Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Last week on the last day in NYC for my cousin I wanted to show him the famous pub, and oldest bar in the city, McSorley's which opened in 1854. Being the 4th generation of my family to drink in this pub, and because of its history I was moved to write an ode to it five years ago. If you are interested in an essay wildly off my vegan quest topic, it is posted here:

My cousin does not drink, and neither was I drinking that night and as we went from bar to bar heading east down 7th Street not one bar had non-alcoholic beer. Finally we found a bar on 1st Avenue and 7th Street that served my cousin his Buckler's and I stuck with the seltzer. We met a new friend of mine and then the three of us went in search of dinner. They allowed me to pick a vegan/vegetarian restaurant.

I found a great place at 105 First Avenue called Counter. The interior looked like a kitschy, 1960's lounge and of course me and my suit and tie stuck out like a sore thumb amongst the Lower East Side hipsters.

I ordered the White Bean Hummus & Kale pizza for the table. I thought it was delicious and both my cousin and friend were very skeptical of eating kale, but they both really enjoyed it. For the main course they both went with flatbread pizzas which the menu says, "Includes local - sustainable dairy with no animal rennet." So, I looked up rennet and that is, according to Wikipedia: is a natural complex of enzymes produced in any mammalian stomach to digest the mother's milk, and is often used in the production of cheese. So, I ask you readers - this is dairy, thus not vegan, so why is it important that it does not include animal rennet?

I ordered the Farmhouse Panini which included walnut-lentil pate, wild arugula, rosemary aioli, rustic Italian ciabatta -- it was great, very tasty. But the bread was not flat like a traditional panini, it was too thick. But, I really liked the place!

We ended the night up on my roof smoking cigars and listening to songs by Oingo Boingo ( my friend who is my age never heard of them, and she fashions herself an 80's music expert!).


Vegan Epicurean said...

From what I remember rennet is taken from the stomach of calves and therefore cheese that uses rennet (which is most of it) isn't even vegetarian. A fact most vegetarians seem to avoid.

Glad you had a good time out with your cousin. The white bean hummus and kale pizza sounds good to me too. ;-)


Terrence said...

Oh, thanks Ali - so to be a true vegetarian you should not have cheese made with rennet. Now, I got it. That goes to the simplicity of being vegan - nothing that has a face!

Trish said...

Loved Oingo Boingo! LOL!! White bean hummus? Now there's something I might like. I bought some roasted red pepper hummus last weekend since I couldn't find the buffalo wing kind at Whole Foods (sigh) and its just alright. I think hummus is an acquired taste -- no?!

Trish said...

My 13 yr. old son tried the roasted red pepper hummus for the first time ever on a sandwich (instead of his usual miracle whip or mayo) and he said "it wasn't bad!" Yay!!

Terrence said...

Trish - that is great! Some people mnake their own humus and I think I will try that sooN!