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Healthy Nibbles, on Flatbush & Prospect Place, is a cute conter sandwich and juice spot that’s kind of awkwardly connected to a frame shop.

I ordered their I Have Peace, or their vegan curry chicken sandwich made of tofu, vegan mayo, raisins & curry with shredded carrots & mixed greens on toasted breaded. It was a tasty sammy and I appreciated its yummy simplicity.

This curried tofu rocked my world and made my fingers yellow.

They also have housemade vegan baked goodies. Since I was with cold, I forgoed the excess sugary treat. Next time.

Also on Flatbush, Vegetarian Palate is one of them fake meat meccas.

Deep-fried wontons with coconut filling.

Tarot steak. All hail the starch!

Brooklyn Crepe & Juice, on 5th avenue in Park Slope, has vegan crepes. And they’re real, real good.IMG_1987You can create your own from their vegetable spread… and they also have the vegan cheese stuff.

My dear friend Artsparrow knows her medium. As a food lover, an illustrator, aspiring photographer and all around artist, she knows color equates emotion, the visual evidence of a feeling. Gathering with her near and dear, we celebrated her birthday at Nahm Thai Kitchen in Park Slope, Brooklyn with vibrant, colorful and tasty Thai cuisine.

The amazing Vegetarian Combo appetizer had so much to choose from: summer rolls, pan-fried veggie dumplings, fried tofu and chive pancake (one of my favorite bites of street food when I was in Thailand).

Of course the steamed veggie dumpling, my cryptonite, was also on the table… and spring rolls in the background.

Since I was sick and congested, I need a dish that would break through my compromised senses. The sweet sauce from my sweet & sour did the trick.

On a spring day that brought us hail, snow, snow again and huge thrashes of thunder, Artsparrow’s dutiful man brought the cupcakes! Yes we were all surprised when our friendly servers brought out the plate of CowGirl‘s cupcakes… a gesture that raised TimX‘s stocks sky high.

Andrea Sparacio, queen of the zombies, with her cupcakes.

Sometimes there are vegan options in unlikely places. Park Slope’s Puppets Jazz Bar being one of them. A seitan steak sandwich and jazz? Yes.

Can I say something about jazz? I enjoy the dance of musical elements that is jazz, enjoy watching inflated cheeks and pursed lips on brass, music face… but unfortunately I have negative connotations with the musical genre. Many I’ve  seen attempt to fly close to the inherent coolness of  jazz have mistaken that cool mutual by association. [Sure, sure, who cares about “cool” after the mid-to-late twenties? While its importance diminishes, it’s there, always: proved by my grandmother… from cradle to the end.] Liking jazz seems to be one of those things people claim because they like the image and the intrigue.  That being said, I like much of the jazz music I’ve heard but find there to be a forced effort behind the jazz enthusiast that seems a bit pretentious. Just as enjoy creative self-expression but balk at identifying myself as an artist, maybe this is just one of my quirks.

Back to the food. There are several options to choose! Two veggie burgers [original on right], a seitan sandwich [on left], veggie dogs, etc. The sandwiches and burgers are small but fixed right. With tofu mayo ketchup, pickle, onion, lettuce and tomato, it’s down right Big Mac-ish. They’re served with chips which makes for added percussion to the musicians. They also got a bar menu of some great sounding cocktails. With the hushed atmosphere and some great talent, be prepared to not talk too much. 

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V-Spot brunch in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Sweet Fruit Empanadas of banana and strawberry with some sausage. Yummy but could have used an accompaniment… compote, cream, etc
Mango and sticky rice at Long Tan in Park Slope, again. Bless that towering cylinder of coconut milk sweetened sticky rice. 
If I was being executed I’d want my final meal to be Pad See Ew, my go-to Thai dish. This is from Thai Sky in Park Slope. This was pretty standard delivery… which is fine with me.
Spring rolls from Thai Sky. It’s fried and it’s good. I’d ask for these in my last meal too.
Have you eaten a $9.00 pretzel before? Radegast Biergarten in Williamsburg, Brooklyn has some real good authentic German softies. Order one for yourself so you don’t have to fight over who gets the knots, nobs and super-thick branches.
Beer and pretzels and wood. Astoria’s frat boy-filled beer gardens have nothing on Radegast. Plus their service is killer, even in the face of drunken cheapo squabbling.

