New York City: Part 2

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Central Park is just as gorgeous as I hoped it would be…and much, much larger!

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(umm hello, cute kissing romantic couple!)

The park was packed with people out walking, running, skating, biking, and rollerblading all enjoying the unseasonably warm temperatures. I think it reached about 18C (64F) on Saturday! We both had to rip off our jackets because we were sweating to death! We were so thankful for the weather because it could’ve easily been snowy and cold at this time of the year.

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After exploring for a couple hours, we soon found ourselves ready to fill our bellies for a very late lunch. We headed to Cafe Blossom which is a popular vegan restaurant in the Upper West Side of Manhattan not far from Central Park. Cafe Blossom also has vegan “sister” restaurants, Blossom, as well as V-Note, Blossom Du Jour, and Cocoa-V all located in the city. Umm, WOW!

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The cafe has a clean and inviting atmosphere with cozy wood and modern stone accents.

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Because of the way the cafe is set up, it feels very intimate and you don’t feel crammed in next to other tables.

For a “cafe”, I was extremely impressed with the atmosphere. They really did it up with class!

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Going out to eat is such a treat and I appreciate every minute of not having to prepare the food myself! This trip is a nice break from my kitchen. I feel so spoiled when I get to order anything off a menu.

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I had a the Field of Greens juice with spinach, cucumber, apple, lemon, and ginger. Ah, it felt so good to have greens after the flight.

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For lunch, I ordered the COLLOSSAL Quinoa Salad layered with black beans, quinoa, julienne peppers, watercress, toasted pumpkin seeds, mango guacamole, and poblano dressing.

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OH MY LORD. Have mercy. I am embarrassed to say how quickly I inhaled this!

These pictures really don’t do this salad justice either. It was absolutely amazing and perfect in every way. I am definitely going to try to recreate this salad at home…come to mama!

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Eric ordered the Veggie Grain Burger made with lentil-quinoa burger, hummus, lettuce, tomato, pickles on multi-grain and fries. He loved the meal and was nice enough to share a bite with me. It was really good. The only thing I would change is the texture. It was very soft, almost like mashed potatoes.

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I’m always asked what kind of diet Eric eats and that’s a bit hard for me to answer because he doesn’t like to label himself. He eats a mostly vegetarian and vegan diet now, with the occasional meat & dairy products as desired. He’s really embraced a plant-based diet and loves trying all kinds of new foods these days.

It’s really crazy to think of the foods he used to eat when I first met him. He was a fast food, Coke, and meat & potatoes kinda guy and the only vegetables he ate were staples like peas, corn, potatoes, and tomatoes. I’m happy to see him so content with the balance he has in his diet now. If he wants pizza or chicken, he usually eats it, but he also enjoys a lot of vegan and vegetarian dishes too. I think everyone needs to find the balance that works for them personally.

Since our lunch was so late and our dinner reservation was early, we hesitantly skipped the dessert menu and headed back out to explore and take advantage of the nice weather. I am so sad I was only able to eat at this cafe once during our stay…I would love to sample everything off the menu! They nailed casual, yet gourmet, vegan cuisine.

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It was really busy around the city on Saturday, not surprisingly! Bustling with shoppers galore.

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All the shops on 5th Ave are decorated so pretty for the holidays! It really got us into the holiday spirit even though it could have been a summer day. ;)

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Cool night display:

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…and we soon found ourselves like this…unable to move.

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…the only thing that motivated us to move again was the promise of more food, alcohol, and chocolate molten cake ;)

Stay tuned for more food, Rockettes, a celebrity sighting, NYC vegan goodies, naked cowboys, and more…

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{ 105 comments… read them below or add one }

Gina @ Running to the Kitchen November 29, 2011

That salad looks amazing! I would’ve demolished it too.

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Kerry November 29, 2011

Love that you got to visit us in NY!

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Amber K November 29, 2011

I love it when there is a restaurant where I can actually eat something! It doesn’t happen often with my many food intolerances, but when they get it right…ahh it’s amazing. Can’t wait to hear more about your trip!

