Thursday, April 27, 2017

Easter Party

Passover was pretty great. Then came Easter, with even more food and frolic.

I always take 89 to see the Easter Bunny, although looking back through the blog I'm realizing that I don't always post the photo, which is a damn shame. Here's her pic from this year; the bunny had two settings: 1) immediately let 89 step off their lap and sit as far away from them as possible, or, 2) hold 89 by the entire body so that only her head, a swatch of her bunny shirt, and one dangling leg are visible. Here's option 2 at work. VM tried to get a photo of option 1, but my enormous arse was in the shot and there's no reason to go there.

Since this is one bit of tardiness I can assuage easily, here are the bunny photos from the last two years.

2016 was THE BEST. I could tell the bunny was up for it, so I told them that 89 would squirm, but not bite and that I was going to toss 89 over. The bunny caught her like a champ and the moment of the catch, inclusive of 89's ears blowing in the wind of the fan meant to keep the bunny cool, was captured.

2015 was a rookie mistake on my part. 89 was dressed as a bunny, which does not read well in a photo- particularly under duress. Also, why dress like a bunny when you're visiting the bunny? We've since learned that homage, not imitation, is key.

But, I digress. This year 89's Easter basket was filled with stuffed peeps and an extra bunny outlier. They currently all still exist, although I don't think any of the peeps have their squeakers anymore and most are missing their stuffing. There's a really funny video of the basket attacking 89 if you're so inclined.

On the way to VM & OD's we stopped at our regular holiday flower spot to pick up some buds that color-coordinated with my #1 bud.

Because if not on all days, at least on holidays you should eat dessert with every meal: these are the Peaceful Provisions donuts we shared in the a.m.: Ferrera Rocher donut, cannoli donut, rainbow donut. Not pictured: their vanilla pudding/cereal donut I glommed all to myself the day before.

For dinner, VM was at it again with Follow Your Heart's vegan egg; this time, baked ziti.

I ate about 75% of it.

For dinner dessert, we had bunny-shaped rainbow cookies from Sweet Maresa because the only thing better than rainbow cookies are rainbow cookies shaped like bunny rabbits.

and, finally, a shot of 89's bunny-themed ensem for the day.

Hope your holidays were enjoyed as well!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017


Excuse my tardiness; I recognize that I'm a little behind! Okay, actually a lot behind, but that's a story for another post(s). It was just Passover, peeps! And you know what that means: VM does all the cooking.

Here's 89, moments before she fell asleep waiting for the reading to end and for dinner to start.

Charoseth on matzoh, a.k.a. the only time I eat apples.

The piece-de-resistance: VM's famous matzoh ball soup- new and improved with the Follow Your Heart vegan egg. Don't be jealous of the middle ball's carrot hat.

Looky who woke up for some soup.


The festive meal: a packed plate (not mine!) of kugel, sweet potato, string beans, and Brussels sprouts.

It took 89 a few days to find the afikomen because someone hid it six feet in the air. CORRECTION: it took me a few days to realize why 89 was sniffing the air under a six foot high shelf.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Seasoned Vegan

FINALLY got to Seasoned Vegan over the weekend! A mac 'n' cheese-loving friend and I were in the area and I realized that we couldn't be far.

As is usual in NYC, we walked past quite a few less healthy and considerably non-vegan options on our trek towards our destination. When we arrived it appeared to us as an oasis: proudly vegan.

As soon as we entered, I recognized the mother and son owners/operators; they were standing right inside the entrance and it appeared as though they were tasting the chicken nuggets. It made me curious- had someone complained and they were trying to figure out what was wrong? Or, were they so good that they were just always munching on them?

The dining room was inviting and, as we were seated, we were given the regular menu as well as a brunch menu we hadn't expected. As much as we appreciated the option and as appealing as it looked, we decided to stick with the standard selections.The regular menu was more varied- chicken nuggets, hummus, pizza quesadilla...and healthful- raw appetizers, entrees, wraps, than I expected. Not seeing anything that wholeheartedly appealed to me, I was excited to spy the monthly special: BBQ riblets.

Each entree comes with a light salad of mixed greens and apple cider vinaigrette. We were really happy to have received this since it unexpectedly took an hour for our meals to come out. There was a table of four that seemed to send their meals back at least twice each, so the inordinate delay was probably caused by all of the waitstaff being focused on them.

When our meals finally arrived, my friend was so hungry that she didn't wait to let the camera eat first. So, her smothered "chicken" dish comprised of one soy "chicken" patty stewed in herbs and smothered in gravy with mac and broccoli is unpictured; she liked everything.

I chose the special BBQ riblets with baked mac & "cheese" and collard greens as sides. Although I'd hear another server tell another diner otherwise, our server allowed me to choose the sides with my special rather than committing it to a special plate. The collard greens (and a sweet potato souffle) were the special sides that day: surprisingly not standard on the menu.
  • I was a little shocked that the riblets were spheres, but they had a really nice taste; I assumed they were seitan or some kind of May Wah-esque product with really nice sauce. I was more than a little jealous when the gentleman next to me received the same plate, only his riblets were positively smothered in the decadent BBQ sauce.
  • The baked mac was really good, but I thought it could have had a little more pizazz.
  • I was initially given the broccoli by accident instead of my collards; there's not much to say about sauteed broccoli, although it was kind of them to let me keep it. 
  • I didn't get a great picture of the collards because they were unexpectedly delivered on a side dish swimming in a broth that, had I not been certain I was in a vegan restaurant, I would have feared. I moved them into my main plate sans broth, but found them overcooked and more salty than anything else. 
In short, I found all of the things I tried to be, rather ironically, under-seasoned.

Uncertain if we'd be back any time soon, we splurged on dessert. My friend chose the ice "cream" cupcake sandwich: vegan ice "cream" sandwiched between two cupcake halves. Here it is: vanilla ice cream in a somewhat squished looking vanilla cupcake (they were out of red velvet).

I ordered the praline ice cream (they look identical because it must be made with the same vanilla base) with a salted pecan chocolate chip cookie. I guess my plate was warm, which was why my ice cream was melty upon arrival. The cookie tasted predominantly of oil and had only two chocolate chips in it. I don't know if they make their own ice cream- the waitstaff was pleasant but always appeared too busy to chat, but this was creamy and rich with an unfortunate alcohol aftertaste as though from imitation vanilla.

Before we left I decided to use the restroom; it was quite lovely and had the holy grail of public restrooms: hooks! Unfortunately, it was completely out of toilet paper, which was an apt metaphor for my inaugural Seasoned Vegan dining experience.

I would definitely say there are a few kinks with seasoning, service, and consistency to work out, but- if the bustling afternoon crowd was any indication, Seasoned Vegan is obviously a popular neighborhood- as well as vegan, destination.