Sunday, October 18, 2009
All of their sandwiches are served in pita pockets, as their name suggests. You can pick one of two pitas: regular or whole wheat. The whole wheat pitas fall apart easily, so be sure to grab a fork if that's your preference. Or you can screw the pita altogether and get the "platter," which is a salad version, but more copiously appointed and a couple bucks more expensive. Whatever route you go, you're sure to be stuffed by the end of your journey.
They have a wide selection of toppings: hummus, tahini, cucumbers, tomatoes, cucumber and tomato salad, red cabbage, pickles, tabouli, fried eggplant, and hot sauce. I hate eggplant, but they season and deep-fry theirs in such a way that I was able to tolerate it in my first few sandwiches. After that, the novelty of its preparation wore off and I stopped adding it.
If there's one thing I've learned in my brief blogging-about-food career, it's that I'm really good at making food look less appetizing than it really is.The above photo is no exception. Don't let it turn you off; Pick a Pita delivers a solid falafel sandwich that I've returned to more times than I can count.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Pukk is another "pan Asian" vegetarian restaurant, like Zen Palate or Gobo, but with an emphasis on actual vegetables over meat analogues, in a Thai style. They offer $6 lunch specials which come with "vegetable clear soup" and your choice of an appetizer and an entree. I chose Spicy Spring Rolls for my appetizer, and Pepper Garlic Chicken for my entree. The spring rolls are fried, and wrapped in eggless egg roll wrappers. The Pepper Garlic Chicken has a few chunks of fake chicken and a good helping of vegetables. The "vegetable clear soup" is much tastier than it sounds, and saltier than one would expect. All-in-all, it was a filling and tasty lunch, but nothing amazing. It was better than Zen Palate, and cheaper.
Our pal Ravi ordered Pad See-Ew Duck, which he claimed tasted very duck-like in both flavor and texture. (We were a little concerned about Ravi's familiarity with authentic duck cuisine.) It even came with a surprise chunk of metal that looked like a twisted stainless steel suture. When he brought this to the attention of our waitress, she said something vaguely apologetic and retreated to the kitchen for more information. She eventually returned and assured Ravi that the metal was nothing to worry about, and mumbled something about a free dessert, should he be interested. We eventually pressed her further on that point and he got a free chocolate cheesecake mousse, which he shared with all of us. It was delicious and metal-free.
The bill for all five of us was around $73, gratuity included. I would definitely go back, but would scrutinize my dish for foreign matter.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
So I went to my all-time favorite weekday lunch spot, Green Symphony, to throw together "the usual:" collard greens, broccoli, couscous with hummus, and a chubby little samosa. All that, a Vitamin Water, and a bag of Stonewall's for under $15. After putting that together I go up to the counter and the proprietor (who always asks my co-worker if he's vegetarian, but who doesn't give a shit about my superior veganism) pulls out a golden, ornate picture frame and plops it down in front of me. It's a promotional photo of Daniel Craig, autographed. The proprietor then waited patiently for my reaction.
Having been to Green Symphony a dozen times already, I've become familiar with the wall of fame in the tiny dining area: about 20 framed, autographed headshots of actors and musicians of varying degrees of notoriety.
"Oh!" it dawned on me. "Was he in here earlier today?" I would have said, "Hey! Daniel Craig came in!" except I couldn't remember the actor's name and had to later ask a friend who plays the new James Bond.
"He's the second most popular person," he said, proudly, in broken English, gesturing over his shoulder toward the Wall. "Just under Billy Joel."
"Oh, well that's great!" I said, somewhat genuinely. "It's great that all these people come here to eat."
I nodded as if to say, "I'll be damned," brows raised and all.
And, indeed, people come to Green Symphony to be healthy. In addition to the buffet (which is mostly vegetarian), Green Symphony also offers custom smoothies, herbal supplements, healthy sandwiches and salads, lots of vegan and gluten-free baked goods, and a broad spectrum of pre-packaged, vegetarian-friendly nutrition bars and snacks. And coffee and tea and stuff, too.
