Day 21: In which Jessica eats up New York’s junk food.
I’ve been to New York twice before this trip, but I had never, ever done the junk food circuit. I mean, I’ve gotten a pretzel from a stand before, but I’ve never had pizza. In New York. Whatever that means. It just seems like people are always telling you to eat pizza in New York. And bagels. Always with the bagel talk. Anyway, that’s cool with me because pizza and bagels are pretty much two of my favorite things. That’s why it was ultra awesome to start my morning on Tuesday with this pretty little number:
I honestly don’t remember the name of the bagel place. We just got off the subway on 77th street, I saw a place that said bagels, and in we went. I was just hoping beyond hope that they’d have some tofu cream cheese for me, and they did. So! This is a whole wheat bagel, toasted, with tofu scallion cream cheese. And it was every bit as wonderful as it looks. Fresh. So so fresh and warm and toasty and the cream cheese was tangy and onion-y and now I want another bagel, which I definitely do not need right now. Those people are right when they tell you to eat bagels in New York. It is essential.
Pizza! Granted, this isn’t really that classic New York thin crust gargantuan behemoth greasy triangle. Right? But this was, like, healthy. Or so the people who started Slice would have you think. And I am completely willing to believe them. They serve meat and cheese, yes, but they have vegan options and the dude working there was totally cool with accommodating me. Yeah, that’s Daiya cheese on there. And no, normally I don’t like Daiya that much because it hurts my belly and sticks to my teeth. But it somehow worked for me on this pizza. It still stuck to my teeth a little, but it never did make me sick. Even when I left a couple of pieces out, unrefrigerated, for 24 hours so I could eat them on the train. Yeah, even then. (Not that I approve of leaving your food out unrefrigerated for 24 hours or anything.)
So this is what they call the ‘Novice’ on their menu. (To be more advanced, you have to be willing to eat meat. No thanks!) It is on a gluten-free herb crust with nut-free vegan pesto, sun dried tomatoes, and then the Daiya instead of the cow cheese. It was so basil-y and garlic-y and tomato-y and just all around freaking awesome. I was incredibly pleased. And yes, I did have a beer with lunch. What? I was on vacation! And it was totally worth carrying around some stupid to-go box the rest of the day and onto the train to enjoy it again the next day.
Dudes, if ever ice cream were scream-worthy, Lula’s would be it. Lula’s Sweet Apothecary is a wet dream for your sweet tooth. I don’t have a huge sweet tooth anymore, I sort of grew out of it a couple of years ago, but I have a soft spot in my heart for ice cream. And brownies. And most especially, brownie sundaes. When I was little, my parents took us to Shoney’s a lot. I used to always get the brownie sundae for dessert. I haven’t had one in about a million years, but this was a fabulous trip down memory lane. First up, the shop is just adorable. And I just love being able to order anything at all off the menu. It’s liberating. So naturally, then, I was paralyzed by choice. What two flavors to choose? I remember people on the ppk talking about the cake batter soft serve, so I got that, in addition to the espresso. Like chocolate cake with coffee, see? I got hot fudge and chocolate cookie bits added, then they top it with this heavenly coconut whipped cream, and, of course, a cherry.
You guys. I have no words, really. It was simply wonderful. I especially loved the espresso flavor. The cake batter was great too, but sort of paled in comparison to the espresso. The brownie was dense and fudgy, the coconut cream was light and fluffy… And I ate that whole damned thing without a single regret or care in the world.
I wish I could have more food days like that one.