YYYYY= I have died and gone to heaven YYYY = AMAZING! YYY = Can I have another? YY = Very yummy Y = Ehh


YUMMIEST: Vegan Ice Cream Shop in NYC: Installment 2

Stogo Chocolate Hazelnut Chipwich made with Babycakes Cookies

STOGO RATING: YYYY(4 out of 5 hearts!)
BONOBO'S RATING: YY(2 out of 5 hearts!)

I went to two very different places for ice cream the recently, with two very different ideas of what vegan ice cream is/should be. It was kind of fun to experience two opposite sides of the vegan ice cream spectrum!

Stogo is a newly opened venture in the east village, founded by Kyra Sedgwick’s brother Rob Sedgwick. All of the ice cream is made in house and are not exclusively one formula. Some of the flavors are coconut based, some are soy based and some are hemp based, which is a great option for those with nut/soy allergies.. All of the flavors were very enticing and the server allowed us to try as many as we wanted. I loved how they were displayed; it reminded me of a gelateria in Rome! They also offer soft-serve but I think the only flavors available are vanilla & chocolate which is kinda boring considering all the great flavors that were not soft-serve. Some of my faves were the Toasted Almond Joy (with coconut shavings on top!), Mexican Spiced Chocolate (spicy!), Pomegranate Chocolate Chip and Coffee. I decided upon the Chocolate Hazelnut (with pieces of hazelnut on top!) because Chocolate & Hazelnut are possibly my two favorite flavors ever and combining them sounded like bliss.

I was so stoked when I realized that not only would I be able to enjoy this ice cream in a cup or a cone, but there also was an option of putting it between two cookies from babycakes and enjoying a chipwich! Aw man. Of course that’s what I went for. It was super messy but so good! The ice cream was terrific, kind of melty but very smooth & creamy. The flavor was amazing and spot-on. My non-vegan friends were very impressed, they didn’t think they would be able to tell it was vegan if they didn’t know beforehand.

The place itself was kind of small and had little seating so we opted to eat outside. Its definitely more of a place to get ice cream and go, which kind of sucks because the ice cream does melt fast and get messy. However, its so good you’ll probably finish it pretty quick!

Stogo also offers babycakes cupcakes & a variety of vegan chocolate & chocolate truffles which is a great alternative for those who aren’t in the mood for ice cream.

So on to Bonobos. While I might be able to compare Stogo’s ice cream to gelato, Bonobo’s ice cream is more like sorbet. I’m not quite sure why they call it “ice cream” anyway when it lacks that creaminess, but fine, went for it anyway. This place touts itself for it’s healthy food, which consists mostly of salads and raw veggie patties. It’s probably a great place for lunch because they have quite a selection. As for the ice cream, they seem to have 4 flavors every day which vary. All of the flavors are really fun and different and the server let’s you try as many as you’d like as well! When I visited the flavors available that I tried were Durian (GROSS but so cool that they have this!!), Banana Pudding (really on point and had a subtle cinnamon flavor) and Mango Banana Pineapple (very sweet and yummy). All their “ice creams” contain no table salt nor added sugar, no soy or dairy. In other words, its pretty much like a really healthy sorbet or frozen pudding. I decided to have the Mango Banana Pineapple which was definitely icey but also pretty tasty and cold. You’re not going to find indulgent flavors like chocolate hazelnut here but it’s great as a refreshing treat on a hot summer day. The only bummer is that there is only one size cup option and no cones. I like having options!

Anyway, next installation coming soon, any suggestions of where I should go? Have you been to Stogo/Bonobos? What’s your take? Post in the comments!

TASTE TEST: LifeThyme Bakery Funny Bones

LifeThyme Bakery Funny Bone cake

RATING:YYYY(4 out of 5 hearts!)

LifeThyme is a supermarket/health food store located in the west village in New York City. They have a buffet with many vegan & raw options as well as a bakery with many tasty vegan selections such as peanut butter banana cookies and vegan funny bones!

Funny Bones is a snack cake put out by drake's which consists of a peanut butter cream filled devil's food cake with a hard chocolate outer shell.

I've never seen this done vegan so I was really excited to try. Oh manna, this thing was huge! I couldn't finish it in one sitting. The outer shell was amazing. It reminded me of the chocolate shell on Hagen Daaz ice cream bars from my pre-vegan days. It was very sugary and I loved the peanut halves incorporated into this crust. The peanut butter cream blew my mind. It was also very sweet and oh so smooth and creamy. The only thing that kind of put me off was that the devil's food cake was a little dry. I found myself eating all the peanut butter cream and the outer shell then I was left with a bunch of dry devil's food cake. Oops, my bad.

