In a continuous effort to a) nurture my love of vegan and raw food and b) venture outside of my usual favorite raw/vegan restaurants to explpore some of the other gems this city has to offer, I planned a trip to Quintessence with my boyfriend last night. I’ll preface this post by saying that while he is open-minded about other ways of eating, my boyfriend is a carnivore through and through. I’m very fortunate to have such an adventurous partner who doesn’t mind a trip out of his comfort zone to satisfy my culinary preferences!
Having grazed the day away, we were both ravenous when we sat down. We picked at a fruit and cheese platter to start. In the world of raw food, cheese is made from nuts, not milk.
I knew that the salads at Quintessence were something special but because we were there for dinner, I was craving something hearty, so I chose the Mexican Platter and my burger- and-fries loving boyfriend selected the All American Burger. No surprise there!
When my ginormous plate of food arrived, I instantly wished I had opted for the Buddha Bowl or something similar wishing for some light greens and veggies instead especially having had a dense appetizer. I dug in and made it halfway through my meal before I felt stuffed, similar to how I would feel after any heavy meal. Because nuts are often used to imitate textures and sauces in raw foods, this dish was likely loaded with them and thus filled me up really fast.
We skipped dessert because since we were in the neighborhood I wanted to try out Stogo, a new vegan ice cream joint. Despite being full, I was determined to make the trip worthwhile. Stogo has a huge selection of vegan ice creams all made with one of three bases: soy, hemp and coconut.
I sampled the bananas foster and was hoping to try the red velvet but they had run out. I knew I wanted a coconut milk base so I settled on the key lime since it tasted so refreshing after my meal.
I enjoyed my Sunday evening vegan adventure but this little trip to the East Village reminded me of two very important points:
1. Practice portion control: I do this in my daily life but sometimes it’s easy to forget when dealing with the healthier foods. Big portions = full belly. You don’t have to finish it all!
2. Order wisely, seek balance: Because I was so hungry when I arrived at the restaurant, I let my eyes get the best of me and ignored my brain and body telling me what it really wanted. As a result, my meal was lacking greens and veggies and that is just so unlike me.
After the ice cream, my boyfriend and I took a relaxing, leisurely stroll several blocks west to 7th Avenue, a great way to digest a meal. We stumbled upon Olio, a new West Village wood oven pizzeria he had been wanting to try and clearly feeling underfed from our meal, marched right in and ordered a pizza to go!