Saturday, August 6, 2011

Whirlwind East Coast Trip

We are celebrating W’s birthday on this trip, so most of places we went for food were especially for him.  This means places that don't exactly specialize in vegan food.  That’s okay.  I’m a good wife that supports my husband and his wishes, and it’s fun to see him try all the authentic food from each city.  Meanwhile, I’m grabbing salads here and there, veggie sandwiches, Chinese noodles, French fries or whatever else I can find.   On our last night in Philly, at the Oyster House (where I had some very delicious soup and salad) he promised that for my birthday in a month, we will go all out vegan!   Woo hoo! 

Since it was a kind of grab-and-go food adventure, I'm not going to write about what I ate for every single meal on every single day of this trip like I did for my 27-day trip in March, but here are few notable meals:

Katz's Deli
New York City
 This famous New York eatery is probably best known for its role in the movie When Harry Met Sally.  In one classic movie scene, Meg Ryan demonstrates just how much men don’t know about women…I’ll just put it that way.

We decided to go here since we had just watched the movie, and because my meat-eating husband, whom I love very much despite our dietary differences, really wanted to eat a Reuben with pastrami at a true Jewish deli. 

Vegans, do not fear this place!  As soon as we were seated, the waitress brought a huge plate of pickles and pickled tomatoes to our table. 

This was like my dream come true; I love pickles!  I don’t know if I’ve ever had a pickled green tomato, but it was amazing, and I even asked for a second round.  The two different kinds of pickles were pretty amazing too, and I could have just gobbled the entire plate and have been satisfied.  However, I did order a side salad to eat while W noshed on his meat sandwich. 

 Despite the salad consisting mostly of iceberg lettuce, the fresh celery, tomatoes, and carrots actually made it a pretty good little salad for a deli!  I was pleased with the entire situation.  Pickles, tomatoes, salad… you pretty much can’t go wrong with something like that.

The Coffee Shop
New York City
For breakfast one morning in New York, T and D took us to a place they like to go in Union Square.  It looked like it was supposed to be an old diner, but was remodeled to be a trendy New York eatery.  Fun!  They actually had some vegan breakfast items on the menu, but once I saw that they had a side order of black beans and rice, and another side order of tomatoes, that’s all I could think about.  I feel like if there’s something on the menu that actually says Vegan next to it, I should get it, but I really wasn’t feeling the summer veggie/tofu wrap or whatever it was.  All I wanted was the beans and rice!  Is that so wrong?  W commented that I was in breakfast heaven when my side orders arrived, but I think the others couldn’t believe I was eating beans and rice for breakfast.  I mean, at 11:00am it was more like brunch anyway, practically lunch time for me on a normal work day! 

With a little salt and pepper and tobasco sauce sprinkled on top, it was true -- I was in breakfast heaven.  Simple pleasures.  What can I say?

Sabrina's Cafe
Philadelphia, PA
Seitan/Chickpea scramble with fresh fruit.  Good, but nothing to write home about.  I think I was just more excited about the fact that there was a vegan option on the menu here.  However, the rice and beans at The Coffee Shop in NYC were just as good, if not more satisfying. 

Reading Terminal Market
Philadelphia, PA

In a place with a million amazing, fresh and delicious options, I chose the veggie-lean "steak" sandwich.  BORING. 

Made by a very mean and angry looking man on the same skillet on which he just made a real steak sandwich, I know I shouldn’t have eaten it.  But I was starving and had just paid and ridiculous ten dollars for the stupid thing!  Call me a bad vegan, oh well.  To make matters worse, it wasn’t even that great.  I mean, it was just an okay sandwich, but I think the bad-attitude chef and meat-covered skillet kind of ruined the whole thing for me.  Sad, because it looked like there were so many other way better places I could have grabbed something to eat in Reading Terminal Market.  Ah man… next time, next time.  

Philly Pretzel Factory
Philadelphia, PA

Finally!  A food that the city is known for and I can eat it!  Hooray!  These pretzels were fresh and delicious, and the best part?  They were only sixty-five cents! 

Home Sweet Home
Wilmington, MA

After two big cities, we made it home to Mom and Dad's house, north of Boston.  Mom had a nice home-cooked meal for us, which was a much needed change from the restaurants and hole-in-the-wall's we had been frequenting. 

Veggie-cheese quesadillas, Mexican rice, and nectarine salsa.  Yum!  Thank you Mom!

I keep forgetting to take pictures, but now we are relaxing at the end of our trip with W's parents.  There have been lots of fresh cucumber sandwiches, colorful salads, and delicious pasta salads.  Last night I had a grilled Dr. Praeger's patty which is always good -- I love those things and for some reason never buy them at home!  That is now going on the shopping list... 

I will update soon with more pictures of Vermont meals. 

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