Paleo and the City: Bareburger (New York City)

When the boys are out of school in the summer we like to take a few trips into nearby New York City. We always have fun adventures. Recently, we trekked to Bareburger, a restaurant I have been interested in trying ever since hearing about it from a friend at Paleo FX in Austin. We journeyed to the heart of Midtown Manhattan to find this Paleo-friendly burger joint.

It was well worth the trip.

Benjamin was excited. He gave me his best suave look.

B at Bareburger

Bareburger’s Food

Bareburger offers organic, all natural, free-range, grass-fed meats; organic and all-natural cheeses; and organic vegetables. They partner with local artisans and sustainable farmers and emphasize old-fashioned quality.

Here’s a description of some of the ingredients they use:

Meats:
Beef: 100% organic, grass-fed, 85% lean
Bison: 100% organic, grass-fed, 91% lean
Turkey: 100% organic, free-range, 94% lean
Elk: 100% all-natural, pasture raised, hormone-free, antibiotic-free, 92% lean
Wild Boar: 100% all-natural, pasture raised, hormone-free, antibiotic-free
Ostrich: 100% all-natural, pasture raised, hormone-free, antibiotic-free, 95% lean
Lamb: 100% all-natural, pasture raised, hormone-free, antibiotic-free, 90% lean
Chicken: 100% all-natural, free-range, hormone-free, antibiotic-free
Portabella Cap: 100% organic
Veggie Burger: Made with organic grains and local vegetables
Bacons: 100% all-natural, hormone-free and nitrate free
Sausage: 100% organic

Cheeses: 100% all-natural, made from pasture raised cows, rbgh-free (growth hormone)

Vegetables and Fruits: 100% organic, pesticide, herbicide and ammonia free

Dairy and Eggs: 100% organic, made from grass-fed cows

Pretty impressive.

Gluten-Free Options at Bareburger

Continue reading

Pin It

The Paleo Perspective on Babycakes NYC™

It was the last full day of school for my two boys (yes, school ends late around here) Taking advantage of the time, I trekked into New York City for a little fun on my own. One of my stops was a bakery I first visited last summer: Babycakes NYC™. Found on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, Babycakes Bakery serves

“all-natural, organic and delicious alternatives free from the common allergens: wheat, gluten, dairy, casein and eggs. Rest assured, all sweeteners have been chosen responsibly and used sparingly. White sugar will never be found in our bakery, nor will we ever use toxic chemical sweeteners. Instead, most products are sweetened with agave nectar—a natural syrup from a cactus which is low on the glycemia index and often a safe alternative to most non-insulin dependant diabetics. Occasionally, unprocessed and unrefined sugar is used in certain goods, although sparingly.”

As someone with food allergies and intolerances, as well as some strong preferences, I greatly appreciate owner Erin McKenna’s vision. She set out to create a bakery that would serve, not a “vegan” cupcake, but a delicious cupcake that just happens to be vegan. I love that.

Let’s take a peek inside and learn a little more about Babycakes.

Continue reading

Pin It

Paleo and The City: Greensquare Tavern

Greetings, everyone! “G,” here, filling in for Lea to write a glowing review of Greensquare Tavern, a very Paleo-friendly, “farm to table” restaurant in New York City.

Lea and I really enjoy dining out – probably too much, if my wallet has anything to say about it – but her celiac disease adds an extra dimension of difficulty to finding a suitable restaurant. On more than a few occasions we’ve found great restaurants unfortunately using ingredients that make it virtually impossible to dine safely, so we have been forced to cross them off our list. Therefore, it was a genuine pleasure to come across the Greensquare Tavern.

Located at 5 West 21st Street in Manhattan’s Flatiron District, Greensquare Tavern is spacious, airy, and inviting. A picture window in the front by the bar and a large, overhead skylight flood the dining area with soft, bright light even on a gray rainy day like the day of our visit.

