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!
Onion Maiden‘s brick-and-mortar opened Spring 2017, located at 639 E Warrington Ave in Allentown. After rocking the pop-ups and popping up around the 412 for so many the plant-based events, the vegan-fused trio of plant-based *bad*brains who flex their amazing take on Asian-American fusion finally found their hearth home. Here is a recap of a dope pop-up Onion Maiden dinner at The Vandal back in February 2016!
“A good appetite needs no sauce” – Old Polish Proverb
It took us a little while to finally dine at Apteka. Not for lack of wanting, the idea of vegan pierogi and Polish fare sounded amazing, but the time had to be right!
Cue the Autumn/Winter season. As light begins to wane and darkness becomes the day, the season of early sunset sets upon us. Chilly air and foggy breath make for ruddy cheeks and hearty appetites, a fitting climate to open this treasure trove of earthy, pungent, and rustic charm.
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!
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!
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.
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.