Friday, April 24, 2009

Oh my god. OH MY GOD.

Freddie and Pam guard that Coconut Chai with their lives.

I have just had an experience that bordered on religious, y'all.  

Picture it - I was on my way back from registering for Sri Dharma Mittra's Maha Celebration (featuring the kirtan of Krishna Das) when I decided to stop in and see what the story was with this raw vegan place on 23rd Street - Bonobo's.

Now, I've always figured this place would be awesome since it was named after the only animals (aside from ourselves) who are recreationally bisexual. I mean, these bonobos - if it's got a hole... well, you get the picture. They're frisky animals, those bonobos. (Homosexuality has been documented in TONS of species of animals, basically throwing all of these ignorant "Christians'" blatherings about Gays As Satan's Army On Earth out the window. Honestly, is there a place in Hell reserved for lonely cows who decide to lap a box or two in their segregated pastures? I doubt it very highly.)

Meanwhile, this Bonobo's cafe. I had heard mixed reviews - my friends had gone there, two of whom raved about it. Another friend said it was only "okay." But the other two said she had no basis for an argument, since she had eschewed the made-on-the-spot items for some pre-packaged nonsense that had been sitting in a plastic container for who-knows-how-long.

I didn't have time to fool around with the food. I'm sure I'll go back there later to sample it, especially since I noticed that they feature a marinated raw kale salad. And we all know how much I loves me some marinated raw kale. No, I didn't sample anything other than the... 

coconut chai. 

Oh. My. God. Words cannot describe this stuff. I mean, it's like sipping something that was whipped up in heaven and brought gently down to earth on a pillowy cloud. Sweet, creamy, just absolutely fantastic. You must - and I mean, MUST - run screaming to this place and get one of these immediately. They're right there by the door in the refrigerated compartment. You don't even have to wait! 

So go get one!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day 2009.

It's Earth Day, so lay off the fucking ham for a change.  

Friday, April 17, 2009

You're Just What I Needed.

Off the motherfucking hook, y'all.

I'm going to admit it - I have an addictive personality. When it comes to desserts, once I start - I just can't stop. I cram desserts down with such force and fervor and intensity that one would think my life depended on it.  

So the very last thing I needed was a purveyor of homemade vegan non-dairy frozen desserts to open in New York City. What I needed even less was TWO purveyors of homemade vegan non-dairy frozen desserts to open in New York City. Yet, that is exactly what I got.

Today I met my friend Jating after work for our Hoagie-a-thon at Sacred Chow. Now, if you haven't been there I would suggest - no, I DEMAND - that you drop whatever you're doing and run screaming for their door and order the following items: 1) dijon-marinated raw kale, 2) the black olive seitan hero. Never in your life will you experience anything as close to divine as those two food items. Well, except for what I'm about to describe to you right now.

So, after we were finished with our meal, I said to Jating, I said, "Hey, howzabout we go and try one of those two new vegan non-dairy frozen dessert purveyors we've got up in here?" because we've been talking about doing that for the past several weeks. She agreed, and off we went. We never expected what happened, though - we witnessed our lives changing.

Stogo. It's at 159 2nd Ave (entrance is around the corner - across from the poetry church). Their atmosphere was a bit stale, like one of those obnoxious frozen yogurt kiosks that is littering our city these days - but who gives a fuck about that. What mattered was the tubs of frozen goo they had behind their counter.

Flavors like "Toasted Almond Joy," "Red Velvet," "Salted Caramel Pecan," "Pina Colada," and "Bananas Foster" were glaring out at us, wooing us with their glistening goodness, whispering into our ears, "Eat me! I am delicious!"

I got "Toasted Almond Joy" and "Salted Caramel Pecan" crammed into a cup. Jating got the "Pina Colada." Let me tell you what, y'all. This shit was SO FUCKING GOOD I can't even begin to do it justice. SO. Fucking. GOOD. Plus, it had no discernible aftertaste at all, as some hippie ice cream substitutes do, nor did it have a weird texture. It was the real deal and it made me want to cry.

