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V Cafe

15 Mar

V Cafe

Following the Single Fare 3 opening Jim and I went out to grab a quick bite to eat while in TriBeCa. Now that I’m basically eating vegan paleo, it makes my already limited options even more limited. I had done some research in advance and had found Vietnamese restaurant V Cafe on Yelp, so we figured we’d check it out.

All in all we were really impressed with the ambiance as well as the service and the food. I’m not currently eating any grains, so for my meal I had their vegetarian pho with tofu (no noodles) and a nice big plate of tofu curry and vegetables. It’s making me hungry just writing out it. It was as yummy as it looks.

If you are a vegan or vegetarian looking for someplace in TriBeCa to eat, I highly recommend it. They had a large vegetarian/vegan section on their menu with tons of options.

V Cafe

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Gwynnett Street

16 Nov

Gwynnett Street

Last Thursday evening, Jim and I participated in Dine Out Williamsburg for Sandy Relief. Gwynnett Street was a participating restaurant, and we’ve been dying to try it out for a while. What better way to try out a fancy new bistro than a night when 20% of their gross profits are going to provide relief to Sandy victims?

Gwynnett Street

This meal totally impressed me.  Gwynnett Street is very vegan friendly.  So much so, they always have a vegan appetizer, entrée and dessert on their menu at any given time.

Jim started out with their Whiskey Bread, which wasn’t vegan but vegetarian.  It came with cultured butter and looked delicious.  I wish it was vegan, it looked so yummy it was torture looking at it.

Gwynnett Street

For my appetizer I had the winter squash with bell pepper, szechuan pepper and peppercress.  Holy moly this was delicious.  Textures were great.  The squash had a nice bite to it, the herbs were flash fried, and it also had what I believe were pepitas throughout it which gave it additional crunch against the soft vermicelli noodles.  The sauce was delicately sweet and had a hint of citrus.  It was also probably one of the most gorgeously plated vegan dishes I think I’ve ever had.

Gwynnett Street

For my entrée, I finally got to try their tofu.  This restaurant like Roberta’s was awarded a two star review by the New York Times, and the reviewer raved about their house made tofu.

This night it was prepared crusted in pistachio with avocado, celery and celtuce.  The texture was more reminiscent of a pate to me, and it had a great pistachio crust.  Very light and tasty, perfectly paired with the raw avocado, celery and celtuce (which I think is a combination between celery and lettuce?).

Gwynnett Street

What absolutely made my night is when the waitress told me the chef was going to come up with a specialty vegan dessert for me.  She later came back out with what I believe was a sorbet with poached pears, fall spices (lots of cinnamon), a nut cream sauce, and fresh berries.  This was as delicious and seasonal as it sounds.  Isn’t the plating beautiful?

Gwynnett Street

I was extremely pleased with my meal at Gwynett Street and will for sure be back.  It’s now one of my favorite restaurants in the neighborhood.

Have you tried the vegan options at Gwynett Street?  What did you think?

Robertas Pizza

9 Nov

Roberta's

Last Saturday, Jim and I dropped off a load of Sandy Relief donations at Roberta’s Pizza in Bushwick. We had never eaten there, and figured we’d stay for lunch. That’s not to say we haven’t tried to eat there before. Last time we tried it was closed down due to these folks eating there.

If you’re unfamiliar with Roberta’s, the restaurant somewhat pioneered the Brooklyn food scene and has given Brooklyn a rep for having restaurants just as good as Manhattan, if not better. In fact, the New York Times awarded them a two star review.  I don’t know they’re entire history and story but do know that they actually grow a lot of the produce they use on site.

Roberta's

There was of course a wait when we arrived.  They have an additional bar outdoors in a heated tent, so we sat out there for a bit while we waited for our table.

Roberta's

Roberta's

Roberta's

All the seating is pretty much shared.  So we were sat with another couple on one side and a family of four on the other, all at the same table.

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I informed the waitress I was vegan and asked what she recommended, and she was very accommodating. I was recommended the Delicata Salad minus the cheese, which was roasted delicata squash with pea shoots and what I’m guessing was a pumpkin seed dressing.  It was absolutely phenomenal.  After the first bite I understood why Roberta’s was awarded those two stars.

