George and Julia's Vegan Underground

So You’re Ready to be Vegan?

the panSo you want to be a vegan, great! We highly recommend it. First of all, don’t think of it denying yourself things, just consider the vegan life as your new personal food normal. Here are some benefits I ‘ve experienced right off the bat as a vegan. I always hated fish and it was always around. Now I don’t need to make excuses for not eating someone’s scrumptious fish they took all day to prepare and I don’t have to pretend to like sushi. The same goes for my grill-master friends and their charcoal smoked sausage, steak and pork. These cheap meats taste like I licked an actual grill top. “Awe, sorry grill-masters, wish I could but I’m vegan.”

I know there will be animal products that you will miss. The more you learn about it, the less you’ll crave it. I’m talking about chicken being covered in feces, pink slime, the hormones in milk working to give you cancer. Then there’s the beautiful animals we torture and kill. The poor defenseless animals. Yes, I went there. Carnivore conflict? I know Julia is always ready with facts about being a healthy vegan and standing up to those artery clogged Paleos. I usually say I feel great and leave it at that. All the heart disease you will avoid, blood that flows fast and free, that’s what it’s all about. Oh yeah and you’ll look younger.

sun tampa bodie julia

When you start, you can eat tasty but not necessarily nutritious fake meat and cheese to ease into it. Julia and I have some staple meals that are not always healthy: Pasta with broccoli and red sauce, chick pea/vegetables with curry sauce, guacamole, brown rice (we have a rice cooker), vegetable stir fry, tacos/burritos, cheese-less pizza, green smoothies, frozen bananas, buffalo “chicken” made with tempeh, organic oranges and apples, large salads with plenty of bright vegetables, lentil soup, chili, Dr. McDougall’s soups (we have boxes shipped to our house), peanut butter and jelly, whole grain cereal with rice or almond milk, and the list goes on and on.  We even made vegan protein powder  a part of our day.

If we are going out to eat (or ordering in) we recommend pizza without cheese, vegetarian Indian dishes, Mexican, Chinese, Thai, Mediterranean, Turkish, delis, burger places that have a vegan burger, and salad at almost any place. When ordering out, make it very clear that you can have no dairy, eggs, butter, cheese or animal products. You’ll find out which restaurants are extremely accommodating.   If they don’t seem to care, take your business elsewhere. We have had a pizza delivered to us with cheese and we had to send it back.

G and J Tampa

Want to be super healthy? There are so many routes to go. Most of the nutritional vegan diets are based on starches, vegetables, fruit, low-fat, nuts, seeds, no oil uncooked (raw), unprocessed, rice, and grains.   There are so many version of the vegan diet.  Here is a great example of some of the best vegan diets listed by John McDougall, MD.

Barnard Diet (by Neal Barnard, MD, founder of Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine): Based on starches, vegetables and fruits. Diet is low-fat. Emphasis is on no animal foods, ever.

Biblical Daniel Diet: More than 2500 years ago a diet of vegetables and water was found to improve the health of men in 10 days, compared to men eating meat (the king’s food).

China Study Diet (by T. Colin Campbell, PhD): Based on starches, vegetables, and fruits. Animal foods may account for 10% or fewer of foods consumed.

CHIP Program (The Complete Health Improvement Program by Dr.HansDiehl): Based on starches, vegetables, and fruits. Emphasis is on eating low-fat.

Esselstyn Diet (by Caldwell Esselstyn, MD): Based on starches, vegetables, and fruits. No nuts, seeds, avocados, or other fatty plant foods are allowed. Emphasis is on eating very low-fat.

Engine 2 Diet (by Rip Esselstyn): Based on starches, vegetables, and fruits. Emphasis is on eating very low-fat.

Fuhrman Diet (by Joel Fuhrman, MD): Based on green and yellow vegetables, beans, nuts, and seeds. Not always low in fat. Small amounts of animal foods allowed. Emphasis is on eating “nutrient-dense” greens.

Hallelujah Diet (by Rev. George Malkmus): Consists of 85% raw, uncooked, and unprocessed plant-based food, and 15% cooked, plant-based foods.

Kempner Rice Diet (by Walter Kempner, MD): Based on rice and fruits. More plant foods and a few animal foods are allowed after recovery. Emphasis is on eating very low sodium.

Macrobiotic Diet: Based on grains (rice) and vegetables. Fish, seafood, seeds, and nuts may be eaten occasionally.

McDougall Diet (by John McDougall, MD): Based on starches, vegetables, and fruits. Healthy, trim people can eat some nuts, seeds, and avocados. Animal foods for holidays, at most. Emphasis is on eating starches.

Natural Hygiene Diet (by Herbert M. Shelton, ND): Advocates a raw food diet of vegetables, fruits, and nuts; and also periodic fasting and food combining.

Ornish Diet (by Dean Ornish, MD): Based on starches, vegetables and fruits. Low-fat dairy, some fish, and fish oils are used at times. Emphasis is on eating very low-fat.

Popper Diet (by Pam Popper, PhD): Based on starches, vegetables, and fruits. Emphasis is on eating very low-fat.

Pritikin Diet (by Nathan Pritikin): The original diet was based on starches, vegetables and fruits. Small amounts of meat, poultry, fish, and low-fat dairy are allowed. Emphasis is on eating very low-fat.

George Sponge bob

So have fun! Victoria Moran, the author of the book “Main Street Vegan” told me that the trick to staying vegan is when  you take something you like out of your diet, put two things you like, in. We’ve been vegan for a year and a half and feel great! Sluggishness, stomach upset, and so much more disappears. Some vegan diets claim to reverse heart disease and diabetes. There is so much to gain. Be a vegan, it’s fun!

