Vegan Day on Long Island
I have to give props to Vegguide‘s community members. This guide is so robust with locations offering options for vegetarians and vegans. Whether it’s a completely vegan restaurant or an omnivorous place with a single veg-friendly dish, the community covers the entire world (yes, all 7 continents!) and it is the first place I go to research options to report on. That being said, given the amount of time I spend on Long Island, I have checked in on their L.I. listings many, many times. But with The Electrician‘s car at my disposal for the day, it was time for me to taste what L.I. had to offer!
I was ready to go but, while reading Yelp reviews, I found another option to hit! And I could squeeze Granny’s in Commack into my itinerary easily. Granny’s is an unassuming ice cream and frozen yogurt shop in a strip mall… but, for some odd reason, it is also a retail outlet for a large selection of Stogo (reported on here) dairy-free ice cream. Seems kind of random and all the more appealing given its unlikeliness. I found the ice cream parlor without a problem, thanks to the v-bomb in the signage.
From Granny’s it was time to move on to get a proper lunch. It was time to visit Feelgoods Cafe… finally. I have looked at this St. James eatery’s menu many times, wondering about their food. It is hard to tell by a menu if a place uses packaged or frozen products. And nothing is more elusive than a menu’s “veggie burger.” It can be frozen or packaged. It can have dairy and egg unbeknowst to the staff. It can contain lima beans and peas. In short, it’s a crapshoot. I was relieved to see that on FeelGoods Cafe’s new menu they drop the V-bomb, labeling which of their award-winning “EdgyBurgers”, which have their own online storefront for delivery throughout the country, are vegan. I was ready to try an EdgyBurger!
I was very impressed by the service at FeelGoods right off the bat. I needed some advice on which of the vegan burgers to try. It was an important decision that was taken seriously by counterperson. I appreciated that as I often fumble under a daunting food decision and take a risk that I wind up regretting. I chose the “fan favorite,” the portobello black bean panini-style and topped with southwestern flare. I was very impressed with my choice. It was very tasty!
And you can see why I was overwhelmed with the decision. There are so many vegan burgers to choose from! I wish I was a cow with several stomachs to sample another few burgers during my visit. Butternut squash & quinoa; eggplant, sun-dried tomato & basil; ginger-lime, chickpea & edamame; and sunflower, sesame & kidney bean just to name a few. See full variety here. I may have to order the vegan variety pack for delivery to sample some of the other EdgyBurgers.
Next, it was time for dessert: Azure Chocolat, a delicious chocolate shop in Greenlawn’s downtown strip. Azure offers gorgeous high-end truffles, barks, and other assorted confections that are all natural and gluten-free. I called in advance to see if they had any of their vegan truffles on hand and got an affirmative. I was happy to finally have the opportunity to stop in!
The vegan truffle selection for the day included the Mexican Rose–dark chocolate, coffee, rose water and cinnamon rolled in dark chocolate and topped with a rose petal–and the Wild Orchid–dark chocolate, vanilla beans, almond milk and vanilla vodka, rolled in dark chocolate and topped with vanilla-infused raw sugar. Several of the ship’s barks are also vegan, including Provencal Almond Bark (roasted almonds in Belgium dark chocolate with Provencal lavendar oil and a little grey sea salt), Beauty Bark (Belgium dark chocolate, walnuts, wild blueberries, cocoa nibs, golden flax, and sea salt), and Orange Peel Bark (Italian candied organe peel in Belgium dark chocolate). Ok, so I read the menu’s description of their delicious chocolates, but allow me to use my own words: holy moly! These chocolates are mind-blowing. Rich, flavorful, clean–everything chocolate should be. Want more? The warm and welcoming chocolatier and owner let me sample and snap pictures of her beautiful shop freely.And beautiful. Inside and outside.
The last stop on my tour: Live Island Cafe, a raw foods counter spot in Huntington Village. Still full from my VedgyBurger, I picked up a sampling of Live Island Cafe’s selections for eating later. Although I was losing a bit of energy from the day of driving in the blazing sun, I was so glad that I decided to stop by. I had attempted a trip to the cafe before when a friend had bought a Groupon offer, but we got lost and the new cafe seemed to be still working out the kinks, closing earlier than their posted hours. But all’s well that ends well, I found Live Island and left with a sampler that was well worth the wait.
The place has limited seating, however there is a nice table set up outside, surrounded by plants. The display case had all of the day’s offering. In the muted light, they didn’t appear as fresh and scrumptious-looking as they were… see below…
I chose a sampler with an entree and two sides and, boy, I type this now feeling quite energized and invigorating. This fantastic feeling started on my taste buds, which are still tingling. I have had raw food many places, but none quite as flavorful and diverse in texture as this. Wow. Texture is a huge thing for me (see my previous post) and I shy away from raw as it is often ground up wet globs. But Live Island’s Pizza of the Day (a flax and almond crust, marinara and nut cheese) and Abundance Burger (walnut, portobello wrapped in greens) had such a pleasing texture… mostly because there were many. Crisp veggies, sprouts, and perfectly seasoned and sauced ground nut created several layers of moisture and flavor. Spectacular, in a word.
What an awesome day of eating! It is nice to know the Island is filled with so many great eats. I am now motivated to find more. Let this be a warning… if you have a vegan eat hidden away on Long Island, I’m coming for you. Armed with my camera and one enormous appetite.