Archive for September 8th, 2011

September 8, 2011

Hangawi Vegetarian Restaurant: New York

by jem614

By Jessica Michael

Day 2: New York – Hangawi

Sadly, I only had two full days in New York.  It is a good thing though or I would have had to buy a second seat on the airplane just so I could get home.

Day 2’s restaurant was on 32nd between Madison and Fifth Avenue, around the corner from the Empire State Building.  This is one of those restaurants that is a “can’t miss” experience.  First of all, when you walk in, they make you take your shoes off (no holey socks or bad manicures will be missed).  Then they seat you on a wooden platform with pillows for comfort, very “traditional” Korean style, it was so much fun!

It had to be the best food experience I’ve had in a long time, maybe ever.  From the moment you walk in the door to the moment you leave, you’re transported to another place.  The tea is a bit pricey ($5-10) but it’s a experience on its own.  My friend and former roommate Melissa, who recommended the place, met me for lunch and tried the pomegranate iced. The tea was lightly sweetened and tasted so divine, I could have drunk buckets of it.  My own drink, the Ginger Tea, tasted freshly made and was a welcome mixture of sweet and spicy.

There are three prix fixe menus for lunch and I believe for dinner as well.  I tried the Ginseng Lunch, Mel had the mini Emperors lunch and they were both only $20.  But there was nothing mini about these lunches:

First course was a very thick “porridge” of pumpkin soup.  It was creamy and filling, not as tasty as the rest of the food but it actually was perfect because it didn’t overpower your actual meal.

Second course was the Vegetarian Dumplings that were fantastic and came out so pretty that I had a hard time eating it.

Steamed Veggie Dumplings

And that’s not all…  there was a third course which consisted of (this is from the menu), “tofu clay pot in ginger sauce served with multi-grain rice and kimchi”.  Yum-mo.

Tofu Clay Pot

Finally, desert was served and it was a perfect ending to a perfect meal.  The desert tasted like a thick apple cider with bits of apple and pine nuts floating in it.


Seriously, one of the best meals available in New York.  This is a DON’T MISS.

If I could give them a six carrot rating, I would but I’ll stick with 5.

For more information on Hangawi go to

September 8, 2011

Pure Food and Wine

by jem614

By Jessica Michael

I have been dreaming of going to Pure Food and Wine since I became a vegetarian.  Sarma Melngailis, the owner of PF&W, wrote, “Living Raw Food”.  I thought to myself that if being vegan and raw looked like Sarma, I wanted to be on board.

So, we follow her on Twitter and watch her posts on Facebook and I dreamt of the day I would get to sit down and eat at PF&W.  I finally got the chance this week to go in and sit down in the candlelit glow, here is what happened:

Around the Corner from PF&W

It was a rainy night in New York City, cabs were hard to find and puddles were plenty.   I finally flagged down an open cab and sped down the dark streets of Manhattan heading for Irving Street where Pure Food and Wine was located.  I paid the cab an exhorbitant amount (did you know that my cabbie from the airport actually complained that I only gave him a $5 tip?  I can remember days of giving $1 tip and them being happy about it) and ran inside.

The place itself is full of dark wood and lit by candles and low lighting, a great setting for a romantic dinner but this time I was alone.  At 7pm it was slightly empty, only a blond in the corner talking loudly to an elderly gentleman who I could tell wasn’t her father (not judging, it’s just for effect of the story).

I ordered the raw avocado and creamed corn soup though I was afraid I would be unhappy with the outcome.  I was pleasantly surprised and ate every spoonful.  The soup was creamy with lumps of corn and tasted so delicious I plan on asking for the recipe.  Three little slices of pickled carrot on top finished off this new taste.

Raw Avocado and Corn Soup

For dinner I had the Polenta with Greens which was light and tasty and filled me up enough to be almost overfull before desert came.


But not quite:

Ice Cream and Blueberry Tart

I had to try the blueberry tart and it did not disappoint.  I was licking my spoon after this.  By the time I was finished with dinner, the place had become crowded and I could see it was time to take my leave.  Those that say you can’t eat well on a vegan diet are sadly mistaken. My life’s mission is complete, I can now move on to other things like writing my own cookbook and opening my own restaurant. 😉

For more information on One Lucky Duck, Pure Food and Wine and Sarma Melngailis, please go to

Five carrots!

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