Gluten-free in NYC Part II

by Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit) on January 30, 2013

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It was really hard for me to leave New York City yesterday. If it weren’t for my loving little family waiting for me to return home, a job to get back to, and a yoga practice to rekindle, I would have extended my stay just a little longer. The people, the photography course, the food, the energy, it was all mind-blowing.

My original purpose of my trip wasn’t to see how many gluten-free restaurants I could find in New York, but after a few fabulous experiences, I quickly became interested in what other awesome food I could chow down on during my stay.

Don’t get too excited, jealous or anxious, but I think I’ve found the best gluten-free pizza on the planet. So if the vegan ice cream shop didn’t tickle your fancy, I know that the pizza I enjoyed; and took pictures of, will.

Ready for the next set of delicious eats?

An organically good time: Bareburger

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Organic burger joint. Music to your ears? Me too.

The meats at Bare Burger are organic, all-natural, grass-fed, free range, humanely raised, sustainable and pecticide-free, their prices are great, and they’ve created a menu that really caters to everyone out there. The franchise has done a fabulous job at decorating each of their locations a bit differently, giving each it’s own unique energy.

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You order the perfect burger at Bareburger a couple of ways. They have a handful of pre-made burger combos with recommendations on which meats to use with which combo, or you can select your own toppings from a large list of yummy burger fillings.

Whether you choose to make your own or go with the pre-made selections, you can choose whichever meat: and bun: you want. I chose to go with a Western Bison Burger ($16) with country bacon, Carolina (vegan) slaw and smokehouse sauce in a lettuce wrap with a side of fries and paprika mayo.

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It took about 10 minutes from the time I ordered the food to when it showed up to my table. Only problem was, it was missing the sauce. I ended up getting a side of sauce that I added myself, but deconstructing the wrap made for an awkward eating experience. What I wanted to mention though, is that each of the tables around me also had issues, too. Maybe the cook was having a bad day? Sauces where they shouldn’t be, sides that weren’t right…

But it was good. Like, so, so good. That smokehouse sauce is the best BBQ sauce I’ve ever had, hands down. I knew what I was eating was as healthy as an authentic burger and fry could ever be, and I like that!

Bareburger on Urbanspoon

Vegan eats: Candle 79

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Candle 79 was the #1 restaurant most recommended by all of you when I let you know I was heading to New York. The best meal you’ve ever had, desserts to blow your mind… of course I had to check it out with reviews like that!

Silly me, I didn’t make a reservation for my visit and thought I could just get a table on a Sunday at 6pm. The hostesses were super understanding and offered to get me a table at 8pm, but I didn’t want to wait that long. They offered me a spot at the bar; which I would never do, but I figured… why not? I grabbed a seat and pondered over the menu for a long while.

In the end, as I did at Pure Food and Wine, I let the waiter’s recommendation lead the way. I ordered a bean and artichoke heart appetizer ($19) and a pomegranate chipotle-grilled tempeh with sweet potato puree, brussel sprouts, green beans, almonds, shallots, mole sauce and fennel ($18). My meal came fairly quickly and was beautifully presented. The appetizer was good, but not phenomenal. I found it to be too oily with minimal flavor and the same with my meal. The tempeh was delicious, but the surrounding puree and veggies were a bit… blah. In fact, I didn’t even know there was a mole sauce until I read the menu again while prepping this post.

I’ve never had such a lush vegan experience, but the price coupled with the mediocre meal made me wish I’d gone to Pure Food and Wine for a second time instead of trekking all the way to the East end. I’m told that Candle Cafe (just down the street) is better and less expensive.

Liquid sustenance: Juice Generation

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I prepared my own breakfast every morning at the hostel so I only visited Juice Generation once when I was majorly in need of a green smoothie near the end of my trip. There was a store right down the street from the subway station which made it perfect to visit before class.

Juice Generation is very similar to any other juice/smoothie bar but what I loved about it was that they had a full-out gluten-free bakery onsite. Gluten-free muffins, galore! All of them had grains, so I didn’t buy one, but they looked absolutely scrumptious.

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I ended up ordering a pomegranate berry smoothie ($7) and asked them to remove the agave (why add agave to fruit, isn’t it sweet enough?) and add in a couple of handfuls of spinach. It was delicious! And, just because I’d never seen it before, I bought a cranberry crunch bar ($2), too. Man, the US has some of the best food choices, I wish I could find these same bars in Canada.

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All in all, it was a great experience. I was in and out in a couple of minutes, the smoothie was nice and thick, good flavors although the berry pieces weren’t broken up all that well – would have liked to see what type of blender they use – and the bar was great, too.

