Last week I suddenly took a trip to NYC to stay with my Dad in the hospital after his heart attack He’s doing really well. We are already talking about kale and yoga and all the other things that he is excited to integrate into his life. I was totally surprised that the hospital served him fried chicken, roast beef, and ice cream. What the hell? Isn’t that, kind of, the OPPOSITE of what you should be eating?
It was a tough trip for me, I was pretty stressed out already before this happened and being worried about my Dad was just adding to the anxiety. Also, I am not a big city girl. Lately you can hear me complain quite often about the fact that the pace of life in Austin has gotten too dang fast and that it just isn’t as chill as it used to be. What happened to slackertown? This trip sure put things in perspective. In New York it’s like you are always in the middle of a sea of humanity. I spent way too much time underground.
On the other hand, I hadn’t been to New York in quite a while and I was 100% stoked to go to the most vegan friendly city in the ole USA. Even more than that, I was excited to be reunited with my old breakfast bff; the bagel. The first one I had with hummus and kalamata olives was all that I could ever hope for. I also love that in New York the small coffees are actually small!
I got to stay with one of my most favorite people and his super adorable fiance in Brooklyn and they took me to the hipster part so I could compare and contrast Williamsburg with Wicker Park and East Austin.
They also went with me to Wild Ginger which I had heard many good things about but found pretty so so. I’d compare it more closely to Austin’s Veggie Heaven than Portland’s Lucky Strike. We shared the fried tofu skins which were pretty good.
Then I got the Citrus Seitan because it had kale and sounded good. I like that it came with an orchid, it was like being in the tropics! But the seitan was a little gummy and the dish was over sauced Chinese take out style. It was fine, just not what I was expecting.
The next morning I got off the train at the hospital just as my lovely sister was getting in to town and I immediately dragged her to Absolute Bagel, which was only a block away. There was a line down the street! She immediately wanted to leave but I figured if you are in a city that has, probably over a thousand places to get bagels and there is one with a huge line, it must be worth the wait. It was vegan bagel heaven inside. Fresh bagels were coming in like popcorn at the movie theater. There were, like, ten flavors of tofutti including green olive. *swoon* This is the very bagel that I made at home, poppy with green olive cream cheese. I have to go to two stores and my kitchen to make it happen.
As I did the day before, I spent most of my time with my Dad. But his procedure was such a success that they let him go and we spent the afternoon helping him to Staten Island. The fun part of New York is that everything seems familiar.
And you can’t help but see the sights as you go from A to B. Well, as long as you are above ground.
After getting my Dad settled I somehow convinced my sister to go to Moo Shoes and look at vegan boots and then we went to an adorable bar Casa Mezcal for fantastic cocktails. We had the cutest hobbit bartender and we loved the drinks. Then we headed over to Candle 79 for a fancy vegan dinner. We ordered the mushroom fricassee to start and I liked it’s earthy simplicity. My sister tried the butternut raviolies which we actually giant whole wheat raviolos. We liked my entrée a lot more. I went for the famous seitan piccatta and it was all it’s cracked up to be. Oh the creamed spinach, the mashed potatoes, and that glorious tangy lemony sauce. It was addictive. It would be hard to order anything else there.
To finish I wanted cannoli but Lana wasn’t nearly as excited about the novelty of vegan cannoli and was dying for the peanut butter mousse.
It was delightfully smooth and rich. I want to make both recipes from the Candle 79 cookbook which I have at home and haven’t made one thing from yet. I have no excuse either because it is a gorgeous book and I want to make everything. After all that fabulous dining, wine, and mezcal I had to get up at 5:30 am to catch a flight. It was strange getting on the train in the middle of the night and emerging at the airport in the light of day.
I was so happy to be home and so happy my Dad is doing so well and that I got to see my friends and my sister.
Please god, no more trips! No more family emergencies! No leaving Austin…until our upcoming trip to Mexico.