NYC Goodies, July 4th Concert, and the Ridiculous Fantasy Cake of My Dreams

Hey guys! I wanted to include NYC and NJ in my Portland travel post, but maybe it’s better on its own. Two posts for the price of one. Actually, that doesn’t make any sense. Just keep reading.

Here’s some shots of the lovely farmer’s market my friend Jo and I walked through:

We then headed over to Sacred Chow for a lovely brunch! We both ordered the Tempeh Hash, crumbled seasoned tempeh with hash-browned sweet potatoes and browned onions, topped with diced fresh tomatoes & parsley, because who wouldn’t want that? Steamed collards on da side, yo.

This dish would be so easy to make at home too! I’ll definitely have to experiment with it.

Fortunately for us–or should I say me? Jo’s not as insane as I am–Peanut Butter & Co. was literally right across the street from Sacred Chow:

You know I picked up a jar of Mighty Maple! (It’s the one I can never find in stores…) Jo nabbed a Dark Chocolate Dreams, which I’m pretty sure is the best one, so it was a good choice as a popper of her PB & Co. Cherry! We may or may not have snacked on it straight out of the jar as we walked the NYC streets on our way to our 4th of July concert in the park…

Speaking of said concert, it was maybe the best concert of my life. First of all, it was free. Second of all, I was with my 2 best friends, Jo and Grace (who are both in NYC for the summer), and my wonderful aunt and uncle, Showie and Mickey (who came in for the show). Third, and most importantly, it was JENNY LEWIS and CONOR OBERST. Together. In one show. (They even sang together!) They are literally my two favorite artists of all time–I am more intimately attached to their music and work than I can explain. If it helps ring any bells, Jenny is also the lead singer of Rilo Kiley, and Conor is the leading man in Bright Eyes. Anyways, add the fresh air, sunny breeze, and 4th of July buzz, and this concert was basically heaven for me.

Jenny Lewis and band member Jonathan Rice:

“Because institution’s like a big bright light,
And it blinds you into fear and consuming and fightin’
But in the desert underneath the charging sky
It’s just you and God
But what if God’s not there?
But his name is on your dollar bill
Which just became cab fare…”

“Like the citrus glow off the old orange grove
Or the red rocket blaze over Cape Canaveral
It’s been a nightmare to me
Some 1980’s grief
Gives me parachute dreams
Like old war movies
While the universe was drawing
Perfect circles for infinity…”

In the city, we also went to Viva Herbal Pizzeria (vegetarian with plenty of vegan options) and Lula’s Sweet Apothecary (an entirely vegan old-fashioned ice cream parlor), but unfortunately, my camera died. :( However, I’ve found some pics on Flickr of other people’s food from both, so I’ll use those (Hope that’s okay!)

At Viva, I had a slice of the Zen (super anti-oxidant) pizza: green tea-herbed miso tofu, green tea basil pesto, shiitake mushrooms, maitake mushrooms, carmelized onions, sundried tomato, roasted garlic, on a green tea herbed spelt crust. This was hands down the best pizza I’ve had since going vegan (not that I’ve had a lot…).

(Photo courtesy of Flickr user, Roboppy)

Jo got the Canja: diced onions, tomato and garlic marinated in hemp oil, roasted hemp seeds, hempseed nuts, hemp-herbed basil pesto, kalamata olives, tempeh, and roasted garlic on hemp-herbed spelt crust with hemp herbed-miso tofu. What a mouthful! They really integrate hemp into every element of the pizza, don’t they?

At Lula’s I had a Sundae with both Carrot Cake and Peanut Butter Fudge Nut-Based Ice Cream with Hot Fudge, Strawberry Sauce, Crushed Ginger Cream Cookies, and topped with Coconut Whipped Cream and a Cherry! It was as good as it sounds. Next time I’m getting a banana split!

(Photo courtesy of Flickr user, Vanessa52)

Jo and I also had a really wonderufl time in Long Beach Island, NJ at my grandma’s beach house. The house and the island are seriously one of my favorite places in the entire world. They’re everything you could ever want in a vacation spot (actually, I could live there…). Everything there is so classic, from the old-fashioned ice cream parlor (not that I condone its business), to the kooky mailboxes shaped like lighthouses and flamingos, to my grandma’s back deck and upper patios overlooking the bay. Three days was not enough.

Speaking of not getting enough, this cake, OMFG. My grandma surprised me, Jo, my dad, and my cousin Matt–all the summer birthdays–with a cake one night! When she first brought it in, Jo and I obviously appreciated the gesture, but never in a million years presumed that we could actually have some. And then my grandma told us it was vegan and that she had grilled the shop, Foodies, where she bought it, on the ingredients. I don’t know if Jo and I were more touched that she went through the trouble to find this cake, or more amazed that you could even get a vegan cake on that tiny island–and peanut butter at that! I dub this wonderful creation Chocolate Peanut Butter Devastation Layer Cake.

The bottom layer is chocolate cookie crumb cake. I could honestly swear that the middle layer was just straight peanut butter (which isn’t a problem for me obviously, but still–whoa), and the top layer was a very rich chocolate mousse. It was even better cold, straight out of the freezer!

Now that I’m home, I’ll be posting more regularly, so stay tuned!


6 responses to “NYC Goodies, July 4th Concert, and the Ridiculous Fantasy Cake of My Dreams

  1. You can't beat NYC! Sounds like a fabulous trip–and what food! I'm devastated that I couldn't try some of that PB devastation cake. ;) And a free concert–yep, can't beat NYC!

  2. This is your best post ever. I want to eat absolutely everything. I want to dive headfirst into those raspberries, and your ice cream sundae makes me weep. I must make a vegan ice cream pilgrimage soon.

  3. What an amazing trip! All that delicious food, a free concert, and being with your 2 best friends- it doesn't get better than that! I don't even know how to comment on that cake, but all I know is that I want a piece.

  4. Oh my goodness. Peanut Butter and Co + Jenny Lewis had me, but add the pizza and that INSANE chocolate peanut butter cake- my mind if blown. I'm so jealous! :)


    I love NYC and that chocolate peanut butter cake looks totally unbelevably awesome. Your farmers market pictures are really beautiful too.

  6. oh my god that peanut butter cake looks disgustingly awesome!! the tempeh hash sounds good too.I recently found some of that dark chocolate dreams pb in my local supermarket (i've never seen any variety except their plain chunky or smoothe). I was so excited, I had to resist the urge to buy 5 jars!

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