Juice Generation on Urbanspoon

Can’t get enough: One Lucky Duck

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The One Lucky Duck Juice & Takeaway spots around the city are owned by Pure Food and Wine, the restaurant I visited earlier in my trip. I couldn’t leave the city without going back, I just couldn’t.

A couple of classmates and I stopped in at the Gramercy location for a round of pumpkin seed and herb salads ($14) and green apple juices ($10). The space is very, very small, with 3 tables, an ordering counter, a handful of staff stuffed in a tiny kitchen and a shelf of yummy raw food snacks. It was crowded and uncomfortable, but I didn’t care.

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We waited about 10 minutes for our food and took it back to class to enjoy. As expected, the salad was out of this world amazing. The macadamia nut Parmesan was so flavorful and melted into the dressing beautifully, the salad dressing was light, and all the mixed herbs were so fresh and tantalizing. The juice however, wasn’t that fabulous. It wasn’t fresh pressed juice, but had been made (maybe that morning?), bottled and kept in the fridge. At $10 a serving, I had hoped that it would have been fresh juice. The flavor was great, but it didn’t taste as alive as it could have.

One Lucky Duck on Urbanspoon

Gluten-free, vegan pizza bonanza: Pala

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I’ve had a lot of gluten-free pizza in my time. Most of it homemade, some of it store-bought, and just a handful of times, enjoyed at a restaurant. Wait, enjoyed isn’t the right word here…. tolerated. Gluten-free pizza dough is good… but it’s not great. Something I will never say again because the folks at Pala have their gluten-free pizza and overall menu down to a complete science.

For real.

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From the original black brick wall, to the small personal accents throughout the space, the authentic pizza ovens as the focal piece to the open space kitchen, and the charming tables, this New York pizza spot has it going on. Oh, did I mention they have Daiya cheese, too?

All of their pizzas can be made on a gluten-free crust, and 3 of the 11 meat pizzas can be made with daiya cheese instead of normal cheese. My fellow photography pal, Connie and I chose to order two different pizzas and share between the two of us. We ordered the Porri e Salsiccia pizza with pork sausage, leeks, sundried tomatoes, pink peppercorns, hot pepper ($16) and the Inferno pizza that had cherry tomato sauce, spicy soppressata, and fresh parsley ($17), both with light Daiya cheese and gluten-free crust.

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The crust is made from a combination of garbanzo, rice, tapioca and sorghum flours. Our waiter also let us know that there was soy lecithin in the crust, but that people with soy allergies hadn’t had issues with it in the past.

It was the best meal I enjoyed during my stay, right up there with Pure Food and Wine. Holy moly, it was good.

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Pala on Urbanspoon

So there you have it…. 7 New York Restaurants that cater to us allergen-free living folks and that are sure to blow your socks clear off if/when you give them a try.

If you’re ever planning a trip to New York City and want to reduce costs as much as possible, I highly recommend staying at the HI New York City – Manhattan Hostel. There are multiple markets nearby to get fresh food, it’s close to the subway, safe, and inexpensive.

It was a fabulous trip, but I’m at home feeling pretty heavy and bogged down, if you know what I mean. I ate pretty healthy and balanced during my trip, but my body is definitely asking me to take it easy this weekend. I think I’m going to be doing a little juice cleanse in the coming days. Care to join me?

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{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

Erica { EricaDHouse.com }

One of my favorite things about being in NYC was walking enough to gorge on food! We walked about 10-15 miles a day so it counteracted *some* of our overindulging. Have a safe trip home!

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Mrs G

Hi, Leanne! Great to hear that you had such a good time in New York.
I have a recipe suggestion for you.
At home we enjoy eating a quinoa mix called “quico”. It’s basically quinoa with red lentils and carrots. It comes in 500g packages and you cook it as normal quinoa (we like to add a bit of vegetable broth or simply oil and salt).
It looks like this http://blog-primeal.fr/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/primeal_quico.jpg
We love the taste and the fact that it allows you to make a full meal in a few minutes, you can bring it with you on holiday, etc.
I was wondering if you have ideas to make similar mixes so everyone can have a healthy, quick meal.
This one is made with millet
http://www.green-shop.ch/de/ma-vie-sans-gluten/3502-bio-mix-getreide-hulsenfruchte-hirse-glutenfrei-400g-ma-vie-sans-gluten-3380380056802.html
Thank you so much for your attention!

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Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat

Oooooooh my goodness. Do you want to go back like tomorrow? Because I really really really want to eat at all these places! I don’t even know where to start, but I’m so glad you managed to make it to Candle 79. That’s right up there on my must-visits next to Pure Food and Wine. The tempeh sounds amazing! Too bad about the veggies in the rest of the meal though. Do you think the tempeh is re-makeable at home? And that juice bar…. yummmm! Did you stockpile the cranberry crunch bars to bring back home?! ;) Glad you had an awesome time!