Overall, this is definitely something I would get a BFF if she called me up crying. It's quite an indulgent treat, but a tasty one at that.

TASTE TEST: Terra Nostra Rice Milk Chocolate Bar with Almonds

Terra Nostra Rice Milk Chocolate Bar with Almonds

RATING:YYYY(4 out of 5 hearts!)

Most vegan chocolate bars are dark chocolate. Which is awesome, but tends to be bitter, heavy and just a completely different experience from what milk chocolate is like. Terra Nostra has a line of Rice Milk chocolate bars that attempt to create that.

And how, I really enjoyed this bar. SO much better than hershey's! haha. It was very creamy, light and sweet. I loved the crunch of the almonds. I like how it is divided up so that you can break off little pieces to munch on. A really great find.

I picked this up at Family Health Foods on Staten Island. You can also order it off of vegan essentials.


TASTE TEST: Enjoy Life Soft-Baked Snickerdoodle

Enjoy Life Snickerdoole Cookies/Credit: Enjoy Life

YYYY(4 out of 5 hearts!)

I was kind of weary to buy this. Most vegan cookies are gross. They tend to have a grainy consistency and a weird taste/aftertaste. On top of that, these are gluten-free which is an added challenge to tasting good. But, imagine if these were good.. soft-baked Snickerdoodles. I just had to take that risk.

And what a rewarding risk! This Snickerdoodle cookie by Enjoy Life was really great. They were smaller than I expected, pretty much the size of the cookies pictured on the box. These cookies were very soft and chewy. Not grainy in any way shape or form! They were a little dense, but it wasn't overly filling. The taste was spot-on, perfect amount of cinnamon and no weird taste or aftertaste! I only wanted to try one, but it was just so easy to snack on these. So yummy!

I picked these cookies up at Stop & Shop, though I've seen them at Whole Foods as well.

Have you had any products by Enjoy Life? Any vegan cookies you love? Post in the comments!


TASTE TEST: Nutrilicious Carob Iced Donut

Nutrilicious Carob Iced Donut

RATING:YYY(3 out of 5 hearts!)

This carob iced donut from Nutrilicious was very cakey and crumbly. The carob frosting was very good, sweet and chocolately. The frosting flaked off a little which I liked for some weird reason. They were a little dense, but overall pretty tasty. I wouldn't purchase these with a fresh-baked donut in mind because they scream store-bought. Definitely brought back memories of Entemann's frosted donuts.

TASTE TEST: Go Max Go Vegan Candy Bars

Go Max Go Vegan Candy Bars/Credit: Go Max Go

RATING:YYYYY(5 out of 5 hearts!)

Mmmmm. Candy Bars. I excitedly pre-ordered these Go Max Go vegan candy bars from cosmos vegan shoppe since I don't think I have seen any vegan candy bars around. Sure I've seen dark chocolate bars. But rice milk chocolate shell with peanuts, coconut shavings, caramel, nougat fillings? Nope.

I grew up on Milky Ways and Snickers so I opted to try Twilight and Jokerz. As you would expect, Twlight is a rice milk chocolate shell filled with chocolate nougat and caramel. First bite was amazing. The outer chocolate is great and soft. The nougat is fluffy and sweet. The caramel was a little on the thick side and didn't have the consistency that I remember but it was still really delightful. Now if I were to honestly match this to a milky way, I would say that it would need a little more nougat. However, if I were to just eat this without thinking about a milky way I would be very pleased with the taste.

Jokerz also has a rice milk chocolate shell and is filled with roasted peanuts, chocolate nougat and caramel. Also, amazing! The peanuts added that perfect crunch. Once again, if I were to compare to snickers I would say it could use more peanuts but honestly this bar is perfect as is. I am absolutely happy with my purchase and kind of sad that I can't just stop in any corner store and pick it up. Then again, maybe it's a good thing because I would eat them way too much!

Have you got to try any of the new candy bars by go max go? Had other vegan candy bars? Post in the comments!


Worst day to get vegan sweets in NYC: Monday

Mondays suck. Back to the work week for those who have M – F/9am – 5pm jobs, end of the weekend for all and the next weekend is 5 long, wretched days away. One thing that can really brighten up a case of the Mondays are some sweets! At least, that was the consensus that my friend Mary and I came to this past Monday. So we decided upon tasting the vegan soft-serve ice cream at Kyotofu. We trek our way up there, and bam… it’s closed. Decide to make our way over to Lula’s for a brownie sundae, and bam.. it’s closed on Mondays as well! Since we were already in the East Village, we decided to go to Atlas Café, which is a vegan staple in this neighborhood. They carry one of the largest, if not the largest selection of Vegan Treats in the New York City area. Though it is open on Mondays, the Vegan Treats shipment (the bakery is in Bethelem, PA) for all NYC establishments is on Tuesday! Foiled again. Cake Shop, Atlas, Little Atlas, Teany, Pennylicks, Red Bamboo, Curly’s Vegetarian Lunch and many other vegan friendly restaurants in NYC have Vegan Treats cakes as their only dessert option. Therefore, my recommendation is: let Monday suck, go home and eat the vegan sweets in your cupboard and save your dessert out-ing for Tuesday.


