Pat and I met Nathan in Brooklyn on Memorial Day for brunch at Bliss. Nathan is straight-edge and an economics student at Columbia. Last summer he had an internship in DC. I was impressed with the thoughtful way he spoke with concern about some of his longtime friends. He's someone I trust. He treats people with respect, which seems unfortunately like a rare quality. He does have low tolerance for what he regards as passive-aggressive, judgmental behavior, but that's another story.
Bliss is a small, independent cafe in Brooklyn that serves diner-style, vegetarian food and vegan brunch. I ordered the vegan french toast. I love french toast. It was served with sliced bananas and strawberries, and a creamy, tofu-based, maple-flavored dressing. Nathan also ordered the french toast and asked the waitress to bring some maple syrup over to the table. Honestly, I've been on a french toast kick over the last few months after I made french toast with my friends Joey and Shira following the Vegan with a Vengeance recipe. The quality of the bread is important. The french toast at Bliss had a strong, but not overpowering, cinnamon flavor and was made from good, thick bread. I was still somewhat full from the night before and shoved at least half of my meal onto Pat's plate. I preferred the plain maple syrup, while Pat praised the creamy dressing.
Pat ordered the Vegan Bagel Delight, which was a bagel sandwich containing tofu scramble, tempeh bacon and soy cheese. Pat got the home fries with it. He was positive about both the french toast and the bagel sandwich. I'm the only one who ordered a drink. I got an iced coffee with soy cream, which tasted great. It was almost 90 degrees outside and I'd been in an un-airconditioned car for a while, so I savored not only the taste of the coffee, but also the ice.
After Pat and I left Brooklyn, we headed back to New York City. Pat wanted to get ice cream from Lula's, but I was just too stuffed. We walked around Chinatown some and Little Italy. (Yes, I changed clothes into something cooler.)
At dinnertime, we headed back for DC. Before we left New York, we walked around the East Village and went to Curly's, a vegetarian diner. We ordered to-go a vegan faux cheesesteak and a vegan buffalo wing sandwich. The waitress was considerate and brought us glasses of ice water while we waited. She smiled when I asked for an extra, little container of Cholula. Then, we hit the road. The vegan cheesesteak was amazing. I loved the textures of the meat, peppers and onion. The vegan cheese was sparse, which was fine. I dribbled hot sauce over my half of the sandwich and dug in. I love spicy food. The buffalo wing sandwich tasted more like a spicy, chicken patty sandwich than hot-sauce dripping buffalo wings on a bun. The bread and chicken were great, though. Curly's put a variety and a ton of greens on the sandwich, which was a nice touch. Hopefully, I'll get back to Curly's and try more of their sandwiches in the future.