My lunch was delicious, as usual. But I never figured out a way of closing this blog entry with a clever reference to Daniel Craig or James Bond.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Wow, I'll post anything!
Inspired by supercarrot's comment on my previous jerky post, here's a very orange and yellow review of Primal Strips' (hopefully) experimental packaging.
Maybe someday I'll figure out how to use Final Cut's color correction capabilities. Or move out of this basement.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
The recipe is basically Vegan with a Vengeance's "Scrambled Tofu," to which I added cayenne pepper and broccoli. The English muffins are spelt, from Rudi's Organic Bakery.
OK, you can go back to bed now.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
(After I took the picture, I defiled its beauty with a fistful of nutritional yeast.)
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Some VeganMoFo bloggers are spending a lot of time and effort to make wonderful, delicious food themselves. I'm not. I've become lazy living in New York; it's easy to get vegan food made by someone else, quickly. Though it is expensive. If I knew how money worked, the expense of pre-prepared food might motivate me to cook for myself more often.
So, my blog thus far has been filled with stuff that other people have made, and which I, in turn, have eaten. Today's post does not challenge convention: Quinoa Salad and Black Bean Soup, from S'nice on 5th Ave at 3rd St., in Brooklyn. (I hiked this stuff back to my dungeon-like apartment to take pictures of it privately.)
The quinoa salad was great. It had black beans, slices of avocado, tomato chunks, onions, greens, avocado dressing, tortilla strips, and of course lots of quinoa. I cursed my feeble spoon for not being a shovel. But there was so much of it that I could only eat half--the rest is in the fridge should I ever get hungry again. (I think I got substantially more by taking it "to go," than I would have had I eaten it there.) The thin black bean soup started off nicely, but seemed to get saltier as I ate it. So I offered it to my roommate, Thisbe, who thought it was delicious.
I strongly recommend S'nice if you're ever in my neighborhood, or proximal to their West Village counterpart. They've got all kinds of stuff, the best of which, I believe, is their vegan tofu panini.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Green Symphony. I was thrilled. I scooped up a half dozen bags from the bottom-most shelf of their prepackaged food display, plopped them on the counter, brushed off the dust, removed the expired bags, and then purchased the remaining four. Delicious stuff. Recommended. You, too, can get it online at amazon.com. Just click the image to the right, disgorge some credit card numbers, and wait patiently for the postperson to bring it to you.
Monday, October 5, 2009
Here's the recipe straight out of the book, republished here with permission from the author:
Classic Pesto1/2 cup walnuts
3 cloves garlic, smashed and coarsely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, or more to taste
1/4 cup nutritional yeast (optional)
2 teaspoons lemon juice
Toast the walnuts in a toaster oven at 350 degrees F for 5 minutes or on a baking sheet in a conventional oven for 10 minutes, turning once.
Combine the walnuts, basil, garlic, and salt in a food processor or blender and process while you add the olive oil in a slow, steady stream. Add the nutritional yeast and lemon juice, and pulse to combine. The sauce should be the consistency of a slightly grainy paste, not a puree.
Friday, October 2, 2009
Today my camera and I took a long lunch down at Washington Square Park, to get one of my favorite meals in the city: a dosa from the NY Dosa cart at West 4th St. and Sullivan. I got to the cart at 2:45 PM, well before the dosa guy usually sells out, which is around 4 PM. But today must have been busy; when I ordered my customary pondicherry, he laughed and said he was all out of pondicherry and dosa filling. But he told me that he could throw together a few things to make a "meal" for me, including extra lentil soup. "OK," I said, and stepped aside to wait.
But the thing is, the consolation dosa wasn't nearly as good as the chubby, potato and veggie-filled pondicherry I'd grown accustomed to. The meal was filling, and the lentil soup was excellent, as usual. But it just wasn't the same thing. The "drumstick," by the way, is a gluten-based chicken leg analog on a wooden stick (exactly the same as the one served by V-Spot in Brooklyn). I appreciated his improvising with what he had, and giving me a break on the price. But I'll have to go back again soon to get the real experience.