Vegan Dog

Family
Even before I became a complicated vegan, I feared dog food.  When Bodie moved in, my fear heightened as a concerned parent and as a vegan.  Before I could say sweet potato biscuit pet owners scolded me.  “Dogs are meant to eat meat”, it’s in their DNA”, “dogs come from wolves,” “not feeding them meat is abuse”…blah, blah, blah.  Of course, the meat of their wolf ancestry was not chock full of toxins and antibiotics.  Plus, I really couldn’t see Bodie or one of his relatives as a predator.
So the Status quo says keep the dogs full of “meat”.  Of course it’s not really what we would consider meat, is it?   Most dog food “meats” are heads, feet, bones, blood, intestines, lungs, spleens, livers, ligaments, fat trimmings, unborn babies.  “Chicken” consists mainly of backs and frames.  “4D” animals (dead, dying, diseased, disabled) are banned for human consumption, but can still be used in dog food.  The same law applies for the “premium” and “natural” varieties .  So I ask, is this “essential” animal protein helping or killing our canines.? I’m no vet, doctor, or dog nutritionist but it seems that all those nasty ingredients would be hard on the kidneys, heart, liver, and arteries (but great for cancer).
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Here’s some conspiracy stuff.  There is a giant dog food industry (like the tobacco and soda industries) that pushes products they know is not healthy for their consumers.  I have many “dogs need meat” articles sent to me and I always look at the author.  One guy (Dr. TJ Dunn) writes for PetMD and runs a website funded by various dog food companies.   He is also employed by petfoodsdirect.com.  Biased indeed.
Then there are the recalls.  At least once a month a main brand dog food is recalled for killing or making a dogs ill and this isn’t just the stuff from China.  The last big one came out of a manufacturer in Colorado.  See if your dog food has been recalled.  I bet it has.  The real tragedy is that in most cases, the dog food manufacturer doesn’t even take their deadly fare off the shelves.  It’s voluntary.  Dogs die and they don’t care as long as their money keeps rolling in.  Who wants to play Russian Roulette every time you feed your dog?  Instead of criticizing our depriving our dog of meat, consider it a possible safeguard.  If you want to put your dogs health in the hands of a greedy corporation, that’s your choice.
Bodie and celebrity vegan dog "Piggy"

Bodie and celebrity vegan dog “Piggy”

All that said, I don’t claim to know everything.  Julia and I attended a conference on the advantages of making your dog a vegan.  The veterinarian had statistics, a PowerPoint and answered all our questions confidently and to our satisfaction.  While watching the presentation, Bodie was running around.  A three-legged dog kept trying to get me to play.  How can you resist a three-legged dog?  Wait it was the star of the PowerPoint I just watched.  It was “Piggy!” As the story goes “they first found him on the streets of the Dominican Republic, Piggy was just a pup – he had no hair, he was skin hanging over a skeleton, and he could barely walk a couple of blocks,” owner Tod recalls. “After a few months recovering on his vegan diet, he literally tripled in size to 45 pounds, gained a foot in height, exploded with healthy, soft fur … and he runs for miles on his three legs.”  Piggy was one happy dog, that’s for sure, a real lust for lifer.  I talked to Tod afterwards and he told me that he had gotten some angry responses from his online story of Piggy.  Some bordered on death threats.
The favorite story is that of Bramble.  Whenever someone criticizes a vegan diet for dogs, we always say, what about Bramble?  Bramble, a 27-year-old vegan Border Collie, was in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s oldest living dog.  That’s 189 in human years.  Makes you think.  Maybe Bodie could be like Bramble.
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Bodie has been on a vegan diet for about 6 months now.  Here’s what we’ve noticed.  His pancreatitis has disappeared.  He’s was very overweight and as a vegan, he has slimmed down and even appears to have gained some muscle.  He used to itch all the time and that has disappeared.  He also had some bumps on his skin that seem to have gone away.  Although Bodie still loves to sleep he’s seems more alert, energetic and well…lovable.  We’ll never know if Bodie likes his vegan diet because he can’t talk.  We don’t have time to make Bodie his meals so we use a food he really likes called V-dog which has all the necessary nutrients and none of the heads, blood, intestines, lungs, spleens, livers, fat trimmings etc..

Lies about Lies About Mainstream Nutrition – 1. Eggs Are Unhealthy

Julia and the rooster

Today, I will address the incredible edible Egg from the article “Top 11 Biggest Lies of Mainstream Nutrition”   Is it the perfect food or a heart attack maker?

The alleged Top 11 Biggest Lies of Mainstream Nutrition as written by Kris Gunners

1. Eggs Are Unhealthy
2. Saturated Fat is Bad For You
3. Everybody Should be Eating Grains
4. Eating a Lot of Protein is Bad For Your Bones and Kidneys
5. Low-Fat Foods Are Good For You
6. You Should Eat Many Small Meals Throughout The Day
7. Carbs Should Be Your Biggest Source of Calories
8. High Omega-6 Seed and Vegetable Oils Are Good For You and lie
9. Low Carb Diets Are Dangerous.
10. Sugar is Unhealthy. 
11. High Fat Foods Will Make You Fat

1. Eggs Are Unhealthy

What a minute.  Didn’t I read a Canadian Study reported in August of 2012 that Egg yolks were almost as bad for your heart as smoking cigarettes?  It turns out, like cigs, eggs increase artery clogging plaque.  Egg-eaters, on average have 2/3 the amount of plague as a smoker.  I suppose if you smoke and eat eggs,  you’d better make sure you’ve got great health insurance. 

george and julia san fran

No, no… the facts on eggs have “flipped” and eggs are in fact good for you now?  What am I to believe? It’s true!  While it is true a new study reported that eggs are an ideal breakfast food.  Now keep in mind when the study said “ideal breakfast. ”  It did not actually say eggs were healthy.   They’re just good at alleviating hunger.  The study, funded by the American Egg Board reports that eggs fill you up more than the leading breakfast cereal.  It must be all that plaque in the arteries that makes your body scream “no more of this poison, you’re killing me.” 

The fact is, eggs are unhealthy!  They’re one of the worst things you can eat.  One single egg has more cholesterol than the Hardee’s Monster Thick burger ( 2/3 pound of beef, 3 slices of cheese and 4 strips of bacon).

The egg industry also likes to report that “eggs are good for the eyes.”  This cataract protection chemicals they refer to is found in eggs.  However, there is over 20 times more in carrots, and over 100 times more in Kale.  You need eggs for healthy eyes?  That is a lie.

Now if you believe Kris, cholesterol is not the problem.  The arteries don’t clog themselves and anyone who believes eggs are healthy, obviously works for the egg industry.  The author also calls eggs the “most nutritious foods on the planet.”  C’mon Kris, you’re just trying to pick a fight with me.

Next up…”#2  Saturated Fat is Bad For You” the correct answer may not surprise you

Lies about Lies about Mainstream Nutrition

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To be perfectly honest, when I first read “Top 11 Biggest Lies of Mainstream Nutrition” I thought it was a joke.  Many of the cited  “lies” were dated and not current.  Like the FDA and Co., we struggle to keep up with current nutrition facts.  We crave one simple and true list.  As we evolve as humans (we are not cavemen) so does our diets.  With all the cancers and heart attacks linked to our growth-hormoned, antibiotic drunken , feces-saturated, GMO-fed dairy and meat supply, organic vegan is the way to go.  Even if you eat grass-fed, antibiotic free, organic meat and dairy you still are exposed to the dangers that come with excessive hormones (cancer) and artery plaque (heart attacks and bypasses) .

