This past weekend we took a short family vacation. We went to a family bbq on the Jersey Shore and then spent 3 days in NYC. Some months ago Mark won a 2 night stay at a hotel in Brooklyn at a charity auction. The original voucher was just for 2 but I decided to get bold and see how much it would be to add the kids. Luckily it was free and so a reasonably priced family vacation was born!
Sunday morning we got in to Brooklyn around 10 am. We headed right for Trader Joe’s to get some snacks as we walked around. I wolfed down a hummus pita so quickly that there wasn’t any time for a photo! We wandered around for awhile and ended up at the NY Transit Museum. It was fascinating to discover not only the history of trains in NY but things about the bus system and how the art that is in subways is chosen and put there. It made us look more closely at the art in the stations, especially the mosaics. At one station we saw a man working on a mosaic and so we stopped to look. Here is one of our favorite subway mosaics.
We even got to tour through lots of old subway cars. Watching the progression of how things changed over the years was lots of fun. The ads were fascinating too and started lots of discussions with the kids about media and the times.
After the museum we hung out at the hotel for awhile and then turned our attention to dinner. I had found many different places I wanted to try, but I was specifically looking for a place that could accommodate us all. Luckily I found the Bogota Latin Bistro in Brooklyn. The menu is marked to specify which items are gluten free, which are vegetarian, and which are vegan. I chose the quinoa cakes with fried plantains and spinach. Along with my virgin passion fruit mojito I was a happy diner! The cakes were soft and sort of sweet, which was a nice complement to the spicy sauces (which I checked and were vegan). The fried plantains were crispy and the spinach was perfectly done and seasoned.
The walk back to the hotel was pretty long (about 40 minutes each way) and we stopped at a small market. I was overwhelmed by the choices and, had we had a fridge in our room, would probably have purchased as much as I could carry. As it was I decided upon a pint of a non-dairy ice cream I had never seen before. Up until this my experiences with agave sweetened desserts hasn’t been that great, but this was wonderful. Rich tasting with wonderful creamy and decadent mouth feel. According to their website this exists locally so I’m excited!
Monday’s breakfast won’t be discussed. (Suffice it to say it was in the hotel, overpriced, and not that satisfying. It was, though, vegan.) Lunch was chosen for T’s benefit as it was a place with gluten free pizza crust. I had a piece of veggie no cheese that was quite good but apparently I was ravenous since I didn’t stop to take a picture.
Then we made pilgrimage #1: Babycakes NYC. I don’t think I was prepared for how small a place this was going to be, but it smelled amazing and the choices left me speechless. I finally listened to what others were ordering and decided that if it was good enough to have only 2 left then it was good enough for me.
I am clearly hot & sweaty from all the walking but T felt the need to take a bite out of my samoa cookie! (Can you see the chocolate on my face?) It truly tasted like a girl scout cookie! I had a mounds candy too (very heavy on the coconut!) which was soooo good. T had a chocolate crunch doughnut and E had a red velvet cupcake. Mark was too full for dessert. He, clearly, is the odd one out in this family!
By dinner time we were pooped. I wanted to eat at Foodswings and called to see if they delivered to our hotel. The message I got said that if you reached this during business hours that they were busy helping other customers and to please call back. So I waited and re-dialed. 5 more times, never to get a person. At this point I was a little concerned about walking all that way in case they were closed so I called the Wild Ginger Pan-Asian Vegan Cafe to find out if *they* delivered to the hotel. About 20 minutes later this feast was delivered to me.
Everything was good but it’s a toss up as to whether I thought the summer rolls or the pumpkin cheesecake were better. I used to get something similar to the summer rolls from a little place in Oklahoma City when we lived there, so I was thrilled to have something that I haven’t been able to find. It tasted fresh and the herbs gave it a little kick. And the cheesecake, well, it tasted like a smooth and delicious pumpkin cheesecake. I went to bed happy.
The next morning’s breakfast wasn’t as expensive but was also not that exciting. I did get my hands on a single serve container of vanilla soy milk which made me happy. We rode the Staten Island ferry and then did my favorite part of the trip: We walked the Brooklyn bridge! It was completely amazing to be walking over all the cars and see the way the bridge was put together.
The walk was hot and we were sweaty but the view was spectacular. Then it was time. It was time to do pilgrimage #2 to Foodswings. Except…
So we took the subway to the right street. Except we needed to be at 295 and we were in the 800s so we just walked. Eventually there was a highway in front of us and we didn’t know where we were. So we walked around the highway and found the right road again. By the time we found the store we were hot, we needed a bathroom, and we were just a tad irritable. Luckily there was vegan ice cream.
This is “The Tank” made with coffee ice cream since they were waiting on an ice cream delivery and it was all they had. Not being much of a coffee person I was a little concerned but this was wonderful.
I ordered a pizza burger and cheese fries. Now that, with a milkshake, is a meal if ever I had one! The burger was ok. Softer then I like but with good flavor. But the cheese fries… I’m still dreaming about the cheese fries. They were the best I have ever had, either vegan or non vegan. Just thinking about them is making me hungry….
After lunch it was time to head back to the car and start the drive home. We got stuck in traffic in soho for about an hour and I kept thinking “I could jump out, do a little shopping, and be back in the car before we get to the tunnel.” But, being a good girl, I sat in the car playing my “Words With Friends” games.
We got home close to 10 pm and I’ve spent today catching up on things like laundry, cleaning, and grocery shopping. I had swollen ankles and fingers but otherwise seem to have weathered the trip pretty well. Of course I have to admit I’m glad that the intense heat waited until today to strike. So now I am home on delmarva, away from amazing delivery vegan food. I guess I’ve got to start cooking!