After that, we decided to walk to the new Kim's Music and Video location on First Avenue (St. Mark's is too highbrow now, if you can believe that shit. Where once were junkies and hobos there now are yuppies and trust fund cunts. So boring.) After Kim's, we decided just to be total fucking hogs (well, I did, anyway. Jating had no more ice cream) and went to new purveyor of non-dairy frozen desserts number two, Lula's Sweet Apothecary.

Lula's is at 519 East Sixth Street between A and B in the East Village. Let me tell you what - the people who work there are just as cute as a button, and the ambience is ciento por ciento better than Stogo's. Olde Fashioned apothecary signs line the walls, antique bottles and kitchenware complement the decor, giving a sense of time warp. It's like a hippie version of Farrell's. And we all know how much I like Farrell's!

I had the mint chocolate cookie "ice cream." Off the fucking hook. Not too sweet, and divine. Homemade, I might add. Jating got an apple seltzer, and the best part - they use actual seltzer bottles. Glass ones, with dispensers. They get them from one of the last people in the WORLD to supply this shit, and it's super cool to watch them lug those things out and spray seltzer into a glass.

A vegan rampage, is what it was, and it was an awesome one. I highly recommend both purveyors of frozen non-dairy desserts. Get some - it's almost summer!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Thee Kombucha Gods Have Answered Our Prayers, Part 4.

It's Superfruits, hands-down, y'all, as the winner of the New Flavors From GT's Taste Test 2009-a-thon.

What's to say about Superfruits - well, let's start by saying that if you like Trilogy (my other personal favorite flavor from GT's) then you will LOVE Superfruits. It's tart, fruity, acidic, carbonated, and ciento por ciento off the god damn hook, y'all. 

What makes this elixir so amazingly good? Well, yumberry juice, goji berry juice and camu camu juice, for starters.  Now, if you're like me, you had never heard of yumberries or camu camu before, so let's take a moment to get acquainted with these little numbers - what do you say.
  • YUMBERRY: Myrica rubra, also called yangmei (Chinese: 杨梅), yamamomo (Japanese: yamamomo; kanji: 山桃; katakana: ヤマモモ), Chinese Bayberry, Japanese Bayberry, Red Bayberry, or Chinese strawberry tree (and often mistranslated from Chinese as arbutus) is a subtropical tree grown for its sweet, crimson to dark purple-red, edible fruit. It is native to eastern Asia, mainly in China, where it has been grown for at least 2000 years, and probably also Japan and Southeast Asia as well. Chinese cultivation is concentrated south of the Yangtze River, where it is of considerable economic importance. In Japan, it is the prefectural flower of Kōchi and the prefectural tree of Tokushima. The plant's name appears in many old Japanese poems.
  • CAMU CAMU: Myrciaria dubia, commonly known as Camu Camu, CamuCamu, Cacari, and Camocamo, is a small (approx. 3-5 m tall) bushy river side tree from the Amazon Rainforest vegetation in Peru and Brazil, which bears a red/purple cherry like fruit. Its small flowers have waxy white petals and sweet smelling aroma. It has bushy feathery foliage. The evergreen, opposite leaves are lanceolate to elliptic. Individual leaves are 3 - 20 cm in length and 1 - 2 cm wide.
You learn something new every day. Whatever the hell they crammed into this, I can tell you this much - the shit is good. Go get you some, hear?

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Thee Kombucha Gods Have Answered Our Prayers, Part 3.

Botanic No. 7 - GT's Kombucha's MARVELOUS new concoction that contains hibiscus, orange peel, chamomile, and ginger - gets a BIG FAT THUMBS UP from Marky Mae Brown, y'all. Out of the new flavors, this one is the best he's sampled to date.

But beware, Superfruits has yet to be tasted, and we all bet that one is going to be off the chain in a very big way.

Thee Kombucha Gods Have Answered Our Prayers, Part 2.

Marky Mae is now happily sampling Botanic No. 9 - a spritely, fresh concoction containing bilberry, honeysuckle and red clover. 

While the taste is definitely pleasant, there is nothing that makes this stand out from any other variety of kombucha. So, not hyper-exciting, but it's not akin to drinking unflushed toilet. 

Two more to go, y'all, and then everything's back to normal in Kombuchaland.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Thee Kombucha Gods Have Answered Our Prayers.