Another shelter of truth is big beef, milk and egg lobbies that will do anything to make the public believe that their products are safe and essential for proper health.  These lobbies will fund their own studies and report only the results in their favor.  They will blame high cholesterol, heart disease and cancer on many “other” factors.   When money is made by people bankrolling a study, it’s bogus or suspect at best.  (Putting in Paranoia Here).  It is likely that the author of this article (Kris Gunnars) is being paid by the meat, egg, dairy, Adkins’ diet  and especially the Paleo diet people to write this piece of propaganda.

Here’s a list of Kris Gunnars “Lies” of Mainstream Nutrition.

1. Eggs Are Unhealthy
2. Saturated Fat is Bad For You
3. Everybody Should be Eating Grains
4. Eating a Lot of Protein is Bad For Your Bones and Kidneys
5. Low-Fat Foods Are Good For You
6. You Should Eat Many Small Meals Throughout The Day
7. Carbs Should Be Your Biggest Source of Calories
8. High Omega-6 Seed and Vegetable Oils Are Good For You and lie
9. Low Carb Diets Are Dangerous.
10. Sugar is Unhealthy. 
11. High Fat Foods Will Make You Fat

While I’m not a negative guy but as a vegan and Nutritarian, I feel it is my duty to respond to each item in the article “Top 11 Biggest Lies of Mainstream Nutrition.”  As a facebook response to this post, I responded “This is the exact opposite of what I believe to be true.”  This article makes my head spin because I disagree so much.

myths george steak banana

The irony to this post is I am being the type of person that I am suggesting you avoid.  Nutrition discoveries are always changing so it is important not to resort to a single source or blog (includes  www.vegan-underground.com) Where do I get the truth?  There are several people I trust but even they do not agree on everything.   Here’s my Nutritional Knowledge Dream Team and yes, they are vegans:

Dr. Joel Fuhrman,    preventing and reversing disease through nutritional methods.   Author of Eat to Live

Dr.Michael Greger,   American physician, author, professional speaker.  

Dr. John A. McDougall  author of The Starch Solution: The McDougall Plan: 12 Days to Dynamic Health, diet coach and has his own line of vegan foods.

Me and MacDougall

Me and MacDougall

Caldwell Esselstyn, M.D. ,  former heart surgeon at the Cleveland Clinic  Author of the book Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease

Dr. Neal D. Barnard, founder of the Physicians Committee For Responsible Medicine(PCRM) – author of Tackling Diabetes explaining how a low-fat vegan diet can fight diabetes.

Dean Ornish, M.D.   is the founder and president of the non-profit Preventive Medicine Research Institute  research demonstrating, for the first time, that comprehensive lifestyle changes may begin to reverse even severe coronary heart disease, without drugs or surgery.  Recently, Medicare agreed to provide coverage for this program, the first time that Medicare has covered a program of comprehensive lifestyle changes. 

These professionals are on the cutting edge as they treat patients with nutrition instead of pills.  They are not funded by big business.  Most of them are a part of a group called Physicians Committee For Responsible Medicine(PCRM) and most are vegans .  I have read so many studies on the China Study being flawed but have never understood these critics.  How can you ignore the incredibly case of prostate and breast cancer? How can you be blind to the China Study’s Cancer Maps?

Kris Gunnars is telling the people what they want to hear.  Eat meat, cholesterol is harmless,  fat is good.  While I don’t disagree with everything (Kris still considers sugar bad and am still on the fence about hating gluten), Gunnars’ article upsets me.

Stay tuned as I start with #1 Eggs Are Unhealthy

Sweet potato and jalapeño bisque

So for the Super Bowl, George and I were thinking about what to make for snacks almost all day. Finally once the game started, we decided on tacos…

Well we had some sweet potatoes around the house and I began googling for a sweet potato and jalapeño mash to be the base. I ended up finding another recipe, a sweet potato bisque. It was completely non vegan. There was bacon and rendered bacon fat involved, half and half and everything to turn a vegans stomach. Well I read the recipe and altered it to make it vegan. Thanks to our vitamix it was easy to make:

  • 3 sweet potatoes- soften all three, purée two, and dice the third
  • 3 roasted jalapeños
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 3 roasted garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 5 1/2 cups of vegetable broth
  • 1 cup almond milk

Purée 2 sweet potatoes, roasted jalapeños, roasted garlic, almond milk and vegetable broth.

In a soup pot, sauté onions with coconut oil and cumin. Once onions are translucent, add diced sweet potato and mix well. Then add sweet potato purée. Salt and pepper to taste.

It’s sweet and very pleasant. Not overly spicy but has a lingering warmth. Reminds me of corn chowder. Roasting the jalapeño and garlic was to add smokiness that bacon would usually have. Coconut oil was used to replace the rendered bacon fat and to still give it a richness. There you have it, vegan sweet potato and jalapeño bisque. Eat guilt-free.

George and Julia’s Vegan Best of 2012

Pianos are Chairs, Indian Pizza

Pianos are Chairs, Indian Pizza

Vegans unite and take in this news of the best vegan food according to us, George and Jules (Julia).  So here it is, we bring you the vegan best.

George and Julia’s Vegan Best of 2012

Formal Dining = Candle 79

Although we have been told the Candle Cafe is much chipper (cheaper and hipper), it’s difficute to beat a romantic vegan dinner from C79.  This restaurant has been bringing vegan food to the masses before it was trendy.  It’s possible they actually made it trendy.  This establishment was started using lottery winnings.  Candle 79 is PaulMcCarthy’s favorite but you don’t need to be a Beatle to eat there.  Just throw on an ironed shirt and clean pair of trousers.  Take your Mom, your fiancé, or a business client you want to impress.  Request a seat on the second level.  Reservations are accepted and recommended and we recommend the polenta fries.

