No Sleep ‘Til Brooklyn: A Vegan Weekend

I hopped a flight to JFK on Friday with a cup of black pumpkin spiced coffee in one hand and my “NYC.2014” playlist on my headphones. I was ready. I had Fritz’s bday present, I had money, I had a hankering for fabulous vegan food and amazing times ahead. I mean, but are you ever ready for a quick weekend in Brooklyn? Knowing that I was leaving on Sunday, I knew I had to pack in as much fun as humanly possible. But let’s be honest, shall we? I’m no longer the partier, the crazy drinker, the night owl I once was. Now I’m in bed at 10:30, up at 6:15, I run, I do yoga, I eat kale. But if a weekend in Brooklyn for Fritz’s bday is what life was tossing at me, then baby, this is going to be the biggest weekend since the Royal Wedding! (Please note that in no way was this weekend even comparable to the Royal Wedding, I mean, who can compete with those damn Brits and their hats??)

Brooklyn.

Brooklyn.

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Plantains!

Plantains!

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I got to Fritz’s at 1:30 on Friday, called the Momma Veg-Head to tell her I was alive (aren’t moms the best?), and the Fritz and I hit the streets. We found ourselves at Cubana Cafe, this awesome little joint that I’ve eaten at before. I had the Molete sandwich (without cheese) which came with a side of chick pea salad. That bread, y’all. THAT BREAD. Twas the shiz. Then three mojitos later, Fritz and I went shopping for her bday party. The thing I always forget about New York is that you walk everywhere. New York always reminds me of Mexico City, probably because there are far more similarities than differences in large metropolitan urban cities. We went to the liquor store, then back to her place to drop everything off. We went to the beer store, tasted beers, then back to her place to drop everything off. We went to Trader Joe’s and then Union Market, then back to her place to drop everything off. Oh, and Union Market has this amazing olive bar and I went bananas over the olives and marinated onions.

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Chou Chou to the rescue!

Chou Chou to the rescue!

For dinner, Fritz and I found ourselves at Bar Tabac, a chill place we always go when I visit. We sat outside and I feasted (read: stuffed my face) with their Chou Chou salad and their fries. The Chou Chou salad was one of the best dishes I may have ever had at a restaurant, and seriously, it was SO SIMPLE and fresh and delightful. It was spiralized cucumber mixed together with orange, cucumber, avocado, hearts of palm, and a lime mint dressing. SHUT THE FRONT DOOR. Ugh. I think I may try my hand at replicating this dish, but of course, I’m scared of spiralizing because I’m a crazy person.

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Saturday morning, after 6 hours of sleep, Fritz and I headed out to run more errands. First it was a birthday coffee for us both, then Fritz had to get a pig butt at a butcher. Color me so freaking awkward and uncomfortable. It’s crazy how my brain has changed in the last six months. On the outside, Fritz probably had no idea how I was actually feeling. Inside, I was torn apart. I couldn’t help but look at the meat and feel so very sad. I wonder if everyone knew what I knew about the factory farming industry, would they still walk into a butcher shop? Maybe so. Who knows? I kept my opinions to myself, because it’s never cool to be “that guy”. Besides, someone once told me to lead by example and not by words.

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The Biz.

The Biz.

Bathroom wall art.

Bathroom wall art.

I treated myself to an everything bagel for breakfast with tofu scallion cream cheese and tomato. It was EPIC, homies. Everything pales in comparison to a New York bagel. By then, it was Saturday afternoon and Fritz and I had tickets to Beers for Breasts, an event to benefit New York’s Humane Society. Included in your ticket price was all you can drink beer, all you can eat from food trucks, and the dazzling vocalist stylings of Biz Markie. BOOM. That shit was bananas, y’all. He basically played a huge playlist of 80s and 90s music and sang along to them. My brain exploded when he sang “Joker” by the Steve Miller Band.

After that, Fritz and I had to put our game faces on to get the apartment, dinner, and drinks ready. We were completely insane: vegan tomato queso dip (made by yours truly), spinach and cheese dip (made by yours truly, not vegan), pulled pork sliders (made by Fritz), tomato/mozzarella/basil bites (made by yours truly), tomato/cucumber/mint bites (made by yours truly), artichoke dip (store bought), and enough high quality liquor and beer to make silly decisions. We had prosecco as far as the eye can see! It was a complete success of a party. We were awake until 3:30 in the morning, following various rounds of Cards Against Humanity (the best card game in the history of the world).

The best chocolate ice cream I've ever had.

The best chocolate ice cream I’ve ever had.

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My saving grace.

My saving grace.

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I awoke out of a drunken slumber bright and early at 7:00 am on Sunday after about 3 1/2 hours of sleep. Poor choices were made, many alcoholic beverages were had. I immediately ate my vegan chocolate hazelnut ice-cream and brownie that I got from Wild Ginger. This helped, but I needed more. I headed to Maybelle’s Cafe and ate tofu scramble with tempeh bacon and toast, and a Mexican Coca-Cola in the glass bottle. BOOM. That’s exactly what I needed. I wasn’t finished though. Fritz and I went out for what was to be my third breakfast at Rucola: the best avocado toast I’ve ever had in my entire life. Amazing. No words.

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I headed to the airport, sad to say goodbye to Brooklyn and Fritz once again. My heart will always have a piece that belongs to Brooklyn. At JFK, I grabbed some Cibo goodies: vegan noodles and vegan chicken sandwich. These would become my fourth and fifth meals of the day. I basically ate all day long in between traveling (and during traveling, I ate and napped). I got home around 8:45 with my sixth meal: spring rolls and Pad Thai.

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The creepiest hallway a girl can find herself in.

The creepiest hallway a girl can find herself in.

I went back to work today after having yesterday as a “buffer day”. Let me tell you all: I still do not feel completely normal and rested and back to zero. Slowly, I’m getting there. Please, for the love of everything holy, the next time I climb onto a roof with a bottle of prosecco, just remind me that alcohol is the DEVIL and it needs to be slapped in the face posthaste.

 

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