Saturday, June 30, 2012

Celebrating Vegan Pizza Day with 3 Brothers

While I can't tell you what 3 Brothers Pizza will be doing today to celebrate Vegan Pizza Day, I can suggest that you go there immediately and consume massive quantities of partake in any of these delicious dishes that I enjoyed on a recent visit; they- and much, much more- are available every day at 3 Brothers!  As for me, I'll be eating the leftovers in celebration.

I always seem to visit on off hours, which means that they're not overly crowded and most of the clientele is ordering vegan. Not sure why that is, but I'll take it!  This time, there was actually a very new vegan ordering takeout; I assumed he was newly vegan because he had a bunch of vegan reading material under his arm as he ordered and he had many more questions than the average vegan simply confirming veganity.  A newbie at a vegan-friendly Italian eatery?  We've already won, people.

When you eat in at 3 Brothers, the meal starts off with fresh bread and vegan butter.  In case you're wondering, the vegan butter is automatic if you request the vegan menu (but always make sure).  It's warm and crispy!

And yes, I did say vegan menu.  We're not talking mere substitutions here; vegans have a huge menu of options all their own.

It's separate and, dare I say, infinitely better than the "regular" menu- for more than the obvious reasons.

I wanted to try some new things, so what to get this time?  I started off with the mushrooms oreganata: "stuffed with oregano infused panko breadcrumbs, in a lemon butter sauce".  The richness of the sauce was well countered by the freshness of the mushroom; I really enjoyed this one.

I've been kind of infatuated with vegan ricotta lately.  Since it's been too hot to make my own white pizza, I decided to go all out and order myself a calzone.

It's been a really long time since I've had a calzone; have they always been this big?  Luckily it was on a long, rectangular plate because otherwise it would have been hanging off: the veritable dosa of the Italian world.  Filled with peppers and onions and served with a side of marinara, it was excellent.

Here's where it went haywire.  I couldn't not order a pizza; it would have been rude.

Also with peppers and onions, although they did forget my olives.

And, for those of you keeping score, the red pepper shaker was just as clean as last time (for some reason my picture won't upload).  I love a good, clean, "public" condiment dispenser.

Let's be honest, I didn't eat all of this food; there were plenty of leftovers, which is why I am able to celebrate Vegan Pizza Day in style from my very own home.  But I didn't hold back in a rail against gluttony; I wanted to leave room for dessert.

All of these Vegan Treats options sounded incredible, but "when in Rome..."..."leave the gun and take the cannoli."  Or something like that.

And, as if that wasn't enough: a parting gift.  Ok, not exactly a gift.  Well, not an intended gift; let me explain.  I happened to notice that the pen that came with the check was awesome.  When I saw that it was a 3 Brothers pen I asked if they were selling them.  The waitress said I could have it!  This is not just an ordinary pen, people.

It has a really bright light on the end as well!  Come on; it's like two gadgets in one.

It's hard to leave you, 3 Brothers.

But, I'll see you soon.

Happy Vegan Pizza Day, everybody!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Delicious Sandwich Truck Adam

The amazingness that is The Cinnamon Snail is usually referred to as "The Snail" amongst my friends, but VM has been known to describe the incomparable Chef Adam and his merry Cinnamon Snail as "delicious sandwich truck Adam".  That works too.

As you probably already know, The Cinnamon Snail can be found in various locations throughout Manhattan 5 days a week, at special events, and- now that it's summer, at the Red Bank Farmer's Market on Sundays through the fall.  If we lived closer we'd be there every week!  The farmer's market is small but varied: fruits, vegetables, foliage, crafts, etc.; but, the main draw is definitely the Snail.  Both vegans and non-vegans know the Snail is where it's at.

On this gorgeous day there was a new menu item that I'd been salivating over all week in anticipation: gochujang burger deluxe with sauteed kimchi, arugula, pickled daikon and leeks, black sesame gomasio, and sriracha mayonnaise on grilled focaccia.  I know, right!?!?