Candle 79 154 East 79th Street at Lex, NY, NY

Wings = Veggie Grill (Los Angeles)

Word has it, Food Swings  http://www.foodswings.net/ fry those fake bitty birds the best but we have never been there.  Foodswings proximity to Champ’s makes it difficult to select.  While spending time with Julia’s brother in Los Angeles, he recommended the fast vegan foodie paradise, Veggie Grill.  Served classic cafeteria-style, this place cooks up great bang for your buck.  Personally, I (that would be George) never liked wings.  I always found them slimy and Neanderthal.  Julia on the other hand, is always on the lookout for a chicken-less substitute to her former favorite.  So yes, Julia says Veggie Grill’s wings win the prize. We’ve had wings at Soy and Sake’s but Julia insists Veggie Grill beats ’em.  If you miss the burger king whopper (I do not), the Veggie Grill burger is an amazing meatless replica.  I sound like a stuck-up jerk in this wings review.  So here’s their new slogan: “Veggie Grill, yes I think I will.”  V.G.’s has 17 locations in California, Oregon and Washington State but no New York chapter.  Why not start your own New York Veggie Grill so I can eat it?  Inquire here.   various locations

Wings = Champs Family Bakery

Sorry Veggie Grill but their called Champs for a reason.  The Champs specials board read “hot wings.”  As the chef works to revamp their menu with some new and exciting options, they often test on their customers.  The wings are everyone’s favorite and our server said it will definitely make the new menu.  I like that they use tempeh instead of gluten or tofu.  The texture is less slimey than a traditional wing (which I like) while still maintaining the item’s best characteristics.  I’m talking about the sauce!!  t made our pancakes buffalo saucy.  This sauce is so perfect, so rich, the best wing sauce I have every tasted.  Julia should really be writing this…If we go this weekend (which is quite possible), we will each be getting 3 orders of wings and that’s it.  I love you Champs!!.  If that’s not incentive enough, Super Bowl Sunday, they are offerring their wings $10.00/dozen (carryout only). 

Veggie Grill, yes I think I will...

Veggie Grill, yes I think I will…

Sandwich = Free Foods (Julia), Cinnamon Snail (George)

While their connection to Pure Food and Wine may be officially severed, a connection remains.  Michael and the crew offer up some delish raw foods and vegan sandwiches.  Their food is made out of some of the ingredients available and most are happy to pay extra for that.  Once a monthly special, the Buffalo “Chicken” Wrap is a regular menu item easily tops the chart for Julia.  In fact, I’m often recruited to bring a Buff Wrap home for her highness;-)

Me, I’ve got to go with Cinnamon Snail.  It’s one of their staples and what keeps me coming back.  While I am not much of a seitan man, when the snail puts together Lemongrass Sub or Cajun hoagie, I’m in love.  Their sandwiches often incorporate 7+ delicious ingredients.  It’s something I could never make at home and I like that.  As Cinnamon Snail pointed out, most of the people who eat their food are not vegan so I guess that says something right there.

Free Foods 18 West 45th Street, btwn 5th and 8th Ave NY, NY,

Cinnamon Snail is mobile so check twitter for location.

Sushi =  Beyond Sushi

This was a no-brainer.  Beyond Sushi has taken sushi to a whole new level.  As a vegan I appreciate that I no longer need to pretend to like raw fish sushi (yuk).  I was ready to hang up my sushi galoshes when Beyond Sushi created a whole new world using fruits, nuts, wild rice, avocado, mushrooms, sweet potatoes and so many other fresh vegetables.  The colors make these rolls works of art.  And no fish means longer shelf life and your safe from mercury and fish parasites.  Un-freakin believable. We were there for the opening.  Two months later they went full vegan.  Julia suggested this and they listened.

Beyond Sushi 229 East 14th Street  New York, NY 10003

Raw Food = Pure Food and Wine

This place got my best of in 2011.  This place has not gone downhill but my tastes have changed.  Pure Food and Wine (PFW) has made raw food a delicacy.  Bring your carnivores, they’ll love it too.  BillClinton has a table there.  It is still one of the most recognized vegan restaurant in the world and with good reason.  Yes the prices are high but this romantic gem offers superb sight and taste.  Try it, you’ll love it.

Pure Food and Wine 54 Irving Place (between 17th and 18th streets) , NY, NY

Ice Cream = One Lucky Duck (Julia), Lula’s Sweet Apothecary (George)    

One Lucky Duck is the café adjoined with Pure Food and Wine and serves the same food in a coffeehouse environment.  We had the Sundae and it was perfect.  The waiter told us it was about the mixing for maximum fluff.  Their hot fudge brought me a childhood flashback.  While it is amazing, almost perfect, I still lust for Lula’s Sweet Apothecary.  Set up like an old tyme candy joint, they have 10+ different flavors of ice cream, banana splits, classic sundaes and more.  This place was named by the  the Meetup group, “Eatup Vegan Lunch Bunch” as the pride of New York.  In other words, if someone comes from out of town, you take them to Lula’s.  It seriously blows minds. One Lucky Duck is the café adjoined with Pure Food and Wine and serves the same food in a coffeehouse environment.

One Lucky Duck 125 East 17th Street, NY, NY

Lula’s Sweet Apothecary 516 East 6th Street (btwn Ave A&B) New York, NY

Breakfast = Champs Family Bakery

This was not even close.  Pancakes!  These are fluffy mouthwatering flap jacks like no other.  We brought a guy from France to Champs and Mr Fancy pants (apparently they don’t have pancakes in France) was blown away.  Seriously, put Champ’s pancakes on your bucket list.  The problem is, we go there for dinner and can’t help but get pancakes.  How could you not.  In addition, they’ve got the best tofu scramble I’ve ever had.  The spicy version is called the Drunken Cowgirl which was the first and last meal I had at Champs.  We moved farther away from Champs so we went there 2-3 times a week until our move date.  They’ve even got a great bakery.  We prefer the cookies over the cakes.  You’ll need to take it to go.  Champs serves up huge portions.  

Champs Family Bakery 176 Aislie Street Brooklyn NY

Breakfast of Champions

Breakfast of Champions

Falafel = Taim

The Vegan Guide to New York City (by Rynn Berry, Chris Abreu-Suzuki, and Barry Litsky) kind of panned Taim as good, not great.  We couldn’t disagree more.  Crisp (another favorite of ours) reinvented this classic with untraditional gourmet toppings like sweet potato and peanut sauce.  Taim has brought new life to the falafel ball itself.  They have a spicy ball option and even their traditional falafel has a “zing” you won’t find at the other places.  Talk about raising the bar.  Julia and I housed them sammies.  Simply the greatest falafel in the world.  Taim’s wise to the whole vegan thing, so let them know.  They’ll be no “tude.”

