Chicken from La Habichuela
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I never mentioned that I was in Cancun celebrating the birthday of a great friend who reads this blog often. Rainie had been talking about La Habichuela Sunset all week so we decided to make it our last stop in Cancun before we departed back to the states.

After a long day of excursions, drinking by the pool and getting tanned, we made super late reservations for dinner before we hit the town. So late that we were the only people in the restaurant, which worked out because we were dressed classy and this was bossy; it’s tough dressing for a night out and still be appropriate for dinner you know.

The decor of Habichuela is extremely Mayan inspired with many details and huge traditional pieces all over the main two floors with an older look on the lower level that was partially outside. We started the evening with Tamales in our attempts to get involved with the culture; ours were filled with lobster, duck and shrimp. Again, it was flavorless to us so can someone pass the hot sauce please.

Tamales from La Habichuela

We continued to give the food a try and I opted for the chicken breast veronica, which was stuffed with sweet plantain and prosciutto in a sweet Hawaiian sauce. Bad idea. It was far too sweet for my taste buds, overpoweringly sweet, and not exactly what I had in mind for the evening. A lot of the chicken still had fat on it and the slithery feel due to the sauce was not delighting in the least. Hate to say it, but Cancun just couldn’t win me over.

Chicken from La Habichuela

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Austin ale house Mimosa & Fruit

Queens is the most underrated borough when it comes to food.  When I talk to people about NYC, they instantly think about Brooklyn or Manhattan but I am here to drop some Queens gems on your palette. Austin’s Ale House is one of them.

Austin's Front View

My first adventure to Austin’s Ale House was extremely laid back. They had a casual dress code, was serving brunch, and they are in a location where I could find any parking near. The restaurant is big, so when you walk in you can either go towards the left to the bar and lunch area or to the right for dinner. There was also an outside patio area that I didn’t learn about until after I got home and went on the website. There were televisions with the World Cup on and a family rooting for Ecuador in the middle of the room. My father and I decided to sit in the main lunch area surrounded by dartboards, paintings, and a random lotto machine.

Austin's Interior Decor

Once we were seated, we received our menus. I chose the steak & eggs Father’s Day Brunch Special which included mini muffins, bagels, a fruit cup, and a MIMOSA. My dad ordered a cheeseburger and onion rings (a pretty simple meal, if I were him I would have ordered the most extravagant item, knowing my daughter is paying the bill).  Our waiter, Andrew, was really invested in us. He shook my dad’s hand, told him Happy Father’s Day, expressed how he wishes he could be home with his but he is working until 11pm, and told us if we need anything, “Just yell, scream, shout.” Service is important to me; my ideal waiter is timely, checking in at the right moments, and FULL OF PERSONALITY! Andrew was exactly that!

Austin's Burger & Fries

Austin's Bagels & Muffins

So we’ve talked about decor and service but what about the food? My starters of a fruit cup and bread were good enough to hold me during the wait. The steak & eggs were delicious! I had very specific orders that my steak was medium well and my eggs were scrambled well because I HATE runny eggs. Instead of using AI sauce, I used the restaurant’s own steak sauce, it was the precise balance of bold and spicy. The meat was tender and flavorful so I didn’t have to chew forever. My father said his burger was good, I’m not a burger person so I didn’t take a bite, but I did try the onion rings and loved that they actually had real onions inside instead of that fake mushy stuff.

Austin's Mimosa & Fruit

Austin's Steak & Eggs

Austin's Homemade Steak Sauce

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Seasoned Vegan

“The food you love, veganized” Is Seasoned Vegan’s motto. As you walk in, the Harlem neighborhood mural inside of the entrance draws you. Seasoned Vegan is known for their veganized soul food, which was created by Mrs. Beener. Mrs. Beener and her son, Aaron Beener, are the owners of this vegan restaurant. Mrs. Beener have been cooking and eating vegan food for over 20 years. This restaurant serves different themes of food on a daily basis (Tuesday-Sunday); they aren’t opened Mondays. I commend the Beeners for raising awareness by opening this vegan restaurant in this Harlem community where the “chicken spot” is popular.

Mac N' Cheese x Broccoli x "Fried Shrimp"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This dish was very different in comparison to what I usually have at SV. The fried shrimp which is made from organic fermented soy, has an interesting taste but still gives you the flavor of real shrimp. The stewed fish blew my mind. Mrs. Beener, you have done it once again! Mrs. Beener’s stewed fish is made out of fermented soy with seaweed as the “skin” on the sides. Her recipe is reminiscent of actual fish my mum would make on the weekends. It smells and tastes like real fish. I love the fact that Mrs. Brenda Beener can capture the flavors of non-vegan food into vegan food. I’ve been to many vegan restaurants and they lack flavor in all honesty. If a lot of these places added more flavor and seasonings into their recipes they would have a lot more non-vegan customers as well as potential vegan eaters as well.

Vegan Lunch Closeup

 

 

Crawfish x Spinach Salad x Spinach Pesto Mozzarella Pasta
That crawfish is SUPER GOOD and I need this recipe because the seasonings make you feel as if you’re eating seafood. It’s made out of burdock root (a rooted vegetable), which has a lot of health benefits such as anti-inflammatory and stunting the growth of cancer cells. I really enjoyed eating this dish because the spinach pesto pasta was just amazing. The Daiya cheese that was blended in so well you couldn’t tell if it was dairy or not.

 

I am absolutely head over heels over the Mac N’ Cheese at Seasoned Vegan. This is one of their staple dishes, which is a best seller. People come in wanting and craving the Mac N’ Cheese every day. Brenda and Aaron are doing a fantastic job in bringing the community together to eat well-seasoned delicious vegan food that is made with love.

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