this past friday was the 6 week mark of my sugar cleanse. i tend to be an all or nothing type of person so i thought cutting out sugars, sweeteners and sweets of any kind was a good way to reset my taste buds. and it has been! i have to admit, i’ve spent a lot of time looking at(drooling over) raw vegan blogs in the past six weeks. the desserts look so good!!! how do these people do it? how do they not just eat the whole thing?!
i also decided to go gluten free because i know lots of people who say they feel so much better when they avoid gluten. i was hoping for that lighter feeling i’ve heard so much about but i don’t really feel a difference from omitting gluten. maybe the true test will be when i do finally eat something with gluten in it? that said, i don’t feel like i’ll go back to having gluten in my diet on a regular basis–i just don’t see the need. i’m not a bread or pasta person anyhow. although i make an amazing version of my aunt judy’s insanely delicious pasta salad, so i’ll have to experiment with a gf version this summer! any gf pasta recommendations are welcome!
in the past few weeks i had also cut nuts & avocados out of the mix. i know, crazy! but i could really feel the benefits of my workouts when i didn’t have the “good fats” weighing me down. and i know, they are good & even necessary but fats nonetheless. so, anyhow all week i’d been thinking about having a sweet treat on saturday. not that i plan on going full force back into eating sweets, but i wanted a treat! there are so many vegan options in nyc, but i wanted something sweetened with agave, maple syrup or coconut sugar. i finally decided to check out a raw restaurant that opened in soho last summer…rawlicious. i’ve heard only great things about the menu & the pretty space. but everyone i know who’s been has said they are never busy & worry about how long they can maintain without more customers. i told my bff, elena that i was having dessert & wine on saturday so of course she said she wanted to join.
saturday finally arrives. i was up early & worked all day, running around on my feet for 9 hours. since i was going out for a treat i kept lunch on the lighter side. my breakfast is always oats with fruit & usually lunch is my big meal of the day–a huge pile of steamed greens, veggies and beans or tofu or occasionally quinoa. then dinner is a simple salad. but i had the salad for lunch so i could enjoy my treat feast!
we met at the restaurant at around 7:30 and there were 4 other tables. the place is larger than i thought it’d be. nyc restaurants are not typically known for their spacious layouts. but the size made it feel even more empty. the server was very enthusiastic, a little scattered maybe but very sweet. we debated over the menu–lots of yummy options. and i decided to not think about how much i was going to be overloading on nuts or avocado or anything really. this was a treat night! we each ordered a glass of merlot–their only red by the glass. if you know me, you know i like my red wine. and bubbly–oh, i love the bubbly! but this year, i can count on one hand the amount of alcohol i’ve consumed(new year’s day excluded!). the last glass of wine i had was a month ago at my cousin’s place for her birthday. so i was super excited to sip a tasty glass and this is what she brings us…
uhh, what?! biggest glass of wine ever! best server ever! her name is nicki and i hope she’s working next time i go in!!
we started with the the nachos appetizer. they are an assemble yourself kind of nacho plate. they bring you the dehydrated chips, cashew sour cream, pico de gallo, guacamole, scallions and green olives–which neither of us like so we asked them to leave them off. they also offer an optional walnut “refried bean” paste. we opted for the walnut beans & that was the right choice–it made the dish! the nachos were super yummy! some of the chips were a little thin so assembly was harder because they broke but i wasn’t mad, you just had to make a little pile out of it.
we split the pizza as our entree. they start with a sprouted buckwheat & flax crust, cashew cheese and pesto then change the toppings every day. ours had zucchini, tomatoes, red peppers and crumbled nutloaf. delicious! it’s 2 large pieces & they are very filling. pretty nut heavy so splitting was the way to go! and yes, i tasted it before i remembered to take a photo.
i was excited for dessert time and had already been eyeing the brownie sundae. their raw brownie is made from dates, walnuts and cacao with a vanilla coconut frosting and served with the ice cream flavor of the day. but, when she told us the flavor was mint chocolate chip, i ruled that out. not a fan of mint & chocolate as a combo at all!! i mean, i really hate it. i told her my feelings about the ice cream flavor and she said if i wanted, she could dig out some cherry, cacao chip, banana ice cream instead. yes please!!! while they were digging up the ice cream, nicki brought us a coconut macaroon on the house–told you she was sweet! i’ve had my fair share of raw macaroons & this one was one of my favorites. it wasn’t heavy & coconut oil-laden like a lot of them are. it was light & fluffy.
and, the brownie sundae was perfect for breaking the sugar cleanse. the ice cream needed to sit for a minute but when it did, it was creamy and flavorful. the brownie was also good–decadent but not super sweet. excellent choice.
while we had been sitting there for almost two hours, there had never been more than 4 other tables. which was a huge topic of our conversation. this place is so good & people need to come eat here!! we weren’t in a rush at all so elena decided she wanted another glass of wine, which i declined. but i went crazy & order a second dessert! why? i have no idea…it’s that all or nothing thing! so, like crazy people, we ordered the cheesecake of the day which was chocolate coffee. and holy shit–best and worst decision ever! it was my favorite part of the meal. decadent seems to be the theme of this night & the cheesecake was the icing on that cake! super rich, creamy and flavorful. there was a light chocolate flavor, but mostly it tasted like espresso. so good, y’all. just so good. but too much!!
needless to say, we were stuffed! ugh, i haven’t felt that way in a very long time. and after the kind of diet i’ve been eating the past few months, this was definitely a shock to my system! but, worth it for sure. we walked the 3 plus miles home over the brooklyn bridge in hopes of kickstarting some digestion! i don’t think it worked because i slept like crap. and still felt full when i woke up on sunday morning.
i loved rawlicious though and cannot blame them for my overindulgence! i plan on telling everyone i know to try this place & keep them in business…just maybe don’t go so nuts with all the nuts! and stick to one dessert!