We arrived just before the lunch rush and were greeted by Renee Typaldos, one of the managing partners. There were still plenty of seats, but that didn’t last long. Within 10 minutes, most of the tables were full of hungry office workers and assorted cube mice looking for a healthy, delicious lunch.

Greensquare Tavern

I started off as I usually do, by checking the beer list, and was pleased to inform Lea that Estrella Damm DAURA, a gluten-free ale from Spain, was available! She clapped her hands with delight and promptly ordered one in a large, frosty glass. There aren’t many gluten-free beers, and seemingly fewer restaurants that serve them, so a nice, tasty bottle of DAURA was an unexpected treat.

Estrella Damm Daura

After delivering the gluten-free beer, our waiter returned to tell us about the daily specials. Lea and I both started off with the Chilled Beet Soup. Chilled Beet Soup Continue reading

Paleo and the City: Peking Duck House

This week is Spring Break for my two boys. While we may not be going on a big vacation, we are determined to find a few fun things to do in the nice weather. We kept our eyes on the forecast and picked the perfect day for a jaunt into New York City. I initially dragged Nathaniel (aka Sweet Pea) and Benjamin (aka Big Boy) to B&H Photo/Video Superstore where I did a little shopping. (That place is absolutely mind-blowing. But I’ll save that post for another day….) Our primary destination was Chinatown, which is my boys’ favorite part of the City for a few reasons. Our first stop was Peking Duck House at 28 Mott Street for lunch. The three of us were able to enjoy the full Peking Duck experience with a little twist in the appetizer department.

The boys ordered soup to start the meal but I was drawn to the cold appetizer menu which boasted such things as Spicy White Cabbage.
And…drum roll please….Boneless Duck Feet.
Boneless Duck Feet

Ordering duck feet was more for the culinary adventure than a strong desire to dine on feet. Let’s be honest, eating duck feet does not sound especially awesome. But I have to say they were not half bad. The waiter seemed a little surprised I ordered it and I suspect the dish is enjoyed more by locals than the tourist crowd. The duck feet were mildly flavored like broth and soft enough to be cut with a fork. As nutrition goes, duck feet are full of cartilage which is a really great food for joint health -assuming you can get past the texture.

Benjamin was unconcerned with his joint health. Even though he was initially willing to give it a try, once he realized the duck feet are served cold, he changed his mind. Imagine that! But Nathaniel decided he wanted to go for it and I am completely impressed by his courage and adventurous spirit. Here are a few shots of Nathaniel on his culinary adventure.

Continue reading

Pin It

Paleo and the City: Lululemon and The Central Park Zoo

Over the summer I took my boys into New York City a few times. It was the first summer since going paleo so our jaunts included efforts to find paleo eats wherever we went. We were fairly successful. You can find most anything in New York so it stands to reason one could find plenty of paleo-friendly food. Afterall, paleo means eating meat, vegetables, some fruit and nuts and good fats – not really that hard. Of course, New York has its share of food temptations. We had to avoid the street vendors with dessert crêpes and falafel. We did not indulge in black & white cookies and cannoli. And we stayed away from Italian restaurants – with one exception, Mario Batali’s La Lupa. That was tough because, let me tell you, there are REALLY good Italian restaurants in New York City. Sigh.

Lululemon Athletica

I lugged my camera every time we went in and managed to get some fun shots. You can see a few of them in a previous post about our trip to Madison Square Park – Paleo and the City: Madison Square Park. That particular trip was during a week when my oldest son, Big Boy, was away at church camp and Sweet Pea and I were on our own. We took a second trip into “The City” that same week which included a stop at Lululemon Athletica (quite the yoga-wear Mecca). My husband G has gotten into yoga over the last year. He enjoys practicing when he has the time and appreciates the multiple benefits. Lululemon has a fantastic men’s line of yoga clothing. But even though G is quite comfortable in his manhood he simply cannot abide the name. He can’t bring himself to buy clothes from a store with “lulu” in the name. Maybe if they changed it to “Stevestevelemon” or “BobBoblemon” or simply “Lulemon”?? Next time I shop there I may buy him something but disguise it to look like it came from a more manly sounding athletic store. In spite of the unusual name, Lululemon sells terrific products. Everything I have purchased there has been great quality and has worn and washed well. The yoga top you see in the photo below came from Lululemon. Come to think of it, so did the hat.20111027-044307.jpg

