This sandwich was pretty good and it made a nice change to get a pre-packed sandwich that wasn't hummus. It was avocado and red pepper tapenade I think. I also nabbed one of the free fizzy drinks from the lounge and a glass (or 2) of prosecco.
Anyway onto the food. For airplane food, it wasn't actually bad. I got gnocchi with a spicy sauce and veggies on it. I like gnocchi, so I was happy. The bread was ok too and they even gave me a little pack of margarine that had the vegan society logo on. I didn't eat the salad, it was just leaves and no dressing. The fruit salad also had devil fruit in it (kiwi) so I picked around it. When will companies figure out something vegan that ISN'T fruit salad for pudding? GAH.
As it's a 7 hour flight, you get fed twice. Second meal was a snack box that had a Nakd bar (yum!) and a little pack of crisps and a mint, which was random.
More avocado, although it was tricky to actually FIND the avo in there, but it was there. Just not very much of it. Tasted ok though.
And then we were in NYC! Our hotel was a brilliant location, the hotel was on 31st & 7th Avenue, which is just over the road pretty much from Madison Square Garden. Loads of stuff to do within walking distance and NY is really easy to navigate by foot anyway because of the grid system.
We left England at 9am UK time and arrived in New York around 11.30 am US time. So we were 5 hours ahead and we decided to try and stay awake as long as possible to make sure we weren't wide awake at 3am.
Then i freaked out a bit about how lifelike the fake shrimp were! I used to hate the texture of prawns when I still ate meat and these were frighteningly similar to what I remember. However, they were great. The whole sandwich was. But we got fries to share too, so I could only eat half of it! (Don't worry, I ate the rest the next day.)
I also picked us up dessert. We got a peanut butter bomb which was the best dessert we ate out there. Fudgy chocolate cake, with smooth fluffy peanut butter mousse on top, coated in chocolate! ARGH, so great.
I also grabbed us a white chocolate pretzel brownie, which we ate for breakfast the next day. It also had some of that peanut butter mousse on top of the brownie and the pretzel was on top. It was awesome.
I also got a coconut bubble tea, as I love bubble tea. I didn't love this though and kind of wished I'd gone for a fruity one, as this was WAY too sweet for me.
Later that day, after some sight-seeing, we wondered into Times Square. I got super excited about Sephora....
It was delicious, the coconut milk made it really creamy and it wasn't too spicy. I only wish it was a bit bigger haha.
Erm yeah, moving on.
Saturday night was mine and Simon's 1 year anniversary. We went for a lovely fancy dinner at Blossom Chelsea, which I booked months ago. It was about a 20-25 minute walk from our hotel. Unfortunately I don't have pictures of the food as it was just way too dark in there to take them.
Here's a link to the menu though. I had the Seitan in Port Wine Sauce, which weirdly doesn't seem to be on the online menu and I don't think it was a special! The mash won me over. It was brilliant; the sauce was rich and delicious, the seitan was a great texture and the mash was perfect.
Simon had the Rigatoni in Porcini Cream. Aside from it having broccoli in, which he doesn't like/can't eat, he loved it. I had a taste and it was really delicious! We also got a side of truffle mash which I would have happily rolled around it - so tasty.
After our romantic dinner, we had planned to go up to the top of the Empire State Building, to see the view at night (well the 86th floor Observation Deck anyway).
About 10 seconds after I took that picture, Simon pulled out a ring and asked me to marry him! I just about managed to splutter yes before bursting into tears!
We took a couple of (terrible) selfies, before having to go inside as it was SO freezing and windy up there.
After leaving the Empire State building, we ran into the Duane Reade drugs next door, as we had seen peanut chews in there earlier in the day. We grabbed a bag and some toffee apple twizzlers* for later snacks. (*so yummy!)
After that we jumped in a cab to the hotel to call our families, who were waiting up as they knew the call was coming! At 3am the nutters.
I was the only one with absolutely no clue this was going to happen! Simon had been planning it since June and had sworn everyone to secrecy.
The next morning, we headed off to find Simon his dreamt of New York Diner breakfast. It was a tiny place with counter space only and had a line out the door so we decided to give it a miss (we did end up going back there though on our last morning). However, we then spotted next door a little place called the Perpetuum Cafe that had a sign saying they also sold vegan food! So we went in.
The guy saw my hat and said that it was cute and if I ordered a latte, he'd draw it for me! haha. So here's the latte:
I can't find a website for these guys but they're located next to Johny's Luncheonette (the place we were originally looking for) on W. 25th Street between 6th & 7th avenues.