I am here to tell you that it was a bazillion times more amazing than you're even thinking right now.  VM pondered, "Do you think he just dreams up these scrumptious concoctions?"  Yes; yes I do.

I shared the terrific burger with VM, along with HER RETURNING FAVORITE (!): smoked portabello mushroom carpaccio with fried caper berries, caramelized onions, truffled kalamata olive tapenade, and arugula on grilled herb focaccia.

Just as good as our tastebuds recalled.

Snail sammies are the best of the best, people; going halvsies is the only way to fly.

As luck would have it, the Snail was serving fresh strawberry limeade on this day.  For me:

And for VM: star anise spiced coconut iced coffee.  What the what!?  So amazing that I had one too...for dessert.

Speaking of dessert...
When I originally discovered this container in my assortment, I wondered what exactly I would use it for. 

Who knew?

Even as I was enjoying my sammie, I was gazing at the haul.

But wait, there's more.

We started with the cookies.

That's Ned Stevens gutter cleaner cookie on the left and mint Matlock took all of his clothes off on the right.  You never know what you'll find in the Ned Stevens: marshmallows, nuts, chips....and the mint Matlock is straight up awesomesauce.

This is the fresh rasperry glazed donut that VM aptly described as "an inside-out jelly donut."

Ganache-filled s'mores donut with Sweet and Sara marshies.

The raspberry cheesecake donut tastes as though a donut, a pie (graham cracker crust), and a raspberry/cheese danish had a baby.  I actually forgot to buy this one and went back for it when I remembered that it had been posted on Facebook (VM loves raspberry).  There's always a full-case of goodies at the Snail, but some rotate and I couldn't risk missing a flavor this time around.

"Vendy award winning vanilla bourbon creme brulee donut":

I don't like apples, but I have a thing for the pink lady apple turnovers.  I can't explain it; it's the magic of the Snail.  Here it is, heated and minus one bite.

And finally, the last apple cider donut of this visit's booty.

I rarely pick up other things at the market, but this time there was a new vendor selling kettle korn...

I really like kettle korn.

I did share, though.  A little. 

I was full, after all.

To find out exactly where the Snail will be, friend them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter @VeganLunchTruck.  Otherwise, if you turn a corner and see this:

RUN, do not walk!

And, if you can, I highly recommend making a special trip to the Red Bank Farmer's Market; it's a wonderful way to spend the morning/early afternoon.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Nothing Says Father's Day Like Funfetti

My dad is not vegan.  He eats vegan food only when he has no other choice, and sometimes not even then.  He's been to more vegan restaurants than many vegans, and has managed not to eat at most of them.  Some people would rather go naked than wear fur; from Horizons to Peacefood, he'd often rather go hungry than eat vegan food.  As such, we could not celebrate Father's Day in my vegan house.

You may recall the spreads I go all out for on Mother's Day.  Since my dad would rather traditional, S.A.D., non-vegan food I won't even mention here, I brought the vegan food to them.  He even ate it... albeit as an accompaniment.

For breakfast (don't judge), I brought the funfetti.  Start the day off right, I say!  Funfetti cupcakesVCTOTW golden vanilla cupcakes (made with oil, not butter) swirled with Leiber's candy-coated mini-chips.

Side note: does anyone know why my cupcake liners like to crinkle like this?

My pans are old; is it possible that they can no longer contain today's giant liners?

They cooked up just fine regardless.

I iced them with Biscoff spread, because my Dad loves Biscoff.

We skipped lunch in lieu of an early dinner.  I brought the salad: mixed lettuces with carrots, tomato, and red onion (I'm addicted to my julienne tool).

There was a one-man barbecue, while VM and I partook in veggie burgers (yes, that's a ciabatta roll; I cannot find buns without datem, L-cysteine, or various other dough-conditioning enzymes I'd rather not consume).  VM whipped up some horseradish-adorned potatoes and onions and I sauteed a mean batch of string beans.

For dessert: homemade, chocolate-chip, rice-crispy treats.

And this is exactly when I realized I'd forgotten to make the jello.  To be continued...