Tuesday, May 10, 2016

The World Vegan Tour 2016

It's a fact in today's busy world that most people are going to eat out more than they have time to stay home and prepare delicious home cooked meals, and those of us who choose a vegan eating lifestyle, often find ourselves with slim choices when it comes to eating out. We still have to compromise sometimes by dining at a restaurant that is not exclusively vegan and hope that they get your order right. No flesh, no dairy, no animal broth and no butter is hard for many non-vegan cooks and chefs to understand, so they think they are doing you a favor by adding some gravy! Ok let's stop there...

Now the one thing more that I like other than eating, is eating vegan and I'll be sharing with you some of my favorite vegan spots around the world this summer and fall. Dr. Chenu and I will be hitting the road and taking to the air to find some new exclusively vegan spots to share with you. So get ready to expand your vegan outreach with a personal review from us on the look, feel and taste of plant based eateries from the continents, countries and cities of the world!

Let's get started with the #1 city on the globe New York, NY! We had been hearing about this new place near Central Park from a group of colleagues that are big on vegan in the Big Apple and it just so happens that it is a stone's throw, which is a really short walk from our apartment in Harlem. After a Sunday morning walk in Central Park we decided to find this new spot for brunch. This cozy little boutique styled restaurant was very warm, inviting and dazzling. I love window seating so we picked a table front and center that gave us the best view from 55 St. Nicholas Avenue.

 If flavor was the point, Seasoned Vegan got it right! We started off with a really yummy vegan chicken salad in these lovely crispy shells and then moved on to real brunch dishes of grits, vegan fried fish with mixed veggies. Our second entree was smothered vegan chicken, with macaroni and vegan cheese and another assortment of mixed vegetables. Dr. Chenu and I always split our dishes to sample more varieties of the menus, and this was a hard split for me! My taste buds wanted every morsel.

As we neared the end of our meal, I went to introduce myself to the owner Ms. B and she was so thrilled that we enjoyed our meal that she offered us a dessert on the house and a sample of one her signature dishes, Vegan Crawfish made from fresh burdock root. I was so surprised by the taste, one, because I had never eaten fresh burdock and two, because in all honesty you cannot tell the difference between this vegan dish and real crawfish! I was even a little skeptical at first because although I have not eaten crawfish in more than 20 years the taste buds never forget and this dish was just too real in flavor and texture.

Seasoned Vegan gets 4 stars from me. I love the southern flavor, being from the South it is always nice to revisit those flavors I grew up with.  Although I"m ok with soy and TVP products it is good to use these in moderation. I plan to swing by Seasoned Vegan every time I'm visiting Harlem to get a taste of some of their non-soy/TVP selections as well.

Harlem has a treasure in it's midst and I highly recommend this be a must eat there spot for you!
Remember we'll be coming to you live as we make our way to some of the Top Vegan Restaurants in the world! Stay tuned.

Dr. Akua Gray
Houston, TX
May 10, 2016

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