Vegan Meetup

I never thought I’d ever consider giving up bacon, but  you certainly couldn’t tell at my first vegan outing at Cafe Blossom. Lannie, who has written for Food before Love about her vegan journey, had a great response from our followers on twitter during the Food Fit Health Chat. A lot of tweeters were intrigued about going to a vegan restaurant so I organized the dinner, riled up the good people who inquired and we went on a dinner date to Cafe Blossom. It was a first for many, and definitely a first for me. You all know I love steak, bacon and everything in between so I was nervous and excited for this new experience but I’m worried that I wouldn’t like anything. I truly wasn’t ready.

cafe Blossom

So I ordered Vegan wine to relax. What is vegan wine? I’m not even sure to be honest. But I was told that some wines have fish bladder in them, as well as, animal finings (ie: gelatin). It’s all very strange. This Vegan wine however, was very good, light in body, delicate, and tasty. I could drink this forever, no problem.

Vegan Wine Cafe Blossom

Soy bacon, though; is not my friend. I ordered the soy bacon burger which was super cheesy and the bacon was flabby. I’m not too sure if this could be a forever thing, actually I’m pretty sure it can’t be. It’s either bacon or no bacon, there is no in between.

Soy Bacon Burger Cafe Blossom

We had some great people in attendance who really enlightened me on the lifestyle and what I should and shouldn’t be eating. I learned a lot about myself and have tried to make a conscious effort on changing my eating patterns. The question is, could I ever “go vegan?”

Vegan Meetup

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Matilda tiramisu

Like I said last week, I need to pay the East Village more visits because the gems are tucked away here. Matilda being one of them, and was extremely intrigued by it. The decor alone is adorable, clean and fresh. The details in this space are just too warming to keep away from, with art by Matilda herself on the walls. What I really appreciated were the words on the walls that are made of tiles, someone clearly took their time to create this restaurant and they did it well.

Matilda

They also keep the dessert menu on the table, in a slot carved in to hold it. Very different and impressive.

Matilda setting

Matilda mimosa

Obviously, they also took their time with the Tuscan and Mexican influenced menu as well. I, as usual, was overwhelmed by the enticing menu and couldn’t decide for a while. Luckily, they graced my table with their authentic guacamole paired with nachos and croutons. Just by looking at it, I knew this was made freshly by hand and it was completely amazing. It had a strong basil flavor and the chips were the perfect addition. I had them leave this at my table well after dessert because it was just that delicious.

Matilda Guacamole

Unfortunately, we did have to part because it was time for the French toast, which I was extremely excited to try. My mimosa was already in hand, taste buds already singing and my appetite was waiting. And well, it was worth the wait. French toast served with mascarpone is always a treat for me and strawberries always make everything better so heaven was served on a platter, just for me! I also ordered some of the crispest, fluffiest bacon I have ever tried in my life. It was truly fried to perfection and by now, I want to eat here everyday. Was there even room for dessert?

Matilda French toast

Matilda French Toast

Matilda Bacon

There’s always room so I tried the tiramisu and the churros, which they really pride themselves on. I was sticking to the tiramisu for the most part and it was great. This was all done as I was sipping on their version of a Mimosa, the Matilda.

Matilda tiramisu

Matilda Churros

I actually also got a chance to meet Matilda and I thought that it was the sweetest touch that she’s on the voicemail at the restaurant as well! I really appreciated my brunch here and I can’t wait to go back and create something for Food Before Love.

Matilda Pizza

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Cafecito Cortadito

Last week, I had dinner at Cafecito in the East village. Cafecito means “small coffee”, believe me, the coffee here is tiny. But it’s the cutest thing on the menu, too. There are actually some great cute restaurants tucked away in the East Village by the way, I definitely should find myself down there more often. Especially when they have great bartenders like the one at this spot. You could even almost say I was greeted by a mojito here, a strong mojito that I was dying to try since it’s the rave from what I was hearing prior to my arrival.

Cafecito Mojito

The Cuban punch, which I also got to try, is a BANG. Literally, the strong flavors are so unexpected and this is your space of access to the happy juice. Please eat before you have this one, which I intended to do.

Cafecito Cuban Punch

The special of the day was fried jumbo shrimp with Yuca fries that came with a side of mojo that had the right texture and flavors I was anticipating. Though I’m not a big fan of Yuca; the fries were done well and the shrimp was tender, and that’s important. This wasn’t going to contain the Cuban punch though ladies and gentlemen, so I ordered the ropa vieja, which came with rice and beans.

Cafecito Shrimp

Surprisingly, the rice had much more flavor than I expected. And for this to be white rice, I was intrigued. The beans were incredibly flavorful and the ropa vieja was beyond juicy, holding strong flavors from the peppers mixed in. I could barely finish my meal before I ordered dessert and the sweet staff could see it in my face.

Cafecito Ropa Veija

But still, I ordered the flourless chocolate cake and the Cortadito coffee which is an espresso topped with steam milk. The cake was extremely airy but I fault that to me picking up on the flourless attribute. This is clearly a place for coffee lovers but also nice to tuck away with someone special who might appreciate it.

Cafecito Cake

Cafecito Cortadito

Update: This restaurant has closed.

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Pork Nachos

Swine was hella fine when I was picked up to check it out on my birthday. Lately, I love everything on a chip. Even at the Power Couple Brunch in a few weeks, we’ll be having breakfast nachos; I may be slightly obsessed. So yes, I was going to indulge in pork chunks, cheese and jalapeno nachos at Swine as my starter. I felt the chips were a bit overdone but that didn’t stop me from stuffing my face with this combo. When I couldn’t stand the over baked chips, I searched for all the pork pieces and smiled. Gluttony is a sin.

Pork Nachos

It sure didn’t stop me from ordering the pulled pork sandwich that came with “pickles”. Tasted more like cucumbers (blech) to me but I’ll let them tell it. The sandwich was super sweet, could have been the mango chipotle sauce they slab on it but I was looking for something a little drier. The short ribs, his choice, were phenomenal though and this place IS FOR PORK LOVERS. You won’t be able to get enough; I can’t wait to go back myself.

Pulled pork sandwich Ribs

Shoot, I’d go back for dessert alone. Mainly because I was served what’s apparently the best bread pudding in town, no argument there. The kicker though, was the maple bourbon whipped cream they pair with it. The whipped cream can be eaten with everything. So kudos to them on that and blessed is your belly when you go.

Bread pudding

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