All for Spak, Spak for All

All for Spak, Spak for All

Before ecoRDN returned to Pittsburgh from NYC living we made a list of all the many vegan-friendly food hubs to visit upon return to our glorious city and Spak Brothers topped the list. Spak forged a path not many dared back when they first opened their doors. Sure Pittsburgh has seen a vegan-friendly boom over the last five years, but before that boom the vegan scene was practically crickets. There was the dope East End staple Quiet Storm, the Southside Zenith with their epic brunch and all-vegan dessert, however pizza and wings were not yet on the menu. Thus enter the Spak!

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Buffet, Bombay and Bollywood

Buffet, Bombay and Bollywood

All India Restaurant is one of 12 Indian restaurant’s in the Central Pittsburgh area.

‘Central’ Pittsburgh spans downtown to Wilkinsburg and Highland Park to Southside, all walkable and bikeable locations (mostly).

What made us go all-in for All India is first the Vegan Pittsburgh sticker on the door. Vegan Pittsburgh researches and works with food sellers to verify and clearly list all plant-based friendly items on their menus. Restaurants that meet Vegan Pittsburgh’s criteria are given a cool decal to proudly display their plant-based awesomeness to the hungry masses. It makes the search much easier for vegan foodies, Vegan Pittsburgh does all the legwork, we the foodies have but to seek & destroy.

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Randita’s Organic Vegan Cafe (Aspinwall)

Randita’s Organic Vegan Cafe (Aspinwall)

ecoRDN loves to take walks that end in plant-based foods being shoved in our gobs. One of our favorite walks has always been from the city of Pittsburgh, crossing the Highland Park bridge to get to the quaint little town of Aspinwall. Before 2012, living in Pittsburgh, the walk would take us to the Waterworks Mall. There we often read or drew in Barnes & Noble while getting jacked on coffee with no vegan fare around but a lowly protein bar or snack from Marshall’s or TJ Maxx. My how times have changed! Aspinwall now has an amazing all vegan restaurant, Randita’s, offering lunches Monday through Saturday and weekend dinners Friday and Saturday. They also have a food truck located at Aspinall Riverfront Park.

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New Year, New City… (Part One)

New Year, New City… (Part One)

The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of activity (none of it blogging) as our followers may have noticed. ecoRDN picked up and moved back to our home city of Pittsburgh, PA after 3 1/2 years of big-apple living. It’s been bittersweet as we love both places equally, but differently. Let me discuss some of the New York highlights since our last post…

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ecoRDN Walks 18 Miles for Brunch at Tarrytown, NY’s Sweetgrass Grill

ecoRDN Walks 18 Miles for Brunch at Tarrytown, NY’s Sweetgrass Grill

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.

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Vegan Comforts & Holiday Cheer at Bryant Park’s Winter Village 2015

Vegan Comforts & Holiday Cheer at Bryant Park’s Winter Village 2015

Since 2002 midtown’s famous Bryant Park has hosted New York City’s annual holiday bazaar Winter Village, a seasonal outdoor marketplace stuffed to the eyes with cocoa-craving holiday awesomeness, free ice-skating and ample attention paid to plant-based peoples.

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Plant-Based in Kingston, NY

Plant-Based in Kingston, NY

If you’ve ever seen the Palisades loom over the Hudson in the late fall bright afternoon sun you’ve seen a living work of art. That view from the window of a Metro-North train instilled both a sense of reverie and adventure as ecoRDN hit the northern rails toward Kingston, NY with hopes of uncovering an abundance of plant-based foods worthy of their stunning backdrop.

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Two Boots and #UrbanHiking

Two Boots and #UrbanHiking

ecoRDN caught the D Train in the Bronx and rode it to Manhattan’s Broadway-Lafayette stop for a day of #UrbanHiking and eating, with a little window-shopping on the side. We made our way to the Union Square Greenmarket and it was packed on a perfect day of bright sun and cold-blast Manhattan winds. The veg was amazing! So many colors and varieties, gorgeous! Satisfied with our sightseeing we set out to find lunch in Hell’s Kitchen. Specifically, Two Boots.

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A Walk In Manhattan: Seasoned Vegan

A Walk In Manhattan: Seasoned Vegan

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.

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