For as long as I can remember I’ve always looked up to my older cousin Mia. She’s always been beautiful, spunky and walked to the beat of her own drum. Even though I was so much younger than her (we’re about 7 years apart) she always made me feel like a “big girl.” Because of this I’ve always had a special place in my heart for Mia-no matter how crazy or ridiculous something may seem to me, if Mia approves it, I will at least try it.
This past summer our family hosted a HUGE get together/cookout and Mia came all the way to Ohio from NYC to enjoy the festivities. While here she made salsa, green salsa and guacamole. It was to die for! She also made chicken-flavored taco’s with all of the fixings. The “chicken” was actually seitan. Seitan is gluten (the material that is found in breads-gluten holds the wheat together so that the bread is one, solid mass) and comes in different flavors and consistencies. Mia had flavored the seitan in such a way that the texture and taste mimicked that of chicken and I was able to pretend I was eating legitimate meat. I was so impressed! Heck, I still am!
And this is how/why I found myself eating at a 100% vegan/organic restaurant in Manhattan earlier this month. Mia is a manager at Angelica’s Kitchen, a restaurant that prides itself on serving food that has not been altered by heat or cold, is 100% natural and is not produced or made from animals (this includes dairy). It all sounds so impossible to me-I love a juicy steak that’s prepared to a medium temperature and relish ice cubes in my water and pop. All I had to do was reflect back on the previous summer and the amazing ways that Mia was able to manipulate natural food and I had no problem walking into her place of business.
As soon as I got there Mia shared a table with myself (and Ashley) and she geared us toward the Peach Kanten Parfait, a chocolate sundae and a spelt fig newton. To drink I enjoyed a glass of lemonade. The first thing that caught me off guard is the fact that the entire restaurant has NO ice. None. If you get a glass of water, you will receive a cool glass of water. Mia says this is because ice shocks our bodies. They are regularly at a temperature of 98 degrees and when you drink something that cold, your body is shocked and has to work hard to warm it up.
Mia encouraged me to get the Peach Kanten Parfait and Ashley to get the chocolate sundae. When asked to describe the kanten, Mia informed me kanten is seaweed but it tastes like applesauce. The parfait is layered with crème, peach-flavored kanten, and this crumbly stuff that tasted like sweet granola. I fell in love with it! While I wasn’t able to taste the peach (Ashley was) it definitely tasted like applesauce mixed with white cream with a kick of that granola/crunchy stuff. Ashley’s sundae was a bit too bitter for me-I tasted a lot of the cocoa and not enough sugary, sweetness. Lastly, I’m not a fan of fig so…
Long story short, I definitely enjoyed my little self at Angelica’s Kitchen. While the food was great, the best part of the experience was seeing Mia and having her there to babysit me every step of the way. She answered any and all questions I had and was able to guide my food choices based on what I enjoy most within the non-organic side of things lol. I definitely encourage you all to give it a try if for nothing more than just the experience. And who knows, maybe you’ll become a vegetarian (or vegan) yourself!