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They also made their hash brown potatoes minus the pork hash for Jim.  It wasn’t vegan due to butter, so I couldn’t have it.  He ate the entire thing so I know it must have been delicious.

Roberta's

Can’t go to Roberta’s without trying the pizza.  The Rosso pie is on their standard menu and is  vegan.  It’s very simple with a flavorful garlic tomato sauce.  This pizza was by far the best pizza I’ve ever had in New York.  The crust was perfection, light and crunchy, not too heavy.  I wouldn’t even think of bastardizing this with a layer of daiya.  And I LOVE daiya.  It was that good without it.

The food is just too good not to go again and again.  I’m really looking forward to my next visit.

Roberta's

Roberta's

Wild Ginger

19 Jun

Wild Ginger

My BFF Nikki and I have been finding it’s pretty tough to get together lately. We’re both so busy with work, and she’s living in Manhattan while I’m obviously in Brooklyn. That may not seem like it’s that far, but it’s far enough not to be super convenient to get together, especially being such over-career-achievers.  So what we’ve been doing lately to make it a priority to see each other  is doing dinner every few weeks, and alternating between new places to try in Brooklyn and Manhattan.

Last week, the dinner spot we chose was my absolute favorite, Wild Ginger. If you’re vegan and have yet to try them out, make sure you stop by there while visiting NYC. There’s several locations ranging from Manhattan to Brooklyn. We decided to meet up at the Williamsburg one in my neighborhood. I’m not ashamed to admit I order take out from here waaaay too often.  We gorged on some of my favorites, including their miso soup, fried spinach and “cheese” wontons (the sauce is to die for!), general tso’s soy protein, and finished up the meal with a good ol’ peanut butter bomb!

Wild Ginger

Wild Ginger

Wild Ginger

Wild Ginger

Wild Ginger

Wild Ginger

Wild Ginger

Wild Ginger

Caracas Arepas Bar

29 May

Caracas Arepas Bar

Last week, Jim and I felt like going out to eat so we stopped by Caracas Arepas Bar. I had eaten there before and loved it, and Jim had never been.

Caracas Arepas Bar

It was a beautiful evening out so we opted for their outdoor seating area.

Caracas Arepas Bar

If you’re a vegetarian or a vegan, they have lots of veg friendly options and are open to modifying. The arepas are crazy filling, inexpensive and delicious.

Caracas Arepas Bar

Caracas Arepas Bar

This summer we plan on trying as many new restaurants as we can. I love dining al fresco.

Le Pain Quitoden

6 Mar

Le Pain Quotidien

A non-vegan friend of mine had mentioned a few weeks ago that last time she was in a Le Pain Quitoden, they had a ton of vegan options. I used to frequent the chain a bit while marathon training in Central Park several years ago, and didn’t remember them having a ton of options so hearing this surprised me.

This past Saturday prior to heading over to the NYC Vegetarian Food Festival, Jim and I met up with some of his relatives in town visiting at one of their locations mid-town, and I was blown away by all their options! Damn vegans, we’ve come a long way!  If you’re a vegan living in NYC, be sure to stop in, they’re trying to win our business and doing a really great job!

Le Pain Quotidien

Le Pain Quotidien

Le Pain Quotidien

Le Pain Quotidien

Rockin Raw

14 Oct

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Last Sunday my friend Tracy and I went to yoga class, and afterwards decided to go have brunch. She had earlier in the week suggested we eventually try Rockin’ Raw, Williamsburg’s local raw vegan restaurant. Since I was super impressed with the raw food at Pure Food and Wine, and the both of us love healthy fare (we’re both fitness nuts) we decided it was the perfect choice to check out for brunch.

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It was an absolutely gorgeous, Indian Summer day, so we took advantage of their outdoor seating.

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You can’t call it brunch without a bloody mary! Rockin’ Raw’s bloody’s were great. They had a slight fruity taste, which was a pleasant surprise.

