Monday, October 29, 2007

pleasure on an autumn day



a student passes out information about recycling at the Community Harvest market


Friday was one of those incredible autumn days, when friends, fun, and food converged in a perfect storm. It all started with the Community Harvest Farmers' Market, a large market held right on the Syracuse University campus. This was an experimental one-time event, coming out of the series of talks, symposia, and meetings on campus about the need for the local farmers, providers, and eaters of Syracuse to come together. The turnout was magnificent, and I hope this becomes a regular occurrence - and not just because I'm selfish and want a wonderful market within walking distance of my house! A community benefits greatly when its food providers and consumers work closely to ensure that the quality of food stays high, the impact on the environment stays good, and the availability stays wide.

Here is a photo essay of Friday...



I met up with Trac (with carrots) and Bridget (with apple fritters) to check out the market. We had such fun, and it felt good to speak with so many local food producers, everything from farms to the Syracuse Food Co-op was represented.



So much squash! I learned about several new varieties that I had never encountered before. There was one kind called the "Long Island Cheese Squash." "Does it taste like cheese?" I asked the farmer hopefully. "No, it's just called that because it looks like a flat wheel of cheese," he replied. D'oh- another vegan cheese possibility squashed! (pun intended!)



We saw this cute dog voraciously eating an apple- something I hadn't seen before!



We ran into Jennifer, the wonderful blogger behind Cookin' in the 'Cuse, who was running a table featuring lots of books about thoughtful eating: organics, local, justice, health, you know, all the good stuff!

I just want to take a moment to give a shout-out to Jennifer- her blog is so informative, and represents what it means to eat locally and mindfully. When Daiku and I moved to Syracuse, and were wondering about whether it is possible to eat locally in Syracuse in the winter (yes, it totally is!) her blog was one of the first and finest resources we found to help us. It has been so nice to meet Jennifer on a couple of occasions, and find such a knowledgeable force for good right here in town.



I set down my pumpkin on her table, creating a telling juxtaposition - slow food, fast food, how do we find balance between the two in American culture...?



In addition to food, the market also had tons of seasonal flowers on display, like the wonderful ones you can see above. We also found crafts, soaps, drinks, and prepared foods and restaurants.



After the market, we walked over to Oishi Sushi for lunch. It was a chilly day and the food, like the miso soup Trac is having above, really hit the spot. (Am I the only one who finds Japanese food to be the ultimate comfort food?)



Here is my salad with a carrot/ginger dressing.



Bridget's teriyake vegetable bento. The restaurant was really flexible about veganizing everything for us- in their bentos, they replaced the california rolls with veggie rolls, and the meat gyoza with veggie-filled ones.



Here's Trac's tempura veggie bento, including tempura squash- yum!



And my plate, a minimalist composition with avocado and asparagus maki.

After lunch, Bridget had to return to work, but Trac and I decided to meet Daiku for a coffee at a new Syracuse spot, Sugar Pearl Espresso Bar and Lounge. I don't know why we waited so long to check this place out! It is a beautiful space, filled with books, games, and modern decor. Everything on the menu is vegan (although they do offer milk for coffee and espresso drinks), and we salivated over the pumpkin cake, the brownies, the freshly baked cookies, and the extensive drink menu.



Finally, we decided. Above you can see my hot chocolate, made with soy milk and Scharffen Berger chocolate (back), foamed together into a decadent concoction. Trac ordered the pumpkin latté (front), with an aroma even more wonderful than its appearance.



Daiku, ever the caffeine fiend, ordered this quadruple (yes, quadruple!) espresso, which was a truly high quality tonic, with a bitter flavor and a woodsy roasted aroma. We loved Sugar Pearl and will be going back for sure.

Stay tuned! I picked up some provisions at the market for the Halloween party that we threw the next day...

Restaurant Information:

Oishi Sushi
(they'll veganize stuff for you, c'mon!)
713 south crouse ave.
Syracuse, NY

Sugar Pearl Espresso Bar & Lounge
(vegan, caffeine, sugar, community, feminism, what more could you want?)
600 Burnet Ave
Syracuse, NY 13203


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33 comments:

Rachael said...

my list of places to eat in Syracuse just keeps growing! asparagus maki, yum! Lao village was awesome, btw, though we ate way too much, way too late at night!

I didn't get your message about the Halloween party until Saturday afternoon and that evening was taken up with appliance-buying and Laotian-food-eating anyway. Thanks for the invitation though, that was so sweet of you! Looking forward to seeing a blog about it and feeling jealous of all the vegan Halloween goodness!

Vegan_Noodle said...

Looks like a wonderful time at the market! It is so nice to have one close to your house. I have one on my way home from work, which always makes things easier...
Now I'm in the mood to make me some sushi!

Celine said...

please tell Daiku that he is Chaz's and my new hero for the quadruple espresso he had. thank you very much!

bazu said...

Rachael, I'm glad you liked Lao Village! Yes, it's hard not to overeat there... it's one of the few places where I ever order dessert!

Vegan Noodle, it is so convenient and lovely to have markets close by, isn't it? And I could eat sushi every single day!

Celine, the quadruple wasn't even the worst of it! Sugar Pearl had a drink called "the Revolver" on their menu, featuring, wait for it, SIX shots of espresso!! My heart palpitates just thinking about it.

pavotrouge said...

what a sexy carrot ^^ !
I adore Japanese food.

vegetalion said...

I went to university not far from syracuse - I wish I had found your blog back then! I never realized there were so many vegan-friendly places to go/things to do.

At least I found you now ^_^

Bridget said...

Friday was such a blast! Just wish I didn't have to go back to work.

Double Espresso! Holy crap. I am hyperactive now can't imagine what I would be like after drinking that!

Tracy said...

