vegan

Brunch at The Butcher’s Daughter

IMG_5485.jpg This weekend I met some friends at the Butcher's Daughter in the Lower East Side to catch up and have some brunch.  The place had been on all of our "must try but my husband won't go" lists so we figured it was the perfect choice for a girl's outing. IMG_5481.jpg IMG_5487.jpg While The Butcher's Daughter is by their own definition a vegetarian establishment, it's fully dairy-free and has lots of  vegan and gluten-free options. According to their website:

The Butcher’s Daughter is a new juice bar, cafe and “vegetable slaughter house”.

As a human race, it is becoming more and more obvious that our diet – and the way we eat – is changing: Meat is moving off center-stage and the spotlight is turning to fresh fruits and vegetables. At The Butcher’s Daughter, we treat fruits and vegetables as a butcher would meat: We chop, fillet and carve fresh produce into heathy vegetarian dishes and press them into pretty juices. ...We take pride in our daily-changing menu, which is 100% vegetarian and non-dairy. Most of our menu items are vegan and gluten-free, and we can always prepare substitutions for most dietary restrictions.  
We couldn't have had a better day weather wise to try it. The temperature actually hit 80 that day and sidewalk seating was available, making it my first sidewalk cafe meal of the spring and summer season.  Spring is finally officially here!   IMG_5488.jpg The menu had so many items I could actually have!  It was like heaven for me. IMG_5495.jpg To drink I settled on their Strawberry Blond juice spritzer.  It had strawberry and blood orange juices paired with basil and topped off with soda.  It was so refreshing and I'm probably going to try to concoct a copycat version at home. IMG_5497.jpg As my entrée, I had no choice but to try their Spicy Kale Caesar Salad.  A friend of mine on Instagram posted a photo of it the day prior and it looked so delicious it was all I could think about until I arrived at the restaurant that day.  The kale was dressed with a creamy vegan caesar dressing and topped with croutons, avocado, almond parmesan, and the most amazing crispy shallots ever.  I'm kind of obsessed with crispy shallots now, I want to put them on everything! IMG_5501.jpg Not shown but equally yummy was a side of their gluten-free toast and cashew cheddar cheese.  I'm counting the days until I can head back and try some additional items on the menu. Have you ever been to the Butcher's Daughter?  If so what was your favorite dish?  I need some ideas to try for next time I go!

How to Impress Your Vegan Valentine

How to Impress Your Vegan Valentine Valentine's Day is right around the corner. This year don't wait until the last minute to plan something special for your vegan sweetie. If you want to impress your vegan valentine, here's some of my top picks on vegan friendly romantic date and gift ideas in the New York City area.

Date Ideas

Pure Food and Wine

Pure Food and Wine Say you don't like raw food? Pure Food & Wine will impress die-hard carnivores as well as vegans like me who usually like their food cooked. With their stellar cuisine, extensive wine list and candle-lit ambiance, it's the perfect location to bring your valentine for a romantic dinner out.

Candle 79

Candle 79Photo: Mimi Giboin A vegan fine dining establishment in the Upper East Side, Candle 79's creative dishes and numerous wine choices make this spot a must visit for a date night, valentine's day or any day.

Blossom

Blossom NYC

One of my favorite restaurants in NYC, you can't go wrong with Blossom. With four locations ranging from the West Village all the way up to the Upper East Side, not only is the food to die for, the ambiance is quiet and candle lit. The Chelsea location is in the most romantic turn-of the century building, and if you reserve your table in advance you may have a chance to get one of their private, blocked off tables for two in their window. I can't think of a more romantic way to spend the evening than watching over the wintry NYC street scene while enjoying a romantic meal with your valentine.

Gift and Treat Ideas

Sweet & Sara Sweet & Sara

Marshmallows are not very vegan friendly, which makes me sad. Luckily Sweet & Sara, based in Long Island City, figured out how to veganize them and they make a variety of marshmallow based treats, from s'mores to rice crispy treats! You can find them in various stores throughout the city, or can order them direct from their website.

