Ken and I took a whirlwind, 1.5 day trip to New York City last weekend to attend a lovely vegan wedding. Matt and Danielle got hitched on Friday the 13th, and their wedding was a blast!
We ate lots of yummy food at the wedding...
mushroom & eggplant lasagna
pastry cup with fruit and whipped cream
wedding cake and groom's cake, courtesy of Vegan Treats
The groom's cake was my favorite treat of the evening, with it's vegan cream cheese frosting and red velvet innards. So tasty.
Food related things got really crazy for us on Saturday though, our only full day in NYC. We started off the morning with brunch at Counter along with a group of friends. Though we had been to Counter once a few years ago and really liked it, our experience this time was kind of meh. We were with a big group, but my food came out almost an hour later than everyone else's food. And all I ordered was a tofu scramble with toast! I did not complain about the wait, but the restaurant comp'd my meal anyway. I thought that was a nice gesture, considering the circumstances. Here's Ken's plate of multi grain pancakes with a pile of boring fruit compote that tasted like it had been sitting in a lemon juice bath for too long:
After leaving Counter, we walked around the city for an hour or so before making our way over to Lula's Sweet Apothecary, and all vegan ice cream parlor. This was all I wanted for my birthday, a visit to Lula's. But what to get? A malt, a vegan egg cream, a sundae, a cone? Cake batter soft serve or rocky road? So many choices! I finally decided on a hot fudge sundae, made with rocky road and vanilla, topped with peanuts, whipped cream and hot fudge. Heavenly. Simply heavenly. And how cute is that spoon? It looks like a little shovel, which is kinda fitting.
Lula's has a really nice ambiance. The Lula's folks have managed to create a really cozy atmosphere with nice, old timey touches in spite of their tiny little spot. It was hard for me to take photos in there as it was pretty crowded, but here's a couple.
After our awesome trip to Lula's, we enjoyed the city with friends for a few more hours, then just happened by Babycakes. I swear, I wasn't even looking for Babycakes. Vegan baked goods just find me. So here we are, stuffed from eating a big-ass sundae, yet I find myself stepping into another tiny yet adorable vegan sweets shop, money in fist.
I walked out with two little sweets for Ken and I to enjoy for breakfast on Sunday before our plane trip back home. Here's a pancake flavored bundt cake and a banana caramel bundle. Both of these treats were melt-in-mouth awesome. I have heard mixed reviews about Babycakes, so I was really happy to have chosen the right stuff on my visit. A couple of perfect little bites:
After hitting a bookstore and just wandering around pretending to not be tourists, we met up with more friends at a pizza place called Pala. We weren't even close to being hungry, yet we soon found ourselves sharing some vegan pizza topped with Daiya Vegan Cheese. How can we turn down Daiya pizza? We can't! Plus, we were planning on heading out to an event called Veggie Conquest, which we knew had a dessert challenge. So we didn't know if we would have a chance to eat non-dessert food for the rest of the night. Boy, was I wrong. But more on that later. Here's our candlelit, vegan pizza from Pala, topped with Daiya Italian, Field Roast sausage, asparagus, and some other stuff I don't remember:
After eating more than we had planned, we then took a taxi to another eating extravaganza, Veggie Conquest! We were really excited to find out that the monthly Veggie Conquest event was taking place the same weekend we were in NYC. If you haven't heard of Veggie Conquest, it's a vegan food cooking challenge, with a hint of Iron Chef to it. Here's the description from the Veggie Conquest website:
Veggie Conquest is a monthly amateur vegan cooking competition. Before the event, chefs prepare a dish at home based on a secret ingredient revealed a week in advance. At the event, judges and tasters choose the top dish, prizes are awarded, and everyone chows down and has a great time!
We found out that the secret ingredient was cranberries, and the dishes were supposed to be dessert. And the contestants really went all out, too. All of the dishes were amazing.
Ken, Kevin and Laura waiting for the food to start flowing:
Our note card and number, in preparation for the taster's choice award:
The judges table, with pastry chef and cookbook author Fran Costigan, vegan baker and creator of veganbaking.net Mattie Hagedorn, and cookbook author Sharon Valecik.
Here's Jessica, who is the creator of the amazing Veggie Conquest, with Joshua Katcher, aka The Discerning Brute, who was the emcee for the evening.
I'm sorry I didn't get any pictures of the wonderful food at Veggie Conquest! Everything was going so fast and fun, that I forgot the official blogger's motto: "pictures or it didn't happen."
You know what else happened? After the fun dessert challenge at Veggie Conquest, they served a full meal of savory food. Jeezus. Everything was so good, and I couldn't believe I was still eating after the gustatory day we already participated in.
The good thing is, we didn't die of overindulgence. I guess my usual heavy training regime of cookie eating really served me well in this case. This was truly the fastest 1.5 days of my life. And a memorable birthday, too! I turned 35, by the way. Yay.
I feel a detox coming on soon.