Hey Bazu....I swear you are the QUEEN of research....and I have a challenge for you. I can't seem to find a link to email you the problem, but if you're interested, can you shoot me an email at tracy.williams@ns.sympatico.ca? i need your help, in the name of all that is Veg*n!!!

Johanna3 said...

you live in such a nice interesting place!

laura jesser said...

Wow--what fun! Now that's what I love most about autumn...

The quadruple espresso made me laugh just because it's so familiar. What was the first thing Bob ordered when we stepped off the plane in Paris? You guessed it! :)

Hannah said...

Haha, I'm totally digging the guy in the carrot costume!

What awesome places you have to eat / shop / hang out at nearby. I'm so jealous!

aTxVegn said...

What a great market, and within walking distance - nice! I have a friend whose huge dog ate an apple every morning, the whole thing in about 2 bites. It still amazes me. I'll have to check out that blog about local eating in the wintertime. I'm not sure there's much to choose from around here.

I rarely drink my calories, but that Scharffen Berger thing looks too good.

Rural Vegan said...

My dogs love apples!
Looks like you have a great community there at your fingertips. I'm jealous that you're still getting fresh local produce!

vko said...

what a fun day! and that pic of the pup- too cute...

I just recently discovered that many Japanese restaurants have egg in their tempura batter- so vegans beware and ask, thus far, I have yet to find a place that has egg-free tempura- sad.

the little one said...

I also went to graduate school at SU, but it couldn't have been as vegan friendly when I was there! I left in the spring of 1999. I became a vegan in Syracuse, though, in 1997 and it will always have a soft spot in my heart. Thanks for keeping me up to date on the good old 'cuse!

KathyF said...

I love this line: "although they do offer milk for coffee and espresso drinks." Milk the exception rather than the rule!

I was really impressed by the number of vegetarian/vegan restaurants in N'hampton when I went there. I think parts of the US are way ahead of Europe when it comes to vegan/veg eating. Yay for the home team! (Although wait till you read about the food I had in Rome, which I will post later!)

scottishvegan said...

Sounds like the perfect day! Syracuse seems like a fantastic place for vegans to live, but I have been wondering for a long time, how do you pronounce Syracuse?!

bazu said...

Scottishvegan, that is a matter of some debate! Us out-of-towners (most Americans) pronounce it "Seeracuse", while natives pronounce it "Sarah-cuse" - it's up to you!

bazu said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
runswithdog said...

Friday was a blast. I hope they continue having these! I ate and drank too much......

VeggieGirl said...

Wow, that Community Harvest Farmers' Market looks great!! I'm worried about that dog though - apple cores are poisonous to dogs (like chocolate, onions, garlic, etc.)!!

Last time I was in Syracuse, I went to Oishi Sushi - it's such a small restaurant (hard to find a seat), but the food is so good!! :0)

Can't wait to read about your Halloween party!!

Ashasarala said...

I know what you mean about comfort food. I love, love, love veggie tempura. It puts an instant smile on my face.

That hot chocolate looks so soothing and creamy. I have yet to find a great hot chocolate recipe. I've been experimenting. I'm *almost* there!

I think this post is motivation for me to get my butt to the farmers market. Thanks for sharing! =)

The Little Vegan said...

Haha I loved the squash pun.

It looks like a great farmers' market... and you are so lucky to be going to NYC-- I miss it already!

The Little Vegan said...

May Wah is awesome! I am definitely planning to order some foods from their website.

You probably didn't miss the Larabar people; their stock of free samples was going SOOOO fast-- my aunt (who lives in Boston) showed up late in the day and said that they only had 2 flavors left when she got there!

Village Vegan said...

Oooh, that looks like so much fun. And the food looks good. Especially the sushi right now, for some reason.

scottishvegan said...

Hey Bazu, I think I like the out of towner pronunciation best. And I am definitely an out of towner so it's most appropriate too! :)

letsjustescape said...

I decided to finally stop lurking around your blog and make a comment :)
I recently moved to Syracuse for law school and just love your blog!
I think Oishi Sushi has been my favorite find in Syracuse so far, it's on my walk home from class and the lunch special is fairly affordable.
Just wondering- do you think Sugar Pearl would be a good study spot? My study group has gone to Pheobes coffee shop in the past, but I like to switch things up.
Thanks again for your great posts!

urban vegan said...

Your city looks like such a great place to be vegan...so jealous that you've gotten to meet so many cool fellow bloggers.

And a quadruple espresso? Daiku! You are so wired!

Unilove said...

Excellent and colorful post! Bento boxes are great for portion control and better nutrition. There are a lot of photog sites for creative bento box lunches...

Livin Natural said...

Bazu thank for the great post and pics from the farmers market on SU's campus. I've been reading your blog for.....well a really long time but have never commented. My husband and I are moving to Syracuse in April, he is doing a major career change and going back to school at ESF. We live in Kansas City where the local food movement is huge so we are so glad it is becoming that way in Syracuse and look forward to contributing. Thanks again for the post!

Emilie said...

Sugar Pearl sounds awesome! It's great to hear about cool efforts like that popping up!

bazu said...

Letsjustescape, it's nice to hear from a local reader! Yes, Sugar Pearl looks like a great place to have your study group. On their bulletin board, I noticed a lot of groups had posted about various meetings, so I think that is something that goes on there. You'd all certainly have enough caffeine!

Livin natural, nice to "meet" you! How cool that you guys are moving here- ESF is a great school (I'm a fellow SUNY graduate, so I'm biased!) and I think you guys will have a great time in Syracuse. Local food is definitely a big and growing scene here. Let me know when you arrive in April!

dreamy said...

I didn't know dogs like apples that much!

Sushi! Chocolate! Some of my favs :d