September 30, 2011

Dos Caminos

New York has some truly amazing Mexican restaurants. Guacamole is by far one of my favorite foods, and in New York where it's fresh and made to order, I can't resist.

Dos Caminos has an awesome traditional guacamole with tomatoes, onions, cilantro, lots of lime + salt. (They also have a Mango, Papaya-Habanero version that I have yet to try but sounds amazing!) Along with chips, you can also order crunchy veggies to accompany your guac.
For vegetarians/vegans, they have a Mexican Chopped Salad, Farmers Market Vegetable Quesadilla, Vegetable Fajitas and Vegetales Tacos, plus lots of sides that can all be made vegan.

I went with the Vegetales Tacos with grilled market vegetables, maggi chimichurri and shredded romaine inside handmade corn tortillas. (Just ask them to leave off the queso fresco). If you're not familiar with maggi, it's a seasoning commonly used in Asian dishes. With a Vietnamese mother, it was a staple in my diet growing up.
There are four Dos Caminos locations in NYC, one in Las Vegas and one in Ft. Lauderdale. Happy eating!

September 27, 2011

NY Holiday

I'm eating my way through New York this week...I'll have lots to share on Friday!

September 23, 2011


When I moved to Chicago, I was told by my veggie friends that Handlebar was a must. A couple of weeks ago, I finally made it there to try their Vegan Fried Pickles.

They were so crunchy, sour and salty with an amazing dill/ranch dipping sauce. They really hit the spot.
I then moved onto their Buffalo Chicken Wrap with seitan, wing sauce, romaine lettuce, red onion, tomatoes and more of that awesome vegan ranch dressing.  Again, they totally nailed it. Great comfort food, lots of options for vegans (they are not a fully vegetarian establishment, they do serve fish), and a brunch menu that's calling for a follow up visit.

September 21, 2011

The Chicago Diner

Last month, I made my first trip ever to The Chicago Diner. For vegans, this place is kind of a big deal. They've been 'Meat Free Since '83' and serving vegetarian and vegan comfort food for over two decades, way before veganism was trendy.
Four of my family members accompanied me, two vegans, a vegetarian and an omnivore. 

We started with the Vegan Teese Mozzarella Sticks. You cannot tell the difference between the Teese cheese and real mozzarella. They were so ooey gooey delicious. Luckily, you don't have to visit Chicago to experience these. You can buy them frozen online and have them anytime you please! 
My husband (the omnivore) had the Country Fried 'Steak', a breaded seitan filet, topped with country gravy, rustic mashed potatoes & pesto sautéed vegetables. He absolutely loved this.
My dad had the Radical Reuben, corned “beef” seitan, grilled onions, peppers, sauerkraut, vegan Thousand Island & cheeze, on marbled rye. 
My mom tried the Straight Up Veggie, the SUV of grilled cheese with cajunnaise, lettuce, tomato, onion, sprouts & cucumber on toasted wheat. 
My cousin from France, a newbie vegetarian, ordered the Curry Tofu Salad with mixed greens, onion & carrot tossed in a mango-berry dressing, topped with curry tofu/sweet potato strips.
And I had the BBQ 'Chicken' Ranch Salad with zesty BBQ seitan wingz topping romaine, chopped tomato, onion, carrot & sliced cucumber with vegan ranch. Oh how I loved this salad. The BBQ sauce combined with the ranch sauce just takes it over the top.

We were so full, but couldn't resist taking dessert home. We tried the Chocolate Cake...
The Carrot Cake...
And...the Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake. This was by far our favorite. The other two desserts were really good, but this completely blew them away. 
Seriously awesome food at The Chicago Diner. Well worth the hype.

September 19, 2011

Fritz Pastry

Fritz Pastry is a bakery in Chicago that offers several vegan pastries. They have two flavors of Fritz Cakes, chocolate and vanilla. The vanilla cake had a great consistency and the frosting was delicious.
The Fritz Cakes are wonderful, but the real star is their vegan doughnut. This vegan doughnut was the most like a traditional cake doughnut that I've tasted. I've had many vegan doughnuts, all good. This one was great. The texture, crisp on the outside, cake-like on the inside, was just amazing. It's the first vegan doughnut I've tasted to really get the cake doughnut just right.

