Sunday, March 20, 2011

Taking NY by Storm: A Vegan's Tale

Check out that view! I also have in hand the BEST smoothie I've ever had: Squaw Valley!!

Last summer I was lucky enough to have volunteered for and attended an amazing four-day Yoga & Music festival in the middle of beautiful Tahoe. Wanderlust was such an enlightening experience and I hope to return again soon; being among such spiritual power and creativity was inspiring, advocating everything environmental protection to compassionate eating.

Among the many big names to play the music scene among the looming majestic mountains was old school DJ Moby. His DJ set was epic, totally killed it (in a good way!) and his afternoon acoustic set was harmonizing. But it is his speaking event that was of utmost interest for purposes of this blog: on vegan living.

Moby was promoting a new book he has out and spoke briefly on it, taking questions and engaging people on the real issues of vegan living. Imagine my delight when, after a few internet clicks, I find out he owns a vegetarian restaurant in NYC.

Delicious cakes, almost 100 different types of free leaf teas to choose from, and owned by a techno god? Yes, please!

Teany Cafe can only be described as cozy. At 10pm the lighting was dim, all but blinding bar the gently flicking tea candles. Sleek, modern, and white, it reminds me of vegan cafes of Brighton (UK). And what could go better with this English feel than plenty of properly prepared teas and homely sweets (think whoopie pies and coconut cake).

T & I actually discovered Teany after looking for a gift for my Brother for Christmas; we just got back from London and thought the tea-for-two deal at Teany was appropriate for him & his girlfriend. Him having raved about the club--and me being the sandwich fiend I am--my choice was probably already made before arrival (as tempting as the lasagna sounded).

I opted for the blt, even though I *always* get the blt as T reminds me. On the side a cup of honey roobios with steamed almond milk (again, England had entranced me with their London Fog). T & Adam both got the half chili/half "turkey" club.

The drink was fantastic, as it ought to be, creamy and with just a hint of sweetness. The salad greens crisp and dressed with a lovely thick balsamic. But it was the sandwich that stole my heart. Not the biggest around for its price, nothing too fancy, but simple and classic, and perfectly toasted (a must!).

The chili, sadly, was just a bit lacking. I think T & I may be biased from our constant chili making contests but I had made a better lentil chili days earlier (thicker, more robust). But still, tasty.

Our biggest mistake, which I beg none of you to make!, is to have left without dessert. I guess I felt the impulse to explore, being in NY and all (I have a list of about 30 possible vegan havens to check out). But for the rest of that weekend, I could get those luscious looking cakes and pastries out of mind and I'm still sure that I had made the wrong choice and that those desserts (as Adam also told us they would be) was what I was searching for.

In conclusion, if you're in NYC, please visit Teany, sip some tea, and don't let the city rush you out... get that slice of cake you're eyeing!

Oh yeah, and go to Wanderlust if you get the chance... besides amazing music, great people, fun vendors, beautiful artwork, breathtaking views, and tons of yoga... we get free pool & spa access at the site of the Olympic Village :) Do it (and let's meet up there!)


  1. It looks like you had fun! I love Moby. I have his book about Teany Cafe which has many wonderful recipes, tips and fun stories. One day, I hope I can visit Teany Cafe.

  2. I went to Teany a few years ago, I'm glad to hear it's still there. I thought the neighborhood was a bit sketchy, but I liked the cafe otherwise. Welcome home, your trip sounds amazing!

  3. The neighborhood is a bit sketchy, esp. at night... but perhaps not sketchy compared to the whole of NYC... thanks!

  4. I want that book so bad. That settles it, it'll be my next investment :)