Saturday, November 7, 2009

The Atypical Saturday

What does one do when you don't do the perennial crawl out of bed Saturday morning around 11 AM, and shuffle down to the diner for a heavy plate of scrambled eggs and bacon - partly for taste, and partly to let the grease calm your stomach? What does one do when spending 4 hours on a bar stool with a plate of chicken wings and a pitcher of beer watching multiple football games seems less appealing? Well, not less appealing, rather very appealing, just less doable.

Well today, after a V8, and an apple, I went to watch something important. It was a gorgeous crisp day and my friend's suggestion to witness something historic sounded much better than parking my elbows over the NY Post while wedged into a Formica and pleather booth wiping the animal fat off my chin...OK, I love doing that, but I loved it too much, and that is why I am a week into a new lifestyle and heading over to the West Side with a clear head, and a bit lighter on my feet!

I was honored to stand on the West Side Highway and look at the commissioning of the Navy's newest ship, the USS New York made from 7.5 tons of steel from the WTC. At the closest spot to take a photo I happened to run into my buddy who is a NYPD cop and chatted about my new diet (another skeptical thumbs up), until my friend arrived. I timidly suggested to her lunch at a vegan restaurant. The closest was about 20 blocks away. We immediately passed a great old bar, Landmark Tavern, and I thought of their delicious scotch eggs (hard boiled eggs encased in sausage), but that urge was fleeting, thankfully.

We went to Blossom - a place often recommended to me - on 9th Avenue and 22nd. It was a small place and when we settled in I was truly wondering what the experience would be like. Do they talk funny? Are there certain rules I should abide by? Could they tell I'm just a week in with my veganhood? Secret handshakes? What? Well, it was relief to find out that a vegan restaurant is like any normal one. There are forks and knives and napkins on the table. A man walks by and pours water into your cup which is provided. Then a waitress gives you a laminated piece of paper with listings of food that they serve. OK, it is not as foreign as I thought it would be.

I had the ravioli and pine nut puree appetizer, and the seitan scallopini (seitan is a cooked wheat made to have the texture and taste of meat). It was delicious; fantastic! However, I over-indulged in the bread with the pine nut puree. The seitan scallopini was, of course fried and bit oily, but very very tasty. It reminds me that just because it is vegan it is not the single most healthiest, nutrient dense, thing to eat at that moment. However, to cut out or cut down on meat for health reasons, these types of dishes are an amazing substitute.

Oh, and in case you are wondering, yes, I did have a very robust work-out at the gym later on - went to Equinox near Union Square. Then went to the Farmer's Market and loaded up on apples, and broccoli and Summer squash from local farms. Also, somehow fit in a visit to the flee market, and also a bed store to buy a new bed - it's amazing what you can accomplish when you simply set out to find a vegan restaurant!

Not really hungry for dinner so just had an apple and made more guacamole to dip the broccoli. And munched on some almonds.

So, on the 7th day I certainly did not rest!


Anonymous said...

I've never been to Blossom - I'll have to check it out. I think there is also an UWS location.

The cool thing about vegan restaurants is that you can eat ANYTHING on the menu!

That's cool about the USS New York! Must have been a great way to spend a fall afternoon....

You have survived 7 days and lived to tell the tale. :-) You rock!

Danielle M said...

I just found out that a lifetime friend of mine is the manger at Blossom. His name is Michael Parkins. Send him my best the next time you go there... or perhaps I'll join you and we can have a vegan meal together...