Monday, March 13, 2006

Good Cop, Bad Cop

This weekend, we took a vegan tour of Manhattan and I decided to convert to veganism. Just kidding. I could dedicate myself to a life of soy, I think, if it weren’t for all of the readily available nonvegan food venues in New York. After all, it is the freaking Melting Pot. For instance, it was difficult to finish a plate of tofu, knowing that a perfectly good creperie was only two blocks away. Now I am by no means a "foodie," in part because of my tight budget, but mainly because I'm simply lazy and a platter of Ramen Noodles will tide me over just as well as a meal that would take me 45 minutes to prepare. But I persisted, as a vegan, for three whole days.

I’m sure you're familar with the challenges in denying yourself of certain food products, Toby Shuster of Jerusalem, as you sustain a kosher kitchen.

Our journey began at Red Bamboo, on West 4th, with the Creole Soul Chicken appetizer and Seitan Sandwich with caramelized onions. Not bad at all, but it wasn’t that good, either. This restaurant is definitely not made for the portly, as the crowded tables do not allow much room for breathing. This meal was followed by lemon-flavored cupcakes, from Baby Cakes and, if presented with the challenge, I would be hard pressed to discern the difference between a vegan and non-vegan cupcake. Then again, I would eat anything with sugar in it, so I’m not too picky in that arena. We also visited Blossom Café, in Chelsea, which was slightly fancier and meant for larger bank accounts. I can't recall the meal we ate that afternoon, so it couldn’t have been very good. My favorite vegan eatery was definitely Kate’s Joint, in the Lower East Side, an unpretentious restaurant that serves vegan comfort food. While I was a little apprehensive about the fake buffalo wings- I've never been able to wrap my palate around meat substitutions of any kind, no matter how charming the presentation-I hardly missed meat while eating the grilled veggie platter.

Finding vegan shoes is another story. Those poor vegans! They don’t have many options as far as shoes are concerned, not yet at least. My companion was looking for a pair of non-leather shoes to match her wedding dress and neither of the two stores that we visited had much to offer her besides tennis shoes, austere Mary Jane’s, and hemp sandals. Sucks for her.

In between our vegan explorations, there was tons and tons of walking, an art gallery jaunt through Chelsea, a surprising amount of "hanging out," and some music, Pearls & Brass, at the Cake Shop Bar (which also offers vegan desserts).

And that is how two best friends, on two divergent paths – one dedicated to veganism and engaged to be married, the other decidedly single and carnivorous- spend a weekend in New York.

Oh, and dear reader, don’t worry about me, I’m not constipated at all.


Anonymous Mary said...

This morning I wrote this long comment about meat substitutes, but my computer was fucking up. Anyway, the point was I love fake meat.

4:54 PM  

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