enough to make LA vegans bow down forever. NOT TO MENTION the fact that it was water-rinsed and filled with vegan cream cheese! amazing.

    even at 9:30am on a weekday H and H was super busy, and i can totally see why. if i were vegan and living in NYC, i would get this for breakfast several times per week.

    for an authentic AND vegan experience, be sure to hit up H and H midtown bagels.

    also authentic and vegan: riding in a taxi! so cool, i don’t think we have these in LA…!

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  • January 5th, 2010quarrygirlmore restaurants (not LA), NYC

    one thing i really hate about traveling to nyc, is that i always find a wonderful restaurant with food so delicious and lovely, it makes me sad that i can’t pack a lifetime supply and smuggle it back home in my suitcase. sure enough last week when i visited the big apple it happened again, and the one restaurant that screamed “holy shit why don’t we have this in LA?!?!?!” the loudest, was curly’s vegetarian lunch.

    curly’s vegetarian lunch is a meatless hole in the wall located in the east village, with a larger than life menu full of greasy diner food that more than makes up for their lack of square footage. to call this place vegan-friendly would be an understatement, considering ANY item curly’s offers can be made vegan (and the most appetizing of the selections are already).

    we arrived around noonish on a weekday and were welcomed in from the blustering cold by a friendly gentleman who looked like curly himself, judging by the newspaper clippings hung allover the walls. the service was impeccable; a friendly waitress immediately took our order and was always ready with a refill of hot coffee. we settled on two of the menu items that were vegan by default, the open-faced turkey sandwich and the tofu scramble.

    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, garlicky kale and butternut squash. $12.95

    while both dishes were great, and the experience overall i cannot fault….the one thing that keeps haunting my dreams is the FUCKING TASTY TURKEY SANDWICH. i know, i know i rave about food a lot on this blog, but please believe me…this deserves extra attention. first off, it was massive. the plate was so full of food, i only ate about half of it and i went from starving to bloated. secondly, it comes with ample servings of all the food groups we vegans crave: tons of greens, check. seitan, check. ridic amount of gravy, check. not to mention the squash, oily yet fluffy stuffing, and sweet chunky cranberry sauce. wowowow. lastly, this plate (enough to feed 3 people) was under $13….in manhattan. that is less than real food daily, and even m cafe holiday plate prices. oh, and this is offered all year round.

    seriously, so many nyc restaurants get talked up, but this REALLY WAS amazing. please put this on your ultimate, must, no matter what, to do list.

    on to the next dish! although it was a little late, it was our first meal of the day….so my husband went with the vegan tofu scramble plus added spinach. (curly’s serves breakfast all day!) this thing came fried up with mounds of yellow tofu, sauteed greens, wedges of toast and deliciously crispy curly fries. not quite as good as my sandwich, but definitely a wonderful indulgence.

    scrambled tofu: with toast and curly fries. plus spinach. $8.70

    look at all that food! eh?!?! i have been brought up to believe that you are supposed to pay more in manhattan for everything…but this was a shit ton of breakfast for under $9, and i challenge you to find a deal that good in LA!

    i cannot even stress how superb our experience at curly’s was, and i urge you to visit them whenever you are in nyc. the place is SUPER SMALL (for the LA crowd, it’s about the size of the meet market/flore cafe/the vegan spot) but they do wonders to actually transform it into a comfortable dining experience.

    i will be back for sure, because curly’s has earned a place in my heart as one of my favorite restaurants ever.

    curly’s vegetarian lunch
    328 East 14th Street
    New York, NY‎
    (212) 598-9998‎
    Mon-Fri: 11am-11pm
    Sat–Sun 10am-11pm

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