Dunwell Donuts

Dunwell Donuts

Dunwell Donuts has some of the best donuts in the city, nevermind vegan donuts. With fancy pants flavors like Chai Tea and Creme Brule, these sweet treats will bring a smile to your valentine's face, especially if you get him or her a dozen.

Babycakes

Babycakes Bakery Photo by Rachel Heller

Does your vegan valentine have any food allergies? If so, thanks to Babycakes that's no excuse why they shouldn't be allowed to have a sweet valentine's day treat! Babycakes Bakery on the Lower East Side offers gluten, dairy, egg and refined sugar-free cupcakes, cookies, donuts and even a Valentine's Day Candy Gram. Oh, and their icing is to die for!

Vaute Couture Apparel and Accessories

Vaute Couture

Thinking of getting your vegan valentine some jewelry? Vaute Couture in Williamsburg offers necklaces, sunglasses, and tees fit for the animal activist in your life. This V Necklace is currently at the top of my valentine's day wish list. Whatever you decide to do for your vegan valentine this year, don't forget... kisses are free! Free Kisses Pit Bull On another note, congratulations to Terry for winning the Anjolee Gemstone Pendant Giveaway!

Eden Vegan Cafe

Eden Cafe Back in October when Jim and I were headed upstate to the Finger Lakes, we decided halfway on the trip we wanted to stop and grab lunch. The halfway point of the trip was Scranton PA, so while Jim drove I took to my iPhone to start searching for options.  Anytime I travel, I love to search Yelp to find new places to eat.  If there's a vegan establishment, I always try to stop there to try it out.  Lucky for us, Eden was located right in town a short 5 minutes from the highway, so we stopped in to grab a quick bite. Eden Cafe All in all, the menu was pretty extensive!  I had a hard time deciding.  I eventually decided to go on a gluten bender and get a burger, complete with soy "bacon" and cheese, topped with vegan chilli and a side of mashed potatoes (yay carbs!!).  Jim took the sensible route and built his own salad. And of course I HAD to have a soda.  And a cookie.  I was on vacation after all. Eden Cafe Eden Cafe Eden Cafe The food was pretty damn delicious and well worth the stop.  Here's hoping my travels take me past Scranton again sometime soon so I can stop back.  Yum.

Compassion Couture Holiday Sample Sale

Sale-Image---Press-Facebook   Hey ya'll! Sorry it's been so quiet around here.  I went on a business trip to San Fran the beginning of this month, and came back with a lovely case of the flu.  It was awful!  I seriously felt like I was dying.  Today is the first day I feel human in over a week. Luckily I'm feeling better just in time to learn about Compassion Couture's Holiday Online Sample Sale! Our friends at Compassion Couture (a one-stop e-boutique for the most stylish and high-quality vegan and eco-friendly handbags, shoes & accessories) are hosting their Holiday Online Sample Sale – 7 Days Only!  This is their biggest sale of the year - Up to 70% off!  From November 26th – December 2nd, items will already be marked down BELOW WHOLESALE PRICES.  No coupon codes required. It's great to have a one-stop shop to buy gifts for the stylish vegan gal in your life, so be sure to check it out. By the way, if anyone feels like getting me an early Christmas gift, these Beyond Skin Danni Ankle Boots and Cri de Coeur Annie Boots are totally up my alley.  Just sayin'.  

Portia Goes for a Walk

Portia Goes for a Walk

What I'm Wearing // SWEATER Alloy (old, similar one here) // JEANS Silence and Noise (thrifted, similar ones here) // AVIATORS Canal Street Vendor (similar ones here) // SNEAKERS Converse // DOG CARRIER Amazon A few weekends back, my vegan gal pal Emily Nolan of My Kind of Life invited me and Tanya from GastroModel to participate with her for the Farm Animal Sanctuary Walk for Animals. The event was dog friendly, so Portia got to go for an extended walk and adventure to the island of Manhattan for the day, subway ride and all! Look at how excited she is!

