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All Reviews by Bill K

12 Review(s).

58 E 4th St, New York City, USA

support your local co-op!

02 Nov 2006

This is a tiny, tiny place where most of the daily food essentials can be bought, but there is not shelf space for much else. A very good selection of produce, and during the growing season the members and staffers obtain as much locally- and regionally-grown produce as possible, often making deals with and buying from the organic farmers at the Union Square Greenmarket. Therefore, your food is fresher than the stuff of dubious age and quality, grown thousands of miles away, that is sold at most NYC health food stores. As a co-op, profit is not the motivation for this store's existence and the sense of purpose and camaraderie, as well as loyalty to the project, among its members is high. Open seven days; non-members can shop here as well.

172 Allen St, New York City, USA

mostly food for thought, but some food for stomach

13 Oct 2006

Yes, this is a bookstore but Bluestockings has a small cafe featuring snacks (mostly pastries) and coffee and tea. It's all organic and vegan; the anarcha-feminist collective that runs the store is committed to ecology, vegetarianism, and animal rights, as well as the broader overall project of total social transformation. As such, it's a nice place to drop by, chill out, socialize. Buy a book and a coffee! I'd rather throw my money in their direction than at Starbucks.

45 8th Ave, New York City, USA

The Name Says It

14 Nov 2005

As the name of this place says, it's S'nice. Very casual, neighborhood hangout. No pressure on you to eat and run, whether you buy a big meal or just a coffee to nurse for hours. S'nice sells mostly sandwiches (wraps) and salads, with a daily soup (always vegan) and a daily grain (usually couscous) and vegetable course. Desserts, coffee and tea also. Nice fat sandwiches; several are vegan. Salads are a bit on the puny side, and S'nice becomes S'tingey when you order a take-out sandwich: they don't give you the salad that is included when you eat-in. Still, the atmosphere and character of the place compensate for the couple of bad lapses.

328 East 14th St, New York City, USA

Friendly, Homey, Tasty

14 Nov 2005

A small place, friendly and casual. Not vegan, although the "EV" mark next to the menu item means "Easily Made Vegan". Nice basic vegie plate, which includes salad plus grain and bean. Cashew Sofrito is tasty, although the fried plantain hiding at the bottom of the plate doesn't quite make it--clashes too much with the other ingredients. Best to ask them to omit this. The sauce in the BBQ tempeh is a trifle too tangy and doesn't really match the flavor of the tempeh; it should be toned down. The other entrees are good, and the portions are generous. Mexican-inspired lunch items are on the menu. Beer and wine served, a nice touch. Two drawbacks: not organic, and too many tofu and tofu-derived dishes.

177 Ludlow St, New York City, USA

An Oasis on Ludlow

18 Dec 2005

There is very few differences among the various health and natural foods stores throughout NYC. Most of the produce comes from the same distributors, the staple products are identical, and the prices are generally consistent from store to store, more or less. So what makes Earthmatters stand out? Mostly because it's become a little haven on a block that's been overrun by bridge-and-tunnel yuppies. Earthmatters has an excellent cafe, where you can get tasty snacks as well as delicious whole, hot meals; you can bring your laptop and sit, nursing a coffee as long as you want, with no pressure to leave; bring a good book and read all day. The staff is friendly and obliging. A great place to shop, and a great place to come for a coffee.

58 Ave B, New York City, USA

so-so

13 Oct 2006

We ate here several times in the last six months or so, mostly because we had no other choice. The food is passable and edible, nothing more. Not particularly tasty, and not particularly healthy. The wait staff, while friendly, is often oblivious and inattentive (where else can you wait ten minutes for a fork while your meal is quickly getting cold?) and don't seem to know much about the dishes they're serving (or about vegetarian diet generally). The music is frequently obnoxious and too loud, and a few times I've wondered about this place's sanitary practices. In a neighborhood with a bunch of other vegetarian restaurants you can do a lot better.

71 First Ave, New York City, USA

weird decor, good food

18 Dec 2005

The decor in this place is weird, to say the least, and can put a damper on your appetite. Still, if you can get past that you won't regret it. The food is very, very tasty, and much creativity goes into its preparation. Beer and wine served (the spiciness of most items would conflict with wine; stick to beer instead). Amazingly cheap prices. On the downside, the food is not organic, too many items rely on TVP (you can substitute plain old tofu for this), and many dishes contain eggs (they'll leave them out on request). On weekends it can get a bit noisy with obnoxious canned music. But all in all, Pukk is well worth the visit, and most diners are repeat customers.

