Last time I was there I was just a poor gutter punk, sleeping in parks and on stranger's floors, getting my boyfriend out of jail for shoplifting cigarettes at Safeway, and what have you. That was 14 years ago, but still, I liked it there. It seemed to me as east coast as a west coast city could possibly be, from the way the actual city looked - bricks, big urban parks - to the way the way the people were - they walked fast, talked fast (or at least faster than people from Oooooooregoooooon), and wore black.
I would love to spend more time there, but we really only had time for a drive by veganing. So we stopped at Wayward Cafe for brunch. Wayward is a collectively-run restaurant that serves vegan home cooking. I loved it so much in there that they could have served me a cold block of tofu and I would have been happy; bright orange walls, flyers everywhere, stuffed panda bears - if someone made a play about a collective vegan cafe the set would look just like Wayward cafe. And they were playing the Smiths, so I was in heaven.
Luckily, the food was good, too! I had fried tempeh, scrambled tofu, hummus and veggies with a side of biscuits and gravy. The biscuits were more cakey than I'm used to, but still wonderful, and even if anything wasn't wonderful the rich, luscious gravy would make up for it. And they aren't stingy with the nutritional yeast, they even trust you enough to leave out shakers so you can sprinkle it on all by yourself. Seward Cafe in Minneapolis does that, too. No place in Brooklyn would ever do that, but places like this aren't really a possibility in Brooklyn these days because Brooklyn just wants people to come here, spend all their parent's money and run back home to the midwest once their dreams are crushed and all of the bodegas have been turned into French restaurants.
Our next stop was, of course, Mighty-O Donuts.
My heart turned into a ball of mush when I saw the place, it was like a real donut place. Like, this is what the vegan revolution will look like. Like, you could take your grandma here and not have to apologize for anything. And the donuts reminded me of my grandma, too. Old fashioned cake donuts, the kind that I longed for even in my pregan days. Not sickly sweet, not sticky and deliriously fluffy, but still light and "toothsome." We got a dozen and ate them over the course of the next few days for the long ride home through Canada. And thank god we did because if I didn't have a vegan donut while driving through Saskatchewan I might have dirven of a cliff, if there were any cliffs. But there weren't, only A&W drive-thrus. I think my favorite, if someone held a gun to my head and made me choose, was a chocolate donut with cinnamon sugar.
More pics here, if you so desire.