Over this past weekend I took a trip to NYC to visit The Dad. Most everyone knows that The Dad is pretty much my best friend – we get together not nearly often enough to hang out, eat great vegan food, get cultured (as I like to say), shop, and just in general – have a blast! Last year The Dad moved to Greenwich, CT and last Easter I went to visit (my first East Coast trip!). Ever since we’ve been saying how much me need to hang out in NYC a bit longer. With 2010 having been a crazy year for me (Moving, new job, etc) it never happened. Finally…I made it out there this last weekend. Added bonus: with my wonderful vegan friends on Twitter – we even planned to meetup.
We had a solid weekend of activities planned. My flight arrived Friday night a little after 10pm; after being delayed about 20min at O’Hare – someone apparently unplugged some extension cord and render the plane inoperable. After taking the most expensive taxi ride ever to our hotel The Dad said he was starved and we wonder around Times Square and ended up at Planet Hollywood. Not exactly – or even remotely – vegan, but I ate dinner earlier so I wasn’t hungry and just munched on a side salad while The Dad got himself some dinner. We made it back to the hotel and fell fast asleep by 2am. We set the alarm for 7am, we had a lot to do!
Saturday: I headed right to Starbucks for some much needed coffee & some oatmeal. Then we made out way to NBC for the Today Show. Promptly upon our arrival they were already filming…we didn’t even get into the “crowd” area before they were just. Drat! We just missed it. We hung out and spied through the studio windows while I drank my coffee and ate my oatmeal. Then we grabbed a taxi to Terri’s for a real breakfast.
The Dad got the Scramble Wrap (he said it was fab, I scored a bite and loved it!). It has some kick (thank you hot sauce) and the texture was great, with the added pieces of Italian sausage it rounded out to be quite a breakfast meal!
I opted for the Fat Elvis. Grilled Peanut Butter, Banana, & Tofu Bacon sandwich. Yes, it rocked.
After the breakfast we walked back to Time Square and headed to our second event of the day. The King Tut exhibit. I have no pictures as they were not allowed. But I can tell you it was incredible and I am telling you this too late as the exhibit has officially close (sorry!). We had the audio tour with our tickets and that was incredible helpful. Someone else to explain all the details so we didn’t have to sit and read every sign! I’m sure the exhibit is a traveling exhibit so if it’s ever in your area, it was well worth it!
After King Tut we headed to get some lunch at Zen Palate. We decided to get an appetizer, soup, and one entree to share (wise choice!)
After lunch it was time for the much anticipated Wicked!
It was fantastic, seriously amazing. Go see it if you haven’t, no really GO NOW! It was just so very good. This little girl sitting in front of us at the show said to her mother afterwards “Lets see it again!”. I whole heartily concur.
After Wicked we headed to Macy’s (Um, you can’t go to NYC without going to Macy’s). I bought a nice handbag and The Dad got a pair of boots. After the shopping excursion we headed to another highly anticipated event – dinner at Franchia’s with some twitter pals JL & Andrea! Nicole was supposed to join us as well, but she was under the weather (poo!) We got to chatting and had difficulty deciding what to order and then we annoyed the serve by pressing the call button (how cool is that!) way too many times.
Now, on to the food!
Appetizers: The Spicy Kimchi Pancakes were great and we were all impressed with how crispy they turned out.
The dumplings were great, you can get them either steamed (as we did) or fried. I love dumplings, so tasty. I couldn’t tell what dumpling was which of the assorted variety, but they were all good!
The main dishes are all pictured below, we scored…big time…
I love pumpkin and this dish delivered, the slices of Kabocha Pumpkin were wonderful with the sauce and tofu!
Oh how wonderful The Dad’s dish was. Mushrooms that are all crispy and wonderful…yum. My mouth is literally watering as I write this.
Andrea was quite excited about ordering steak, the dish did not disappoint either. As you recall form our trip to Karyn’s, Andrea does not like mushrooms…so she promptly transplanted her mushrooms to my plate (yum!)
JL’s dish tasted great too. The texture seemed a bit soft on the tofu meatballs that and they were all perfectly formed (weird…somethings should not be so perfect!) but the flavor of the sauce and everythign were wonderful!
Now…you can’t get a bunch of vegans together without us wanting dessert!
Andrea had been so excited about the pudding that we were all excited for that dish to be ordered. As soon as she said it the server promptly said it was sold out for the night. The entire table gasped and the server litterally step away from the table. Maybe he was concerned we’d turn on him. But Andrea took it in strid and order another dish…only to be told that there was only one piece available & that JL had ordered it…when he returned with this bad news he brought out some mochi (read: peace offering) and Andrea ordered the cheesecake (and finally was rewarded with a dessert!)
After dinner and all the chatting and friendliness I realized how great my twitter friends are. I know our entire friendship is built on this little online world of 140 characters, but some of my friends on twitter are truly amazing and wonderful friends. I am so looking forward to Vida Vegan Con when we all get to hang out again. JL & Andrea also mentioned The Natural Gourmet Institute – and well, lets just say I’ve got some more focus on my future. I’ve always enjoyed baking and cooking in general. But, this school offers some rad classes and I fully intend to go to several of them. I might move into Andrea’s tiny room (please!) for any classes this spring.
So…that was all of Saturday for you…now on to Sunday! I start my Sunday off with a bit-o-time with God, so we headed over the the Cathedral of Saint Patrick for morning churchness.
It’s such a beautiful church, I’m still in awe of it.
After church we headed down to Curly’s Lunch, which was recommended by none other than Andrea (woot!). The place is tiny, eclectic, and just all around interesting. Crayons on the table mean you can color your place-mat and, if you’re lucky, get it up on the wall. Mine sucked, so no wall for me =) All the food was fantastic…no really, down right amazing!
The Dad dislikes banana’s, so he let me snap the photo then promptly put those babies on my plate (yum!). I must say the French toast rocked. Topped with molasses…how have I never thought of this? Super yummy.
I went classic with pancakes, scramble and curly fries (duh!). I’m not a big seitan fan so I actually pushed the vegan sham over to my dad’s plate (he liked it, although, not really a shocker) Anyway…scramble was really good, but perhaps a bit too much mustard was used (or maybe not mixed well enough) because the last half I ate tasted strongly of mustard. Which went well with the crispy fries – so it worked. But fair warning if you don’t like mustardy flavors. Pancakes we delicious as well. Classic, simple, wonderful.
After breakfast we spend the remaining time hanging at the hotel and then sent me on my way back to Chicago. I can’t wait to go back…so much fun!