Continue reading

Paleo Ostrich Egg Brunch

The boys and I took a trip into New York City the other day and stopped by the Union Square Greenmarket.  My husband, G, had been there the previous Friday and let me know there was a farmer selling ostrich and emu eggs.  Unfortunately, he was sold out that particular day. But Sweet Pea, Big Boy and I were in luck because, on the day we stopped by, the farmer from Roaming Acres Farm still had a couple of ostrich eggs

The price was $30 for one fresh ostrich egg or $20 for a hollow shell.  I purchased the pterodactyl-like egg which was then wrapped in bubble wrap for the trip home.

We were pretty excited to give the egg a try but given the sheer volume of food, and our desire to share the experience with others, we invited some friends over for a Paleo Ostrich Egg Brunch.  In preparation for the extraction of the egg from its shell G selected two drill bits for his Dremel tool.  Paleo Spirit

He used the smallest bit to drill a starter hole in one end of the egg then moved up to a larger bit until he had a hole big enough for a straw. 

We initially tried to extract the egg by inserting a straw slightly smaller than the hole and blowing into the shell.  We ended up drilling a tiny hole in the other end of the egg and blowing directly into that hole.  This second method proved successful.  Once the ostrich egg was out of its shell and into a large bowl I added:

  • 1/2 cup of heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon of kosher salt
  • fresh cracked black pepper

We cooked the mixture in two batches on medium heat in the fat rendered from duck bacon

And, drumroll please……Here’s what the finished product looked like.paleo scrambled ostrich egg

The only difference we noticed between this ostrich egg and regular chicken eggs was some gelatinous ribbons running throughout.  It was part of the white of the egg and looked rubbery. One guest said it reminded her of “lardons” – “pieces of bacon or pork which are inserted in meat in the process of larding” usually in French cooking.  Though initially off-putting it was actually quite tasty and not rubbery at all.

Sweet Pea and Big Boy were VERY excited about brunch!Paleo Ostrich Egg Brunch

Accompanying the scrambled ostrich egg for our “Paleo Brunch” we served some duck bacon, fresh strawberries, gluten free jelly donut cupcakes (recipe from Elana’s Pantry), orange juice and coffee with heavy cream. Paleo Ostrich Egg Brunch

Sweet Pea was pretty jazzed at being allowed to indulge in a tiny bit of coffee and cream in his little Sweet Pea-sized coffee cup.Paleo Brunch

The unanimous opinion was that the ostrich egg was delicious.  The heavy cream and duck fat certainly did not hurt matters.  The texture of the egg itself was very tender – more fluffy than similarly cooked chicken eggs.  It fed four adults and two children with a lot of leftovers in spite of the fact we adults had pretty sizable portions.  My estimate is we ate the equivalent of about 18 chicken eggs.  Here’s a photo of the leftovers.  Paleo Ostrich Eggs

The farmer had estimated the ostrich egg would provide an equivalent of 18-24 chicken eggs.   It seemed to me we had closer to the equivalent of 28-30 eggs.  We certainly could have invited over a few more friends  Given the successful experience there will most likely be a next time!

Paleo Ostrich Egg Brunch

Big Boy imagines he is holding a real pterodactyl egg.

Daily Dose of Beauty: August 4, 2011

In New York City this week we happened upon two opera singers  performing “Flower Duet” from Lakme in Washington Square Park. It was a beautiful moment.  Find link below to hear a version of the piece by Leo Delibes performed by Natalie Dessay & Delphine Haidan:

20110804-120157.jpg

 

Daily Dose of Beauty Archives

Paleo and the City: Madison Square Park

I took my youngest son, SP (stands for “Sweet Pea” or “Stink Pot” depending on the day), for a jaunt into New York City yesterday.  We left early in the morning which meant we would be having breakfast, lunch and dinner (and dessert) there.  We started out at Starbucks where SP had a decidedly non-Paleo Sausage & Egg Sandwich.