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Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit)

Yes, yes I DO want to go back like, tomorrow. But I’m happy to be home. Oh I bet the tempeh is totally re-makeable. Everything is! I remade the One Lucky Duck salad with vegan Parmesan. It was amazing, right up your alley. I’ll definitely be sharing it for sure. I didn’t stock up :( they were so expensive!

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Jo (livingmintgreen)

What a foodie paradise! THAT PIZZA. Eating is one of the best parts of traveling, hey… if not the best. I planned a trip to Vegas once solely around going to my fav Hawaiian fusion restaurant & Mesa Grill. Hahaha.

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Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit)

I’ve heard that Vegas has some interesting food. Worth a full foodie trip do you think? Was the Hawaiian restaurant everything you’d hoped it would be?

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Michelle R

Wow! What a trip!! I’m exhausted after reading the post… Glad you’re at home and (hopefully) able to get back on your own schedule quickly. :)

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Cat

One of the best things about a densely populated area is that they can “afford” to cater to people with special needs diets. Gosh. It would be wonderful to have that kind of selection where I live (sigh…)

I’ll be interested in your juice cleanse, as I finally bought a juicer! Hope you’ll post juice concoctions that I’ll be able to drink with the limited choices I have on this anti-candida diet. At least I’m up to more than just berries! Grateful for small blessings…

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Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit)

Hey Cat – yes, now Montreal feels like a small city for sure. The juice cleanse I posted has one vegetable juice per day that’s free of fruits but if you’re on an anti-candida diet juicing may be the last thing you want to do – just because the juices; regardless if they’re fruit-free, are going to be high in natural sugars. Depends which angle you’re going at your candida from though.

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Cat

To start, I think I’ll try to stick with the all veggie ones. My nutritionist said it would be OK to try juicing for snacks; but even though I’m up to “more” fruits, I’m still trying to go easy on them out of fear.

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Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit)

Great that you’re working with a nutritionist, that’s awesome! Great plan, very great. I was the same way, not wanting to introduce fruits for awhile. I’ve taken them easy ever since. Just a couple of servings a day is a-ok!

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Adina | Gluten Free Travelette

Oh NYC…I recently had the opportunity to spend an entire month living in Brooklyn and it had to be the best, and coincidently, healthiest trip I had ever been on. The food was fantastic and so allergen friendly – I agree that Candle 79 was some of the best vegan food I’ve ever had! While I was waiting for my dinner companion to show up, Katie Holmes had even stopped by to get some takeout. Pala is some of the best gluten free pizza I’ve had out – but homemade is still the winner in my book. Glad to see you had a great time in NYC!

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Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit)

Wow, what a great opportunity that was! And very cool that you got to see Katie Holmes.

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Rachel @ My Naturally Frugal Family

I have been juicing for the past week..and it feels great. I hope you have lightened up, but I am also glad to see that you enjoyed your visit.

I was particularly intrigued by your comments on Candle 79, it is at the top of my list when I make it up north (I live in North Carolina…the south) but I have heard great thinks about Candle Cafe (maybe I will just go there instead).

Great reviews Leanne !

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Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit)

Many, many people told me that Candle Cafe is better so I think that’s a marvelous plan. Can’t wait to hear about how you like it when you go!

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Katrina

Leanne,

Sounds like a great trip! I am in the market for a new juicer and dying to start a juice cleanse. Is there a juicer you love or one you have tried that you didn’t like?

Katrina

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Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit)

The cleanse was posted today, complete with a grocery list and everything so you can grab the ingredients today and start tomorrow if you’d like! If I were to get a new juicer, I’d go for a masticating or triturating juicer. There are many on the market, one that’s caught my attention is the Omega Juicing line of products. I’ve had this Breville Juicer for 7 years. And still love it just as much as that very first day I pulled it out of it’s box. It’s been a good little juicer but the pulp is definitely pretty wet after it runs through. I’m definitely not getting all of the juice out of the produce as I could be. Hope that helps :)

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Mystery Runner

That is great that you shared your experience at Candle 79! I was always wondering whether to choose Candle 79 or Candle Cafe and I think that you made up my mind!

Great blog!!!

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Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit)

I’ll definitely go to Candle Cafe next time. Be sure to let me know how your visit goes when you do go!

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Amanda

All of these places sound divine! I have been looking for places to eat around me, found a couple tasty places! I am with you on the juice cleanse. I have a crazy schedule and have been planning on it within the next couple weeks!

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Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit)

Well, when you do go for it, there’s a plan all set out waiting for you ;)

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aubrey

Hi! I forgot to recommend this on a different comment, by oh my. Pala is gluten free heaven. I dont know how they get their curst so perfect. but it is. now I am droooling! so glad you liked it!!!!