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As an appetizer, Tracy and I shared the nachos. They were made of flax crips topped with vegan cheese, tomatoes, and all the nacho topping standards. They were surprising delicious. Tasted just like the normal thing, just at room temperature.

We both coincidentally ordered the same thing as our meal. The lasagna. It was really flavorful. You could taste the concentration of flavors in the sauce. I could easily pinpoint sun-dried tomatoes and basil. The layers included zucchini and mushrooms, which I love. The kale topping with the nutritional yeast was a great addition. This dish was very, very filling. We both only managed to finish half of it. I took the leftovers home and they lasted very well the following day in the fridge.

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For dessert, we both shared the Chocolate Pecan Tarte, yum! I never in a million years would have guessed it was raw. It was delicious.

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Though it was an expensive brunch, it’s definitely a place I’d hit up again. The food was well worth the money. Check it out if you’re ever in the neighborhood and are looking for a good, healthy bite.

Miami Trip Recap

26 Sep

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Here’s my recap on where we stayed, what we did, saw, and ate during our trip to South Beach two weeks ago. We were invited to a wedding there and decided to make a 7 day vacation out of it. We went out of our way to find some really great vegan and vegetarian friendly spots that aren’t necessarily marketed as so, which were all fantastic and worth checking out! A warning in advance, this is a very text and photo heavy post, so be warned.

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Where We Stayed: The Betsey
We had a really tough time when planning the trip deciding on where to stay. When we finally had it narrowed down, it was going to be one of two Jetsetter deals we were going to take advantage of. The Betsey Hotel and the Modrian. The Modrian was a much larger hotel, located on Biscayne Bay that was across the street from a Whole Foods, which appealed to me. We ultimately decided to go with the Betsey because it was located right on Ocean Drive (the main strip in South Beach), looking over the beach. The location alone we figured made it worthwhile for our first visit to Miami.

Upon checking in we were informed that the hotel upgraded us from a pool view suite, to an ocean view suite. We were stoked! Our room was gigantic. It had a king size bed, living room, giant walk in closet and a massive bathroom with the largest shower I’ve ever seen. And the bathroom mirror even had an invisible TV built into it, which was pretty cool. All in all the hotel was beautiful and the perfect place to call home for our trip.

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I also loved how almost all the art in the hotel were original works by various artists. There was a lot of great photography on display, including a kick-ass print of Kurt Cobain over our bed (odd placement, but a great piece nonetheless). The hotel also had lots of zebra and striped accents which of course appealed to my style sensibility.

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The hotel had a really nice, private, enclosed pool area that we frequented a few afternoons. It was nice and quiet and they had plenty of towels and fruit infused water on hand for the guests lounging by it. They also had a rooftop deck with an amazing view of Ocean Drive, the park, and South Beach in general.

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Ocean Drive
Our hotel was located at the very north end of Ocean Drive, which is the main strip in South Beach right in the heart of the Art Deco district. Jim and I are huge art deco fans, so we were excited to get out and explore a bit.

Ocean Drive is filled with old art deco hotels, cafés and night clubs. It’s really hopping at night. Here’s a few of our favorite photos we shot while out and about exploring Ocean Drive during the duration of our trip.

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The Beach
As part of our resort fee, we received two guaranteed beach chairs a day at the beach, which was located directly across the street from the hotel. You’d walk up to the cabana check in area and give them your name and your room number, and they’d escort you to a set of two beach chairs complete with towels, cushions, and a beach umbrella. They also had a small concession stand on site where you could get cold drinks, sandwiches and snacks.

The beach actually surpassed my expectations. My favorite place to vacation is in Negril, Jamaica specifically for their beach. Negril’s beaches are pretty quiet with the exception of folks soliciting you to parasail and do various activities. I expected Miami’s beach to be a crazy party scene, and was surprised to see that during the week they were as quiet and peaceful as what I was used to. They were super clean, and the water crystal clear. It was amazingly relaxing.

We actually lucked out because we made the first few weekdays of the trip our “beach days”. Over the weekend, when the weekend crowds rolled in and the beach turned into more of a giant party, the jellyfish also rolled in. So I’m glad we got our beach fix prior to all the craziness as well as when we could safely go in the water.

