New (to me) New York City Vegan Eats

New (to me) New York City Vegan Eats

The Vakery is New York City’s latest vegan cupcake supplier! Though founder and pastry chef L.A. Brandon’s operation is via online ordering, I caught wind of her goodies being at Atlas Cafe in the West Village. I set out early for my cupcake breakfast, needed fuel for a day of errands in Manhattan. Thankfully, there was a selection available for my sampling.

Heck, why not buy 3 cupcakes? I bought this lovely assortment hoping to see Vakery’s range. I got the Cookies N’ Creme, the Lemon Ginger, and what looked like a s’mores but tasted more like a chocolate cheesecake. The chocolate cakes were delicious: good texture and flavor, similar to Isa’s basic chocolate. My favorite, the Cookies N’ Creme, had a spot-on buttercream. Not too-too sweet and a texture that holds teeth marks. The gluten-free lemon ginger cake was very dense, and the icing, kind of bakesale. I look forward to trying more of her flavors. Also for sale on the website: Loco-Lime Margarita, Chocolate Covered Strawberry, the Jelly Doughnut, Red Velvetty, and a Peanut Butter Cup.  

It’s great that vegan goodies are sprouting up all over the place. Good luck, Vakery!

I finally got around to trying the famous Cinnamon Snail all-vegan food truck! Hailing from New Jersey, The Snail used to only come as close as Hoboken. Now that New York City hot spots are on their weekly schedule, I knew it was fine time to taste their offerings. I got to the “FiDi” early to avoid the crowds and scarfed down my footlong ravenously.

Hubba, hubba. Can we take a look at this sandwich, the Al Pastor Seitan...? Toasted bread. Delicate, melt-in-your-mouth homemade seitan. Beer-battered jalapeños. Grilled pineapple (!!) and greens with a spicy, drip-all-over your fingers chipotle mayonnaise. This is good eating. No packaged crapola, just unadulterated flavor and texture. 

Let’s look again, shall we? This enormous sandwich was $9. It very well should have been two servings but, well “when in Rome”… The grilled pineapple was such a delightful addition. The moisture from the seitan and the pineapple might have demolished a less hearty bread, but no. They thought of that. 

I can’t wait to try something else at Cinnamon Snail. It has me believing a tool like Twitter may, in fact, be necessary after all. Follow them here to find out where they are and when.

I was full but still. I needed to try Cinnamon Snail’s sweet treats too. CP recommended the Creme Brule donut. After eating 2.5 cupcakes this morning, this donut had me wired on sugar for the remainder of the day. Think custard center, crunchy bruleed top and greasy, fried donut. Moderation is a must. Luckily my dinner plans were much more healthful.

So dinner:: There’s a new sushi joint in town that is all vegetables and fruits! That’s right. No stray fish eggs littering your roll. Beyond Sushi is all-veg sushi that need not utilize those super-processed fake fish things (I’m talking to you Soy and Sake!)  for a delicious, textured bite with complex and bold flavors. Beyond Sushi does it right. Very right! Here’s the spread…

I bought the combo–2 rolls and 2 a la carte pieces. Here is the individual Baked tofu piece. The firm tofu is wrapped with seaweed atop black rice, served with chili mango sauce. I’ll get to those sauces in a second.

For my first roll I chose the Green Machine, six grain rice, English cucumber, green asparagus and marinated basil. Scrumptious.

The individual Mango piece. 

La Fiesta roll: black rice, avocado, pickled jalapeno, chayote, and cilantro, drizzled with jalapeno wasabi

I mentioned the jalapeno wasabi and the chili mango, yes. They are two of the 7 spectacular drizzle combos you can customize for your order… or take their menu’s suggestions. When you order to-go you get these fun tubes so you can interact with your delicious sushi and push the amazing flavors further. Of course you also get soy sauce, wasabi, and pickled ginger. That is a must!

Here I am playing with different combinations. 

The small space on 14th street has also got rice paper wraps, salads, and fresh-made juices. I stopped in today but they celebrate their Grand Opening tomorrow. They had a steady stream of customers, which was good to see. It’s worth a mention that Beyond Sushi’s owner is ex-Hell’s Kitchen chef Guy Vaknin. This show is one of my guilty pleasures.

Ok, what a day of eating I had! Thank goodness the New York City area is only my half-home during the summer. Otherwise I’d be broke and I’d need a new wardrobe.