On a side note, Vegan Guide to New York City author Rynn Berry is best known for his book debunking the myth that Adolf Hitler was a vegetarian (Thank you Rynn!  A lie invented by the meat industry (no doubt)). On a lighter note Julia would also like to point out that the Vegan Guide  forgot to mention Atlas Cafe’ although I think I know why. My point being that the Vegan Guide to New York City is a great book to have in your pocket.  Great job (except for panning Taim and omitting Atlas)!

Taim 45 Spring St, New York 10012 (new location!)

Taim 222 Waverly Place, New York10014. 

Taim Mobile


Burger = Johnny Mack’s (Julia), Zen Palate (George)

When Julia wants to get her burger on we go to a pub of all places.  Serving standard bar fare, they have two things on the menu we can eat, the veggie burger and the sweet potato fries.  Initially upset at our limited selections, we shut up when we took a bite of their veggie burger and scarfed down sweet potato fries.  Absolutely great.  Not flashy but a well put together, made-with-actual-veggies pattie and fried orange potatoes on the side.  Way to go JohnnyMack.  Who would have known?

Personally I (George) prefer a more earthy burger.  Zen Palate’s Zen Burger is piled high with sprouts and a virtual salad between an oat bun.  The pattie doesn’t stay together like Johnny’s.  This says to me it’s all vegetable goodness with no binders or breadcrumbs.  Zen Burger was started by the parents of the Gobo guys.

Johnny Mack’s 1114 8th Ave (between 11th St & 12th St) Brooklyn, NY 11215 

Zen Palate  663 9th Ave (at 46th), New York, NY 10036

Vietnamese Sandwich = Hanco’s (Julia), Bahnmigos (George)

You may think it’s unusual that we have a separate best for Vietnamese Sandwiches.  In 2012, we lived in the infamous Vietnamese Sandwich warzone.  It got pretty ugly and the competion was fierce but there was no better place to get a Vietnamese Sandwich  than Park Slope Brooklyn, 2010-present.  This still is the center of the Bahn Mi universe and it became a weekly choice for us.  We had Henry’s, Home, Lotus but the true great was a place called Hanco’s.  They had it down, the bread, pickled carrots, cilantro, jalepeno.  Even having it vegan with tofu or fake pork with no butter or mayonnaise, it still ranked high.  I wonder how many we’ve eaten.

Bahn Amigos Jay, George and Foon

Bahn Amigos Jay, George and Foon

Before we could depart the great Vietnamese Sandwich heaven, I met a couple of guys opening yet another Bahn Mi shop called Bahnmigos.  No, it was not Vietnamese/Mexican fusion (although I thought that could work).   Jay the manager asked for my honest feedback.  Foon was the former chef at Hanco’s and was speading his wings to a new generation of Bahn Mi lovers.  I fell in love with Bahnmigo’s modern versions of this classic sandwich.  While I would never eat sausage Bahn Mi, they also offered one with a Portobello mushroom.  More carrots than I was used to and less cilantro but the bun was super fresh and the mushrooms sauted to perfection.  I fell in love that day.

Hanco’s 350 7th Ave. (corner of 10th ST.) Brooklyn, NY 11215

Bahnmigos 178 Lincoln Pl(between 7th Ave & 8th Ave) Brooklyn, NY 11217

Bagel = Le Bagel Delight (Julia), Ess-a-Bagel (George)

I always hand-quote “bagel” when eating one that is not New York born.  It’s just a fact that nobody beats us.  The best of New York is the best in the world.  One of my first experiences in NYC was a trip to the H&H bagels that used to be across the street from Zabar’s.  Julia prefers Le Bagel Delight.  They make a fine bagel and it used to be near our home.   Many a day, we walked and shared a chewy and crispy circle of goodness.  To me, the bagel place that wins, hands down is Ess-a-Bagel.  This place is a New York institution.  The guys behind the counter yell “Hey, who’s next” and always seem grumpy.  The bagel though, you have to taste to believe.  Perfect texture, chewy and usually hot from the oven.  I love these bagels so much I skip the tofu cream cheese and just eat the bagel as is.  Ess-a-bagel wins best bagel in the world with me.

Le Bagel Delight –  122 – 7th Avenue (Between Carrol & President) Brooklyn

Ess-a-Bagel 831 3rd Avenue, New York, NY 10022

Bakery = Vegan Treats (George) / Babycakes (Julia)

Vegan Treats?  Bethlehem?  What gives?  Although the Vegan Treats bakery resides in Pennsylvania, there’s a good chance you’ve eaten them in New York.  They supply many restaurants with vegan sweets.  This includes the Cocoa Room, V Spot, Moby’s Teany, Dao Palate and many others.  My heart belongs to the Vegan Treat’s Peanut Butter Chocolate “bomb” cake (or is it “explosion”).  Following them on Facebook is grueling and drooling to see.  There’s a good chance the George and Julia wedding cake/pastry will be a vegan treat creation.  Julia prefers the cute and always delicious Babycakes.  They are set up to serve the gluten-free people of the world too.  I had a mint chocolate cupcake that was so good, I wanted to buy a dozen.  Julia put a stop to that.  You seem I’m watching my weight.

Vegan Treats – 1444 Linden Street  Bethlehem, PA 18018

Babycakes – 248 Broome Street (Btwn Orchard & Ludlow) New York City, NY 10002

Korean = Hangawi    

Are you tense or have a tense friend.  Bring him/her to surrender to serenity at Hangawi.  Take off your shoes and get comfortable in the wooden seats and tables built into the floor.  Are these floorboards heated?  Yes they are.  Most people naturally whisper as you experience this restaurant and its spa-like qualities.  You’ll dine on colorful bowls of porridge, noodles, wild rice and soup.  You’ll feel like Buddha.  Have a tea and digest the cruelty-free meal you have just ingested.  Romantic and often called a vacation from the city,  Hangawi has more to offer than just food.

Hangawi 12 East 32nd Street, New York, NY10016

Japanese/Fusion = Gobo

Truth be told, this is a lot of people’s favorite restaurant.  The menu offered rice, noodle, fake meat.  It all looked pretty standard.  Make no mistake, these kids know what they are doing.  I invited a bunch of non-vegans to join me and they loved it.  I often tire of Asian-inspired vegan dishes.  The food they served had spice and flair.  So here is another fan, big fan.  Do yourself a favor and experience their flavor.

