Let’s take a step back. I hopped a plane from Berlin, Germany, to JFK on July 3rd. In America for three months doing a cross-country roadtrip to LA and back. After my HORRIBLE experience with American Airlines my last trip, I decided to take AirBerlin this time. Ordered the vegan meal, which you can see below, not bad! I even got a little vegan spread.
Vegan meal on AirBerlin flight, stuffed potato with some type of flavored quinoa if I remember correctly, steamed broccoli and mushrooms. It was delish! Quinoa on a plane?! I also got a salad, fruit salad, water and rice cakes with some vegan spread that was okay. It felt pretty healthy. I got another vegan meal later that was kind of the same, except the main part was a salad and a different vegan spread.For those of you who don’t read WAY back on my blog, I’m originally from Long Island, NY, so my first stop was back there for several days to visit my family and this little feathered cutie pie. This is my bird Ricotta, I woke up freakishly early because of jetlag and Ricotta was very cooperative for a photo shoot because she was still half asleep, but clutching some ball of paper in her beak. Ricotta is an umbrella cockatoo and we’ve had her since I was in 5th grade. She’s a teenager now and has learned to projectile poop and throw seeds out of the cage while giving us dirty looks recently, but she’s still adorable.Anyway, I guess I should talk about food now. I’ve never done a post on Long Island before. Long Island is the type of place with pretty much no fully vegan establishments, but plenty of yummy vegan options here and there of the #makingitwork variety.
So, of course I had to re-acquaint myself with American Mexican food immediately. We went to Moe’s Southwest Grill in Rocky Point, NY on Long Island in the space of a former Taco Bell. Upgrade! It’s kinda like Chipotle, they had a tofu option, guac and fresh chips. Really easy to make something vegan and delicous. This was the Taco Salad with beans, guac, lots of salsa and it came with chips too. They had a really fancy soda machine. I was also re-acquainted with American sizes here. A small soda cup as big as my face, mostly. Delicious though! This is a chain, so you can find it around. I even saw one at a highway rest stop between NYC and Connecticut on I-95. Next was Hana Japanese Restaurant in Port Jefferson Station, NY. After all of my sushi horror stories in Berlin, where I’ve gotten rock hard disgusting avocado multiple times in my sushi, American sushi is a big tie up in the #1 spot on my to-eat list. Here I got an avocado roll, sweet potato tempura roll and the green roll, which if I remember correctly was vegetable tempura sushi with a soy wrapper. It was all awesome.Flashback, my whole family went on Weight Watchers when I was in high school and we would often frequent TCBY in my pre-vegan days during this time, so it’s sort of a childhood memory of sorts. I’ve been reading about the new vegan flavors from afar from Germany, but had to check them out for myself. I arrived and they had none in the machines at the Mount Sinai location, but the owner was super nice and told me he had some in the freezer he had made specifically for another customer who had requested dairy-free options. He let me put toppings on it so it was the same experience. I got carob chips, which I confimed contained no dairy and crushed oreos. Even though this is not frozen yogurt, it was a good option. Not the best ice cream of my life, but not bad. This was coconut flavor made with Silk soymilk. Lesson-learned, it pays to ask!
So right about now I’m realizing I sucked at taking pictures, but I want to tell you a couple of my favorite Long Island places for vegan food/hippy havens I used to survive on preppy Long Island growing up.
Tiger Lily Cafe – Alternative Vegetarian Eatery- Port Jefferson
Tiger Lily is a little super vegan-friendly, nice atmosphere oasis in Port Jefferson. They also have meat, bu the vegan options are clearly labeled, they have vegan baked goods and an AMAZING chai frappe you can get with soymilk (most of the mix flavors are vegan). This place is the only way I survived life on Long Island in high school. I used to go here ALL the time and always swing by when I’m back.
Witches Brew - West Hempstead
On the other side of Long Island, this place is a trip and one of my other favorite places in high school. We used to drive and hour and a half to go there (I grew up in the suburbs, okay?!). I don’t make it there much anymore as I live on the other side of the island, but it still has a special place in my heart. They have tons, TONS of different coffee and tea options, make-your-own Italian sodas, lots of interesting things. It’s filled with couches and the decor is crazy, just my style. They used to have a vegan brownie sunday that I loved.
Of course, there is also Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, etc. In East Setauket there is also an only-Long-Island-chain big natural foods supermarket called Wild By Nature that’s been there for ages (other locations on website).
Apparently there is also a vegan bakery on Long Island now, how things change! Sweet Lick Vegan Bakery in Williston Park, NY.
Meet other vegans:
Meetup.com seems to be the most active social networking community to meet new people on Long Island, try the Vegan Long Island group. There’s also a Long Island Couchsurfing page that hosts some events.
I’m not so good with places to stay on the island since I grew up there, but if you have good recommendations post in the comments and I’ll add them! Of course, there is always AirBnB.