Monday, April 9, 2007

Foodie Tourism

In March, Matt and I went to NYC for the express purpose of gluttony. Because we're kind of vain we spent the previous week eating nothing but salad so we wouldn't come home too hugely fat. It's kind of an odd position to be in -- adoring cooking and food and worrying about putting on weight. I think most people are in one camp or the other. Matt and I are usually in binge or diet mode though to keep things under control.

Any way, if there is one thing NYC has going for it, it's lots of great veg eateries. We hit up some old favorites, including VP2 and Red Bamboo but we also found a few new spots we loved. We were both completely taken with Gobo. Even my friends who are not vegetarian who joined us there were blown away. They have a delicious menu and their food presentation will knock your socks off. If you only go to one veg eatery in New York this one would be my suggestion.

Vegan French Toast With Bananas @ Counter
For breakfast, I really liked Counter on the lower east side. They had a perfectly decadent vegan french toast and Matt was pleased with their veggie burger. (Matt is a veggie burger afficianado.)

While in New York, we also paid a visit to the May Wah Vegetarian Grocery. A small storefront in Chinatown with nothing but frozen food cases. Inside you'll find a veg version of just about every meat product under the sun. I normally am not all that into meat substitutes but I enjoy the novelty of cooking with something new and sometimes I do wonder if my culinary repertoire is really suffering due to limiting my ingredients to things that came out of the ground. We bought a ton of stuff from this store, some of it was pretty good, some of it I probably wouldn't buy again.

The funny part about this experience is that once I got several shopping bags of these meat things home and into the freezer I had no idea what I wanted to do with them. I actually had to comb the web for recipes that involved meat! The best recipe I found was this one for Lamb Chianti. We made it using May Wah's vegetarian mutton which I think we'd buy again in the future. May Wah also has some vegan citrus ribs that are delightfully spicy. Some of the vegetarian fish (abalone and shrimp) were either a little rubbery or a little bland so they were not our favorites. If you're looking to give some of these products a go, May Wah does ship their products all over, just visit their site for details.

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