7/25/2012

one shot coffee

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We've been craving One Shot Coffee, a coffee shop/brunch extraordinaire, one tweet at a time: "Enjoying edamame hummus, tofu, house-pickled veggies, cabbage & sweet chili sauce wrap," blackberry scone shots, and talks about their specialty "Batman Chai," just to name a few. Don't even get me started on the 140-character description of their Cannoli Pancakes. YOWZA.


After one-too-many moody Instagram-s of fresh-baked lemon poppyseed loaf or joe on ice, we decided that a trip to One Shot Coffee was long overdue. Located in the city of bro love, at 217 West George street on the corner of North American in a self-described "awesome, three-story row home."

If location was the only thing they had going for them, One Shot would still be one badass café. Spacious yet cozy, One Shot has tons of table space, quirky-cute decor, and of course: AWESOME COFFEE AND FOOD. I think that's what we call a triple-threat of goodness.


My first trip to One Shot was to visit an old friend from college (perrrfect location for such a thing), and the second time, approximately one week later, was with my cute Colin for a Sunday brunch. (Brunch is served 'til 5PM, people. They so get me.) Two trips, maybe, but I was suckered in to the same dish twice (even though the Avocado Melt winked at me): La Quiche! Fresh tomato, zucchini, garlic greens, and goat cheese served with a small side salad with lemon vinaigrette. Yum and yum.



Since girls always get the quiche, as we were accurately informed by the guy who brought us our plates, guys must always get the oatmeal: cute Colin's breakfast of choice, steel-cut oats simmered with soy milk and a side of strawberry compote. Also, another shot of my repeat dish, with different greens, looking and tasting lovely.



And, since One Shot is in fact a coffee shop, can't forget our drinks of choice: for Colin, a black coffee and a single espresso shot ("so creamy"), probably the best way to get a real taste of a shop's particular roast, and for me, a perfectly foamy soy au lait.



Overall, a grand success. And with their adorable Wi-Fi password ("trythepancakes") and it's subtle power of suggestion, we'll be back and we will.

Oh, and fresh peach and blueberry coffee cake for the drive home? I think, YES.



7/23/2012

one lovely avocado

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It's pretty hard to beat the inherent beauty of nature. We might add our own touch here and there, craft things, recreate colors, and even base some of our most functional designs after what we find out in the wild world.

Still, you just can't top those perfect shades of yellow-green and that decadently creamy taste. Just pass me a spoon!


7/18/2012

sprig and vine, take three

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I know, I know: WHAT, Sprig and Vine AGAIN?

First things first, this awesome, tiny, local menu changes almost every day, from specials, to soups, to always seasonable vegetables (and fruits!), and: it's our celebratory restaurant of choice! Just fancy enough to make it feel like a party, and not too pricey where we feel a little broke afterwards, Sprig and Vine has become our go-to place for happy occasions.


What to celebrate this time, you ask? Well! New jobs, new apartments, newness and change all around! All things to be excited about and toasted to via local, vegan cuisine!

Cute Colin, my cute dining partner.

I do have to say, this trip to Sprig and Vine was among one of my favorites. Despite two other previous posts, we have been by S&V many times in the past, including Sunday brunch. It is always, always more than good, but this time was truly exceptional.

Their portions seem to have grown a bit in size since they began, so we went with only one appetizer and one salad to share this time, rather than two each. Besides, you know what that means: more room for dessert later!



We began our meal with pickled local vegetables: wild ramp, kohlrabi (a German turnip variety), fennel (THE BEST), radish, cabbage, and carrot. A-MA-ZING. While you talk me into pickled anything, this homemade version was perfection: just enough sweet, just enough tang, all while retaining that perfect raw-veggie crunch.

Next came our salad: grilled (local!) corn and (local!) blueberries, with friseé, bibb lettuce, and avocado. This super unexpected combination was so fantastic: a little hint of sweet, the creaminess of the avocado, and the delicate lettuce combination all made for a more than perfect salad.



Ah, main course time. Usually by now, if we'd both gotten our own salad and own appetizer, I'd be feeling pretty damn full. For the lightness of the ingredients, S&V never leaves us feeling hungry. This time, however, we were more than ready for our entrées to arrive. Cute Colin opted for Red Curry Polenta: two coconut milk-lime leaf polenta cakes, English peas, asparagus, Thai basil, grilled lime, peanuts, and scallions. This dish says cute Colin all over it! Crazy flavors, Asian accents, little bit of heat, all things this boy of mine enjoys. I went with the Hand-cut Carrot Pappardelle: OH MY HEAVENS. These wide, flat noodles had that glorious taste of homemade pasta, all with a subtle sweetness (and orangey color!) from the local carrots. This, paired with asparagus, roasted carrots (from purple, to yellow, to orange again!), carrot-almond pesto, and roasted black olives giving the dish a subtle hint of salt. So good! And I have to say, due to sometimes delicate ingredients or methods, Sprig and Vine dishes aren't always better the next day. This pasta dish, however, was the perfect leftovers dinner the following evening.


And, as almost always, we went with one of our favorite sides: Kennebec Potato Wedges. You just can't beat that grain mustard aíoli.

