June 8, 2009

NYC Mega Super Gigasmic Round Up Post Woo Woo

by IsaChandra

I’ve been staying at my mom’s little exposed brick studio on the Upper East Side which means a tiny dormitory fridge that opens the wrong way and a Holly Hobby stove wherein your butt is touching the counter behind you when you try to cook. All of this translates to very little cooking and lots of dining out. And since I’m a visitor in your fair city it also means that I’m often not footing the bill. And that means Candle 79 twice a day. Just kidding. Kind of. But when you have to share a futon with your mom don’t you kind of deserve it?

Candle 79, Mustard Something Tempeh, Wild Mushrooms, Horseradish Potato Puree, etc

 It’s stupid to get the hummus at a fancy restaurant, but I can’t resist the smoky hummus at Candle 79. You can’t beat smearing roasted garlic on grilled flatbread. Color me stupid.

This is Candle Cafe, not Candle 79. And it took every ounce of willpower not to order the Cajun Seitan Sandwich. Instead I went the wholesome 80s healthfood route with the make your own plate option. Grilled tempeh, buckwheat soba, aduki beans and steamed greens with two sauces. It hit the spot. (PS I actually took my friend out on this one, so I’m not THAT much of a cheapskate.)

This was Hangawi. I’d never been because for some reason, removing your shoes in a restaurant seems so high maintenance. I love their sister spot, Franchia, but the food here was pretty lackluster. I even heeded my friend’s advice and made sure to order only items with the spicy icon. This was the Spicy Mongolian Hot Pot. Neither spicy nor Mongolian nor…well it was in a hot pot.

My agent took this pic, and I like the pic. I didn’t like that the Pear Delight (or something) was nothing but a sliced Asian Pear. No joke! It was 7 bucks, and sliced in a really cool way, but not a 7 dollar way.  I would definitely return to Hangawi for the beautiful atmosphere, but I’ll order the surefire avocado bibimbap.

This was the surprise hit of my trip. From Gobo (the uptown locale), Grilled Oyster Mushrooms and Asparagus. Perfectly seasoned and charred. I’m all over it. 

The Benedict at Counter. A creamy sauce over a mushroom sauce over scrambled tofu over an English muffin. Not too shabby! (But mine is better.)

Chocolate Hazelnut ice cream at Stogo. Oh, and hot fudge sauce! The hand model is one Terry Hope Romero. The ice cream is simply sublime.

The stogo case, they’re great about letting you have tastes!

And of course some cheap eats at Food Swings. This is my MO: Steal some of my friend Amy’s hot wings and mac, order a chicken caesar for myself. No one gets hurt. And yay for Food Swings new ownership – a bathroom and non-disposable plates! PS Amy update your goddam blog! 

But it hasn’t been all mooching.  We also gave away some cookies and bookies at Book Expo America.

Terry, me, cookies and brunch. My infamous stupid photo kissy face!

Terry kissing Cookies

We met Fran Costigan! How cute is she!

And I gave back at the Moo Shoes Vegan Brunch launch party.

 Lots of minimuffins ready to for the grabbing hands

Sausages on toothpicks what what

Herbivore shirts, books and pumps

The Discerning Brute discerns a muffin

I’ve still got a little over a week here. This weekend I’ll be slinging BBQ seitan at the Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary Jamboree, so be there if you can. Other than that I look forward to reading in Central Park and wandering aimlessly around the city.

  • June 8, 2009 at 1:54 pm: Bobbi

    Huge cookie book cover poster from heaven! I’d kiss it too! Yummy food, too. Miss you!

  • June 8, 2009 at 2:47 pm: Nicole

    This post makes me miss NYC! All these events look awesome. I wish I could have been there!

  • June 8, 2009 at 3:43 pm: Jenn

    Good god, I need to get out more…I’ve been meaning to get to Hangawi. Thanks for the ordering tips and I’ll skip the pear. Great to meet you at the Moo Shoes VB party. My blog winners love the signed books! Thanks!

  • June 8, 2009 at 4:53 pm: Bianca- Vegan Crunk

    I’ve never been to NYC, but now I have more places to add to my list of “Places to Eat When I Finally Make It to NYC.” I love that “I’m Vegan and I Love You” tee!