I ordered a Grande Americano with heavy whipping cream.  I have had bad luck asking for a Grande Americano with “heavy whipping cream”.  Either I end up with “whipped cream” (fail) or they interpret “heavy whipping cream” to mean LOTS and LOTS of cream.  Sigh.  Prior to discovering the Paleo thing I used to drink lattes with either 2% or whole milk.  But now when I go to Starbucks, or similar coffee shops, I generally order an Americano.  An “Americano” is basically a shot, or shots, of espresso topped with an equal amount of boiling water.  I personally prefer the taste of an “Americano” to brewed coffee because it has a richer, crisper flavor.  The addition of heavy whipping cream ensures that there is little to no carbohydrate in the drink.  The taste of the coffee with the richness of the cream means that I do not miss the sugar.  And having ditched my fear of fat I am able to drink the Americano with a clear conscience.

After our trip to Starbucks we decided to take advantage of the beautiful day by spending the morning in nearby Madison Square Park. The park features free concerts for kids on Tuesday and Thursday mornings in the summer.  We were lucky enough to see a concert featuring Moona Luna.  They were QUITE good and elicited lots of jumping.

We also got to see Jaume Plensa’s sculpture “Echo” while in the park.  The installation is 44′ high and was quite impressive, especially with the Empire State Building in the background!  “Echo” is a white fiberglass resin work inspired by the Greek mythological nymph Echo.  She could only utter other people’s thoughts but not her own. (The mythological character, not the sculpture.  That would have been creepy.)  The massive scale of the work is supposed to draw parallels to Echo’s origin as a mountain nymph.  The work is in the park through August 14, 2011.

We spent a little time at the playground in the park enjoying the sunny day.

And then it was time for lunch at….drumroll please….SHAKE SHACK!

You might be asking yourself how one could stick with the Paleo Diet at a place called Shake Shack.  Well, little SP definitely did not stay Paleo.  He also felt the need to taunt me with the chocolate shake during the entire meal.  (Note the second straw which I will admit I DID use to sample the shake.  My willpower was not quite strong enough to resist that one.)

The sip of chocolate shake notwithstanding, I was able to otherwise remain “Paleo” for the rest of the meal.  Shake Shack has good comprehension of the whole gluten thing so I was able to order a bunless, double burger with lettuce, tomatoes, pickles and onions. They asked me specifically if I had an allergy to gluten and put it into the order ticket (as you can see in the photo).

The organically raised Angus beef that Shake Shack uses was amazingly tasty.  Their concern for customers seeking to remain gluten free was also very impressive.  I highly recommend Shake Shack at its original location in Madison Square Park in NYC or any of their other locations.

After lunch we took a trip to the top of the Empire State Building and then met up with G for dinner.  Stay tuned for future episodes of “Paleo And The City” for our experience at Zerza Mediterrano and Babycakes Bakery.

Daily Dose of Beauty: August 2, 2011

A giant head sculpture by renowned Spanish artist Jaume Plensa in Madison Square Park in New York City with the Empire State Building in the background. The 44′ high “Echo” is a white fiberglass resin work inspired by the Greek mythological nymph Echo. She could only utter other people’s thoughts but not her own. The massive scale of the work also draws parallels to Echo’s origin as a mountain nymph.

Daily Dose of Beauty Archives

20110802-104013.jpg

Purslane: Weed in the Morning, Haute Cuisine at Night

My sons and I took a jaunt into New York City yesterday for a screening of the film “Farmageddon“. We met up with my husband, G, for dinner at Lupa Osteria Romana that same evening. Lupa, one of chef Mario Batali’s endeavors, is one of my favorite restaurants in New York. I have eaten there a few times and have never been disappointed. It is a restaurant that strives to create dishes as close to traditional Roman trattoria fare as possible. Having lived, studied and worked in Italy (as well as meeting my husband there) Italian food is near and dear to my heart. Eating paleo has meant pasta consumption is essentially a thing of the past. However, my meal at Lupa last night illustrated how possible it is to eat great Italian food without the pasta.

