Surprise, surprise, J. Legume and myself had a little holiday wish come true, flying stand by to New York last week. Being utterly impromptu, it’s been a super budgeting time of devouring bagels, cooking family style pasta, soup and curry at my sister’s in Bushwick, grocery shopping in Chinatown and sharing doughnuts (truth), conveniently staying a short walk from Dunwell’s. Crazy enough, we were actually in Brooklyn this time last year. It’s an extra special return and as much as I like to try them out the window, semi-traditional. Both sides of my family have a deep Brooklyn history, and J. Legume is hankering for one of our own, wink wink. The trip started off with a night at the Portland airport to catch a 5:05am flight up to Seattle, a surprisingly convenient trip on public transit from Newark Airport via Penn Station to Brooklyn (I remain in awe) and is currently finding comfort on my sister’s couch while the first batch of cookies cool and J. Legume naps again by my side.
Brooklyn for the Holidays, A Photo Essay
Spending the night watching Law & Order SVU at PDX International
It was a pretty peaceful evening, claiming a row of open, armless seats outside of gate security. The last time I spent the night at the airport was in my mid-twenties in San Francisco, so it was nice to see I could still pull it off.
Reuniting with Monkey & Desmond
Dunwell’s #1: Eggnog-Glazed
And the first of countless Frenchie sightings in Brooklyn
Ah, Foodswings. Closing soon.
For years, it seemed that every time I was in NYC, my open meal time (obviously tightly allotted) was during a time that Foodswings was closed, or just temporarily closed. My total visit count is a mere two or three, the last being for late night milkshakes, and sadly, I don’t think we’ll be able to squeeze one more in before they close their doors.
Aslan’s Brooklyn walking tour
Our second night in, my sister and I got to work making 5 jars of various pickles: new dill, sweet & sour, hot chilis, celery and spiced apples. Since then, lemon-pickled fennel has joined the list and the cultured cashew chevre is biding its time, chilling in wait.
In which I smirk about making legit pickles (and carrots) while in New York.
Fluffy biscuits, smoky sesame tempeh strips and noochy steamed kale
Alton Brown’s Homemade Soft Pretzels for our homemade bar food night
Jeez, look at us, pulling out the big names.
Jen fries the beer-battered onion rings and pickle chips
So proud…even if I detest onion rings. Everyone else was happy, and that rules.
Heading out for the day in East Williamsburg
Stumptown Coffee is everywhere.
Off the L train
Mason jars of salsa, corn & guac at a food stand outside the Vegan Shop-Up
I’ve been to the Vegan Shop-Up twice (thanks to Paula for the heads up about this final holiday shop, I figured we’d already missed out!) and seriously want to try Bunna Cafe’s vegan Ethiopian cuisine, but have never seen them open and serving warm food within an hour of opening. One day!
Inside the Vegan Shop-Up at Pine Box Rock Shop
Nerding it up at Champs Family Bakery
Splitting a Hummus Club and bottomless cups of Brooklyn Roasting Co.
Mason jar check: fill ’em with pricey candies, Bedford Ave.
Yet, I have never seen mason jars utilized quite like this before…
Now, look who was open & running at Smorgasburg !
We stumbled upon the Brooklyn Flea and Smorgasburg while walking around Williamsburg, and too bad we’d just eaten, because both Bunna and Chickpea & Olive have been on my to-eat list for ages.
Arnold Palmer Sample of Kelvin Natural Slush Co.
Inside the food hall at Smorgasburg
Thoughts: Based on this visit, small batch horseradish and sticky rice bowls could be the next big food trends.
Swoon-worthy hot sauce samples courtesy of Queen Majesty
Like I said, we’re on a tight budget this time around, and Queen Majesty’s Scotch Bonnet & Ginger hot sauce was probably the biggest test of will power so far. Next visit.
Well, I’m charmed.
Bowls of polenta & beetball subs at the all-vegan Chickpea & Olive
Chickpea & Olive menu
Although I’m not exactly complaining about the lack of vegan option at this spot:
The last time we tried to visit the Brooklyn Flea, there was an evening night market and a line wrapping around multiple blocks outside, so this was a nice surprise to walk right into.
Looking out at Manhattan
Two serious points made
Strolling the Lower East Side
Outside The Organic Grill (my last visit was 2004 or so)
See you then
DF Mavens: Coming Soon. My pick of the NYC vegan ice cream crawl, Stogo, may have shut its doors around the corner, and Lula’s next go may yet to have a new business name, but there is hope for the Lower East Side at this new spot from the former Stogo owners. Please keep in mind that I would Lula’s more love, but I can’t eat their ice creams due to the cashew base. Shucks.
Viva Herbal Pizzeria (somehow, yet to ever try)
The Dharma Initiative remains scattered and active on the East Coast
My pizza heart belongs to Vinnie’s, which has two locations in Brooklyn. I dig the greasy booths. T. Hanks appreciation and prominent use of mozzarella Teese on their variety of available slices (vs. the overpowering goop I’ll kindly refer to as d-cheese).
J. Legume’s Buffalo Chickin’ slice
Breaded eggplant slice. It’s hard for me to resist.
Passing Champs on our way back to Bushwick
And now, jasmine rice soaks for tonight’s Panang curry, so Season’s Greetings from Get Sconed!
There’s so much more over on Instagram-land. To be continued…