A Lotus Grows in Brooklyn


They’re Favorites for a Reason

Friday night I had an old, fabulous friend in town. As is his wont, he gave me little warning that I would be entertaining him and his boyfriend for a whole Friday evening. I love him and I love showing guests the (non-tourist) wonders of NYC. But as it was, I had to come up with places to dine and hang out on the spur of the moment. I decided to just go with what I knew would be good. And I was not disappointed!

Dusk

1) Dusk Lounge. I keep Dusk Lounge, on 24th between 6th and 7th Avenues, as my go-to meetup spot, centrally located near Chelsea, the Flatiron District, Union Square, and subways.  It’s spacious, usually empty in the early evening, and has comfy modular seating and friendly bartenders. Plus, it apparently has a two-way mirror over the urinals so you can keep an eye on the bar action from the restroom. (I can neither confirm nor deny this.)

Pukk

IMG_78312) Pukk. A million thanks to my friend Dhaval for introducing me to this 100% vegetarian (and almost all vegan) Thai restaurant in the East Village. All the dishes are good but the curries are exceptional. The massaman curry features the most delicious, subtle blend of peanuts I’ve ever tasted, and the pineapple red curry has just the right amount of heat. For appetizers I recommend the mushroom puff (in delicate flaky dough) and the chicken nuggets (just to show your friends you don’t need actual chicken). The prices are incredible–$7 for a curry dinner!– and they make interesting Asian-inspired cocktails. My friend had a bubbly ginger concoction that was refreshing and yummy. P.S. Among the faux-meat choices, I recommend the duck.

IMG_7838

IMG_78373) Lula’s Sweet Apothecary. Lula’s, on 6th Street in the East Village, has been open for almost a year now, and has become the one absolutely can’t-miss vegan paradise in the city. They make their own non-dairy ice cream, mostly nut-based, and I can’t say enough about how amazing this place is. Flavors change often (follow them on Twitter to get updates), but some of my past favorites have been banana cream pie, maple pecan, and chai. This time around we tried root beer, peanut butter fudge, and strawberry cheesecake. Mmm.

And while you’re enjoying your scoop of heaven in the charming, old-fashioned shop, you can envelop yourself in the friendly, welcoming, eclectic community of vegans who tend to gather here. Plus, now you can buy Vegetable Slut’s nifty buttons at the counter for a buck! (P.S. Thanks again to Dhaval for taking me to Lula’s nearly every week!)

4) Death & Co. v. 4th Ave. Pub. Just to round out this recap of Friday highlights, let me say that we almost went to Death & Co., the dark, upscale cocktail bar down the street from Lula’s. But the wait by 7 pm on a Friday was already 45 minutes. I generally hate swanky NYC bars, but this one is well done. There’s no standing allowed, just table service, hence the wait to get in. But if you go on an off night you’ll get to experience some of the best cocktail artistry in town, without a lot of pretension.

Instead, we went to another perpetual favorite of mine and my friends, 4th Ave. Pub in Brooklyn. You can find us there just about every Friday night, thanks to the cheap happy hour, extensive rotating draft beer list, back patio, and free (vegan) popcorn. Okay, secret’s out, now we’ll have to find a new bar.

Exterior photo of Pukk by roboppy on Flickr. Pineapple red curry and Lula’s photos by me.

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1 Comment so far
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Lula’s Sweet Apothecary > Death & Co.

Comment by fictionadvocate




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