September 16, 2011


Raw sells their prepared food in The French Market and Whole Foods in Chicago. Among their offerings are Superfood Seed 'Cheese', 'Egg' Salad, , 'Salmon Pate', Spaghetti with 'Meatballs' + Falafel on Onion Flatbread, all raw and vegan.

I was slightly skeptical about their Pizza, but it was so flavorful and filling. The side of Basil spread that comes along with it is out of this world. I'm still amazed by how raw ingredients can come together and taste even better than their cooked versions.
For dessert, they offer Apple Pie, Tiramisu, Brownies + Macaroons, just to name a few. We opted for the Mousse au Chocolat and the Lemon Square, both rich and bursting with flavor.
The Lemon Square was my favorite...creamy, bright and tart.
They have so many raw options to choose from, you'll never have to eat just a salad here.

September 14, 2011

Dun-Well Doughnuts

Dun-Well Doughnuts are artisanal vegan doughnuts, made in New York. Last month, I was craving a late night snack in the East Village, and made my way to Lula's Sweet Apothecary. Along with their cashew cream ice cream, they also serve Dun-Well. The Banana Walnut was calling my name...sweet, salty, crunchy with a slight banana chocolate flavor - it was lovely.
Their flavors include Maple Blueberry, Pink Lemonade, Rose and Cranberry, Raspberry Pistachio + Root Beer, you can see them all here, and you can find them here.

September 12, 2011

Karyn's Raw

Karyn's Raw is one of three restaurants owned by Karyn Calabrese. As its name suggests, everything is raw. My cousin and I stopped in for lunch last month and tried some amazing dishes.

We shared the Nachos, with corn tortilla chips, guacamole, sweetened sour cream, black olives, marinated red onions and caramelized jalapenos. If you weren't informed, you would have no idea these were raw and vegan. The chips are crunchy and the sauces are creamy and seriously addicting.
For my entree, I had the Basil Scented Ravioli, half moon shells (made of turnips) filled with macadamia whipped crème dressed with an Italian olive marinara sauce. These were really filling with lots of flavor.
My cousin ordered the Spinach Pizza, Italian herb crust topped with raw marscarpone cheese, tomato basil puree, and garlic oil infused spinach. Now, it's not exactly pretty, but the flavors are really complex and delicious.
Next door, they sell all kinds of vegan supplements and vitamins.
And you can get their prepared foods to go, from soups to raw crackers to raw vegan sour cream.
You can see my posts from Karyn's on Green here and here.

September 9, 2011

Terri Follow Up

I recently had brunch at Terri in NYC and got to try some new-to-me dishes. 

I shared the Breakfast Scramble Wrap with my husband, which consists of scrambled tofu, vegan sausage, spinach, Daiya cheddar and hot sauce. This was so nice on a brisk morning, really substantial and filling.
 Since Vegenaise, I cannot get enough potato salad.  Terri's version is delicious.
  They also offer great vegan muffins and donuts. The Mixed Berry Muffin is my favorite.
I also tried their Buffalo Chicken Sandwich (not pictured) on another visit and I highly recommend it. Their Butterfinger Milkshake is on my list for next time!

You can see my previous post on Terri here.

September 7, 2011


Blockheads is a Mexican restaurant in New York, with 7 locations in Manhattan. They offer Grilled Tofu, Rice & Beans or Sauteed Vegetables in their burritos, tacos, salads and wraps, along with Vegetarian Chili. You can also get vegan cheese and sour cream with any of their dishes. Woo hoo!

Here are their Tofu Tacos with a side of black beans and vegan sour cream. 
 They even make a point to list all of the vegan items on their menu.

September 2, 2011

Native Foods Chicago

Native Foods is finally open in Chicago! Their Wicker Park location opened recently, with two more locations to open in fall.

Their Native Nachos are one of my favorite things on the menu. Homemade corn tortilla chips covered in black beans, Native Taco Meat, Native Chipotle Crema, Native Cheese, salsa fresca, and guacamole, topped with corn, green onions, and cilantro.
And I had the Soul Bowl - Southern fried Native Chicken with hearty red beans and “jazzman” rice, steamed veggies, and kale dressed with ranch and BBQ sauce and served with homemade cornbread. Great flavor combinations - I loved everything about this dish!

So happy they've moved into the Midwest. They also offer cooking classes - you can see the schedule on their website. And you can see some of their Palm Springs offerings here.