  • June 8, 2009 at 5:01 pm: Heather

    Love the cover for vegan cookies! Need to check out Franchia. And isn’t the chocolate hazelnut at stogo amazing! I got it as a chipwich with babycakes chocolate chip cookies… bliss

  • June 8, 2009 at 5:09 pm: dreamin'itvegan

    To have the option of vegan ice cream available like that, so jealous!!! It looks like you had a great time at the book expo. I want to go back to NYC ti visit. I also love the “I’m
    Vegan and I Love You” t-shirt, how cute!!!

  • June 8, 2009 at 6:47 pm: LaurenKlutz

    Everything looks great and all, but I believe you mean “Lauren’s infamous kissy race.”

  • June 8, 2009 at 9:40 pm: veggievixen

    wow, i bet you could write the best guide ever to “vegan eats in the city.” must visit all those spots asap. i want vegan cookies now!!!

  • June 8, 2009 at 11:11 pm: Melisser

    The kissy face is always a good one. I wish I was there! I want some Candle 79. I like that Stogo has Hemp ice cream, I’ll have to try that.

  • June 9, 2009 at 2:35 am: DJ Karma

    Oooh, your lives are so inspirational… want a cookie now!

  • June 9, 2009 at 9:19 am: A

    Awesome post!!!! Thanks for sharing all these great pictures!! Felt like I was there…. wish I could taste too :(

  • June 9, 2009 at 10:14 am: susan g

    On rare visits to NYC, Hangawi has been a highlight. We get the multicourse dinner and just revel in all the different tastes and textures. Never tried anything off the menu! Otherwise, wonderful suggestions. Next time invite me too!!

  • June 9, 2009 at 10:57 am: ayako07

    Lovely ice cream shot! These photos makes me feel hungry.
    I never have been to NY. I want to go someday…

  • June 9, 2009 at 11:05 am: Marika

    Is that the cookie book?!! If I’d have been in that room, you’d have felt a big whirly breeze whoosh by the table and then notice that all the cookies were gone and one book was missing :) Wow, what delicious looking vegan fare! I love that elephant T-shirt too. It looks like a fun time was had!

  • June 9, 2009 at 11:41 am: bugink

    we had an amazing meal at Hangwai last fall…too bad your food was so-so (and that pear…weird).
    Anyhow, I just returned from Brooklyn where I had my first Foodswings experience. It did not disappoint! buffalo wings, fish sticks and fries at 1:30 AM….heavenly, truly.

  • June 9, 2009 at 12:34 pm: Karen

    God I wish I lived in NYC.

  • June 9, 2009 at 12:35 pm: Joselle

    I’m so excited to hear Foodswings has a bathroom and reusuable plates now! Those are the two things that annoyed me.

    I’ll be at the Woodstock Jamboree. Cannot wait!

  • June 9, 2009 at 6:45 pm: jess

    oyster smushrooms!!!!!!!!

  • June 9, 2009 at 8:29 pm: chantel

    I live only 20 minutes from Woodstock so I’ll be there after I get off work!

  • June 9, 2009 at 9:56 pm: The Vegan Snorkeler

    I LOVE the new brunch book and I can’t wait for vegan cookies!!! So many of your recipes are WAY better than anything I pay for at a NYC restaurant.

  • June 9, 2009 at 11:26 pm: Euclaypt

    I am so hungry and jealous, based on your photos!

    Plus: Terry has pretty hands.

  • June 10, 2009 at 11:34 am: esme

    i can’t believe you yelled at me for getting hummus as candle 79. hypocrite!

  • June 10, 2009 at 11:35 am: esme

    *at – not as

  • June 10, 2009 at 10:46 pm: Jay

    I really want to go to Candle 79! Isa when will the cookie book be out?

  • June 11, 2009 at 12:20 am: Mo

    That ice cream! The hummus! That pear delight is ridiculous. I would’ve had to ask the server “Where’s the delight?”

    I was always bummed I never got to hit up Food Swings the last time I was in New York. Those wingz look amazing.

  • June 13, 2009 at 12:50 am: rita

    all that food looks great (except for the pear delight-that’s ridiculous). I’ll have to try some of those places. I’ve lived in NYC for a year now and have only found 1 really good vegan restaurant

  • June 14, 2009 at 4:51 pm: Diane

    I made the tofu benny this morning. Absolutely a winner. Loved the flavors. It is a keeper, for sure and will have guests swooning. I can’t wait to feed it to the carnies (carnivores). Fabulous. I also love the vegan restaurants in nyc, including Hangawi, sorry you were disappointed. Candle 79 is the tops, always. Love your cookbooks.

