Whew, what a trip! I am wiped out. Well, let’s start at the beginning – Albany John and I left for NYC to celebrate Chinese New Year on Saturday night. We made it into Woodside and then drove around for about 20 minutes looking for some free street parking. Managed to find it at 52nd street, which also happens to be one of the 7 line’s stops. I took a picture to remind me when I had to be back to move my car on Monday.
They even packed little hot sauce containers. Albany John liked the smoky red hot sauce, while I liked the milder tomatillo sauce better. Either way, I have got to try everything else at the taco truck the next time I can.
We even got some pickled radishes – pickley goodness.
My little sister is a strict vegan and has been planning on going raw. She’s also gluten-free, sugar-free, and caffeine-free. While I don’t think raw is necessarily the most viable diet at times for the northeast, I still wanted to give her a meal to eat with everyone at Chinese New Year dinner since she’d mentioned before about how it was nice to be social, but kind of bummed that she wouldn’t consume anything.
So I searched on teh intarwebs and found a few viable restaurants that served raw food. I mean, it’s freaking New York City. They’ve got just about everything you can think of to eat there. A lot of places were closed on Sundays, yipes! And then I found One Lucky Duck – a smaller offshoot of Pure Food & Wine that served only raw food. And a good amount were also only open past 5 pm. But One Lucky Duck was open in the morning, so we hopped off the 6 train before we got to Chinatown and stopped in.
It’s small. Like, REALLY small. Since I’d already looked over the menus ad nauseum online, I knew what I wanted to order. I figured I’d order her two entrees since the serving sizes looked really small.
This was kind of harder than I’d thought, or maybe easier, depending on how you looked at it. I could really only order her two entrees anyway, since there were only two that were gluten-free on their menu. I’m just saying, if you’re vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free, and stimulant-free, it’s really hard to find something to eat. My sister was also thinking of going nut-free, so I kept calling and asking her what her restrictions were all last week to double check, but she’d never get back to me, so I crossed my fingers and and ordered the lasagna, which had nut pestos in it.
She’s yelled at me in the past when I’ve asked her what her restrictions are and why. I’m just always curious about food and things I don’t understand, like self-imposed restrictions, but for some reason she always takes it negatively after I’d ask some cursory questions and then start screaming at me about being some expletive for not supporting her lifestyle. She’s mellowed out a little bit, but I was nervous that I’d screwed up again somehow.
I could tell this would be a good restaurant – the store was rife with hipsters. Unfortunately I wasn’t wearing a hat, multi-purpose bag, and looked for the most part Squeaky-Clean and polished, so I stuck out like a sore thumb. I am sure the stilletos didn’t help either.
It’s a nice little space, but wow, is it ever tiny. Still, the small space helped make it seem homey, and you got close to your neighbors.
Food in bag, we hopped back on the subway and made it to Chinatown. It was a complete mad house of people, bang snaps, and confetti poppers.
It was mostly guacamole (a whole LOT of guacamole. So I guess even tho it’s small, it’s still filling) placed in raw taco ‘shells’ that were made of sundried tomato. I liked the guac, but the shells reminded me of a savory fruit leather. The cashew ‘sour cream’ was awesome! It had the exact texture of sour cream, and while I wouldn’t confuse the flavor of the real stuff and raw stuff any time soon, I thought this was a really impressive alternative.
We went to Mellie’s in Flushing for Chinese New Year Dinner – it’s right on Northern Ave and also has a tea bar in the front. Cute. We were the first ones in, and had reservations, and for some reason they sat us at what might have been one of the crappier tables. It was way in the corner, had folding chairs, and our lazy susan had dish washer soap stains on it (you can see it a little above, next to the spilled tea).
Started off dinner with the jellyfish + cold cuts appetizer. The jellyfish was seasoned well, and these were some of the best cold cuts I’ve eaten. They were very moist – not tough and chewy or anything.
Shrimp and snowpeas. The large shrimp pleasingly popped in my mouth, but didn’t really have much flavor. The white sauce was a little thick on the cornstarch making it gloppy, slippery, and not very flavorful. I thought it could have used some salt. A Chinese dish needing SALT.
Fried tofu stuffed with shrimp. I really liked these. Super-soft tofu with a nice crispy edge and a shrimp on top. Yum. Sauce it with the stuff in the back and you’re good to go.