It’s odd to be old enough to’ve had about 20 years of adult experiences… friendships that span decades… and so many years to draw from with all their embedded wisdom. And to have been vegan so long–watching food options evolve. 2008 being 6 years ago is also kind of weird (!) but… time marches on swiftly. In 2008, when Brooklyn’s Champs was a coffee shop called Bone Shakers (see VV tag “bone shakers“), I enjoyed their delicious brunch offerings after many-a Brooklyn late night. Now Bone Shakers is Champs with an expanded menu of all-vegan offerings… they’ve got a Champs Jr. in Greenpoint and now a new bakery on Bushwick avenue. Bone shakers’s growth captures something about the evolution of veganism.
Champs has all-vegan diner food. And having spent my teenage years on Long Island, where diners were a hot social destination and a plate of fries was dinner, I have a nostalgic pang for diner food. It’s like all the gluttonous meals I sat across from, non-vegan piles of junk, left an imprint of desire. Sure, I’ve since grown and matured, as did my taste in food, but I’m drawn to all-vegan comfort food, the possibility indulging in what I missed in my youth. But isn’t that adulthood: filling in the holes of early life now that you have the capabilities and resources. Making things right. So it’s only fitting: a gluttonous dinner with a friend of 19 years followed by a concert of a 90’s band I never got to see. We started the night with a big plate of nachos.
I get so fumbled by an all-vegan menu sometimes. Especially when breakfast is served all day. It becomes a battle of sweet vs. savory. So I first ordered their chicken and waffles, hoping to get both sweet and savory. But the waffle maker was out of commission. I opted for the Country-Fried Seitan, breaded seitan on Texas toast. Champs has some great details–that bread, thick brioche-like; their housemade seitan, tender and succulently deep-fried. So good. I forgot to say “No Daiya” so that was the only low point. My male friend got the Macrobowl, which I found amusing.
Since I got the savory, we decided to get some sweet after our meal. I got a chocolate chip cookie dough cupcake and my buddy, some cake bites.
It was a delight to bite through the cupcake and get a bite of chocolate chip cookie dough.
And on a related note Kind of). Finally! I got my hands on these vegan No No’s from Premium Chocolatiers. The candy-coated, chocolate-covered marshmallows were successfully backed on Kickstarter and I’ve been waiting for them to fall into my hands ever since. They are an awesome addition to the vegan candy world with a texture and bite that satisfies yet another nostalgic whim. Besides their shiny, colored coat looking different on the packaging, these colored bite-sized wonders are a delicious new treat… and every time I open the package to eat a ton more, the cats think I am eating their cat treats.
Of course, I have to show you the cross-section.
What’s next, veganism?!