New York City: A Whirlwind.

I have gone on quite a few trips in the past months. And most of the time, no matter what the nature of the trip, I use it as an excuse to stuff my face with as many new foods as possible. Today we'll be covering New York City.

Obviously New York is vast. And about as stuffed to the gills as a place can be with mouthwatering foods. I do not pretend to have sampled extensively in New York, but I am familiar with its breadth of options from my short time as a resident back in 2008. And Tyler and I sure gave our whirlwind culinary tour a good effort in the 24 hours we had in the city.

I had to be in NY for an editor's showcase where I would be representing a client. So Tyler and I were put up in a hotel in the very center of Times Square. Since Tyler hasn't seen Times Square since our 7th grade field trip where we drove through the center of the square in broad daylight in a big, nasty bus, I was excited to show him the glorious spectacle of commercialism at night.

After the event was over, I managed to procure some hard-to-wrangle-on-a-Saturday-night reservations to Candle 79. We have been wanting to try this place since my culinary school days, and it was definitely a treat. The atmosphere is swanky without being too fancy, and the space is laid out so that somehow it feels both spacious and cozy. Pardon the photos- the lighting was romantic in person and dreadful via camera.

The below salad featured fennel, avocado, and micro greens in a chilled tomato broth with just a touch of spice. We paired this with a raw cheese plate (featured in the second picture) and an assortment of dried fruits, reductions and salt roasted nuts. Oh and cocktails. GET a cocktail. They were beyond lovely.

We have a couple of dear friends living in Brooklyn, so the next morning we met them for breakfast at Champs Diner. Be still my little heart- little Ashley took over and ordered pancakes that were more akin to an ice cream sundae. I just couldn't help myself. Look at those things!

And finally, right before we left the city, in an all-out manhunt to find this food truck... And honestly, good thing we stuck to our guns because this meal was the cherry on top of it all... We tried Cinnamon Snail. If you are lucky enough to spot this truck the next time you're in NYC, wait in that line. Yes, the line will probably be at least half an hour long. But I scanned the crowd, assessed it to be mostly business men and women on a Monday around lunchtime in Chelsea, and I realized that if these people (most of whom are likely not vegan) are willing to spend their entire lunch break waiting in a line this long... the food has to be stellar. And IT WAS.

My two favorite things: 
  • Chinese Five Spice marinated seitan on a baguette with arugula, curried cashews, and wasabi aioli.
  • Vanilla Bean and Maker's Mark Creme Brulee doughnut. 
All vegan. All seriously outstanding. I cannot say enough about the attention to detail here- the flavors are bold, spot on, and everything just works. Bonus point for the variety of color and texture in each dish as well. It hurts me even to reminisce because I just want to eat their food all the time.

Oh, I miss New York every day...