TASTE TEST: Vegan Treats Turtle Brownie & Vegan Treats Tiramisu

Vegan Treats Turtle Brownie and Tiramisu

TURTLE BROWNIE RATING:YYYY(4 out of 5 hearts!)
TIRAMISU RATING:YYY(3 out of 5 hearts!)

This vegan brownie was awesome. My friend (who wanted a brownie) asked which of the vegan treats selection she should get (this was at atlas café) and she recommended the “turtle”. I prefer a dense fudgey brownie and this was just that. It was super chocolately and the pecans and caramel on top were amazing. After my friend finished, she wished there were more, as did I. I haven’t had as good of a vegan brownie from any other bakery.

I don’t see vegan tiramisu around too often, so I was really stoked to try this one from Vegan Treats. The espresso flavor was strong and the “mascarpone” was super creamy and awesome. However, the cake itself lacked a little. I always thought tiramisu had lady fingers on the bottom but it seemed like I was just eating sponge cake. It was definitely enjoyable and since I’ve only had vegan tiramisu once or twice, I’m glad it’s around. I can imagine that tiramisu is kind of tough to make – it’s not just a “replace this here and replace that there” type of thing. However, I think it would have been more impressed if I tasted lady fingers in the consistency.

Have you had vegan tiramisu? Made it yourself? How about vegan treats brownies? Where's your favorite place to get a brownie? Post in the comments!

TASTE TEST: Dolce Vegan Twinkies

Dolce Vegan Twinkies

RATING:YYYY(4 out of 5 hearts!)
Dolce Vegan Bakery is a bakery in Atlanta, GA that makes organic baked goods such as brownie bites, cinnamon buns and TWINKIES! Though they don't have a shop (plans for one to open this summer), their goods are available at a handful of stores in Atlanta and can be ordered online from Cosmos Vegan Shoppe. I ordered mine and it arrived within two days of shipping, though there was a warning about how it should be enjoyed quickly while its still fresh.

So, naturally, I opened them right away. I was really suprised at how much they resembled twinkies! To be honest, I don't really remember what twinkies taste like so I don't know if I can do an honest comparison here. However, it was seriously tasty. The texture was moist and fluffy. The cream filling was great, though I would have liked there to be a little more of it. The cake itself had a great vanilla flavor. I really loved this. The package came with two twinkies and though I only expected to taste one, I immediately ate the second! It was that good.

Have you had twinkies from Dolce Vegan? Or any other products for that matter? Have you had vegan twinkies from another bakery? Post in the comments!


TASTE TEST: Missionary Smooth Espresso Square Chocolate Truffle

Smooth Espresso Square Truffle from Missionary Chocolates (Credit: Missionary Chocolates)

RATING:YYYYY(5 out of 5 hearts!)
Missionary Chocolates makes vegan truffles out of Portland, Oregon. I picked up their Smooth Espresso Square Truffle at Stogo in NYC. Oh manna. This truffle is ridiculous. I love espresso/coffee so of course if I were to try one truffle by this brand it would be the espresso one. The filling is so creamy and smooth. I hate when I buy a truffle and the inside is hard and sticks to my teeth. This was perfect. The outside was a perfect thin shell of dark chocolate. And the top had ground cacao nips which added a little crunch. So delicious. Oh and hello, how many times must I say this - turns out the center is so creamy because it is made with coconut milk, seriously coconut milk is where it's at!

I really have to say I am very impressed with their ability to skip over the whole "this is good for a vegan chocolate" level to the "this is a really good truffle" level. Simply amazing.

Some other truffles they have are spicy cinnamon chipotle, glorious ginger, peanut butter passion and peppermint perfection. Yum, must try them all.


TASTE TEST: Foodswings 'Funfetti cake" and Bella Vegan Shake

"Funfetti Cake" at Food Swings

"FUNFETTI" CAKE RATING:YY (2 out of 5 hearts!)

BELLA VEGAN SHAKE RATING:YYY (3 out of 5 hearts!)

