Since arriving in NYC, we’ve had meal after meal after meal after meal of meat, so we woke up craving vegetables somethin’ fierce. After researching nearby options, we trudged over to One Lucky Duck, a shoebox-sized raw vegan take-out place just a block from our hotel.
You read that right: RAW VEGAN. Hear me out before you run away screaming.
We split an enormous pumpkin seed and herb salad (greens, kale, parsley, cilantro, mint, hemp seeds, pumpkin seed macadamia parmesan, pumpkin seed lemon dressing)…
…and a zucchini and tomato lasagna which was layered with sun-dried tomato sauce, pistachio basil pesto, and pumpkin seed macadamia ricotta.
We closed out the meal by sharing a couple of raw, vegan “Oreo” cookies.
Yes, I know about the whole cooked-versus-raw debate, and the price tag at One Lucky Duck was kinda hefty, but we loved the fresh, organic, well-seasoned vegetables and treats. I’ll admit that I was kind of nervous that the servers would smell the charred meat emanating from my pores, but all in all, it was a great meal packed with loads of nutrients.
Next, we hopped in a taxi that took us to the American Museum of Natural History.
In all my visits to NYC (without kids), I never even considered visiting this museum, but it was suggested by many parents as THE best place to take the kiddos, so we happily sacrificed an entire day roaming the halls. The museum’s HUGE and the taxidermic animal displays are both kitschy and awesome.
Both kids were dashing from exhibit to exhibit and wildly gesturing for us to come look at EVERYTHING.
Before we knew it, our stomachs started grumbling. Lunchtime!
We weren’t in the mood for subpar, over-priced sandwiches and chips in the museum café, so we hoofed it across the street to Shake Shack.
I love this location on the Upper West Side — efficient lines and lots of indoor seating.
My husband and I each ordered a bunless double hamburger with extra bacon while the kids ate hot dogs.
Cheap, quick, and tasty. Dare I say that I prefer it to In-N-Out?
We wandered back to the museum in the afternoon and spent time chilling in the IMAX theater and planetarium. (I may have even caught some shuteye during the shows.)
By dinnertime, we were ready to go outside and enjoy a meal al fresco. Lucky for us, my cousin Jennifer had made us reservations at Eataly's rooftop beer garden, Birreria.
I’d asked Jennifer to pick a place that offered a good balance of meat and vegetables, and she told me Birreria fit the bill. She even pointed out that the menu has a subheading for “Funghi” that would appeal to the mushroom-lover in me.
For appetizers, we all split a plate of coppa (cured pork shoulder)…
…and three ‘shroom-centric starters: Pleuroti (seared King Oyster mushrooms with spigarello broccoli, soft poached egg and truffle vinaigrette)…
…Maitake con Pecorino sardo (whole roasted Maitake mushrooms with sugar snap peas, pea greens and lemon vinaigrette)…
…and grilled portobello mushrooms with nectarines, balsamic onions and local greens.
Then, we split the Cotechino, an Emilia Romagna inspired pork sausage served with local kraut and mustard seed…
…and grilled lamb chops over a bed of fried artichokes and green beans.
We were still making up for lost vegetables, so we also shared two contorni: spicy broccoli…
…and roasted baby carrots.
After dinner, we meandered up and down the aisles of Eataly…
…admiring all the unusual and hard-to-find Italian delicacies.
And because it was our last night in NYC and I wanted a treat, I forced everyone to track down the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck.
I’m a sucker for soft serve and I wouldn’t leave New York before trying a cone-less Salty Pimp (vanilla ice cream, dulce de leche, sea salt, and chocolate dip).
A tad sweet for my Paleo taste buds, but I polished it off lickety-split as the sun went down.
Back at the hotel, I balled up my clothes and threw them in the luggage while humming Empire State of Mind to myself, and thinking of all the restaurants I didn’t have time to hit this time. Bareburger, I’ll see you when I’m next back in Gotham.
Watch out, Boston — I’m coming to eat you up!