Foodies Feast at 2013 NYC Vegetarian Food Festival!

NYCVFF-Save-the-Date

The Third Annual New York City Vegetarian Food Festival drew throngs of vegans, vegetarians, pescatarians, flexitarians and all other -tarians imaginable, packing the Metropolitan Pavilion with hundreds of hungry attendees on 125 West 18th Street the weekend of March 2nd and 3rd, 2013. This extravaganza of non-meat meats, non-cheese cheeses and vegetables galore, which took place from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, showcased dozens of creative products and foods that promoted health and sustainability – not just for the consumer, but for our planet too!

For more details, visit the event’s website here: http:/nycvegfoodfest.com/

That the festival was high-anticipated was painfully obvious by the length of its admission lines, which wrapped around the block on 18th Street (even early on a chilly Sunday morning). General admission was $5 and VIP admission, which allowed visitors to skip the ever-growing line, was $30 a day and $50 for the entire weekend.

Morning Line

The dedication of New York foodies at 10 a.m. on a Sunday. I guess I’m one of these crazies.

I and a few fellow food-fans decided to save our pocket money for the festival itself and opted for the general admission fee. That said, the wait was made bearable – even (gasp) enjoyable – by the fact that The Cinnamon Snail, New York and New Jersey’s award-winning vegan food truck, was parked right in front of the Pavilion, rapidly dishing out everything from cookies and coffee to burgers and burritos. Wasn’t long before they had a line in front of them as well.

The Cinnamon Snail

Thank goodness for The Cinnamon Snail! These pastries make any wait worthwhile.

Within the first few minutes of entering the actual festival, I was overwhelmed by the amount of free food and merchandise that was handed to us. Not in a skimpy way, but in generous portions accompanied by brights smiles and lively conversation. By the time I had sampled from every food booth within reach, I felt as if I’d sat down and indulged in a multi-course meal. Makes the five bucks you pay to get in seem like chump change.

Below is a list of vendors that were most memorable to me – enjoy!

Introducing a new dairy-free ice cream: DFMavens! Flavors included Shot of Java, Key Lime Creme, Del Lago Chocolate, Madagascar Vanilla Bean, Alphonso Mango and Sicilian Hazelnut Truffle. Which did I try? All of them, duh.

We were first greeted by the welcome sight of a new vegan ice cream called DFMavens!

Vegan ice cream? Now there’s a welcome sight.

Regal Vegan’s Faux Gras™, a walnut and lentil paté and Basilicotta™, a creamy basil cashew spread, would be a heavenly pairing with any slice of bread or veggie.

Regal Vegan spreads. Commentary? "MMMMM!"

Regal Vegan spreads. Commentary? “MMMMM!”

Tofurkey

A free Tofurkey sandwich willingly handed to you as soon as you step into the festival? I could get used to such generosity!

Broccoli Hand Cream

Broccoli hand cream and soap! Nutrients from broccoli can be absorbed through the skin, our largest organ, as well as stomachs!

Raw Revolution

These Raw Revolution energy bars are sure to give you a boost of the healthiest kind! Couldn’t help but buy a box to take home.

The following two are pictures that capture the vibrant colors of veganism, courtesy of www.splicephotography.com.

“Your one-stop shop to fruit- and vegetable sushi made with six-grain rice and black Chinese forbidden rice topped off with customized tofu and vegetable puree sauces.” – Beyond Sushi

Beyond Sushi

Beyond Sushi’s rolls are beyond anything you’d imagine possible in terms of vegan seafood. Puts real fish to shame!

Didn’t get to taste these cupcakes, but they were so pretty, just looking at them left me satisfied.

 New Jersey Vegan Bakery. Dozens of cupcakes and mounds of frosting with no butter or cream? Enough said.

New Jersey Vegan Bakery. Dozens of cupcakes and mounds of frosting with no butter or cream? Enough said.

The creator of these vegan-seafood concoctions from Sophie’s Kitchen credits his daughter, who’s allergic to seafood, as his culinary inspiration.

Vegan fish filets and scallops? They exist.

Yes, vegan fish filets and scallops exist. They weren’t my favorite, but they were interesting in their strangeness.

I would take Way Better’s chips over Doritos, Lays and Fritos any day. The four kinds featured at the festival were blue, multi-grain, sweet potato and black bean.

These sprouted tortilla chips are way-better tasting and way better for your body than any other chip I've had.

These sprouted tortilla chips are way-better tasting and way better for your body than any other chip I’ve had.

A festival about food? Expect a crowd!

Especially if much of the food is free!

Especially if much of the food is free!

“We create treats that resonate with our fondest childhood memories using all-natural, local, and organic ingredients free from common allergens: wheat, dairy, casein, eggs, soy and peanuts. Our bakery is 100% vegan, gluten-free, and refined sugar-free.” – Dauphin Bakery

Dauphin Bakery's cookies also come in Oatmeal Cranberry Raisin, Salted Chocolate Chunk and Ginger Spiced Molasses. Is your mouth watering yet

Dauphin Bakery’s cookies also come in Oatmeal Cranberry Raisin, Salted Chocolate Chunk and Ginger Spiced Molasses. Is your mouth watering yet?

This is arguably the best sausage I’ve ever tasted. And it’s made from fruits, veggies and grains so you can feel good about the harm you didn’t cause to an animal in eating it.

The Field Roast Grain Meat Company!

The Field Roast Grain Meat Company!

Just when you think the festival couldn’t get any better, you realize that there’s more to do there than eat! The festival featured three stages (“Apple,” “Banana” and “Pear” – how fitting), at which various speakers tackled topics including “Eating Well, Staying Fit on $4 a Day,” “Plate-Based Activism,” “Apartment Gardening,” “Vital Health for Life,” “Quick Protein Packed Snacks For Everyone” and “Medium Raw, A Vegan Chef’s Journey from Steak to Kale,” as well as hosted cooking classes, yoga sessions, movie viewings and more. There was even the “Kumquat Kids Area” for children, which offered fun activities including face-painting, puppet-making, story-telling and kid’s yoga.

Adam Sobel from The Cinnamon Snail draws a substantial crowd during his talk “Pursuit of a fully non-violent lifestyle,” which explored the problem of pollution caused by our lifestyles.

Adam Sobel, creator of The Cinnamon Snail.

Adam Sobel, creator of The Cinnamon Snail.

Missed out? Well, now you know what to put into your calendars for 2014.