Tuesday, June 18, 2013

A Grand Day at the Pine Box Vegan Shop-Up: Gone Pie, Cake Thieves, Yeah Dawg, Sweet Maresa, and More!

I FINALLY did the Vegan Shop-Up right: I showed up at Pine Box Rock Shop a few minutes before noon...HUNGRY!

It was a gorgeous day and my schedule was wide open.  First, I made a beeline to the Gone Pie table.  With so many goodies on the menu, I was not going to be a victim of that sellout again.

one of the many Nepies on hand on this particular day!

My haul included strawberry rhubarb coffeecake muffins: oh those crumbs.


Peanut butter caramel rice crispy treats (with pawprints): chewy gooey.


Caramashew cup minis (with hippos): think giant, upscale rolo.


Lemon poppyseed mini-loaves: really knocked my fruit-hating socks off.

And a mini pecan pie with chocolate frosting drizzle: I've said it all here and I mean it more now.


Okay, two; I got two!  Prompting VM to ask why there weren't two lemon poppyseed mini-loaves as well.  The answer is because I'm stupid!  In any case, it was in this fab, pinstriped box for Yankees Father's Day.

I was also lucky enough to have received this personalized triple nut brownie with chocolate frosting and caramashew drizzle that was, wait for it, my favorite Gone Pie brownie to date! #friendsinhighplaces #notsureifitisapporpriatetohashtaginablog

Go Nepie!


Then I made a quick spin through all of the vendors to see what was to be seen.  Heirloom Vegan Eatery was back, and it was their birthday.

I helped them celebrate by buying something for 89:

"organic peanut butter dog cookies" that looked like a cross between a macaron and a whoopie pie.

Much like her previous Heirloom cookie, it went over quite well.

Right next door was a new-to-Shop-up/new-to-the-world vendor, Yeah Dawg.  Vegan hot dog?  Don't mind if I do!

Offering homemade, "soy-free, vegan hot dogs made from beans, vegetables, nuts, and grains," the Yeah Dawger at the helm of the grill (and company) could not have been nicer.  I went with the red cabbage sauerkraut, spicy mustard, pickled jalapenos, shitake bacon bits, and crushed BBQ chips.  Did I mention that all of the pickled toppings (sauerkraut, pickles, mangoes, jalapenos) were home-pickled?  They were.


The texture of the dog itself was more similar to falafel than your typical tofu pup, but all of the flavors (and colors) wrapped up together with a handful of chips made a mighty fine lunch and an awesome spin on an NYC classic.  Can't wait to see you again, Yeah Dawg!

It was practically necessary that I wash down my gourmet dog with Pine Box's Red MoCo Cooler: "Kahlua, Bosco chocolate syrup, grenadine and club soda.  Served in a Collins with a teeny umbrella."  Lightweight that I am, this drink went right to my head.  Thankfully, the bartender was able to get my attention as soon as I wandered out of the bar towards donuts.  In case you were wondering, despite the festive indoor/outdoor atmosphere of the Shop-Up, you can't bring your drinks outside- lest you risk being issued a ticket.  Thanks for the reminder!

Still, donut time (take two, sans beverage)!

Cake Thieves has now expanded their already impressive, cinnamon bun repertoire to include donuts.

I blame this photo on the Red MoCo Cooler

These are not just any donuts; check out the flavors:

Of course I went with the peanut butter cup donut, which was all fluffy and melty and totally delicious.  My friend had the strawberry margarita in all of its tequila glory and loved it as well.

Other than food, I had the opportunity to briefly meet Macaroon and Artichoke from The Food Duo, and to chat with the one-of-a-kind, Sheryl Yvette, of Bitchcakes.  You've probably seen her around biking, running, or attending vegan events...always glammed up!  I often greet her as you would an actor you're used to seeing on tv; although she hasn't ever known who I was, she's always been gracious enough to smile and respond in kind.  I finally introduced myself formally- only to find out that she's as lovely as she is beautiful, not to mention even tinier, prettier, and much friendlier than even I, as a fan, expected from the closest thing NY has to an actual vegan pin-up.  Good times.

I was having a great time enjoying the shop-up, but it was hot and I was thirsty; time to give The Doornail: "Absolut Citron & grape soda.  Served in a highball with a wedge of fresh lemon" a whirl.  It really hit the spot and the color made it a an especially great accessory- especially when I was telling an animated story and sloshed some over my arm.

You might appreciate the cause for excitement, though; a friend gifted me one of the most thoughtful gifts I can think of:

Be jealous; be very jealous!!

Speaking of macarons, Sweet Maresa makes vegan ones.  If, like me, you're always looking at the considerable display of non-vegan, radioactive-hued macarons at The Bean, you'll understand how excited I was to finally try these delicate, French, cookie sandwiches.

Bypassing the strawberry vanilla, rose, and chocolate mint; I chose the pistachio macaron.  I loved the pignoli cookie-esque chew of the cookie and the texture & flavor of the cream was at once both substantial and understated.  I'm sure the creation of these cookies is painstaking and laborious; I assure you that you will enjoy them at least in equal measure.  It's hard to pop them in your mouth without time or attention to the appreciation they deserve, so serve them with chamomile in your daintiest teacups.

One of the greatest things about the Vegan Shop-Up is that you can find goodies from vendors with whom you're familiar- who keep creating new favorites to offer alongside their longtime classics, as well as having the opportunity to try new or new-to-you delicacies that you may otherwise have never known existed. 

They are now scheduled for monthly shop-ups at Pine Box, so mark your calendars!

The end.


  1. Holy Cow! What a great post! LOVELY pictures! Cute pup! Wonderful Vegan Foods! I wish I had a vegans food cart nearby! I'm soooooo jealous!

  2. Long but great post!

    Who doesn't love Sheryl?

  3. I predict these will remain your favorite brownie only until you try the next flavor... perhaps the chocolate peanut butter brownie truffle bites will win your heart next?

    Oddly, I ate everything you ate, but drank nothing you drank...

  4. I can't believe the thought you put into this post. As a former blogger, I know how long this takes! Now I know why you bought all those goodies :) Thanks for mentioning me, especially for saying such kind things. What a fun day - I love this event and it was nice meeting you (officially).

  5. I love 89's enthusiasm — and yours. You never fail to find and describe the best treats with gusto! I got to meet artichoke and macaroon at VVC, though they might not remember me. Speaking of macaroons — or macarons — I'd love to find a vegan macaron that wasn't day-glo pink or green. I have an aversion to brightly colored food when the colors aren't real.

  6. Jennifer- THANK YOU! What a lovely comment. You should visit NYC pronto.

    BYOL- Come on; there were a zillion pictures!

    Gone Pie- You're right . And you can never go wrong with a Mary. Especially a Pine Box Mary.

    Bitch Cakes- To be honest, I bought all of those goodies because I'm a glutton! The blog is just a good excuse ;-) Hope to see you soon!

    Andrea- Being part of an event that showcases such talent within the vegan community makes me both excited and proud. If you and your husband plan a visit, do it around the Shop-Up schedule! As for the macarons, they may be available by mail order (in cooler weather?). I highly recommend.

  7. Thanks Abby! I'll bring some organic chamomile next time :) Glad you had a great day, too. Amazing post!

  8. Abby,

    How did I miss the triple nut brownie from Gone-Pie? I feel gypped.

  9. Maresa- Thank YOU and thanks for the amazing macaron!

    My Vegan Gut- Um, that was a special gift...not available yet...coming soon!!!


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