Feeling almost full at this point, we stuck with the plan to order dessert. (Seriously, even if you think you aren't going to, once they bring the dessert menu by, you're done for. There's no way you aren't having something, even if you're just taking the chocolate mousse pie to go.)


So dessert begins with coffee, of course, courtesy of Small World Coffee in Princeton. Something about the combination of Small World's roast (seriously, none better that I've ever tried) and soy creamer: deliciousness!


Dessert, dessert, dessert. I'm not even sure how to describe dessert. Amazing doesn't seem good enough, nor does sublime, divine, perfection, etc. Cute Colin opted for PB & J French Toast, an awesome standby that is also available on their brunch menu. Perfectly pan-toasted baguette, peanut butter powder (weird and good?!), local berries, and red wine caramel sauce.


I went with Sweet Cherry Upside Down Cake. A seasonal, local spin on the traditional pineapple, this cake was sincerely one of the best I've ever had, vegan or otherwise. The thing about vegan desserts is you can usually tell (though not necessarily in a bad way!) that it's vegan. This cake, however, had me 100% fooled, the vanilla bean ice cream and black-pepper-orange agave being the perfect flavor accents to the tart sweetness of the cherries.


Well, there you have it! Another celebratory dinner done right! And, a lovely couple inquiring as to why I brought a camera to dinner? Though I already (and happily!) told them about Green Girl Eats, now here's the proof of our truly fantastic meal!


7/12/2012

blueberry pickin'

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Ah, yes. More on the fresh summer produce from New Jersey farms!

This time, we took a trip to Emery's Berry Farm in New Egypt, New Jersey. Known for their organic blueberry crop, and with the extra warm weather bringing picking season a little early this year, we wanted to be sure to get out there before all of those beautiful blueberries were gone until next summer!

While the farm stand is open daily from 9-6, picking hours are only from 9-4. (We made this mistake on our first attempted visit! We did, however, score six blueberry donuts and one ah-may-zing "Trifecta" pie: blueberries, cherries, and peaches, HELLO. Still a winning trip.) Still, the best thing to do would be arrive first thing: that summer heat is no joke!


Tough rule, but it makes sense: I for one could stand around eating blueberries all DAY LONG!



Not sure if there's any hard and fast rule regarding it, but my picking experience leads me to the following: the bigger and bluer, the better. Pretty obvious, right? Some of these berries bordered on deep purple, nearly the shade of ripe blackberries: SUPER sweet!


Cute Colin, my adorable picking partner, and sweetie-pie sport, endured nearly thirty minutes of blazing hot sun while we gathered organic berries, perfect for breakfast, dessert, or a healthy sweet snack!


For one hot July afternoon, I think we did alright! We tried to split our bounty evenly, though the truth is not much of my half made it home! Too, too good.




7/06/2012

no.7 sub's "broccoli"

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Let me tell you, working in New York City definitely has its foodie perks. For one thing, you'll never get a better bagel than when you're in Manhattan. There's a slew of amazing coffee shops to pick from, and no, I'm not talking about you-know-who that seems to be on every corner of every avenue. (Skip the siren and swing by Stumptown; you won't be sorry!)

When it comes to that time of day when you're ready to take a break from your desk, wander around in the summer sunshine (hot hot heat!), and find the food your stomach seems to be suddenly demanding, look no further than my new lunch-break Mecca: No.7 Sub.


This NYC sub shop has three locations: Greenpoint, Ace Hotel, The Plaza. With fresh bread for their sandwiches coming daily from Caputo Bakery in Brooklyn, all that's left is for these guys to add their magical combinations. For me, I had to go for the Broccoli.

Broccoli? On a sandwich?

I know. I thought that, too. That was before I had a bite of this killer, nonsense combination: broccoli, lychee muchim, ricotta salata, and pine nuts.


This was literally the best thing I've ever had in my life. And I texted a slew of my vegetarian friends and told them I found my favorite food. They all think I'm a little nuts, but that's just because they haven't tried it yet. Also? Props to No.7 for having a pretty hefty variety of veggie options. For such a small menu, they don't limit us to just one sandwich choice. There's the Broccoli, Zucchini Parm (heard good things about that one there), Cheese (cherry tomatoes, corn, green olives, scallions, HELLO?) and Mongolian Tofu. Plus they've had other crazy choices on past menus like Roasted Cauliflower and Brussels Sprouts. Dude.


No.7 Sub has a deceptively simple strategy that keeps their customers coming back for me. Tyler Kord, both chef and partnered-owner of No.7, describes their combinations: "Each one hits the standard ingredients categories; they just seem weird. It's like salty-sweet-sour-crunchy."

Yup. The only one he forgot is awesome.

7/01/2012

some crazy good salads

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Just some leftovers from the Whole Earth Center take-out section, an adorable little local grocery store that specializes in fresh, organic produce, supporting local businesses (hello, Bent Spoon in the freezer section), and healthy-yet-yummy dishes that can be picked up for the perfect summer lunch: slaw with red cabbage, sesame seeds, bell pepper, scallions, and almonds with a lentil, amaranth and cilantro salad.