Portia Goes for a Walk

The walk started at Merchant's Gate and went around Central Park. It was the perfect fall day to be outside walking. I have a pedometer app on my phone and granted it's not lying to me we walked over 5 miles! Right after we all went for a much deserved brunch at Le Pain Quitoden at Sheep's Meadow in the park.

Portia Goes for a Walk

Portia Goes for a Walk

My camera battery died within seconds of arriving at the walk that day, but luckily Em brought hers and got some great shots of all of us from the event. You can check out her full post here.

Portia Goes for a Walk

PHOTOS BY // Emily Nolan

Shop the Vegan Friendly Look Here

Finger Lakes Anniversary Adventure

Anniversary Trip: Finger Lakes 2013 What a crazy month and a half it's been. Between work, family and friend commitments I've had barely any time to think! Now that things are slowing down a bit for me, I can finally start to look through all my photos and reminisce about what I've gotten to experience recently. One of my favorite highlights of the past few weeks was Jim and my trip to the Finger Lakes in New York to celebrate our Anniversary. We celebrated our 5th Anniversary this past October 4th. Usually we try to plan a trip someplace warm to celebrate, but this year we decided to switch things up a bit. The Finger Lakes seemed like the perfect combination of fall perfection and romanticism, so off we went! Most of the hotels in the area were pretty expensive and looked liked they hadn't been renovated since the 80's, so I finally decided to try out AirBNB to what our options were. After some searching, I found the perfect space. It was a converted chapel deep out the countryside. It's loft layout reminded us of the spaces we'd love to afford in Brooklyn. It also had the most gorgeous views outside it's huge windows. The property itself was amazing, with a wildflower field to the east and a quaint pond in the back. Best part was we had the entire place to ourselves, which made for a wonderfully private and unique vacation. Anniversary Trip: Finger Lakes 2013 Anniversary Trip: Finger Lakes 2013 Our first day we decided to check out Taughannock Park and hike to it's famous namesake waterfall. It's the tallest, single-drop waterfall east of the Rockies and it's even 33 feet taller than Niagra Falls. The entrance to the park is on Seneca Lake, which is absolutely stunning. Anniversary Trip: Finger Lakes 2013 Anniversary Trip: Finger Lakes 2013 The hike itself was relatively short. It was around three quarters of a mile to the falls each way. The trail leads along the streams and river the waterfall becomes, which later empties into the lake. During our walk, we were actually able to hike the dry riverbed, which was one of the coolest parts of the hike. The falls themselves were breathtaking. It was so gorgeous, especially with all the trees turning colors all around. Anniversary Trip: Finger Lakes 2013 Anniversary Trip: Finger Lakes 2013 Anniversary Trip: Finger Lakes 2013 Anniversary Trip: Finger Lakes 2013 Anniversary Trip: Finger Lakes 2013 Anniversary Trip: Finger Lakes 2013 On our way back to the chapel from the hike, we came across the Ithaca Antique Mall and just had to stop. Jim and I LOVE thrifting. It's one of our favorite pastimes. The Antique Mall was so large, we actually returned a second day to finish going through everything! We didn't leave empty handed. I got some great vintage clothing finds, and Jim also bought me the coolest op-art, black and white vase for our living room. Anniversary Trip: Finger Lakes 2013 Anniversary Trip: Finger Lakes 2013 Anniversary Trip: Finger Lakes 2013 Anniversary Trip: Finger Lakes 2013 On our second day, we originally had plans to go vineyard hopping but since it was pouring out we scrapped that. After some quick internet sleuthing, I learned the local Museum of the Earth has one of the largest fossil collections in the country, and I just HAD to go. People who know me well know I'm obsessed with dinosaurs and fossils. When I was a child, when I grew up I had plans to become a paleontologist. True story. Too bad I hate dirt and getting dirty, so those plans quickly changed once I learned what was involved with the profession. Jim being the awesome husband he is took me the to Museum of the Earth on our actual Anniversary. That's love, people. That's love. Anniversary Trip: Finger Lakes 2013 Anniversary Trip: Finger Lakes 2013 The rest of our free time on the trip was spent in Ithaca, exploring the town and stuffing our faces. Who knew Ithaca had such great vegan selections? I didn't. Some highlights on the food scene were Waffle Frolic's Vegan Waffle Dog, which was a vegan hot dog dipped in waffle batter and fried. Oh-My-God it was so good! We also had a great veg friendly meal at Saigon Kitchen, where I had a bowl of Pho the size of my head and loved every second of it. Anniversary Trip: Finger Lakes 2013 Anniversary Trip: Finger Lakes 2013 Anniversary Trip: Finger Lakes 2013 For our Anniversary dinner out, we went to the grand-daddy of all vegetarian restaurants, Moosewood Restaurant. While the decor and menu itself were a little disappointing (both were a little dated, especially after what I'm used to in Brooklyn), it was such an experience to get to eat at the very first, seriously respected vegetarian restaurant in the country. I mean, I make recipes of theirs for Thanksgiving EVERY year. I'm so glad I got to experience it first-hand for myself. Anniversary Trip: Finger Lakes 2013 Anniversary Trip: Finger Lakes 2013 We were only there a little over three days, but we got to see and do so much on this trip. I can't think of a better way I would have liked to celebrate this special anniversary with my favorite person in the world. Anniversary Trip: Finger Lakes 2013 I love you Jim Feld.

