Yesterday was my birthday, and what a great birthday it was. It all started with this little image on my phone. I can only image all of these graphically tempting treats as being vegan:
After a lovely morning of serenades, well-wishes, kisses from Mozzer, Figure-8 dances from Connie, other gifts and movie watching, Artichoke had planned a lovely, relaxing midday adventure with a surprise lunch. All I knew was that we’d be going to Manhattan to a place where I’ve never eaten. I tried to guess, but there were so many places that I’ve been wanting to check out because they had been deemed delicious by word of mouth. So, guessing attempts were futile.
We ended up on East 6th Street and Avenue A. Then, Carlo said we had to walk up the block. I almost missed it thinking we were going somewhere else when he stopped. “Look! It’s right here!” A big smile fell upon my face when I looked and saw this:
CARAVAN OF DREAMS! I had mentioned going to this vegan gem about twice a month, yet never could find the time for the trip! Oh, this would be a great day, for sure.
Green and red for the exterior made the place look inviting. Upon entering, the feel was definitely homey yet intimate. Dark, yet warmly inviting. The place appears small, but it’s roomy. Strange, I know, but in a good way.
It was busy, buzzing, but not crazy, with filled seats and lively conversation. We were seated at a table for two, and brought a glass bottle of water for the table. Looking around at the bar and open kitchen, it was nice, especially since I love open kitchens in a restaurant. You get a window of what’s going on “behind the scenes.” There’s also a stage, for which we learned there are often musicians performing. So, we’ll have to go back when there’s live music.
The menu is HUGE! For some, that can sometimes be intimidating. Either nothing could be interesting, or I would want to try one of everything. For Caravan, it was the latter. All vegan with many gluten-free, macro and raw options. Something for everyone is always good. They even serve brunch daily from 11pm to 5pm with lovely sounding tofu scrambles, french toast and sampling plates.
Since it was my birthday, we went right for big plates for lunch. We shared a lovely dish of seitan nachos with black beans, guacamole and salsa. Artichoke ordered paella with flavorful saffron rice, tofu, chorizo and artichoke hearts (but, of course). It was perfectly seasoned and balanced. He was really impressed with the chorizo and wanted to know if it was homemade. He learned that it wasn’t, but it didn’t matter to him. He loved it.
I had the seitan quesadilla which was chock full of juicy seitan, veggies and vegan cheesiness with a lovely hot sauce and a side of sliced avocado, mango and greens. OMG! Artie said he had plate envy again, but his dish was amazing too. I kept picking off of his place in between bites of my quesadilla. He ate about a 1/3 of my dish too. Isn’t sharing great?
Seitan nachos: I could eat this all day
Paella (top) and Seitan Quesadilla (bottom): Good for sharing…and caring…during your meal
The only downside was that the food was so filling that I felt almost drunk by how good it was. There was no more room at the inn (my belly) for dessert.
For drinks on a windy Sunday birthday, Artie had his usual iced coffee. However, something about this one impressed him, as he didn’t have to add any sweetener to it. It was perfect as it was served! I went for a big, lovely, cream cup of steamy hot chocolate which went down smooth and yummy. That made up for not having dessert! Then again, it was dessert enough for me.
Iced coffee & hot chocolate: YUM!
We had a lovely time! Good food and great company make a birthday lunch “sweet!”
Caravan of Dreams
405 East 6th Street
New York, NY 10009
By the way, walking back down to Avenue A, I took a couple of photos of some cool arty finds found along the way: