By Seth Fera-Schanes
Want to conduct a fun social experiment?
First, go out to a burger place with a bunch of your most carnivores friends.
Then make sure you situate yourself so you are the last to order.
Watch as each friend finds and dictates their most perfect burger. Smothered in cheese. Topped with thick cut bacon (artisan thick cut bacon if you are in Brooklyn.) Cooked medium-rare, of course. Hold the lettuce because why bother.
Now place your order. You will have the the ground edamame and chickpea “burger” with pickled French radish, served on a gluten free bun.
Stress that absolutely no cheese is to touch your food. Ensure any french fries that accompany your meal were made in organic vegetable oil.
The slack jaws of your friends will reveal their inner most thoughts at your most egregious and vile order. Now tell them you have become a Vegan and get ready for the questions and words of discouragement to come flying out.
Such is the life for some vegans. One chooses to eat leaves over flesh and all of a sudden you are persona non grata. A new group of friends will need to be sought out. Most likely these friends will be wearing canvas shoes but at least they will accept you for who you are.
This new life might also be a little hard in fashion obsessed New York. If you forgo meat and dairy you had better get rid of that leather jacket and pants you picked up from Century 21 because they are designer and were marked 60% off. Not even Vegans can justify 60% of fine leather goods, sorry.
Now that you have lost your friends and changed your wardrobe, New York City is more than comfortable accommodating your new lifestyle. In a city with food influences from all over the world, there are more than a few vegetarian and vegan options. Interestingly, in addition to restaurants you can also find Vegan friendly bakeries.
Tatz Gluten Free Bakery is of of these establishments and opened in Manhattan Valley this year. For the uninitiated or confused, Manhattan Valley is tucked between 96th and 110th streets on the west side of Manhattan. Neighborhoods are always being redefined but just know you can easily get to Tatz off the 1,2,3 train or B, C subway lines.
I stopped in the other day and tried a chocolate vegan doughnut. It was a little small but dense and delicious. I would definitely recommend a tea or coffee to go with your treat (sans the milk.) The shop is small, about 10ft wide by 20 feet deep and they offer a nice variety of vegan and gluten free desserts.
This would be a nice place to bring a friend or pick up a dozen treats and bring to an apartment party. Or just do what I did. Stop in, point at a chocolate doughnut, eat it in 15 seconds and walk out (but a sweet experience nonetheless.)
Tatz is located at 844 Amsterdam Avenue between 101st and 102nd streets.