Chicago Meets Brooklyn

The weekend before last not only was it absolutely gorgeous outside, but my college BFF Bex came to visit us in Brooklyn all the way from Chicago! Last year I made the trip out to see her, and this year, both her as well as her sister came out to the better borough to see what it's all about. With the exception of a day trip into Manhattan to see the Met, we spent the entire time in my neighborhood in Williamsburg.  There's so much to do!  One thing I learned is I seriously need to get out more. Here's some of my favorite snaps from Bex's visit.

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Us on the roof at the Met.

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Bex giving NYC style bagels a giant thumbs up!

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Exploring the Met.

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Bex being silly (per usual).

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Grabbing sushi and cocktails at Bozu.

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Just part of my haul while thrifting.

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I've lived in Williamsburg for over 8 years and had never, ever been to Brooklyn Brewery.  No better time than now!  I made an exception for gluten obviously.

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Learning about beerz.

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Farewell brunch including vegan "Eggs" Benedict at Champs.

Vegan Versions / Chloe Susan Studded Ankle Boot

It's almost fall, which means BOOT SEASON!  For a while now I've been on the search for a vegan version of this beauty, the Chloe Susan Studded Ankle Boot.

Chloe Susan

Chloe Susan $1345

I've been in need of more flat shoes in my life, and when I spotted these all over Pinterest months ago, I've been longing for a vegan pair.  I love how they're kind of the badass love child of a cowboy boot, moto boot and harness boot all in one.

Lo and behold, I found this version on JustFab just the other week.  Also looks like Forever21 is making a version as well.  Grab them while they're hot!

Zurich

JustFab Zurich $39.95

High-VoltageJPG

Forever21 High-Voltage Faux Leather Booties $42.80

Compassion Couture Sample Sale

Sample Sale Media Picture Compassion Couture is having a sample sale! Their End of Summer Sample Sale started Thursday last week and runs through this Thursday, August 22nd. Items are marked below wholesale prices, and no coupon code is required.

Neuara Heels

These Neuara Aven's are marked down from $155 to just $75!  I can tell you from experience, these are a HOT pair of shoes.  I actually got mine direct from the ladies at Compassion Couture during a visit this past spring.  I loved them so much I wore them out of the stockroom!

Brooklyn Bliss's Corrie Feld Wearing Neuara Avens at Compassion Couture

I'd love to hear from you, what's your favorites?  I'm eying a few Cornelia Guest bags. This is Compassion Couture's largest sale of the year, so don't miss out!

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