That night, we were exhausted after a day of sightseeing and freezing our arses off on the Liberty Ferry / Grey Line Bus. So we got take out. Again, back to V Life for me, Burgers for Simon.
This time, I went for Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich. There was a choice of mild or spicy sauce, I went spicy. It was perfect. My picture doesn't do it justice but this one was my favourite of the 3 (yep there's another to come!) sandwiches that I got at this place.
I also grabbed us a brownie to share, which we actually didn't eat until we got home and it was still amazing!
For Monday's breakfast, we stopped Fresh & Co. They have a bunch of these in Manhattan and they're supposed to be a bit of a healthier option for fast food. I got the Pueblo Vegan Grilled Cheese Sandwich, which is a tonne of avocado, black bean/sweetcorn salsa and daiya cheese. It was pretty good, I liked the bread. They do quite a few vegan options (MENU). Simon was underwhelmed with his omelet though and the staff were SO miserable. Every one of them. So we decided not to bother going back there.
After breakfast we decided to hop on the subway to the Museum of Natural History. After a walk around, we took a stroll across Central Park to go to The Metropolitan Museum of Art (the Met). It was the most beautiful day and it was fun to walk through the park and see some squirrels.
One of my favourite things we saw was this sculpture of Alice in Wonderland. My favourite cartoon as a kid!
After the Met, we did some more Happy Cowin' and discovered that Candle Cafe (East Side) was not too far away, it was a bit of a walk but doable. I was really excited to try this place, as it was originally where I suggested for our anniversary dinner, before I discovered Blossom was closer. (MENU)
I picked a pasta dish off the specials menu. It had spinach, peas, carrots and mushrooms in a cashew cream sauce. It was lovely. I thought the carrots were a bit of an odd addition, that I probably would leave out, but they were still good.
For dessert I picked the peanut butter/chocolate cake. It was insanely dense and fudgy. It was amazing, but too rich for me to finish it all!
On our last night in NY, I was still wanting proper NY pizza! So we hopped on the subway again and went off to Brooklyn to find Vinnie's Pizzeria (the Williamsburg location), which was a way shorter journey than I thought it'd be.
Simon had a non-vegan pizza so I didn't take a pic but he said it's the best pizza he's ever had and that all other pizza is now ruined for him. He said the mozzarella they used was amazing and I think even if he hadn't liked New York, he'd be willing to go back with me just to make a trip to Vinnie's haha.
After that, jumped back on the subway all the way back to Rockerfeller Plaza and took a trip up to the 'Top of the Rock'. This view is even better than the Empire State and way less windy too. And look, there's the Empire State Building... I wanted a picture of it looking all pretty as that's where we got engaged!
For lunch, we grabbed one last takeout from my fave place - V Life. I got the Paradise Protein. She asked me which sauce I wanted and I didn't really hear properly and didn't get any. Durr, either way it was still good, dunked in a bit of ketchup. It had mock chicken and beef or rib style pieces in and what I think is Daiya cheese. I love their bread too.
Then it was time to leave. We paid a bit extra to get comfort plus seats on our Delta Flight, with emergency exit seats for extra legroom. So glad we did as it was WAY better. Where they did fall down though was the food.
Sad airline food! They brought mine over and said 'vegetarian?', I said 'vegan?'. They said 'vegetarian?', I said 'vegan!?'. She said 'DID YOU ORDER A VEGETARIAN MEAL??' I said no, I ordered a vegan meal. She said yes here you go and gave me this tray of sadness.
Then about an hour before landing was snackbox time. Um, Airline Snack Box Fail!! It wasn't even hidden honey, it's right there on the front of the bar, Delta!! That banana too, tiny and still green, barf! And frozen orange juice. I'll pass thanks.
On the last morning before we flew home, we also made a stop to Whole Foods, which was a block or two from our hotel, so I could stock up on American vegan goodness.
I picked up Tofurky Kielbasa and Andouille sausages, Italian Deli & Bologna style slices, daiya mozz, gimme lean sausage and some tofutti cream cheese (I also took home some awesome bagels from the bakery department).
Also the sweet stuff, some from Whole Foods, some from Duane Reed: Pumpkin Spice and Winter Oreos, Sour Patch Kids (UK ones are not vegan), peanut chews, 2 types of cocomels and 3 types of nut butter cups, which I'm super excited about.
So there it is, my trip to NY! It was brilliant, emotional and so much fun. I came home with a shitload of makeup, food, probably a half stone of excess body weight and a fiance!
Best trip ever.
ps: if you're still awake/reading, thank you! :)