Gobo –  401 Avenue of the Americas New York, NY

Vietnamese Loving Hut

It’s hard to put your finger on exactly what Loving Hut is.  You’ve got the eccentric philanthropist Supreme Master ChingHai who preaches vegan as the path to peace.  It’s not a cult (at least I don’t think) but there is a feeling of love and energy in each restaurant.  The Supreme Master is tied to these tasty establishments.  There are now 200+ (40+in the United States).  So if you end up in a place like NaplesFlorida, there will be Loving Hut waiting for you.  Thumbs up from both of us.  Even though every Loving Hut is privately owned and operated, their menus are similar.  Julia was overjoyed with the Naples Florida Loving Hut.  I dined finely at the Atlanta one.  We have yet to experience the New York Loving Hut but I’m told it is great but small so it’s best to take it to go.- 348 7th Avenue (between 29th St & 30th St), NY,NY  over 200 locations (including over 40 in the United States)

 Loving Hut – 348 7th Avenue, NY, NY

01george and julia at champs

Ethiopian = Ghent

I consider Julia an authority on Ethiopian cuisine which sometimes gets a bad name for its mushy consistency.  I enjoy it and judging by the general health of the Ethiopian people, it is extremely good for your body.  It also happens to be an easy place to get a vegan dish without missing out on 90% of the menu.  Ghent is our favorite.  Tucked away on 4th Avenue and Douglass, there is a comfortable vibe in an unusually noisy dining room.  I think the acoustics need to be dealt with.  We eat our lentils, beans, collard greens, chick peas and more on the sour bread.  Delicious!  You don’t even need teeth to enjoy it.

Ghent 348 Douglass Street Brooklyn, NY 11217

Indian = Dawat

Dawat was Julia and I’s first date so it has a special place in our heart.  While not solely vegetarian, the waiter will set you up with a meat and ghee free combo platter.  I love the combo as Julia often jokes.  The place is a bit pricey and fancy with fine silverware and white tablecloths.  The staff can be hit or miss, some reporting irate wait staff.  What makes Dawat so great is the flavors.  Spices are ground each day and whether hot, sour or mild, your taste buds will be giddy, even euphoric.  Hands down the best I’ve had and lord knows we’ve tried a lot.  If vegan doesn’t come up, always try Indian.  Indian places recognize the word and will accommodate you pain in the ass vegans.

Dawat 210 E 58th St, New York NY10022 40.760397 -73.96639 (Btwn 2nd & 3rd Ave)

Pizza = Vinnie’s Pizzeria

Pizza is tricky as a vegan.  Sure, I make one at home with so many vegetables, you forget about the cheese.  Some pizzerias carry the cheese alternative Daiya  to accommodate their vegan customers.  We are not fans of Daiya  People use it like real cheese (too much) and the taste is overwhelming and unappealing.  So we order our pies without cheese which sometimes works (Grimaldi’s) and sometimes not (Joe’s).  We took our bikes over to Williamsburg to Vinnie’s which we heard had the best vegan pizza in town.  Yes you will have to navigate around hipsters.  Hell, Titus Andronicus played a show in Vinny’s kitchen.  So here’s what you are going to get:  7+ vegan slice options, vegan wings, vegan desserts (from vegan treats), daiya and daiya-free and tease vegan cheese options.  The crust is crispy, the sauce tangy and a little sloppy just like an ultimate New York slice only here, vegan is King.

Vinnie’s Pizzeria 148 Bedford Ave(between 8th St & 9th St)Brooklyn, NY 11211

True Original Restaurant = M.O.B. 

M.O.B. was opened by a French guy who happens to be obsessed with 80’s Brooklyn rap/graffiti culture and it shows.  As the story goes M.O.B. is vegan because the owners girlfriend is vegan.  Oh the French.  What won’t they do for love?  If you walk inside, it’ll all make sense.  The long last-supper style tables, an occasional DJ, the stoned or just super-mellow staff and the décor, oh the décor.  Everyone we ever brought there said they were going to bring an out-of-towner to experience this strange and completely unique phenomenon that is M.O.B..  Only in New York, right.  Like some vegan places, they don’t announce themselves as vegan.  In fact, when I asked if they were vegan, the waiter said, “we serve food that’s really really good for you.”  Whatever, you’ll love their grits, yucca fries, soy nuggets, M.O.B.’s (mini pizzas shaped like the Brooklyn bridge) (yes I just said that), and our personal favorite corn soup with popcorn.  Get over there before life is over.  It might just be actual heaven.

M.O.B. 525 Atlantic Avenue – Brooklyn, NY 11217

What about V-dog?

What about V-dog?

Food Truck = Cinnamon Snail

If you can find it run to it.  Boasting “Vegan Food Truck,” the Cinnamon Snail has long lines for a reason, the food is out of this world.  Come 2pm, they are usually out of everything.  I’m often pleading for the last muffin or special of the day.  So if you go, expect a line that will be worth the wait.  They do a fantastic breakfast in the morning and big hoagie sandwiches are the pride of their lunchtime.  They even have desserts so grab a donut or pastry as you head back to work.  Cinnamon Snail agreed and said they would be “stoked” to cater our wedding.  We’ll see about that.  This was an easy choice on the food trucks.  We’d like to give honorable mentions to: Palenque and Crisp.
Buffet = Govinda’s at the Hare Khrishna Center

Not only is it tasty, cheap and hearty but it is one of those best kept secrets spots.  No, they are not luring you into the Hare Krishna house to convert you although you might after you have a bite of their mango cheese cake.  It’s 90 percent vegan, so ask.  Monday-Friday, the Hare Krishna’s open their basement to the general public for a lunch buffet feast.  This Indian-inspired grub contains the freshest ingredients grown and picked that day from the Hare Krishna garden.  The food sometimes lacks spice but when you take a look at your cafeteria tray full of enough vegetables to credit you for the whole week, you’ll know you made the right decision.

Govinda’s 305 Schermerhorn Street  Brooklyn, NY 11217 (basement of the Hare Khrishna Center)

Food = Sacred Chow (George)  Alice’s Teacup Scones (Julia)      1

I was sold when I tasted Sacred Chow Mama’s Soy Meatballs.  The only vegan meatballs I could stomach and I used to be a big fan of meatballs.  Julia and I had a great brunch on Sunday.  She said the burrito was excellent.  I suspect they put mustard in my scrambled eggs which I did not like but the potatoes where to die for.  They have amazing latkes, Heroes (get Mama’s soy meatballs) and soba noodles with peanut sauce. You really can’t go wrong with this place.  It’s unique to them.  Apparently it was founded by a Candle 79 chef who wanted to do his own thing.  For dinner go tapas style so you can sample all the delectable dishes.  On a side note, you can get Sacred Chow sandwiches and desserts and the Angelika movie theatre.  Yeah, vegan friendly movie theatre!

