Life is hard. So I went to New York City. I needed to get out of Montreal, and it proved to have been the right thing to do. In school, so much of my learning is based on my internal world; my inner sensations and my thoughts and my body are under constant construction because of what my classes demand of me. I get wrapped up in existential thoughts (why does dance even matter!?) and I get wrapped up in the dangerous web of self criticism and I get wrapped up in the way my body feels. Ultimately, school causes me to hugely disconnect with the external stimuli I know and love. So, going to NYC was the best choice for me. The insane amount of external stimulation pumped me back to life. I learned SO many things; I’m starting to feel like an adult… I’m starting to understand why my parents and sister are poor of money, but rich of the world; next time I have any money you’ll be sure to see me on a plane, train or automobile. BUT, less about my lame food for thought and more food for our bellies. I ate at some seriously awesome places. My top 5 are: Peacefood Cafe, Jerusalem Restaurant, Two Boots, Beyond Sushi, and Lula’s Sweet Apothecary. Also, an honorable mention to Stumptown Coffee for the best damned almond milk latte. I also ate at Whole Foods. My first night, I was starving because I got distracted by the tall buildings and bright lights (I felt like a serious country mouse), so I went to Whole Foods and created the HUGEST salad at their salad bar and it cost $12… I was shocked. At Commensal here in Montreal, a buffet style vegetarian restaurant, the same amount would have cost me upwards of $20. Any who, here are some photos of what I ate at those four beautiful places. Peacefood Cafe. A bit pricey, but great home-style meals. I don’t mean home-style in the sense that it’s SUPER casual in the restaurant, I mean it in the sense that the flavours and ingredients are top notch and very comforting. There were some of the classic vegan fare-type things (kale salads, pasta with pesto, pizza, etc), which I was really into. For a soup+salad, an entree and a slice of key lime pie for dessert, it cost me $30 (including tip). As I said… PRICEY. But it was very tasty.
Jerusalem Restaurant. WOW. This was the greatest little whole in the wall. There is an outside window you can order at for take out, or there are 6 places inside. For $8 I got everything in the picture (a pita, Israeli salad and a HUGE amount of hummus). I loved this place because not only was the food fantastic (the hummus was seriously garlic-y), but the ambiance was great too; laid back, some groovy music, and two funny dudes running it made my dinner relaxing and pleasant. I was in at around 8pm and it was fairly busy – I couldn’t imagine what a zoo it’d become at lunch time!!
Two Boots. Okay, so I went to Grand Central station and the foodcourt was… heaven. There were more than 4 different vendors that had explicitly vegan meals! IT WAS SO COOL. I chose the V for Vegan pizza. The slice was $5. And OH MY GOD IT WAS UNREAL. The pesto and the roasted veggies and the Diaya cheese… it was something that totally hit the spot. Damn. I want a slice now.
Beyond Sushi. This place was super fascinating. While the sushi had the traditional sushi taste, it’s all made with wild black rice and other cool ingredients. Again, all the choices were vegan. There are rolls (8 pieces), single pieces, and wraps. For $11 they have a combo where you can choose 1 roll and 1 wrap (there are many options for both). They also came with tasty sauces. Wow. Tasty is basically the only adjective I can think of when I think of New York… Anywho, this sushi was super cool, and filling. I was very pleased.
Lula’s Sweet Apothecary. (Forgive the weird photo – it was like 10 pm and I was SO antsy to eat it) Okay. I’ve left the best for last. This… this heaven on earth actually brought tears to my eyes. The tears didn’t come out of having deprived myself of ice cream for so long (trust me, I love me my Coconut Bliss), but they came from the pure ecstasy brought by the amazing flavour. So all the ice creams and all the toppings are vegan. I got a sundae for $7 (I know, a splurge. BUT it’s a great independent little shop AND it was so good I almost bought a second one…). A sundae includes two scoops of ice cream, one wet topping, one dry topping, coconut whipped cream, and a cherry on top. I chose mocha ice cream, chocolate chocolate chip ice cream, caramel, and candied pecans. It was like a turtle. They also had 1 flavour of soft serve (birthday cake) which you could get with a dry topping and they blend it up (like a Blizzard!) and there was also a brownie sundae and a banana split. Man. It was so great.
New York was SO great. I hope to return soon because I feel like I didn’t see enough/anything. AND there were so many good eateries that I didn’t have a chance to eat at.