Tuesday, September 28, 2010

New York Food-o-rama: Part Two

Hmmmm, where should we dine tonight? Candle Cafe or Bistro Le Steak?

Candle Cafe

Assuming that Candle Cafe would have more vegan options, we decided to go there. Besides, it was one of the famous-ish vegan places in New York I was curious to try. And it was within walking distance of Central Park where three members of our party were going to see Pavement (wheeeeee!) later in the evening.

The problem was, Hallie and I met up with Megan, Dave (previously known as The Guybrarian but I'm tired of that now), and Joe at Candle Cafe mere hours after having scarfed down our giant breakfast/lunch at Curly's. We were not exactly starving Luckily, it turned out that no one else was very hungry either, so we all ordered appetizers and/or drinks and spent more time chatting than eating. I love it when friends I like get to meet other friends I like.

seitan! Praise it!

I ordered seitan skewers and, holy crap, I've never tasted seitan that delicious. I gave a piece of it to Dave who is not a vegetarian and had never tried seitan and he was quite stunned. "It's so... steaky," he said, with disbelief. Ha ha! Look out Le Steak! Dave had quesadillas and Megan had a salad, both of which were apparently quite good.

Joe + smoothies

Hallie and Joe and I had smoothies which were, by all reports, mediocre. Hallie's was supposed to be chocolate-coffee-fudge flavoured and yet somehow ended up bland. My berry smoothie was chalky, and Joe didn't say much about his strawberry shake, hence damning with faint praise. Or no praise at all.

Because we didn't have full meals, I didn't really get a sense of the place, but I would certainly go there again if they have other dishes that are as good as those seitan skewers. Will someone who has the Candle Cafe Cookbook tell me if the recipe for the skewers is in there? And if you've made them, how hard was it?

After our meal, Hallie had to go to work but Joe was able to join Megan and Dave and I for a pre-Pavement happy hour. Because I'm part Eliza Doolittle, it had never occurred to me that we don't have happy hours in Ontario. Cheap beer! What an exciting treat! We all got slightly tipsy and then strolled down to Central Park for the Pavement show. We bought our tickets for the show a year ago, so needless to say, we'd been looking forward to it for a while. And really, what could be better than seeing Pavement in New York City in the autumn while the sun goes down and a big tree periodically drops pretty coloured leaves into your lap? Not much.

Before the band even started I was hungry again, so Megan and I puttered off to check out the food options. Pictured here is my veggie dog with jalepeno mustard, spicy ketchup, and crushed salt and pepper potato chips. Yep, that's what I said.

Pavement dinner

This came from a super-cute food stall called Asiadog. I'm not usually a hotdog kind of girl (that's what she said) but somehow a fun vegetarian dog (and a can of beer) made for a perfect outdoor event dinner. Megan had a tamale from a neighbouring food vendor which looked so delicious it was admired by all the guys working in the beer tent.


And then there was Pavement. Was it worth waiting a year and travelling 700 kilometres to see them? Absolutely. I'd seen Stephen Malkmus solo before, but never Pavement proper. And because they aren't touring to support a new album, it was basically a greatest hits show, which was just fine with me. They played my favourite songs of theirs (Range Life and Shady Lane) and seemed genuinely happy to be on stage together. I spent most of the show grinning like a idiot with my hands clasped over my heart. I could have danced all night.



Valerie said...

I have the cookbook and there are skewers in there. Haven't made them yet though! You're welcome to borrow the cookbook anytime (since we are in the same city, after all) - though I'm guessing you'll buy it for yourself. Enjoying your New York reviews!

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

Was it the Seitan Chimichurri?? The 1st time my husband had one, he insisted they have given us meat! hahaha.

Jennifer (It Ain't Meat, Babe) said...

Valerie: I've already got it coming to me via the OPL, but thank you so much for offering! I'll let you know how they turn out!

Melisser: YES! And I had similar thoughts. They are so meaty!

HayMarket8 said...

LaSteak?!?!?! Hahahaha! That is too funny. I was giggling the entire time i was reading your post! hahahaha