Covering the West Coast & the World
CURRENTLY IN: SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
We are back on the West Coast. We got in late last night. The flight was uneventful - just as preferred. And it also arrived 45 minutes early! Making the 6 hour East to West almost 3k mile journey just barely over 5 hours.
For those of you who have never flown or experienced this, it is always faster when flying east vs flying west because of the help from the Jet Stream. Which of course means that when heading west you are working against the wind. So an early arrival for us was a pleasant surprise!
But it also meant us waiting at the airport for our ride who expected us to land at 8:59pm. I should've confirmed that our ride was tracking our flight. Sometimes even things that are most obvious to some, others are completely oblivious to.
When we finally arrived home it was to a warm and somewhat surprise family... I kept my mother posted of our whereabouts and flight info. But apparently Dave C. had spread the rumor that we weren't due back until Tuesday.
The kids and I spent the last days of our visit doing none other than more visiting!
I'm about to jump right back into the swing of things with much to catch up on and errands to run.
Be sure to catch up with Elisa as she was so lucky (while I was jealous that I wasn't right there with her) she found a small Vegan Pop Up in Long Island.
I honestly can't remember the last time I was able to attend one of these fun events. And to top that off, as I began reading Elisa's column I was quickly reminded that this is the last week of July - GASP - how did that happen - OHHHHH 2020 - SMH.
Hope to see you back here on Wednesday!
Covering Long Island & NYC Boroughs
CURRENTLY IN: LONG ISLAND, NEW YORK
Hello and welcome to another week. This, of course being the last week of July, pretty much marks the midpoint of summer vacation. Although, with the unusualness of the past four months with the covid-19 pandemic and the uncertainty of the future, it's rather difficult to tell when summer vacation started and possibly, where it might end.
For now, I am unashamedly enjoying every last moment of summer - even the heat waves that we are experiencing here in New York.
In spite of the safety regulations and protocols of mask wearing and social distancing, I am finding that there is a great many things to do in and around the NYC outer boroughs. With an open mind and a bit of research, it is easy to locate fun and fresh events to enjoy.
Take yesterday for example - I visited the Long Island Vegan Pop- Up in Levittown. I spied the ad for this event a few weeks ago on Instagram.
Considering how few Vegan events can be found on Long Island, I immediately put this one on my calendar to attend. I generally attend all vegan pop-up events with the two girls, but yesterday, it was only Gianna that was interested in attending.
The Pop-Up was held on the grounds of the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, and hosted a little over 10 vendors with vegan offerings in a variety of categories including food and drinks, craft items, household products and apparel.
Because of the intimate size of the venue and the number of vendors, it was easy peasy doing a meet and greet with most of them as well as sampling the edibles!
We purposely arrived minutes after it opened to insure the possible opportunity to personally chat with the various vendors about their respective businesses and to avoid any potential crowds.
Our timing was impeccable and as hoped, I was able to talk it up with most without the distraction of lines of patrons. The venue featured outdoor tables for guests and lively music filled the air. The only negative was that there was no rest room facilities and as a result our visit was cut short due to "someone" (not going to mention that it was my daughter) having a call of nature. Other than this, it was well laid out and the weather, except for the heat, could not have agreed more.
If you have been following our blog for a while, you know how much both me and Tanya LOVE vegan pop-ups! What I love most is that they provide an opportunity to meet many of the small businesses and new entrepreneurs in the area. Whether they have a retail location or future plans to open one; or are businesses that solely sell their products at pop-ups and/or online, these events provide great exposure to vegan businesses.
Below are a few of the vendors with which I had the pleasure of meeting and trying their food.
Because we had to boogie out of there to find Gianna a restroom and because of the oppressive heat, we opted to take our food samples to go and indulge in them at home! Enjoy the food photos and if you are inclined, follow these small enterprises on social media detailed below!
Bri The Fruit Dealer
Bri was the first vendor I had the pleasure of meeting and chatting with at the pop-up. This young entrepreneur was full of energy and passion about her products and their wholesome ingredients. Her offerings include 100% vegan Smoothies, Fruit Bowls, Salads, Shots & more.
I must say, I fell in love with her logo and the sampling of her Mango flavored fruit drink! But, when push came to shove, I walked off with a full-size serving of her Berry juice.
I was educated by Miss Bri about Seamoss with which I was (ashamedly) unfamiliar, as it is one of the key ingredients in her products. In its simplest terms, sea moss—aka Irish sea moss—is a type of red algae believed to boost your health and enhance your skin.
Presently, her products are available for order only via text through her Instagram site with deliveries throughout Queens and Nassau counties.
I was thrilled to learn that Bri will be opening up a retail location in Roosevelt, Long Island, targeted for September (2020). It just warms my heart to see young empowered women following their creative business dreams. And, her mom was right beside her helping and supporting her at this Pop-Up!!
This vendor is one of the few at the event that has a retail store, which is located in the DUMBO section of Brooklyn. Lucky for us Long Islanders, they chose to bring their plant-based comfort food by BK Chef to this event.
With a variety of sandwiches ranging from their vegan Philly cheesesteaks to their vegan cubans and a number of savory sides including smoked mac & cheese and jackfruit "ceviche", all of their offerings are the creations of Brooklyn Chef Jeremy.
The (vegan) Cuban was our selection and it was very flavorful. Made with savory braised jack fruit, vegan cheese, veganiase, vegan "turkey" slies, mustard and pickles on a hero and griddle pressed.
I still get amazed at how much jack fruit has the consistency of meat, and this sandwich's was no different. Served with a Side Salad made with field greens, tomatoes and cucumbers, we opted for the citrus vinaigrette. The other choice was a vegan ranch. I left it to Gianna to select the dressing and she chose the Citrus Vinaigrette. It was a great choice - refreshing taste with a creamy consistency.
Since Mexican food is one of my faves, I was thrilled to see that there was a vegan mexican vendor in the house! The Mexi-Boys are a Food Vendor and food truck that serves up Fried Burritos, Tamales and other delicious Mexican Cuisine.
We decided to do a sampling of their Vegan Chicken Fried Burrito, which was filled with vegan chicken, tomato, onions, green peppers, rice, beans and vegan cheese.
With its crunchy outside, it didn't appear to look like a traditional burrito, but instead, more like a mini calzone. Once cut open, it had all the yummy goodness found in a burrito. It was quite flavorful and the ground vegan chicken was seasoned well and paired lovely with the texture of the rice.
While not a food vendor, BioGreenMark clearly offers products that are necessary for food storage. This company makes the first-ever eco-friendly and biodegradable disposable tableware!
Branded under Biotrem, these products are made from wheat bran, which is the outer layer of the wheat grain, making the products extremely environmentally friendly and fully biodegradable through composting within just 30 days.
What a great alternative to the paper and plastic disposable dishware used by the masses! What's more, I found out that this tableware is suitable for hot and cold food as well as certified for food contact safety and heating and re-heating in conventional ovens and microwaves.
The Happy Pig Food Bus
This adorable pink food bus had a lovely cross section of 100% vegan food! Everything from empanadas to "chicken" sandwiches and loaded tater tots. We did not get a chance to do a tasting since we needed to scadaddle to find a rest room.
I will be following The Happy Pig and its owner, Wendy Lantigua on Instagram for her next pop-up and I suggest you check out her page as well.
And just so you know, The Long Island Vegan Pop-Up has another event planned on Long Island on Sunday August 9th in Amityville. Follow their Instagram and Facebook page for more event information.
That's it for today folks. Have a marvelous Monday!!
July 27, 2020 - Long Island Vegan Pop Up In Levittown Has a Mix of Vendors - Tanya travels back to California
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