170 Allen St, New York City, USA

nice place

02 Nov 2006

Tiengarden is a quirky little place offering tasty Asian dishes. This restaurant is vegan and an old menu notes that all dishes are "free of the Five Impurities: onion, garlic, leeks, shallot and tobacco." (Yes, you read that correctly.) But, for some of the dishes, they are not afraid of heat, so if you like things hot and spicy this is definitely the place to go. All the grains are organic, as are many of the vegie ingredients. No coffee here, but that's no problem. Just move over to Bluestockings book store, right next door, for a cup of organic Chiapas brew and perhaps a nice vegan sweet or pastry.

165 1st Ave, New York City, USA

good neighborhood store

02 Nov 2006

This is a somewhat cramped but decently-stocked store, containing the standard items found in all NYC health food stores. The produce section is better than most and, to its credit, Commodities makes an effort to stock locally- and regionally-produced produce in season. Also, the store sells a handful of items not likely to be found in other places. Prices are generally somewhat lower than other stores.

14th Street, New York City, USA

New York City Greenmarket

13 Oct 2006

The New York City Greenmarkets are a network of farmers' markets operating throughout the city. (More information is at http://www.cenyc.org/site/ ) The Union Square Greenmarket is the oldest one, and the flagship market of the program. It operates year-round; open on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays. For vegetarians, this should be one's primary source of food. Greenmarket rules state that the farmer/vendors can sell only food they actually grow, which is why you won't find oranges, bananas, avocados, etc. there. When you buy food at the Greenmarket you're dealing with the farmer who grew it, not the middleman. Only Northeast farmers participate; most come from upstate New York; many come from New Jersey; a handful come from Long Island, Pennsylvania and Vermont. There are a number of organic vendors; there is one biodynamic farm represented at Union Square, and also several farms that use IPM techniques. The food is seasonal, although a few farmers operate hothouses where various greens (and sprouts) can be had all year long. In addition to fresh produce, the Greenmarket also offers breads, wine, maple syrup, house plants and flowers, pickles, herbs and, alas (dare I say it?), meat, eggs, cheeses and other dairy products. By shopping at the Greenmarket you're supporting local farmers. You get the freshest, highest quality foods, and you do the environment and area ecosystem a big, big favor. The Greenmarket is one of the best things NYC has to offer!

250 7th Ave, New York City, USA

Corporatization of Organic

18 Dec 2005

I originally wrote the following about the Union Square Whole Foods Market, but my review is germane to all of these stores: If you think that organic means nothing more than growing food without chemicals or bad pesticides, then Whole Foods is fine. But if you believe that "organic" implies a way of being and living, a way of re-structuring and humanizing society, of creating a radical ecological sensibility, then shun this place at all costs. Whole Foods is a megacorporation; why patronize this place when there are so many locally-owned natural foods stores all over the city? Why buy "organic" produce grown on big agribusiness California farms, and then shipped across an entire continent (admittedly a problem for all health food stores in NY) when there are numerous farmers' markets (the Greenmarket program) throughout Manhattan where you can buy locally-produced food from a farmer you know? Why patronize a store that proudly displays the carcasses of dead animals, offered for sale for human consumption? When it comes to corporate "organic", the old adage "Think Globally, Act Locally" is quite appropriate.

10 Columbus Circle, New York City, USA

Corporatization of Organic

18 Dec 2005

I originally wrote the following about the Union Square Whole Foods Market, but my review is germane to all of these stores: If you think that organic means nothing more than growing food without chemicals or bad pesticides, then Whole Foods is fine. But if you believe that "organic" implies a way of being and living, a way of re-structuring and humanizing society, of creating a radical ecological sensibility, then shun this place at all costs. Whole Foods is a megacorporation; why patronize this place when there are so many locally-owned natural foods stores all over the city? Why buy "organic" produce grown on big agribusiness California farms, and then shipped across an entire continent (admittedly a problem for all health food stores in NY) when there are numerous farmers' markets (the Greenmarket program) throughout Manhattan where you can buy locally-produced food from a farmer you know? Why patronize a store that proudly displays the carcasses of dead animals, offered for sale for human consumption? When it comes to corporate "organic", the old adage "Think Globally, Act Locally" is quite appropriate.

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