Category Archives: NYC restaurants

RAW CHEF DAN’S UBER-COOL POP-UP RESTAURANT

POST #844
Right before I left on vacation, I had the wonderful opportunity of participating in a “raw vegan pop-up restaurant” event at Raw Chef Dan’s place in Manhattan. Woo hoo!

I have taken a couple of Dan’s courses and loved them, as well as his interesting studio/classroom/kitchen — I am always fascinated by how people use space). (In case you are unaware, Dan is also the chef at Quintessence restaurant, on of the few remaining raw vegan restaurants in New York City.

I was very excited when this opportunity came up; for an amazingly minimal fee, I got a full meal with four or five delicious courses, a kombucha drink, and a delicious pumpkin pie with butter pecan ice crème to finish. The concept was that the attendees were to help eat up what his students had made during their course-work that day. (What a wonderful way for Dan to choose to give back).

I got there early so I also had the opportunity to chat with Dan, ask his opinion on some things I have heard around recently, and just enjoy some last leisurely moments before hopping a train for Virginia.

After a while, some other folks came along, filled up the two other tables, and brought along new conversational opportunities, which made for more fun. I was almost sorry I had to leave, although I was really full, and running short of time by then.

If you have not done so yet, I highly recommend that you check out the RawChefDan website, and, if you are in the city, check out his upcoming classes. Even if you are not local, you can still get his recipes and make delicious/easy-to-make dishes in the comfort of your own kitchen. Also, do sign up for his newsletter, so that you can receive news and announcements (that’s how I learned of the pop-up restaurant).

QUINTESSENCE GROUPON: raw vegan restaurant: if you are in NYC, or going to be

POST #769
Ooh! Ooh! Ooh!  I have just received a Groupon offer for for a meal at Quintessence, in the East Village, in Manhattan, in New York City.  This coupon offers a $40 dining experience for $20.  I am so there!  I haven’t been to Quintessence in a while, but I expect that $40 would provide an amazing repast (in the past, I’ve been able to escape, with scrupulous control, for under $25, so I expect that this opportunity would likely tax my powers of food combining, but in a pleasurable way). Raw Chef Dan creates fabulous recipes (he also offers yummy recipes on his website, and offers food prep training as well)

This offer is available for but 4 more days.  Scramble over there to take advantage (I looked into the fine print, and the coupon is good for a year.  Quintessence has been around longer than any other raw restaurant in the City –  we have but 2-1/2 — I say 1/2 because Caravan of Dreams does offer some raw repasts, and Quintessence is also the most price-accessible/affordable, but, hey! Sadly, raw restaurants come and go, so don’t wait the whole year!  Go enjoy 1/2 price meal at Quintessence soonest)

Nobody is paying me to tell you about this (Okay, being broke, I did check both places to see if I could get a kick-back, but nothing was available). I just got an email, and am passing it on.

RAW SOUL IS NO MORE – but they have left us gifts!

Don’t you just hate it when people tell you something that is not exactly true.  Last spring, I posted that, despite rampant rumors, Raw Soul, that wonderful little raw food restaurant in Harlem, was not going to close, and was alive and running – my information came straight from Lillian and Eddie, the owners.  Distressed over the news, I contacted them, and they told me “No sister Margaret it is not true.  They are just that, rumors!”

The rumors were, indeed, true.

While fact-checking for the education section of the appendix of my new book, I visited Raw Soul’s website and discovered the sad, sad truth.  Raw Soul has closed, and Eddie and Lillian have moved on, planning an international company to distribute their products.  See the truth at Raw Soul

Lillian and Eddie have left us all some gifts, however. If you do go to Raw Soul, you can download for free an e-book with the recipes they made at their workshops in 2009 and 2010 (as a graduate of their raw food training, and an erstwhile restaurant customer, I can attest to the yumminess of their recipes).  You can also download e-books with Raw Soul soup recipes, as well as dessert recipes. ( I quickly downloaded these even as I was dabbing away the tears.)

Of course, we wish Lillian and Eddie well, when they settle in in New Mexico.  It looks like they will be close to some other big raw food concerns.

Meanwhile, it is sad that we have lost yet another raw food restaurant in New York City. (Recently I received an email informing me that Quintessence is going to be serving cooked food now — I received a message from Chef Dan to that effect, but I do not see the cooked foods mentioned on their website, which claims that they do not cook their food).

