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Several Christmases ago, my sister gifted me Chef Chloe Coscarelli’s vegan cookbook. I’m not vegan (have you seen my post on my fave tacos In San Diego?!), though I do enjoy quick and simple ways to prepare meals at home without meat. Doing so saves a few dollars and prevents me from touching raw meat with my bare hands, which I’d rather not do. So, Chef Chloe’s paperback was a welcome guide to my fledgling cooking skills and modest budget.

Over the years, Chef Chloe’s Avocado Pesto Pasta, Asian-inspired greens and a Southwest style salad occasionally made it into my cooking rotation. I’m a fan of hers, and even though I don’t make her dishes regularly, I’m impressed by her entrepreneurship and visually stunning food pics from her new restaurant’s Instagram account. Until last fall, I could only admire the buzz she was getting around her first brick and mortar in Manhattan.

As my trip to NYC approached, I peppered my East Coast friends with Instagrams from the restaurant’s account and paired them with lots of heart eyes emojis. I also vowed to drag (passionately persuade, rather) them to join me for an all-vegan meal there if they resisted.

Part 2: Late lunch at by CHLOE, Manhattan


On the way to Y7 in Williamsburg


When we arrived in NYC, somewhere between Y7 Studio’s hip hop vinyasa session in Williamsburg and a 90’s dance party in Gowanus, we agreed (to my satisfaction – I mean, delight!) on nourishment at by CHLOE.

Even during an odd lunch hour, we hunted for an open table and wove through a throng of Millenials to identify the end of the line. Like the Panera Breads and other fast-casual eateries of the world, a buzzer indicated when your order was ready.

Unlike most fast-casual restaurants, everything on the menu comes sans animal or animal by-products. We’re talking cashews for cheese, black beans and portobello mushroom for burger patties, so forth. It works.


by CHLOE_NYC_2015

Hmm, I should have taken a shot from the top to expose the vegan goodness between those buns.


The bright flavors of my Guac Burger and sweet potato fries with homemade beet ketchup shined in the absence of animal protein. I savored the combination of the crisp, subtle sweetness of the fries. I relished in the creamy avocado spread, chipotle aioli and inviting texture of the burger.

Whatever connotations the word vegan come with was whatever. I enjoyed the late afternoon in the presence of energizing company and food, without much thought beyond what adventure the teeming city had for us next.

On that moody yet (another) unusually warm fall afternoon, around a snug corner table we snagged on the patio, banter ebbed with anecdotes from our college years and flowed into discussion on shopping strategy. The two locals at the table let us in on tales from the hood and finally, our pooled thoughts met on the next stop on our agenda; the beautiful yet crowded, repurposed railroad track in the area, The High Line.

Unlike the Maharlika brunch episode, we set off for The High Line pleasantly satiated and like poised adults.


High Line_NYC_2015

Crowded, yet beautiful. The High Line, Manhattan. Spot my friends!

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Read PART 1 of my I Love NY Moments here.