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The Deco Bikes, South Pointe Park, the Modrian and Lincoln Road
By far, our favorite day during our trip was when we used the Deco Bikes to explore South Beach.

The Deco Bikes are a bike share system with stations located throughout Miami Beach. Using a credit card, you check out bikes at any station for a specified amount of time. Since stations are located all over the place, you can pretty much have any destination in mind and there’ll be a bike station located with a block or two of it. You don’t chain up the bikes, you instead return it to any station, visit your destination, and then when ready to continue on your journey check out another bike at whatever the closest station is. So conceivably, you can bike to another station, walk on foot for a mile and then check a bike out at another station to ride back to your original location. It was an awesome way to explore the city, without needing the hassle of renting a car.

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During our self guided Deco Bike tour, we rode our bikes all the way south down Ocean Drive to South Pointe Park, explored the park for a bit and then headed back uptown on the Biscayne Bay side to check out the Modrian. We wanted to see what we were missing out on by not choosing that hotel.

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The Modrian is a huge hotel. Style wise, it’s totally up Jim and my alleys. We, just like Rachael Zoe love our interior to be white lacquer and full of mirrors, and the Modrian delivers on this design aesthetic.

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We had a lot of fun exploring the hotel’s lobby and pool area, and then continued on our way back uptown a bit to check out Lincoln Road. Lincoln Road is Miami Beach’s pedestrian shopping mall (i.e. tourist strip). There are lots of restaurants and cafe’s with sidewalk seating, and lots and lots of shopping. We explored a few shops and then stopped in for lunch at the Cafe at Books and Books, which was delicious and one of our favorite meals of the trip (see below in the Eats section for a full review and photos).

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After lunch we checked out the actual Books and Books bookstore, which was probably one of the coolest designed book store I had ever been in. I loved how they displayed all their books on the thick, dark bookshelves and how the store was laid out in a little maze of small, well curated rooms. They had a great selection of art and design books.

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By the time we were done at Lincoln Road, we were beat and still had to get ready to go out for dinner with the bride and groom, who had just gotten into town that day so we found the nearest Lincoln Road Deco Bike station, signed out our bikes and rode back down to the station by our hotel. If you’re ever planning a trip to Miami Beach, I highly recommend forgoing the rental car and using the Deco Bike system, it was the highlight of our trip!

Where We Ate
I’m used to going to all-inclusives, so this trip for us was one of the first vacations we’ve been on where we could eat wherever we wanted. Using Yelp, as well as the Miami Restaurant Guide magazine in our hotel we located a slew of vegan and vegetarian friendly restaurants to check out. Being the food snobs we are, Miami definitely did not disappoint!

Juice and Java
Our first day in Miami our plane got in around 11 am, so by the time we got to the restaurant and settled in we were jonesin for a good, quick, healthy bite. I found Juice and Java on Yelp and it was only two blocks away, so we went to check it out.

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Juice and Java is your typical health food joint. They had a huge menu, and it was super vegan friendly. Jim and I shared a freshly squeezed carrot juice, and Jim got a steamed vegetable plate and I had their baked falafel couscous meal. Yum! It was so good I inhaled it, which for me is always an issue because any time I eat to fast I get a really horrendous stomach ache. So needless to say it ruined the rest of my day, but was worth it because it was delicious!

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We also stopped by Juice and Java a few mornings after our workouts for smoothies, which was great because it allowed us to keep up with our usual morning routines. On a totally unrelated to Juice and Java note, one morning during our walk back from getting our smoothies we passed not only the apartments the cast from Jersey Shore stayed at in Miami, but also the gelato shop they worked at. Jim snapped this quick pic of me outside it, immediately posted it to Facebook and titled it “GTL- Gelato, Tan, Laundry”.

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La Marea
After the beach on our second day, we were starving so we took off down Ocean Drive to look for someplace to have a cocktail and some lunch. Ocean Drive is full of tons of places to eat, many of which running super cheap lunch specials. While somewhat appealing, they all had crazy club music going outside by their patio seating. Jim and I are not really into that, so we looked for a chill place with quieter music, and an easily adaptable menu. We settled on La Marea, which is the restaurant at the Tides Hotel.