Foodswings is a cute “fast-food” style vegan joint in Williamsburg BK. It used to be owned by fellow Staten-Islanders Freedom & Lee Poerio-Tripodi but a few months back he sold it to the owners of the metal/grind-core bar Lucky 13 (which has vegan White Russians!). I haven’t been in since but I figured I should check it out to see if the dessert options have changed. With the previous owners they had an amazing selection of shakes, a nice vegan candy/ice cream selection and whoopee pies/brownies/cakes supplied by Vegan Treats . I would mainly go for their shakes which were always out of this world. The Bella Vegan was my favorite – vanilla ice cream, cookies and peanut butter.

When I walked in I noticed it from a mile away.... a vegan funfetti cake? WHAT YES! Totally my favorite cake ever and I've never seen it vegan. Man when I was 15 I would bake one funfetti cake a week. Haven't had that in forever!! It looked amazing in the case.

But alas, it wasn't good. Very dry and boring. No flavor what-so-ever. The frosting was pretty rad, sweet and well-whipped. Disappointing altogether though.

Anyway, despite the management change the laundry list of awesome shakes is still available so I had the bella vegan and it was terrific. Lots of peanut butter, super thick and yummy. I would not be opposed to going there only for shakes all the time.

So overall, shake good, cake not so much but I'm hoping that it's because it was stale and old. Which still, shouldn't be sold to customers in that fashion but whatever. I'll try it on a different day of the week and report back.

What do you think of the new FoodSwings? Have you been? What's your favorite shake?


YUMMIEST: Vegan Ice Cream Shop in NYC: Installment 1

Lula's Sweet Apothecary Cake Batter Soft-Serve


PENNYLICKS RATING:Y(1 out of 5 hearts!)

My favorite warm weather treat is most certainly ice cream. And with the warm weather slowly creeping in to New York city, I decided I must locate my favorite spots to get ice cream and divulge to you all. This past weekend I was able to stop by two different places… Lula’s Sweet Apothecary (I know, I know, I already wrote about them) and PennyLicks in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Though both of these places have an “old-school-soda-shop” feel, they are very distinctly different. Lula’s makes their own mostly-nut based ice cream and offers a variety of vegan brownies, sweets and candies that are not widely distributed throughout the city. Pennylick’s serves temptation ice cream from Chicago soy dairy and cakes/cookies/cupcakes etc from Vegan Treats bakery, which is available all throughout nyc. Lula’s is also 100% vegan while Pennylicks has a selection of non-vegan ice creams and baked goods. They also might serve to you in a non-vegan cone if you don’t ask.

So let me get into my two experiences, first I went to Lulas to try their Cake Batter Soft-serve. This was my first time having vegan soft-serve ice cream ever or any soft-serve ice cream In 4 years. I mean, ok, I have had atlas soft-serve but that crap is gross! (I still ate it weekly last summer anyway but let’s not get into that). This actually held it’s ground! My two non-vegan friends couldn’t believe it was vegan… it didn’t melt like crazy. It actually hung out on my cone and looked gorgeous. AND the taste! You know I love cake batter. It was amazing, smooth and creamy. I think getting their soft serve will have to be a weekly ritual. They rotate their flavors but when I was there they had cake batter and chocolate soft-serve. My friends and I sat at the counter and enjoyed our meal while good music played and the other customers ranted and raved about how much they loved their ice cream too (I think they were all non-vegan). Before we ordered we sampled everything, it's almost mandatory to try all the new flavors and the owner welcomes it. As soon as someone walks in, she pulls out the taster spoons! So cute.

The next day, I went to Penny Licks. I love temptation ice cream so I couldn’t wait to get my hands on some. I really wanted the coffee flavor, which I had at the shop when I went last summer. The list of vegan flavors are displayed on the ice cream case which is where you order. There was a couple ordering and blocking the case so I couldn’t see the flavors. I was kind of set on coffee anyway. When I finally got to see and was asked to order, coffee was not listed… I thought maybe it just wasn’t noted so I asked the server just to make sure. She was very rude to me and when I chose a flavor she didn’t even ask me cone or cup or type of cone. She just grabbed a cone and started scooping! I was slightly appalled. When I went to go pay there was a huge sign about how it is rude to be on your cell phone while paying for your ice cream. Meanwhile, I look over and my bitchy server is now chatting on her cell phone while serving a dad and his two little kids! Aw man, it ruined the whole ice cream experience. The ice cream was awesome! I have to say strawberry temptation is pretty amazing and creamy! However, I’m pretty sure I won’t go back there again. I’ll just have to buy temptation and make my own ice cream cones.

Have you been to Lula's or Penny Licks? What were your experiences? Where else should I go to find the yummiest vegan ice cream shop in NYC? Post in the comments!!