Well look who it is - it's that alien-fighting robot and Ye Olde Pompous Vegan's special friend Jet Jaguar! He's always looking for new treats to share with us over here at YOPV, and he's just uncovered some amazing new beverages shot straight down from Planet X for us to enjoy! 

Everyone knows that Marky Mae is an ardent fan of kombucha. He makes his own, and he guzzles the shit as if his life depended on it. So when Jet Jaguar revealed the news that there were four - yes, four - new flavors of kombucha from those geniuses at GT's Kombucha way out yonder in Beverly Hills - why, Marky Mae dropped everything and went on a mission to find those new elixirs!

A bit of background on kombucha for those of you who aren't familiar with its wonders (from GT's website):
Kombucha is alternately known as a Chinese tea, a plant, or a mushroom. But it's not really any of these. It's a living culture of beneficial microorganisms, and in Kombucha's case, the whole is infinitely greater than the sum of its parts! Our Kombucha is delicately cultured - some liken it to fermentation - for 30 days. During this period, essential nutrients form like active enzymes, viable probiotics, amino acids, antioxidants and polyphenols. All of these combine to create an elixir that immediately works with the body to restore balance and vitality. Kombucha has been used for hundreds of years throughout the world as a daily health tonic. The culture resembles a light brown, tough, gelatinous disk and because it's a living, growing entity, it can regenerate and create new cultures with every batch.

We nurture our Kombucha and bottle it in a loving and peaceful facility in sunny southern California. The Kombucha is coaxed into growing in a warm, dark room - not unlike a womb. We believe that, because Kombucha is a living culture, it can absorb the energy of the people who tend to it. That's why we take special care that the people minding our Kombucha cultures are positive, healthful and respectful of the work. This may sound “new agey,” but we sincerely believe it makes a difference in how our Kombucha tastes and how it makes people feel.

Now, Marky Mae had dinner with some friends tonight at the sassy Vegetarian's Paradise 2 restaurant on West Fourth Street. They sampled the salt and pepper "chicken" tenders, the coconut "shrimp" (OFF THE HOOK), and other delicious vegan dishes that were served piping hot by a friendly waiter who countered the malevolence of the harpy who lingered over the hostess station like a serial killer waiting to strike her next victim. After the meal, Marky Mae and his equally-excited Kombucha Kompanion decided to find these new flavors - and as a special treat, we were going to indoctrinate an as-yet-untainted soul into Thee Kult ov Kombucha!

Off to Whole Foods we went.  Boy was Marky Mae going to be PISSED if he got to that store and there were no samples of the new flavors to be had. He told himself he'd act calm and collected so his friends wouldn't know how painfully devastated he actually was, but he knew that his efforts would be see-through.  

Luckily, he didn't even have to try. All four flavors were accounted for, although he initially thought BOTANIC No. 3 wasn't stocked. (His friend dug through the stacks and found one tucked way way in the back! Now THAT's friendship, y'all.)

Marky Mae bought all four new flavors. His Kombucha Kompanion bought a few of the new ones; she had already tasted the SUPERBERRY variety so that one was old news to her.  And their uninitiated friend - she took the strawberry concoction.

After they all checked out, Marky Mae and Kombucha Kompanion watched excitedly as their friend crossed over to the dark side and took her first ever sip ov Thee Nectar ov thee Godz. She loved it, y'all, and with good reason - the shit is off the motherfucking chain. Yay!

Marky Mae restrained himself, however, from dipping into the new flavors. He wanted to be in the comfort of his own home in case his excitement got out of hand.  So now, here he is with variety #1 being sampled.  And the word is - FUCKING AWESOME, Y'ALL.

Botanic No. 3 features an infusion of elderberry and lavender. Upon first taste, Marky Mae commented, "This tastes like a new age bookstore." And he sticks by that assessment. You know what he means - when you walk into the bookstore and there's that particular smell - that combination of incense, hippie musk, dirt, 'essential oils,' and the dust that cakes books no one is ever going to buy? That's what this tastes like, and it is GOOD

Thumbs up, y'all. More reviews to come. You can't expect Marky Mae to drink four bottles of this shit in one sitting.