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The Tides is currently rated as the number one hotel on Trip Advisor and I can understand why. It’s in a perfect location, and it’s a gorgeous hotel. The interiors from what I understand were designed by Kelly Wearstler. The most we got to check out was their lobby, which I loved all the finishes. The interior design was really textural, with lots of lush fabrics, metals and natural stones.

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Our meal at La Marea was great. We ordered the nacho tower with the cheese on the side for Jim to start. For our meals Jim had a veggie burger and I had their falafel sandwich (order it sans the yogurt sauce to make it vegan). To round out our meal we had two of the best margarita’s I’ve ever had. They were expensive, but they were strong. I actually got a little too tipsy and while getting ready to go out for dinner later on that evening, I split my head open on the shower temperature control. Long story not getting into, but there was a lot of blood and it ruined our evening since we didn’t know if I should get stitches or had a concussion. Yikes. I’m totally fine now and my head is healing fine, and I wouldn’t take back that margarita for anything it was totally worth it.

BLT Steak
I know what your thinking. What would a vegetarian and a vegan want going into a place called BLT Steak? BLT Steak was located in our hotel and they by the end of the trip wound up being our favorite place to go for breakfast. They were very accommodating by allowing me to modify their vegetable omelet to an omelet with no egg (i.e. sauteed vegetables), and they had these little roasted tomatoes with pesto breadcrumbs that were to die for! I actually want to try to figure out a similar recipe so we can have them at home, they were that good.

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They also had soy milk so it was a great spot to get some coffee and people watch on Ocean Drive. We enjoyed our breakfasts here so much we returned three times during our trip.

The Restaurant at the Setai
Any time we go on vacation, we like to go out one evening to a super fancy, romantic restaurant being vacations are the perfect opportunity to justify spending that much money on a meal. I found the Restaurant at the Setai by accident, checking the Miami Restaurant Guide magazine in our hotel room while looking for vegetarian and vegan options. They were actually listed in the vegan section, which confused me considering when you go to Yelp for the restaurant they’re are very few mentions of them having vegan options. Come to find out, they have an entirely separate, vegetarian menu from the main menu. In addition to being in town for a friends wedding, we were also celebrating our own upcoming wedding anniversary and based on the Yelp reviews saying how romantic this place was we knew it was the place to go to celebrate our now three years married.

Jim and I got all dressed up and caught a cab up to the Setai. The Setai was a gorgeous, gorgeous hotel. The best way I could describe the lobby and hotel bar is asian zen chic. Lots of orchids, natural woods and dim lighting. It was very romantic.

The restaurant was located right off the lobby entrance, and we were escorted to our table in the back corner of the restaurant. It was very romantic and private. Since all the lighting was basically candlelight, I didn’t really have the opportunity to get the best pictures and what I got hardly do the restaurant or hotel any justice. So you’ll have to just go by my word to know it was the best meal we had our entire time in Miami, and we received the most amazing service while there.

As with most high-end restaurants the Restaurant at the Setai’s chef’s sent us over an amuse bouche to start off our meal with. What they sent over was a beef short rib, which Jim and I politely declined, letting the food running know we were vegan and although we appreciated the gesture, we couldn’t eat it. Not even 5 minutes later, the executive chef personally came to our table, delivering to us a vegan butternut squash amuse bouche that was to die for.

I honestly don’t remember what Jim ordered, but I had their Tom Kha Gai soup as my first course, their mock duck dim sum as my second and tofu curry as my third. OMG is all I can say! The soup was seriously the most delicious soup I’ve ever had. It was coconut milk infused with lemongrass, and a ton of fresh vegetables. The dim sum was fresh and light, and the dipping sauce complimented the dim sum perfectly. By the time my curry came along, I was so stuffed I could only fit a few bites, but it was delicious as well and I wish I had a fridge in my hotel because I would have taken it back and eaten it all week.

I wish I had gotten better shots while at the Setai, but everything came out pretty grainy since I only had my point and shoot and iPhone and the only real lighting was by candle light.  Here’s a few shots I was able to salvage.

