Finding edible food in midtown Manhattan has always seemed like a vague, slightly impossible mystery to me. Which has mostly been fine, since I don’t spend much time in midtown. But as I mentioned, the main purpose of this trip was my bff coercing me to attend a performance of Green Day’s American Idiot musical on Broadway. I know, right. I for sure barf-laughed when I learned of this potentially ridiculous endeavor, but curiosity and the brief inclusion of Billie Joe in the cast won out, and there we were. Literally front and centre, literally being gobbed on, in good old punk tradition, and now apparently Broadway tradition. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t kind of love the play, so there you have it. But I digress.
This meant we were in the Theatre District around meal time, and always the damn boy scout, I wasn’t going to be caught unawares. Some research before hand revealed a location of Maoz Vegetarian at 43rd & 8th, literally around the corner from our Theatre. I honestly can’t remember where I read it now, but I stumbled across a review of Maoz describing it as “what Roy Rogers would be if it were a Vegetarian falafel restaurant in Isreal.” Not knowing exactly what a Roy Rogers restaurant entails (fried chicken? some kind of stinky fast food, for sure), this is somewhat confusing and yet still hilarious to me.
There are literally three options on the Maoz menu, which you then customize. Falafel sandwich, half falafel sandwich, or falafel salad. Ok, make that 2.5 menu items. As is my usual M.O., I went for a falafel salad, with hummus, avocado and a shitload of extra veggies piled on top. My weird fave was definitely the apparently beet-juice-died tiny pickled eggplants. Oh, and the sides of tahini and hot sauces.
I think they have another location a bit closer/downtown from Times Square, so if you ever find yourself agreeing to go to a musical, and caught out hungry in this generally heinous and un-vegan-friendly neighborhood, know that Maoz is there for you!
We got adventurous on Friday, and hopped an L train over to Williamsburg in an epic rainstorm, for some lunch at Bliss. I wanted to try Rockin’ Raw in the same neighborhood, but they don’t open until 4pm, which didn’t really agree with our schedule, so Bliss it was. Super casual and homey, after a couple days of constant stimulation in Manhattan, the “quiet” sidewalks of Williamsburg and simplicity of Bliss were pretty rewarding. As seems to be the theme of our several lunches this trip, I was feeling brunchy and went with a scramble tofu and Daiy doused sprouted wheat bagel and side salad. This was basic, cheap and exactly what I needed after literally getting soaked to the bone in the 30 second walk from subway exit to restaurant door. The creamy dill dressing I got for my salad turned out to be the perfect dipping sauce for many bites of bagel & fresh tomato, almost cream cheese-like! Yummers.
The bff went for a black bean and sweet potato burrito, which I almost copy cat-ed and minorly regretted upon seeing the salsa and tofu sour cream. I stand by my bagel scramble, though.
I guess that’s it for the most exciting New York City eats. This was an unfortunately brief trip, filled with hilarious and awesome musical viewing, tons of just walking around, hanging out, some beers and a ton of face-stuffing. At random intervals, we consumed many a salad from the Whole Foods salad bar conveniently located two blocks from our hotel. When I’m feeling tired and in need of a more homey meal than most restaurants offer, I love hitting up Whole Foods for a bowl of greens with simple toppings. Most of these were devoured in the privacy of our tiny hotel room before pictures could be snapped, but I do have this offering if you really want to know what I was up to:
So, that’s sadly it for NYC. I’ve got another review coming tomorrow that’s a little closer to home – Hot Beans!