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Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit)

I could have sworn there was gluten in it, it was so good! Totally with you on the yum factor.

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Rebecca

Maybe it is just me, but I do not think it is healthy to end a vacation that is consists of “overeating” with a juice cleanse. It’s like: “I over-ate, so now I must not eat for a couple of days to counteract the effects”. I thought your trip eats look wonderfully healthy and nourishing (you had green juice, twice!). Yes, maybe the portions were bigger than normal, but like Erica said above, you probably walked more too. :P

Hmm, What about just getting back to your normal eating routine in Montreal? I know that whenever I get back from a vacation, I always feel gross due to the traveling, lack of sleep, jet lag, etc. Are you sure those aren’t what are making you feel off? Also, when I get back from a trip full of indulgences, I simply get back to my basics and regular eating routine and I feel great within a day or two. I’ve never had to do a drastic cleanse after a vacation, but maybe I’m lucky that my body bounces back so easily…?

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Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit)

Hi Rebecca – thanks for your comment and suggestions. Maybe I didn’t explain myself fully and; if you’re newer to the site, you may not have read about how my body reacts to travel. My IBS symptoms get really bad when I’m away from home. I’ve experienced it many times. The only way to get myself balanced again is to do pureed foods when I get home. It’s just the way my body is, helps me get back into the groove and settle in to home again. I’m in no way doing a drastic cleanse, as you’ll see from the program plan tomorrow, it’s just a light weekend filled with lots of veggies, water, probiotics and napping. This is in no way a, “I ate too much now I’m going to starve myself” routine. Not in the slightest. I’ve been battling with some digestive system issues leading up to the trip (because I get so nervous when I travel places) that I know this will set my digestive system straight. I hope that explains it a bit better!

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Rebecca

Thanks for responding to my comment Leanne and clarifying the situation up for me! You don’t have to publish my previous comment or this one. I made a bad assumption, sorry!

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Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit)

Oh no worries at all. I didn’t think your comment was negative or hurtful in the least. I’m happy you pointed out an issue in the way I’d written it. Sometimes I just don’t look at things from every angle and things can be interpreted in SO many ways! I appreciate that you came forward with your concerns, it only makes the blog a better place! Do not apologize ;)

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Nicola Madore

Your trip sounds like it was just amazing! I will definitely be using your advice and recommendations if I ever get a chance to go to NY!

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Savannah

I’m shocked you didn’t check out the new paleo restaurant, Hu, while you were in the city. It’s an amazing place with great, savory entrees, a “Mash Bar” that is essentially a dairy and grain-free frozen yogurt bar, espresso with almond milk, and so many other grain-free goodies (even grain-free baked goods!) You should definitely add that to your list the next time you find yourself in the city.

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Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit)

Whaaaaat!? Wow, I’d never heard of it. Shoot, I wish I’d gone! Have you been? Will definitely add it to the list. Wow.

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Savannah

Yes I’ve been twice, once for brunch when I got these amazing “pancakes” that were grain free and once for dinner when I got they’re wonderfully done chicken with a side of mushrooms and a cashew cream sauce and roasted pineapples (which I was at first skeptical of but ended up being my favorite part!) And to top it all off I tried their mashbar and got the Bonito mashbowl (which even has a nut and seed granola!) It’s really such a great place, you can find its menu here: http://hukitchen.com/HuMenu.pdf

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Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit)

I’m tearing up inside. I’m so sad that I didn’t get to go. It sounds like a magical place. Thanks for sharing it with us, Savannah. I’ll definitely, definitely be hitting it up next time!

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Diana @ VeggieNextDoor

Wow – you sure know how to travel right! I too recall liking Candle Cafe more than Candle 79, though sadly it’s been years since I’ve been to either.

Berry-Spinach smoothies are my favorite. I wish juice-bars would start having that as a standard menu item since I always wind up making special order that you did :-)

And I checked out the website of the Hostel and it looks amazing! I’d always heard US hostels were terrible, but I would absolutely stay at this one!

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Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit)

Maybe they’ll get the hint if we just keep ordering them! Jugo Juice now has a berry + beet smoothie that’s pretty good. But still no greens and berries! The hostel was AMAZING. I will definitely stay there again.

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Connie Pappas

Leanne, Wow – such great pics and highlights of the NYC adventure. You found some wonderful places to eat, healthfully, and I am so glad to have joined you on the last day; One Lucky Duck for a take-out lunch, and later for gluten-free, dairy-free pizza! How you got those photos in the darkish restaurant is beyond me. At the same time, I am not surprised; seems you have a way of making things happen.

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Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit)

Hey Connie! Those little tea lights were magic. I couldn’t have grabbed any shots without it. And I had my 50mm 1.8. That thing is a little machine! So happy that we got to enjoy that meal together. I’ll remember it forever!

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