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Kit-Kat November 29, 2011

Wow.
The burger looks amazing! NOM NOM! And I would probably crisp it up a bit, too, like you would. I don’t like super soft burgers. I like my edges a bit crispy.
I guess I would be hesitant to try the sallad, because I would hate to know what the nutritional contant is in the dressing…. but hey, it is a once in a blue-moon occasion, right? :-)

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Lindsay November 29, 2011

Nice to hear about Blossom Cafe- we went to Blossom and I really didn’t care that much for it but have been curious about Blossom Cafe. I’ll add it to the list of possibilities!

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Lauren Helen November 29, 2011

As soon as you mentioned mango guac… I MUST try this! If only I could find good mangos this time of year! It’s always hit or miss (usually, unfortunately, miss).

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Cat @Breakfast to Bed November 29, 2011

There are so many killer vegan places here. My favorite ones aren’t even in Manhattan, LOL! They’re in Brooklyn!! With the weather, I am really surprised people weren’t tanning on the beach!!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 29, 2011

I heard about some of the veg restaurants in Brooklyn too…wish I could have made it there. :) Which ones are your favs?

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Morgan @ Life After Bagels November 29, 2011

this just reminded me of my dream to visit NYC around Christmas time … I only ever go in the summer!

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Yolie @ Practising Wellness November 29, 2011

What a wonderful post – so glad you’re having so much fun! I love seeing your photos – my boyfriend and I went to New York this summer and it brings back so many fun and happy memories! So cool that Eric has found his healthy living balance, and you too – very inspiring and positive! Mmmm….that salad and juice look DIVINE! :-D Enjoy NYC! xyx

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Tanya @ Vegan Faith November 29, 2011

I have been wanting to visit NY for so long now. Your photos are beautiful!

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Sarah November 29, 2011

So I have a question. I don’t know if this was asked already, but why did you choose to travel to the US on one of the busiest US traveling weekends of the year? Thanksgiving travel is literally insane!!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 29, 2011

We left on Saturday and it actually was pretty dead at the airport. Also, this was one of the only weeks that worked for Eric to take vacation.

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Carolyn @ HealthKitten.com November 29, 2011

I just ate lunch and I want to inhale that salad! Mango guacamole…oh my!

You know when you’re with the right man when he’s as adventurous and supportive with food! ;) Since going vegetarian (mostly), I’m blown away with how fully Tim jumped into the new eating lifestyle. He used to be a Diet Pepsi-drinkin, double cheeseburger-eatin, and cigarette-smokin dude. Now he eats quinoa for breakfast, loved the vegan chickpea cutlets I made for Thanksgiving dinner and is going to a personal trainer twice a week (and did a 5k walk with me!). Makes me happy every single day that I married that man! :)

Can’t wait to see more of your vacation! :)

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Christine @ The Brighter Side of Life November 29, 2011

Cafe Blossom looks amazing – and mango guacamole?! Ahhhh, heaven!!! Will have to put the cafe on my list of places to go when I get to NYC at some point. And I love that it wasn’t wall-to-wall people… nice to have a relaxing lunch before heading back out into the fun-but-hectic bustle.

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Anna @ The Guiltless Life November 29, 2011

This just must be the best time of year to be in NYC! I love the look of that salad – I really hope you do recreate it! Yummy!

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Traci November 29, 2011

I just had lunch but the salad looks phenomenal! Yummy :)

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Rachel November 29, 2011

I live RIGHT by Cafe Blossom and have not seen that salad. Must. Try. They have a good brunch as well. I always find vegan brunch to be such a treat! If you’re back in the neighborhood you should check out Peacefoods on Amsterdam at 82nd. YUM.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 29, 2011

Lucky girl! ;) Thanks for the suggestion.

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Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table November 29, 2011

Ah! You saw the Naked Cowboy! I’m almost more envious of that than the delicious food. :)

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Janine @ThePurpleGiraffe November 29, 2011

Yayyyy Naked Cowboy! I love NYC – I’ve only been twice, once was last December, and the other time in college for the weekend. I wish we could go back this December, but our schedule is packed. That salad sounds amazing. My husband eats like your guy used to, though he’s coming around. We had spaghetti squash lasagna last night, and he ate the whole plate and went back for seconds!

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Katie November 29, 2011

Sounds like you had a wonderful time visiting! I’ve always wanted to go to New York just to hop around and try all the amazing cafes and restaurants.

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Beth - Tasty Yummies November 29, 2011

Looks like you had an amazing trip! NYC at the holidays is sooo magical! I am so happy for you that you got to experience it.

