Today’s post is written by my friend Penni, a corporate attorney in NYC by day, yogi in training by night. She was kind enough to put together this post about vegan eats in her neighborhood.
Recently, I spent a few months in DC, and was lucky enough to have Katelyn as my partner in food. Having to eat on the floor did not stop me from participating in lots of cooking picnics. Since she was my guide to all things edible in DC, I want to repay the favor and provide Katelyn with some guidance for her frequent business trips to NY. Plus, I am always game to talk about food.
We will start where I know best—home, on Avenue A, between 10th and 11th Street.
Commodities - 1st Avenue between 10th and 11th Street
I know Katelyn loves grocery shopping as much as I do (that’s a lot), so our tour starts at Commodities, where we can stock up on snacks for the day. This tiny store carries only organic, mostly local products. It also has several small brands that have not made it into bigger stores – although Whole Foods finally started carrying Liz Lovely cookies. Excellent move, WF. Commodities has a decent selection of organic produce, enough bars to make Katelyn happy, lots of fake meat (which Katelyn won’t eat), bulk nuts and granola (not great for my issues with portion control) and a variety of prepared foods. I go there often enough that the staff has started to ask me about how my cooking experiments with their products turned out.
One example of Commodities prepared foods is their lentil walnut pate. This stuff is amazing. You may be wondering, does it taste like real pate? I really don’t know, but since one is made from the inside of a goose and one is made from walnuts, let’s assume there are significant differences. However, its smooth and creamy and if I was not too busy eating it all I may be tempted to rub it all over my body.
Cowgirl’s Baking – 10th Street between Avenue A and 1st Street
Our next stop is Cowgirl’s Baking, which has an awesome selection of vegan Mexican food and desserts. The store is also adorable, and although it’s mostly take-out, it has a little seating area for a quick meal. This photo is of the amazing chorizo burrito, and its everything good Mexican food should be: messy, spicy and gooey with (vegan) cheese. The burrito wrap is not gluten free, but Cowgirls does have lots of GF options…and I know anyplace that where the legend on the menu includes “GF” makes Katelyn a happy tourist.
Obviously I am not going to leave a bakery without purchasing baked goods. But, as cute as this French Toast cupcake was, I have tasted better vegan baking. It was a bit grainy, not moist enough and the icing tasted too much like raw sugar. Not like that stopped me from eating it or anything.
Tu-lu’s Gluten- Free Bakery – 11th Street, between Avenue A and First Avenue
Lest you think there is no where to get tasty baked goods in a city with specialty bakeries on every block (or, on this block, 3)…we can stop at Tu-lu’s bakery. I mean, we all know how Katelyn feels about chocolate, and Tu-lu’s has an awesome vegan, GF, agave sweetened chocolate bar. They are always sampling new things, so it’s a good idea to go frequently to stay current with their offerings. The most recent addition was a gluten- free fruit bar. Yum. As for their other options, the sign says it all:
Westville East – 173 Avenue A, Corner of 11th Street
In case Katelyn needs a proper meal, and because I love it, I have to mention Westville East. Even though they have been out of brussel sprouts for three weeks, anyplace whose idea of a special involves a choice of almost 20 different “market side” vegetables will always have a special place in my heart. Westville also offers vegan hotdogs and an awesome veggie burger.
Westville does not offer any vegan desserts, but don’t worry, they just opened a Juice Press around the corner that has raw coconut ice cream. Yum. It also offers detox juice cleanses, which I may need after this tour.
Believe it or not, we are still only a block away from my house, and I think we did a full day of eating. Now I just need Katelyn to come visit.
Thank you so much, Penni! This is an awesome, drool-inducing post. And I expected no less
Anyone else out there interested in guest posting? I’d love to have you!