ecoRDN got off to a bumpy start this year as we headed from Pittsburgh to Baltimore for Natural Products Expo East. Greyhound “lost” our bus. No, we didn’t know that was a thing either. So, we were rerouted to a later bus with a layover in Harrisburg, which put us 3 hours behind schedule. We arrived too late for badge pick up and totally missed the Harvest Festival. However, the long bus ride did give us opportunity to thoroughly search the Happy Cow website to find our dinner spot. We chose Sticky Rice in Fells Point due to their many vegan options and the close proximity to our Air-bnb. Plus, it was still open at 8:30pm on a Wednesday. We chose the Dirty Vegan and the Mock Chicken Szechaun, both amazing! After a good nights sleep we were ready to pick up our badges and hit the expo floor!
How long does it take to digest 1000 new product samples? Well, from our experience at ecoRDN it takes more than the two days allotted in Baltimore for the 2016 Natural Products Expo East. This was ecoRDN’s first Expo East experience and it was enlightening, inspiring, motivating and at times overwhelming!
After ecoRDN got hip to the abundance of plant based options in Philadelphia (thanks Spat!), we packed our bags and hopped a bus to check things out firsthand! Below is a list of the exciting plant friendly places we visited in during our stay!
Pittsburghers and beyond LOVE Thai Gourmet!
Thai Gourmet is a Steel City staple. Located at 4505 Liberty Avenue in a cozy lunchroom with table and counter seating, Thai Gourmet offers a relaxed environment and an abundance of vegan-friendly foods.
ecoRDN first heard about Sweetgrass Grill‘s plant-based brunch offerings after a cool post by We Bike NYC‘s riders who planned a bike & foodie trip from Manhattan to Chappaqua along the S County Trail (with a rest stop in Tarrytown for brunch). With plans already made that weekend ecoRDN was unable to attend and decided to map out an alternative trip on a nearby trail system, The Old Croton Aqueduct, and go on foot instead of bike.
ecoRDN takes the D-Train south to Harlem 125th Street / St Nicholas Avenue.
After misreading the map and going in the wrong direction we discovered St Nicholas Park and some amazing park steps that led to St Nicholas Terrace, exploration for another day! Back on track, we made our way to Seasoned Vegan at 55 St Nicholas Avenue in Harlem. Seasoned Vegan as stated on their website is a family business owned an operated by Mother and Son, Brenda and Aaron Beener.
Chalk & Cheese is an English expression suggesting two things are quite different from one another. There may be a southern expression meaning the same thing but I don’t know what it is. Downtown Nashville and East Nashville are perfectly illustrated examples of this idiom. Nashville’s Broadway is a tourist haven crammed with cowboy boot stores, gift shops and neon honky-tonk bars, whereas East Nashville is both a vessel for overpriced hipster trinkets (representing the crummier side of gentrification) and a soulful, laid back vegan-friendly oasis.
Back in NYC on a gorgeous fall-esque, big, puffy cloud, blue-sky day and thinking about the trip to Nashville this past weekend. Eco RDN hit the road super early Saturday morning for this year’s FNCE. For those of you that are not dietitians or culinary nerds F-N-C-E stands for Food Nutrition Conference and Expo. FNCE is the annual conference and expo of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. It is also the world’s largest annual meeting of food and nutrition professionals. Registered dietitians are required to maintain registration by completing continuing education credits (CPEUs), 75 in a five-year period, in order to keep themselves current and relevant in their field (how else can we call ourselves “the nutrition experts”). FNCE provides educational sessions, lectures, briefings and culinary demonstrations that provide a certain number of said CPEUs. This year’s event was in Nashville, Tennessee held at the Music City Center.