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Other highlights included them bringing us some freshly made Naan with curry dipping sauce, as well as surprising us with a sorbet platter that said “Happy Anniversary” on it. The coconut sorbet was my favorite.

If you’re visiting Miami and are looking for a higher end place to check out for a romantic dinner, check out the Restaurant at the Setai, you won’t be disappointed!

The Cafe at Books and Books
The Cafe at Books and Books was another Miami Restaurant Guide Magazine find. They’re located on Lincoln Road, and have sidewalk seating making it perfect for people watching. We stopped in for lunch here during our Deco Bike day.

The Cafe at Books and Books has a vegan section to their menu! I was beyond excited. They were having a prefix lunch special that day which included a soup or salad, entree and dessert so we decided to go with that. I decided on the tomato gazpacho, tofu mushroom stir-fry and fresh fruit with mint dressing for dessert. To drink we both had unsweetened raspberry ice teas.

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I’m not a big fan of cold soup, but after our long bike ride that day their gazpacho was insanely refreshing. The tofu stir fry was huge, and amazing! I had to use every ounce of effort not to inhale the whole thing. I didn’t want to get another stomach ache like I did our first day at Juice and Java. The stir fry had a sweet, teriyaki type sauce on it, and it was served over a bed of couscous. The fresh fruit with mint-dressing was also very refreshing. I find fruit salads can be like playing russian roulette sometime, they’re hit or miss. This was the freshest fruit salad I’ve had in some time, and the sauce was a great compliment to it.

One word of warning, the portions here are huge. They’re definitely sharable. Also, be sure to check out the book store while here, it’s definitely worthwhile!

Sushi Samba Dromo

Going to Sushi Samba Dromo was a blast from the past for Jim and I. Jim a long time ago used to work at one of the Sushi Samba’s in NYC, so one night while walking along Lincoln Road we decided to check out the Miami location and have some of our old favorites. They had sidewalk seating so we decided to have a few cocktails, a small bite and people watch. If you’ve never been to Sushi Samba, they have a really interesting menu. Their cuisine is Japanese fusion with a South American twist.

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My favorite cocktail in the whole wide world is Sushi Samba’s Nina Fresca. I love them so much, we had them as our signature cocktail at our wedding. They have freshly muddled strawberries along with strawberry infused vodka and a few other ingredients. Delish, but you have to be careful they go down really easy and work quickly. Jim’s a big time sake fan so he had one of his favorites while there.

Sushi Samba actually has several really solid options for vegans. For my appetizer, I had the green bean tempura minus the aioli dipping sauce. As a second course I had their eggplant, mustard and miso antichuchos which was skewered and marinated eggplant, grilled to perfection served with a side of peruvian corn (also marinated in miso and usually butter, though they subbed the butter for oil for me and it was still amazing). For my entrée I had their O Fenômeno Samba roll, which was pickled napa cabbage, baby carrot, asparagus, satsumaimo, tempura flake. The cabbage was an unlikely surprise in a vegetable based sushi roll, and it was delicious! I love getting to try more creative vegetarian sushi and Sushi Samba definitely didn’t disappoint.

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G&T Miami Wedding
Our close friends, who I’ll refer to as G&T being that’s the way we always refer to them as were the main reason we were in Miami. They love Miami and decided to tie the knot there. I had never been to Miami, so Jim and I were super stoked to plan a vacation around their big day.

G&T do everything VIP style, and love to have fun (in fact, they had “always fun” engraved into their wedding bands). And their wedding was a blast and totally non-traditional. Instead of a typical rehearsal dinner, the grooms parents instead hosted a welcome dinner for all the wedding guests at the Big Pink, a Miami mainstay. The entire restaurant was reserved for the wedding, so even when Master P and Lil Romeo stopped by for a quick bite they were denied entry and had to eat on the patio, which made the brides day. It was hilarious.

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As a surprise for the guests, G&T arranged for dessert to have a Mr. Softee truck some to serve all the guests ice cream. Isn’t that the cutest idea ever?