I kao nio ma muang

Long Tan, Park Slope, Brooklyn
Siam Lotus, Bay Shore, Long Island
Lily Thai, Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Nine D, Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn

In the early days of my veganism, veggie hot dogs were bright orange, the size of my index finger and quite rubbery. And packaged vegan sausages were grey and resembled commercial-grade meat. I suppose they were satisfying in their historical context, yes, but lacked a satisfying texture and rich flavor delivery. Today, packaged vegan links are surpassing those early concoctions tenfold, most note-worthily: Seattle’s own grain meat Field Roast and Oregon’s own Turtle Island Foods and their wonderful Tofurky products. Both companies know how vital wheat gluten is to texture and shy away from over-processed texturized hydrolyzed super soy science meat. 

I am a huge fan of Tofurky‘s products. Besides tasting damn good, they clearly label that they use only non-genetically modified ingredients, they clearly label that they are vegan, they are not affiliated to packaged food superfreaks like ConAgra (oh my LightLife rants have no end), and they are easy to find and reliable… and the perfect thing to grab for grilling… and another sublime vehicle for fixings. And, and…. 

I hit Willie’s Dawgs in Park Slope recently in search of a quick fixing-laden bite. I had planned to try their “phoney baloney dawg” but opted instead for the “Italian tofu sausage” on a fresh rye roll. Yep, it was Tofurky sausages again! This time, wrapped in foil and sopped in wet grilled onion and yellow mustard (gasp!) I much prefer grillmaster Electrician‘s smokey grill flavor but this was  a great quick bite. The owner (I think?) also overheard my dropping the v-bomb and ran over to clarify which of his buns were vegan. 

Ah, all of this talk of sausage remins me of an old Kids In The Hall sketch. I miss these guys.

With the coming of unseasonably warm temperatures is many neat things to do out and about in Brooklyn. The veg clan and I multi-tasked lunch with a charity cupcake sale with a craft sale in Park Slope to make the most of free time before the Monday drag. In the foreground here is my grey cupcake and, in the background, Farm Sanctuary‘s Vegan Bake Sale table outside in the sweltering heat schmoozing with the local foot traffic.

Having my dessert while I waited for my lunch, I chomped on a flour-heavy cupcake spread with grey matter and riddled with cookies and cream. Not the best vegan cupcake but for an extremely worthy cause. I adopted 3 cows from Farm Sanctuary back in 1994 when I first went vegetarian. After having stayed the farm some 10 years later, I got to meet Dolly, one of the surviving aging bovine I supported back then. What a wonderful place Farm Sanctuary is. 

Well worth the weekend wait, ‘Snice has become the standard in quality vegan sandwiches. Although I almost always opt for the Vegan Panini, today I tried the Philly Cheesesteak… with a ton of Daiya. (Looks like I am approaching another Daiya-out.) As per usual, ‘Snice did the trick. 

When he wasn’t tuning out the gal talk and day-dreaming about zombies, dragons and wizards, Tim brought the table some of ‘Snice’s treats to supplement the sale. Here is some sort of walnut and espresso bean-infused bundt cake and one of their signature cupcake (or lollipops). Neither I tried, being totally stuffed, but I had to snap their picture. 

Next up was the Food & Craft Sale at the Brooklyn Lyceum. There was a ton of cute stuff at the sale, including this tofu pirate from Panda With Cookie. It was too hot to shuffle past the patrons so we left in a jiff to resume Sunday duties of week prep. 

I don’t get out to Park Slope much. But after the hiatus-ed FoodSparrow reported that Daiya was now on V-Spot‘s menu, we followed our hungry hearts. V-Spot is one of those places I’ve been to several times but never seem to order the right thing. I keep trying because I really want to love the place! It’s 100% vegan. It’s got an extensive menu stretching many cuisine types and price ranges. And it’s in Brooklyn, my home. But after each visit, I soon forget what I ate, making each visit like the first time. Fumbling with the menu, like the first time, like some neophyte.

This time, however, the inclusion of Daiya on the menu helped narrow things down a bit. We had the nachos: guacamole, soy sour cream, black beans, mock beef (t.v.p. I think?), salsa and a stingy serving of Daiya piled on fresh-made tri-color tortillas. These hit the comfort-food spot but the Daiya, at $1.00 extra, was hard to find. This didn’t stop me from devouring the flaky and satisying chips quickly… (Begin: aside) as only a dame who grew up with 3 hungry siblings knows how… all those years fighting for the last of the Cookie Crisp and I may have the skills to compete in Austin’s annual veggie dog eating contest. (End: aside)To continue on the theme of Daiya and steering away from soy protein cutlets, I ordered the tofu panini: tofu, lettuce, tomato, sundried tomato topped with a balsamic reduction… +Daiya. This was yum but the Daiya was a bit unmelted and, again, distributed too sparingly. I understand it is a delicate balance, melting this science cheese, but the texture did not add to the sandwich in its in-between form.
So, Brooklyn, what should I get at V-Spot next? Because my socks are still on.
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