Julia as to mention a best food choice which happens to be the only choice in an oddity in this quaint tourist trap know as Alice’s Tea Cup.  A waitress at Two Boots Brooklyn told us about Alice’s Tea Cup’s daily vegan scones.  Intrigued, we travelled and had tea and the vegan scone of the day (very-berry scone).  What the hell, it was unbelievable.  It’s like Ovenly Bakery that makes one vegan item (salted chocolate chip cookie) and whatever reason, it rises to the top and becomes famous.  The next time, I went with my Mom and the vegan scone was an mind-blowing banana-chocolate scone.  Unbelievable.  We recommend you go to the Alice’s on the West side because the East side scones are not as good.  If I’m ever in the dog house with Julia, I bring home a couple of these babies and all is forgiven.

Sacred Chow (George)  227 Sullivan Street, NYC 10012 (b/w W3 & Bleecker)

Alice’s Teacup Scones (Julia)  102 West 73rd St, NY, NY

Best Overall Restaurant = Champs Family Bakery

What makes best Restaurant?  A few things come to mind.  It’s not what you might think.  Yes, a speedy wait staff is great but at Champ’s I’ve (on occasion) had to ask for more coffee or experience a serious wait for my food.  That doesn’t really matter when you go to a really great restaurant because you want to be there.  You are not in a hurry to leave because you truly like being there and this is a moment to be treasured, not complained about.  So what makes a customer feel that way?  When Julia and I want to go out to eat and we can go anywhere and money is no object, we choose Champs.  How could that be?  You could be at Candle or Pure Food and Wine and you choose a diner?  There is only one restaurant we drive to and that’s Champs.  It’s located in a neighborhood where it is easy to park (but not always easy to navigate around).  When we come in and we are brought to our table, I feel legitimately welcomed, like there is an assumption that these people like me or at least assume they are going to like me.  Our waitress brings our water immediately, which acts as a natural excuse for a “how do you do?”  Smiles all around and I’m not sure why but I feel I’m exactly where I am supposed to be.  I don’t feel attractive, ugly or defensive, I just feel comfortable.  We look around and the decor is kitschy and homey, like an old-time diner I went to as a kid.  The booths are comfortable and there’s a positive vibe.

A Champ at Champ's

A Champ at Champ’s

Then there’s the food, diner classics vegan-style.  I don’t even like mock meats but the “chicken” fried “steak” was phenomenal.  We’ve worked our way through the menu and loved everything.  They made vegan cooking a creative challenge and redefined what vegans can eat.  I already mentioned the breakfast but let me tell you some more of our favorites:  Nachos, Kitchen Sink Salad, Chili, Bro Wrap, Chocolate Chip Cookies, Soltero Bowl, Oatmeal Cookie Crème Sandwich,  and I could go on and on.  The bottom line is we leave there a bit stuffed but always with a spring in our step.  We then go home and dream of our perfect Champ’s dinner or breakfast as we smile because it’s all good.

Champs Family Bakery 176 Aislie Street Brooklyn NY

SUPER BONUS – CUT OUT AND PUT THIS IN YOUR WALLET

_wallet

OR CUT AND PASTE THIS:

George and Julia’s NY Vegan Best of 2012 (Wallet Size)

Formal Dining = Candle 79154 East 79th Street at Lex, NY, NY

Sandwich(Julia) = Free Foods 18 West 45th Street,

Sandwich(George) = Cinnamon Snail  mobile

Sushi =  Beyond Sushi 229 East 14th Street  New York, NY 10003

Raw Food = Pure Food and Wine 54 Irving Pl (between 17th& 18th st)

Ice Cream (Julia)= One Lucky Duck 125 East 17th Street, NY, NY

Ice Cream(George) Lula’s  516 E. 6th St (btwn Ave A&B)

Breakfast = Champs Family Bakery 176 Aislie Street Brooklyn NY

Falafel = Taim 45 Spring St, NY  (new location!) & 222 Waverly Pl, NY

Burger (Julia) = Johnny Mack’s  1114 8th Ave Brooklyn, NY

Burger (George)= Zen Palate 663 9th Ave (at 46th), New York, NY

Vietnamese Sandwich (Julia) = Hanco’s 350 7th Ave. Brooklyn, NY

Vietnamese Sandwich(Geo)=Bahnmigos 178 Lincoln PlBrooklyn

Bagel = Le Bagel Delight (Julia), 122 – 7th Avenue Brooklyn

Bagel = Ess-a-Bagel (George) 831 3rd Avenue,New York, NY

Bakery (Julia)  = Babycakes 248 Broome Street NY,

Korean = Hangawi     12 East 32nd Street, New York, NY10016

Japanese/Fusion = Gobo 401 Avenue of the Americas New York, NY

Vietnamese Loving Hut  348 7th Avenue, NY, NY
Ethiopian = Ghent 348 Douglass Street Brooklyn, NY 11217

Indian = Dawat210 E 58th St, New York NY  (Btwn 2nd & 3rd Ave)

Pizza = Vinnie’s Pizzeria   148 Bedford Ave Brooklyn, NY 11211

True Original Restaurant = M.O.B.   525 Atlantic Avenue – Brooklyn,

Food Truck = Cinnamon Snail mobile check twitter
Buffet = Govinda’s Hare Khrishna 305 Schermerhorn St Brooklyn,

Food (George) = Sacred Chow227 Sullivan Street, NYC

Food (Julia) = Alice’s Teacup  102 West 73rd St, NY, NY

Overall Restaurant = Champs Family Bakery – 176 Aislie Street Bkln

Another Bonus:  Here’s a freeVegan Restaurant Guide put out by Friends of Animals

Call Me

The Dirty Dozen 2012

Every year the Environmental Working Group (EWG) puts out a list of the “dirty dozen” fruits and vegetables.  These are the fruits and vegetables that generally contain the most pesticides. The EWG suggests that you only buy organic versions of this filthy fare.  When I was standing in line at the Park Slope food coop, I got into a “discussion” with fellow member and friend (Bendix) about blueberries.  He reminded me that there was a “new” dirty dozen put out this summer and that I’d better check it before I go shooting my mouth off.  After scolding a woman on a cell phone for cutting in line, I got to thinking, Bendix had a reasonable request for this vegan icon.

In addition, Julia and I had recently returned from Los Angeles and had some great dialogue with friends and family about fruit and vegetable safety.  Many people believe that buying from a local farmer is just as good, if not better than buying organic.  I suppose it depends on the farm.

