Hello fellow foodies!
My family and I spent 8 days together filled with travel, family time and an abundance of great food… starting off with Brooklyn/Williamsburg/NYC eateries, and then winding down in Durham, NC. With this post I am sharing some of our favorite dining spots along the way.
For Thanksgiving week my hubby and I first went to New York for a few days of subways, walking, fun and food with two of our three daughters. He and I stayed at an Air BnB in Williamsburg, just a hop skip and a jump away from my daughter Avtar’s flat there. We walked just about everywhere, enjoying so many little restaurants and coffee shops along the way… and probably ate more desserts in those few days than I would normally consume in a month…. but every bite was worth it! My fave treat spot was the delightful Bakeri at 150 Wythe… We each picked an assortment of small treats. I simply adored the Earl Grey tea cookies and the black sesame tea cookies. Cafe Mogador, also in Williamsburg at 133 Wythe (that 100 block of Wythe has some good mojo) is a very cozy little Moroccan spot with some outstanding vegan/vegetarian options.
I had the Mixed Platter (various salads) and Avtar had the vegetarian Tagine…. we shared, but could barely finish it all. So fresh and so good. Although Moroccan, the decor and atmosphere reminded me a lot of La Note, my favorite French spot in Berkeley. Cafe Mogodor gets very crowded at peak times (the first time we tried to go the wait would have been an hour), so reservations are recommended. One night we met up with some friends who live in NY and we all went to the Nets v Celtics game and afterwards found this awesome vegan spot just down the street from Barclays Center… Dao Palate, perfect for an evening snack. Another evening found us at M Shanghi Bistro & Garden in Williamsburg which featured, in addition to their regular fare, an extensive vegan menu. We tried 4 or 5 dishes (and shared all, of course). I remember the Sauteed Pea Leaves with Garlic and Scallion Pancakes were superb. Everything looked and tasted amazing (possibly heightened even more by the company it was shared with, and the fabulous day we’d had together).
The owner was also super friendly and made great recommendations.
By the way, this is something I never do (all this late night dining out), but it is so hard to resist all these fabulous restaurants…. Plus, in NY we do so much walking that I am sure it all balanced out! Our last afternoon in NY we went out for some pizza at Fornino’s in Williamsburg. Of course, Fornino’s pizza and pasta was fantastic and I believe we had a piece or two to spare that we took on the plane to our next destination, Durham, NC where we celebrated Thanksgiving.
If you will ever be within 100 miles of Durham, NC at Thanksgiving time, you must make every effort beforehand to purchase tickets to attend the annual gigantic Vegan Thanksgiving Feast that is held there. But be quick! I understand that this year all the seatings were sold out within 10 minutes! It is heralded as the largest vegan Thanksgiving feast in the nation. I would add that it is probably the most delicious as well!
Of course, in order to be fully prepared for getting fully filled… We needed a little workout in the morning. Hence, the Turkey Trot! A short run-walk nearDuke University…
Later we would all join with my son-in-law’s family for our vegetarian feast! Cafe Parizade is the fine Mediterranean restaurant that lends itself for this event each year. The feast has been sponsored by the Triangle Vegan Society since 1993. This was my third time attending, and the first time my husband and all our daughters were there too. I am telling you, there were probably at least 30 different dishes, including at least 10 different desserts (all in very small portions/sizes so you can easily sample a few or all).
Everything is purely vegan, beautifully presented, and exquisitely prepared… Plus there are clearly marked options for gluten free, soy free, etc (see sample menu) – and the pricing is astronomically reasonable (about $30/adult), with as many “seconds” as you could possibly desire. First class service, beautiful setting, and lovingly prepared food. Luckily, Avtar snapped a few photos of the dinner, because I was so busy enjoying this time with family and loved ones, and savoring every single exceptional bite, that I took no photos at all. In fact, during the entire 8 days I believe I took fewer than 10 photos, and none were of food!! It was about family and all being together… a rarity these days!
We topped off Thanksgiving Day with a cozy light meal at home… all 12 of us… that ended with a Pear Croustade with Lemon Pastry and Almonds prepared by daughter Avtar (when she’s in town, we all hope she makes dessert, and she did!). This has become one of her signature pastries… and if you click on the link, you will find the recipe!