  • June 20, 2009 at 7:06 pm: Michelle @ Find Your Balance

    Wow, gorgeous food pics! Looks like a blast. I have to check out Candle 79 next time I’m in NYC!

  • June 23, 2009 at 4:18 pm: how to the g spot

    Oh my god, sooooo much good food. You, my dear, are a culinary goddess. I can’t wait for the cookie book!

  • June 25, 2009 at 3:12 am: Tessa

    I can’t wait for your cookie book to come out! I am an avid vegan baker and cookies are my favorite… I love Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World and use it almost weekly!

  • July 8, 2009 at 3:01 pm: Stella

    This is so awesome. I am so psyched about LIFE.

  • July 15, 2009 at 4:06 pm: batgirl

    1. Hangawi’s Spicy tofu in clay pot (9$ on the appetizer) with their purple multigrain rice is the best dish on the menu. THere’s also an 18$ appetizer with lots of different “rolls” which is pretty fab. other stuff on the menu isnt that good. desserts are all so so

    2. new vegan cafe on 82nd and amsterdam. peacefoods cafe. the mushroom panini is DELISH. The soup is great. the dumpliings are nice. but the mushroom panini is the best.

  • July 16, 2009 at 2:54 pm: Veggie Recipes

    Uh oh, Chocolate Hazelnut ice cream… that hot fudge sauce makes me want to go and fetch something similar :)

  • July 21, 2009 at 2:14 am: Puma basket


  • July 21, 2009 at 2:17 am: China Wholesalers


  • July 21, 2009 at 2:37 pm: Meredith

    I ordered the hummus at Candle 79 when I went there for brunch. After a 10 day trip through Massachusetts and upstate NY in the winter, away from my own kitchen and food processor, I was craving hummus. When I ordered it the server said, “Ohhh, that is soooo good.” It was. ;-) She was telling the truth. Candle 79 was awesome and I can’t wait to go there for dinner someday.

  • July 22, 2009 at 9:13 pm: Katie

    Oh my! I just stumbled across your blog and I’m sooo impressed!!! I LOVE it. There’s a book? Excuse my ignorance, I’ll order it now I think I need this in my life :D thanks for the fabulous post, love your work!!!!!


  • July 26, 2009 at 5:26 pm: Amelia

    Oh how I want to move to NYC… England is so un-vegan, a cafe experience here is a soy latte and vegan wrap at starbucks unless you go to a big city and hunt around a bit :P
    The ice cream looks yummy, and yay cupcakes!

  • August 5, 2009 at 8:07 pm: angelique

    come back to new york, isa! you know you miss it. it misses you.

  • August 7, 2009 at 10:02 am: GirlieGirlArmy.com

    Girl.. We live on the Upper East Side.. and the only good thing about is Candle 79!! ;)

    Check out this yum in the tum recipe for Tofu de Provence with Lion’s Mane Mushroom & Green Bean Risotto we just posted:



  • August 9, 2009 at 8:53 am: The Voracious Vegan

    I need to get to NYC ASAP! These photos are too much, I’m drooling over here! Seriously, that chocolate ice cream……*swoon*

  • August 10, 2009 at 2:05 am: Peter

    Candle light dinner with a girl friend ? I can’t imagine.I am so hungry and jealous, based on your photos. Last night I was searching for some best restaurants on internet and suddenly I found an awesome site for sharing our feelings. If anybody wants to do then just visit
    http://www.lastnightwas.com and post their feelings like me in this site.

  • September 30, 2009 at 8:15 pm: Heather

    Thanks for sharing the great photos of Candle Cafe, Candle 79 and the cookies from your book. I just found your Vegan Brunch book, but didn’t know about the cookie book until last week. Yum! The two Candle places are like fantasy island right in the middle of Hawaii–I mean, there is so much delicious vegan food to be had in NYC AND there is Candle 79. Awesome.

  • November 3, 2009 at 7:37 pm: Futons

    Boy, that looks amazingly good! You have my mouth watering.

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