BabyCakes New York City Vegan Bakery Review

November 23rd, 2011 § 33 comments § permalink

NYC Review Header

BabyCakes NYC (with locations in Orlando and L.A. – Ships orders from online website)

From $40 a pie to a few dollars for a whoopee pie

Restaurant Type : Fine Dining | Casual
Diamonds : ♦♦♦♦♦♦

It’s a sunny morning in New York’s late fall. Cold weather last night, but the sun warmed resin bench I’m sitting on casts warmth up into my thighs, and with coffee from my favourite East Coast coffee shop—Roasting Plant—steaming away in my face, I feel oh so content and alive. But I’m also a little at a loss.

Pastry is particularly close to my heart. Elaborate wedding cakes covered in delicate icing sugar flowers, gingerbread castles with delicate spun sugar and stained glass windows—my mother is one of the world’s best bakers. I vividly remember afternoons spent together in the kitchen as she tried to pass on what she knew to an impatient kid that just wanted his sugar high. To this day, I enjoy little more than a quiet day in a sun-lit kitchen, turning out my favourite foods: tarte aux sucre, croissant, strawberry rhubarb pie, or cinnamon rolls.

All of this is to say I have high standards for pastry. As I sit and stare at a box of sweeties from Hollywood-star favourite Babycakes, I wonder, is it just me, or is this just not up to par? Continue reading “BabyCakes New York City Vegan Bakery Review” »

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Candle 79 Review

November 20th, 2011 § 1 comment § permalink

Header image for New York reviewsCandle 79

$120 for two, with beverages

Restaurant Type : Fine Dining | Casual
Diamonds : ♦♦♦♦♦♦

Rarely has whim led us so perfectly astray. A brisk afternoon gives way to a sudden downpour, and our stroll down Lexington turns into a dash for cover. We head for the first bit of awning in sight—a bit of corrugated scaffolding, and find ourselves directly in front of Candle 79. It’s just turned five, and though it’s early for supper, the warm saffron smell of the restaurant wafting out into the street pulls us inside.

Perhaps it is early, but it’s also almost fully booked. The Maître D’ asks if we has a reservation, and her eyes widen slightly at our audacity as we shake out our umbrellas and confess to having none. We shoot her a pathetic and desperate look. I can feel water from the rain running from my hair onto my face and squelching in my shoes. Our pitiable state softens her heart: “Can you eat within an hour?”

She has a table that’s turned over early and isn’t booked ’til 6. What beautiful happenstance. Continue reading “Candle 79 Review” »

Gong De Lin Review

November 14th, 2011 § 4 comments § permalink

Beijing's Forbidden City and Gong De Lin's InteriorGong De Lin
2, Qianmen Gong Daije, Chongwen District
功德林素菜馆
北京市崇文区前门东大街2号

$60 for two, with tea

Restaurant Type : Fine Dining | Casual
Diamonds : ♦♦♦♦♦♦

Exploring new cities in search of great vegan restaurants is a true passion of mine, but as temperatures drop and I drag my partner along windy snow-swept streets, her heeled feet clacking in the snow, I feel a sense of doom closing in with the long shadows of the setting sun. We’re looking for one of the world’s oldest vegetarian restaurants, GongDeLin, and I’d ask for directions, but we’re on one of those strange streets you seem to find only in capital cities—multi-lane roads cut through government office after government office, each one squat and monolothic. Finally, just as the street opens onto a ring road, we see a lone cycle rickshaw creaking towards us.

The driver pulls down his scarf, revealing a curious face. You can tell he wonders what the hell we’re doing in the middle of nowhere.

Continue reading “Gong De Lin Review” »

Il Margutta Resto Arte Review

October 20th, 2011 § 5 comments § permalink

Il Margutta
118. Via Margutta Roma

€120 for two, with wine

Restaurant Type : Fine Dining | Casual
Diamonds : ♦♦♦♦♦♦

Our excitement builds as we walk down Via Margutta—echoing the footsteps of Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn—on our very own Roman Holiday. We’ve been eating our way through the best Vegetarian Restaurants in Europe, from Saf and Black Vanilla in London, to Cookies Cream in Berlin. And we wonder anxiously: What will Rome have in store?

The narrow cobble-stoned street hits our sweet-tooth exactly, antique shops and fine furniture, tiny galleries and a few coffee shops. All perfumed with the scents of a Roman evening, orange trees, coffee, petrol and wine. It’s the perfect aperitif for an evening of fine dining, and we take one last long inhalation before stepping into Il Margutta.

Unfortunately, that breath will be the highlight of our evening. From worn out, but still garish decor, to poor service and barely alright food, Il Margutta disappoints. Continue reading “Il Margutta Resto Arte Review” »

Fairmont Lifestyles Menu Mini-Review

October 7th, 2011 § 2 comments § permalink

Whistler

Fairmont’s new Lifestyles Menu makes it easier for vegans across North America to eat at Fairmont Hotels—and the food isn’t bad either.

Continue reading “Fairmont Lifestyles Menu Mini-Review” »

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