Their wedding reception the following day was held at a local hotel, and they lucked out with the most amazing weather ever. It was important to them to have all their friends involved in the wedding, so instead of having typical wedding vendors they instead enlisted the help of their friends. In a previous life, I was a high-end invitation designer so as my gift to them, I created their invitations, save the dates and wedding logo for them. Throughout the wedding they included the logo in all sorts of little details, like these sunglass favor pouches.

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They also had other friends create their wedding rings, officiate the wedding, and more. They’re ceremony was one of the sweetest I’ve ever been too. It was personalized and perfect for them, and I was so happy to see them married! One of my favorite things they did right after tying the knot was change into customized bride and groom, neon Nikes.

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Immediately following the wedding they had a cocktail hour which included a live band and dance floor, and then the wedding continued at Nikki Beach Club. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to say I’ve attended a wedding at a night club after this wedding, and it was perfect!

When entering the reception, all guests were stopped to get their photo taken in front of the G&T step and repeat (i.e. red carpet background), which they used to get photos of all their guests entering their reception. Everyone at the reception got to hang out and relax, there was no assigned seating or pre-determined dance floor. No mandatory macarena. It was awesome! We had the best time. They even had surprise entertainment, like these fire dancers.

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After the reception, the party continued on Ocean Drive where a group of around 40 people went club hopping with G&T. We went out for a bit but had to call it a night shortly after being our flight was the following afternoon. Their wedding was the best way to end our visit to Miami, and we intend on visiting again sometime soon.

Have you ever been to Miami? What should I check out next time I go? Do tell.

Loreley

23 Sep

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Since WordPress decided to be a bitch and eat my Miami recap post (which I spent hours on my plane ride back writing), today we’re resuming with our regularly scheduled posts until I can find time to re-write the damn thing. I hope to finish that this weekend while the trip is still relatively fresh in my mind.

Back a few weeks ago, my friend Nikki and I decided to have a few after work beers at Loreley. Loreley’s a biergarden located a few short blocks from my house, and it’s my summer hang out spot. Every few weeks the girls in my spin class at the gym take a class and then head to Loreley for “sweaty beers”, where we go to the bar right after class all sweaty and gross and proceed to get sloshed. It’s a great time for all involved. I also spent all day on the fourth of July here since we could sit in their outdoor garden and drink the day away.

Loreley has a wide variety of beers and German food. They even have a vegetarian sandwich option that can easily be made vegan minus the cheese. I also love their fries. If you’re ever in the area I highly recommend checking it out. Be sure to let me know, I’ll meet up with you!

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Purume

2 Sep
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My BFF Nikki at Purume

A few weeks ago I met up with my BFF Nikki for dinner at Purume, a now fully vegan eatery in Union Square.  This restaurant is the restaurant above Karaoke Cave (formerly Lemongrass) for those of you karaoke freaks who might be familiar with it.

The restaurant was very spacious, and the decor very “zen”, which didn’t really surprise me being I’ve heard of the place for their macrobiotic cuisine.

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Nikki and I both ordered the same thing.  We started with the miso soup, which was absolutely delicious and highly recommended.  After we had their tofu entrée, which again was really, really good.  The tofu was marinated and very flavorful, and the presentation was better than I’m used to at most vegan eateries.  The only disappointment in the dish was that the portion size was on the smaller side, and I was hungry that night so it wasn’t really sufficient for me.

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For dessert, I opted for their apple tart a la mode.  The tart though it looked amazing was a bit of a let down.  I had expected them to have vegan vanilla ice cream to accompany it, but they didn’t so the next best choice besides green tea was chocolate, which was a bit odd.  The filling of the tart itself was very good, but the crust was hard as a rock and basically inedible.

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All in all, while I enjoyed my meal there I’m not sure it was worth the price tag.  The prices for the portions served was on the high side.  Then again I’m spoiled with all the vegan options available to me in Williamsburg and it’s not that often I go out to eat in Manhattan, so it could just be I’m a bit out of touch.

If you’re looking for a good, quick, vegan macrobiotic bite and are in the Union Square area, I’d recommend checking Purume out.