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Melody (Redhead in the Kitchen) November 29, 2011

Yum! I can’t wait to see what you come up with inspired by this salad- so I can eat it!

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Jemma @ Celeryand Cupcakes November 29, 2011

I was just in NYC and loved every minute of it.

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Caitie @ The Caitie Experiment November 29, 2011

I’m SO HAPPY you got to see the Naked Cowboy — so many of my friends thought I was making it up when I was younger (I grew up north of Boston), but they’ve almost all been to “The Big City” at some point now and learned that he is definitely no myth! Your photos of Central Park are gorgeous — I can just picture Blair Waldolf roaming across them in a cute little capelet! I hope you made it to the Upper East Side to do a little Gossip Girl set-stalking. ;)

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Katie November 29, 2011

Haha…I am so addicted to gossip girl!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 30, 2011

I must say I kept looking for the gossip girl characters to walk by…heh

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Sabrina @ Radioactive Runner November 29, 2011

Ah, now you’ve left us hanging.. :)
That salad and cafe both look really good!!

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Liz November 29, 2011

I can’t wait to see you re-create that salad with a recipe on your blog! I have been eating the lightened up protein goddess bowl all week and it is so delicious! Your blog is the only one in which I have enjoyed every recipe I have tried! Enjoy the rest of your trip!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 29, 2011

Thanks Liz :) I hope I can recreate it too!

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Jamie @ Don't Forget The Cinnamon November 29, 2011

I visit NYC fairly frequently and have heard wonderful things about Blossom but have yet to try it! My travel companions are always too wary of a vegan restaurant haha!

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katie@ KatieDid November 29, 2011

After my 10 days of travel, which I just returned from I was actually itching to get back to my normal routine and being in the kitchen. I ran out to the grocery store before I even unpacked my bags! Eating out is fun when its a once in a while thing for me.

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Lauren @ What Lauren Likes November 29, 2011

Haha the last picture made me laugh so hard! Hahah that salad looks amazing :)

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Hilliary @Happily Ever Healthy November 29, 2011

5th avenue is always fun! I would love to see it all decorated for christmas! Cafe Blossom sounds amazing, and the food looked delicious!

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Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat November 29, 2011

WOW! Everything looks so amazing! That quinoa salad – yes you better believe you’ll be recreating that one because I want to experience it too! I love the way the shops in the US go all-out on Christmas decorations. It makes shopping feel so festive. And a celebrity sighting.. hmm now you’ve got me curious!

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Laura @ She Eats Well November 29, 2011

That quinoa salad looks so yummy! I want to try to re-create it as well. It always tastes better when someone else makes it though. I love how versatile quinoa is!

As for NYC and Central Park, you are there during the very best time! And Central Park is so romantic…!

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Jesse (OutToLunchCreations) November 29, 2011

I can’t wait to try your version of that salad, it looks delicious! I’m making your Aloo Matar tonight, I’m so excited!

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raechel @the rebel grrl kitchen November 29, 2011

we went to blossom when we visited new york too (http://rebelgrrlkitchen.wordpress.com/2011/08/29/vegan-eats-in-nyc/), and i ordered that exact same salad! soooo delicious!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 30, 2011

nice!! Isnt it heavenly?

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Shanna November 29, 2011

Next time try the soy bacon cheeseburger or southern seitan sandwich. Sinful! :) enjoy NYC!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 29, 2011

Mmm those did sound good too!

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Cait's Plate November 29, 2011

That quinoa salad looks AWESOME! I would’ve taken it down in 3 bites max so don’t be embarrassed :)

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Rachel November 29, 2011

It looks like y’all are having such a fun time! And that salad looks absolutely to die for. Now I’m hungry…

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Kaitlyn@TheTieDyeFiles November 29, 2011

Aren’t greens fab after traveling? So jealous of your trip. I need to get to NYC at Christmastime! Or at all…

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Felicia (Natural + Balanced) November 29, 2011

NYC is definitely a foodies dream! Enjoy!!

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amanda November 29, 2011

that salad looks incredible! i cannot wait for your version of it! also, i might be late to the party on this, but i love your haircut!

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Sara Grambusch November 29, 2011

I don’t know how you always find these amazing restaurants. You should just travel the world finding all the tiny, amazing vegan restaurants. This could be a TV show.

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