Why is it that New York City cannot support raw food restaurants?

RAW SOUL LIVES ON! the rumors are wrong!

For the past four or five months, I’ve been hearing that Raw Soul, the wonderful raw vegan restaurant in Harlem, was closing, or had already closed.

Tonight, I finally decided to go to the source and ask Lillian and Eddie, themselves.

I was happily surprised to receive a message back from them within a few short hours — they say

“No sister Margaret it is not true.  They are just that, rumors!   Come on
over and see us, we look forward to serving you.  Thank you for your concern
and love.”

Please go to visit this restaurant, patronize the business, to help keep them here with us.  Raw Soul is probably the best affordable raw vegan restaurant we have here.  The food is delicious and they also offer things not found elsewhere (particularly their rejuvelac by the gallon!)

If I could afford it, I would go there every week.  What I can do is urge you to go to this simple, pleasant cafe style restaurant and enjoy a meal there.

IS IT MINDFUL COOKING IF YOU THINK ABOUT THINGS RELATED TO WHAT YOU ARE PREPARING?

When I prepare food, I do try to be mindful: to start with: I think about what foods will best combine together to make what I have in mind, then I think about the vegetables/fruit/nuts/seeds I am using, and thank them for their contribution; I also think about the people who will be eating my food (if I am preparing for others), and  about how I will enjoy the food (if it is for me).   I strive to think happy thoughts while I am preparing food, because I believe that will help the food be better, tastier, more nutritious, and more digestible.

So, tonight, as I was preparing one of my favorites — massaged and marinated kale and collards, I started to think about Lillian Butler, who taught me how to make marinated greens.  I took a wonderful raw food training at Raw Soul, the restaurant that Lillian and her husband, Eddie, had in Harlem.  That training was very fruitful in very many ways.  Although I have been raw for a long time, it was the first time that I have met, in person, other people interested in raw food.  That was pretty exciting!

Last week, at Bebe’s raw food meet-up at Bonobo’s, I heard that Raw Soul has closed!  I was shocked!  Every time I had gone to Raw Soul, it had always been busy, even to the point that sometimes you had to ask a stranger if you could share their table, so I had always figured that they were making money.  They had a brisk take-out business, and they were the only place where you could get a gallon of rejuvelac to take home.  In addition to all of that, they offered raw food trainings, to teach people how to eat properly and prepare delicious food.  They had even started a chef training, which I was hoping to be able to take some day (right about the time they started it, my job went south, so I could not take the training right away)

What are Lillian and Eddie doing now?  Why did they close Raw Soul?  Did they make enough money to retire on and decide to go off and live on an island?  Did they decide to eat meat?  What happened?  No information is available on the grapevine.

I still smiled as I massaged my greens, remembering the night when we made our graduation dinner at Raw Soul, and the beautiful, enviably big steel bowl I was in charge of held all those greens and other ingredients, and how my own two hands could get in there and massage those greens until the mass was 1/3 of the original size, and how it tasted when we put our whole dinner together.

Even if Raw Soul is gone, every time I make greens, I will always have a beautiful memory to think on as I make the dish.

I’m sad that Raw Soul is gone. It was such a wonderful place.  I imagined that Lillian and Eddie had an outreach mission to teach the Harlem community about the raw food lifestyle, and about eating properly, and eating well.  Perhaps they did.  Perhaps they found it difficult to do what they had originally envisioned.  I can only hope that they have found something better to do, that satisfies their longings and desires and brings them prosperity.

I will miss Raw Soul.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!! Here’s what I have been up to!

Happy New Year!

I am very excited right now because I have located the files for two of the books I was working on (and had almost finished)!  I had thought they were sealed up forever and lost on my computer that died a few month ago, but, with some time off, and some careful sleuthing, I have located them and gotten to work on finishing up at least one of those books!  Hurray!  It is going to be a good year! I just know it is, especially since it is starting off so well.

I’ve just checked and seen that my CSA delivery will come on Thursday.  Cool!  I need food, and I am always curious to see what will be in the box.  Just in time!  Yippee!  I will go to the farm website on Tuesday to see what they plan to deliver.  I know there will be apples and apple cider, and I can’t wait!

Today, I have been updating the blog with two new pages: a listing of New York City raw restaurants, and, also, a listing of foods which should only be used if organic.  I’ve been busy!