A Weekend in NY, part 3
After we left Brooklyn and headed back to the hotel, we planned dinner at a little restaurant closer to the Brooklyn Bridge than to our hotel: Caravan of Dreams. They offer organic vegan dining, with a few raw options thrown in. The atmosphere was beautiful, with exposed brick, two outdoor tables, and a pianist playing in subdued blue light. The restaurant offered a large menu of juices, a decent wine and beer list, and an extensive menu, including brunch options.
The blonde and I split seitan nachos. Now, we love guacamole, and their guacamole was done very well. The seitan was well spiced, and it brought up a conversation between a few of us about my intention to make Italian seitan sausages. (Yes, I’ll post about that when I make them. I promise.) We discussed their Live Nachos (raw) and decided against, just in case we didn’t like the rawness of them. They were good enough to elicit silence at our table. That’s saying something.
The Veg got a salad, and we were all taken aback by the beauty of it. The greens were so vibrant, and the avocado on top was almost glowing it was so fresh. I was lucky enough to taste their avocado when my small salad came, and wow. It was perfectly ripe, and dazzled when it melted in my mouth.
Her husband got roasted cauliflower, and he loved it. I always have a little trouble getting my roasting to be just right, and to be honest, if I bought roasted veggies at a restaurant and they were less than perfect, I’l be salty. These were, and I wasn’t. That would be “perfect,” and “salty,” respectively.
For an entrée, the blonde got paella, which, if you didn’t know was vegan, you wouldn’t have known was vegan. The sausage (I’m assuming seitan or TVP) was again, spiced perfectly, and the rice was almost like risotto. Not that it was too creamy, but you know how rice can be perfectly cooked, and then it gets almost creamy in its deliciousness? This rice was like that. Almost creamy and delicious.
The Veg’s husband couldn’t choose between the Cuban and the burrito, but when he asked the waitress, who was super helpful, she told him in no uncertain terms that the burrito was for him. And she was right. Like the seitan nachos. the burrito was a perfect blend of spice and creaminess. The black beans and seitan didn’t compete in the wrap, and it was certainly a win.
In a fit of adventurousness, I ordered one of the raw specials. I don’t generally like raw food. Something about it seems weird to me. Not that I never like raw food. The blonde is a whiz at raw desserts, and we occasionally have raw dinners, I’m just not a huge fan. This time, however, they had raw lasagna, and I figured that it would be different enough that I wouldn’t be confused by the quality of the dish, to not appreciate the quality of the food.
Damn was I right.
There were four little squares of “lasagna” and they were awesome. The spice in the sauce was tangy, with not too much garlic, and there was no confusion about it trying to be cooked lasagna. This raw dish was perfectly happy being raw, and in fact, was served cold. I didn’t love that part, but it certainly still tasted terrific.
Dessert, after our server gave the Veg’s husband and I a hard time for sharing a French Press of coffee, was a brownie sundae. Now, the blonde and I love chocolate. A lot. As it turns out, the brownie sundae doesn’t love chocolate as much as we do. We’re also a little over fruit and chocolate, so the strawberries in this dessert just didn’t do anything for us.
I have to tell you, I’ve hand enough desserts after awesome dinners that I may stop ordering, and just go to a dessert place from now on.
Which is what we did. We headed out to Lulu’s Sweet Apothecary, just around the corner, and got ourselves 2nd dessert. Don’t judge me.
None of this is to say that we didn’t have a great meal, and that we didn’t love Caravan of Dreams. We did, and we did. In fact, we enjoyed it so much that we headed back there for brunch Sunday morning!
Thankfully no one from Saturday night was working Sunday morning.
While I considered a mimosa, the juice menu was far too appealing. Now, if you recall the last time I bought juice, at The Green Man in Rehoboth Beach in DE, I got a juice with beets. I’ve since made a few, and I’ve found that it is super easy for juice to get a little beety. To remedy that, I guzzled their “Superfood Smoothie No. 1,” which includes strawberries, dates and vanilla bean with raw cacao, maca, goji berries, almond butter, aloe vera, kelp and black currants. Go ahead, drool. I’ll wait.
. . .
Done yet? Good, because that was just the juice I got. The Veg and her husband split another smoothie, the “Pink Lady.” Don’t judge them, he ordered it. Their’s was apple, orange, mango, strawberry, and plantain. Have you ever had a plantain in a smoothie? It’s like a banana, but without all the banana-ness of it. Very good (but not as good as the blonde’s and mine).
Oh, wait, we ate too. Did I neglect to mention that? We ate kind of a lot.
To start with, they have a prix fixe menu for brunch and an a la carte menu. Our server was nice enough to let us know that it’s actually cheaper to order the brunch prix fixe than to order one item and a cup of coffee. So that’s what I did.
Inspired by the burrito from the previous evening, I ordered the breakfast burrito. potatoes, tofu, kale, and guacamole never tasted so good. My only “complaint” is that it was so stuffed, that I had a nightmare of a time keeping it together and had to use . . . a fork! Oh the horror!
Across the table, my lovely bride decided on the Sourdough “Nutella” French toast.
Oddly enough, it reminded us of dessert, not breakfast. Is that wrong?
To my right, however, was another man, untempted by the allure of chocolate for breakfast. Kinda. Or, possibly, he ordered the “Nutella” French toast also. And the “Pink Lady” smoothie. . . No judgment. . . Kinda. . .
The Veg though, she stepped up for the both of them, and ordered the berry pancakes. Ok, well, she kind of stepped up. The pancakes were really good though. I think we would all have preferred if the berries weren’t mostly in the middle, but have you ever made pancakes with berries in them? If you go with whole, fresh berries, which these were, I can never get them evenly spaced. It’s like they all end up in one pancake, and the rest are just kind of tinted pink or blue. But I digress. . .
We left Caravan of Dreams, and walked uptown, stopping into the occasional shop, until we needed to hail a cab, get our bags, and hop back on the BoltBus for the return trip to Baltimore. The ride was peacefully uneventful, and our cat was thrilled to greet us at the door.
Our plan, by the end of the trip, was to head back up for an actual meal at v-note, instead of just dessert (did you notice we had 2nd dessert twice in two nights?) and do a tad more digging into awesome vegan food on the lovely island of Manhattan.
A very special thanks to The High Impact Vegan and the blonde for setting up the weekend, to VegNews for introducing them to many of the restaurants, to the High Impact Vegan’s husband for tolerating us all weekend, and to all of you crazy people who read all three of these crazy long posts.
Unless you didn’t read all three, in which case, thanks in direct proportion to how much you read. So if you just shot down here to read the thanks, you get none until you go back and read the first and second posts.. So there.