At Lupa they make it a point to use local ingredients as often as possible in part to support local producers. This fit in well with the movie we had just seen that delved into the difficulties faced by small, local farmers. So I was especially appreciative of the efforts of the team at Lupa for utilizing Heritage Foods USA as a supplier. Heritage Foods USA produces high-quality, humanely raised meat products grown by small and medium sized independent farmers. Their motto is,

“We will continue to build on our milestone triumphs in reviving heritage breeds, increasing awareness of the food supply in the consumer mainstream, and offering farmers a chance to work their farms in a way that best serves the land, the animals, the consumer, and themselves.”

Again, having just seen the movie, “Farmageddon”, which I will review in a future post, the fact the owners of Lupa support local producers seemed especially appropriate.

Wednesday’s special happened to be “Braised Rabbit Leg”.  I had spent the morning gardening and chasing a couple of bunnies away from my veggies so the irony of eating rabbit for dinner was not lost on me and I proceeded to order the dish with gusto!  The side dish that accompanied the rabbit was purslane and not being familiar with that ingredient I asked the waiter for a description. He explained that purslane is a type of wild green and left it at that. When my food arrived I immediately recognized it as the exact same weed that my son and I had been diligently pulling out of our driveway most of the morning! Here I was at a fantastic restaurant in Manhattan paying top dollar for a dish of locally produced rabbit and weeds – both of which I had encountered under completely different circumstances earlier in the day.

The purslane was actually quite delicious and I was inspired to do a little research to find out more about it. It turns out this wonderful green leafy vegetable (scientifically known as portulaca oleracea) is very low in calories and fats; but is rich in dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals. Purslane leaves contain more Omega-3 fatty acids (α-linolenic acid) than any other leafy vegetable plant. 100 grams of fresh purslane leaves provides about 350 mg of α-linolenic acid. Research studies shows that consumption of foods rich in ω-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, stroke and also help prevent development of ADHD, autism, and other developmental differences in children. Purslane is also an excellent source of Vitamin A, (1320 IU/100 g, provides 44% of RDA) one of the highest among green leafy vegetables. It is also a rich source of vitamin C, and some B-complex vitamins like riboflavin, niacin, pyridoxine and carotenoids, as well as dietary minerals, such as iron, magnesium, calcium, potassium and manganese. Also present in purslane are potent anti-oxidants which have been found to have anti-mutagenic properties in laboratory studies.  This “weed” clearly packs a nutritional punch.

Given that the dish was terrific and the purslane was one of the reasons for that fact I determined I would cultivate purslane more formally in my garden from now on. The next day I went out to my driveway and pulled up some of the remaining plants.

I then transplanted the purslane to an empty part of my garden where I hope to grow it for use in salads and soups and other dishes in the near future.

It turns out the the leaves of purslane are the most nutritious but the braised rabbit dish at Lupa included the stems which I found to be quite tasty and succulent.  I recommend if you find it in your yard or garden that you let it thrive and harvest some of it for additions to salads or soups just prior to serving.  If you are going to keep it in the refrigerator you should probably wrap it in a damp paper towel and place it in a ziplock bag to retain moisture and freshness until you use it.  Once the purslane that I transplanted has time to grow I will experiment with a few recipes and post one or more here on the blog – assuming they are delicious.  :-)  If I am ever successful in capturing one of the rabbits that stalks my vegetable garden I might also attempt to replicate the braised rabbit leg I enjoyed at Lupa.  Otherwise, I will simply have to go back to the City for more of this “haute” cuisine.

For more information on how to identify purslane you can check out http://www.wildmanstevebrill.com/Plants.Folder/Purslane.html

Happy hunting and gathering!