So here it is… The Dirty Dozen.  It’s similar to previous years but there were a few surprises.  In addition, they added two extras making it the Dirty Dozen Plus (the Dirty 14 just doesn’t have the same ring to it):

Dirty Dozen Plus™ (Buy these organic)

  1. Apples
  2. Celery
  3. Sweet bell peppers
  4. Peaches
  5. Strawberries
  6. Nectarines– imported
  7. Grapes
  8. Spinach
  9. Lettuce
  10. Cucumbers
  11. Blueberries – domestic
  12. Potatoes

+ Green beans and Kale/Greens

Oh apples, you’ve topped the list again.  I was a little surprised that domestic blueberries made the list and not imported.  Also try buying organic grapes, they are about 8-10 bucks a pound!

As someone who regularly drops serious bank on these organic versions, I’m always interested in what foods don’t necessarily need to be organic.  Luckily, the EWG also put out the “Clean 15” which list the fruits and vegetables lowest in pesticides.

Clean 15™ (Lowest in Pesticide)

  1. Onions
  2. Sweet Corn (Commonly GMO so still buy organic corn)
  3. Pineapples
  4. Avocado
  5. Cabbage
  6. Sweet peas
  7. Asparagus
  8. Mangoes
  9. Eggplant
  10. Kiwi
  11. Cantaloupe – domestic
  12. Sweet potatoes
  13. Grapefruit
  14. Watermelon
  15. Mushrooms

It’s not a shocker that the fruits and vegetables with the thickest skin, tend to the cleanest.  I was surprised cabbage and asparagus was cleanish which I would think to be similar green bean/kale family.

The Full List can be found here:

http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/list/

But what about GMO’s (Genetically Modified Organisms)?  I will save that for another day.  Just know this: 

  • 100% Organic – means 100 % organic and GMO-free.
  • Certified Organic/USDA Organic/Organic-is 95% organic & usually GMO-free
  • Made with Organic – up to 70 % organic and typically NOT GMO-free.

Organic meats often use casing from GMO animals to make it’s sausages.  Organic egg producers often buy chickens from non-organic farms.  To make matters worse, the whole Organic industry is not properly monitored and so it’s probable there’s serious deception out there.  Gary Null went to South America to investigate organic foods and found that almost none of it was actually organic.  “Healthy” soybeans and canola oils are almost always GMO’s.   This is a huge can of worms and highlights a clear need for GMO labeling which almost happened in California.  I’m tired of being a science experiment.  New York, it’s time to step-up with our own GMO labeling bill.  If we can control soda intake what’s a friendly assault on our agricultural industry.  C’mon NYC, show the world that we will, once again be the first and watch as the rest of the country follows.

George’s Famous Kale Salad

Here it is, the recipe you’ve been waiting for…George’s Famous Kale Salad.
Now I know I have been promising this and I’m happy to share. As you may know, I practically live off this stuff. Julia was a little skeptical but now is on board. We try to eat 1-3 servings a day. I make a big Tupperware container (sometime doubling the recipe). One of the great things about George’s Famous Kale Salad is it lastsfor a week with the dressing on. Lettuce wilts after one day but Kale is tough and additional days in the refrigerator will actually enhance this magical dish.

What makes this dish so great? It has it all, vitamins, protein, fiber, and good fat (from almonds) and it tastes amazing.  If you had to live off this salad, you’d like, even love it.  Live you would, with a capital “L.”.  While it helps to have a high-powered blender (like the Vitamix), it is not necessary. If you are using a traditional blender just chop up your ginger, jalapeno and cilantro a bit more.  (If you have a Vitamix, you can use the half water/half vegetable chopping method. 4 pulses and drain).

This salad has so much going for it. The lemon cuts the bitterness of the kale and the carrots and almonds give it a nice crunch.  The blueberries work so well, adding sweetness and antioxidants.  The dressing is out of this world and contains no oil! The dressing is my own take on a recipe I got from my good friend Dr. Joel Fuhrman. Thanks Joel. So let’s get started!

Here’s what you need:

6 Cups of Organic Curly Kale (any Kale will do but I prefer curly)
Organic Frozen Blueberries (or Fresh Organic if in season)
16 oz or about 10 organic carrots
1/2 cup of natural organic raw almonds (whole or sliced)
2 bananas
1/2 cup of organic cilantro
4 oz. of fresh ginger root
2-3 lemons
2 tablespoons of diced organic jalapeno without seeds
Chopped bananas and 1/2 cup of water

Wash and chop the kale so you’ve got ribbons no more than an inch.
Finely chop your carrots and almonds (you could buy them pre-chopped)
Put the kale, carrots and almonds in a large Tupperware container. You may need more than one container. Set the kale/carrot/almond blend to the side.
Put into the blender the following:
chopped ginger root
lemons squeezed/juiced
jalapeno without seeds (increase or decrease jalapeno to taste)
finely Chopped Cilantro (if using a traditional blender take out as many stems as you can)
chopped bananas

Add water and blend until liquified. Pour this dressing over the kale/carrot/almonds. Add blueberries and put the lid on the Tupperware and shake until it is well mixed. Enjoy! Put the remaining salad in the refrigerator. It will keep up to 7 days. This salad will change your life. It will make you feel energetic and invincible.

Vegan Bakery

Yes, one of these really does exist in Brooklyn! In the forever hip and trendy Brooklyn neighborhood of Williamsburg, the vegan hipsters can take a break from reading Sylvia Plath and jamming to the Pixies to grab a bite to eat at Champs Family Bakery. Beware it’s cash only, but there’s an ATM right on the premise. All the cakes, muffins, brownies and cookies are made in house. They serve all your favorite diner foods but in vegan form. So you can get a vegan chik’n fried steak with mashed potatoes or a stack of pancakes with cashew whipped cream. It’s all here, right at the corner of Leonard and Ainslie st in Brooklyn.

Naples challenge

I’m down in the sunshine state, Florida. When traveling out of my comfort zone of NYC I always run into culinary difficulties. Especially with my profession, there seems to be some vegetarians but almost zero vegans. Luckily near the hotel I’m staying at for my business convention there’s a Loving Hut just a couple miles away. Yes, the Loving Hut. The vegan Asian restaurant you can find near Penn Station. It’s been a lifesaver and my colleagues have been receptive to trying out the food, so it’s been easy to catch rides for lunch and dinner. By the end of this trip I might have had a little too much Loving.

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