Food fit for Queens

I’ve been back from New York for a week already, but feel I’m still getting settled. Time went too fast, but the weather was great and the company was even better.

The original Nathan's Famous in Coney Island

While in New York, we took a trip to Coney Island (my first time!) and I saw the original Nathan’s Famous. I didn’t eat there and have never had a Nathan’s dog, but it was still cool. It is the site of the Independence Day tradition of professional eaters shoving food into their mouth that can easily choke a baby, after all.

The rest of the weekend was spent in Queens. This is where the vegetarian treats were.

I spent Saturday at Rockaway Beach, a very popular beach in Queens. A subway stop brings people from all over, and Rockaway is home to the city’s only surfing area. It is so popular that many food stands have opened beachside outposts at the boardwalk.

A quick Google search for “Rockaway Beach boardwalk food” can show you how big a deal this is. I first caught wind when I kept seeing articles in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal about what was going on, but countless blogs and community papers have great information on it, too. A recent New York Times item and Brooklyn blog photo tour help get a feel for the place. The boardwalk sells tacos, arepas, juices and smoothies, among other treats.

Babycakes vegan bakery in Rockaway Beach, Queens

Vegan brownie and cookie sandwiches on the beach. Life is good.

One place to open this summer was Babycakes, a very well-known organic vegan bakery that is sensitive to food allergies and has locations in Manhattan, Los Angeles and Downtown Disney in Orlando. (I hope to check out the Orlando outpost sometime.) They are known for vegan doughnuts and cupcakes. When I heard they were opening in Rockaway for the summer, my mouth started watering, as I hadn’t been before. They don’t have their full offerings at Rockaway, but are limited to mini doughnuts (I don’t like doughnuts), waffles (interested but I passed) and, what Bill and I settled on, a cookie sandwich and brownie sandwich they keep cold, which is great for hot days. The filling is vegan cream, and they are amazing. The cookie is the perfect size for a beach snack, the brownie was a little too big and chocolaty for my taste, but we managed to finish it!

Let's go Mets!

Veggie burger with fixings at Citi Field

The next day we went to the Mets game. I got an Yves veggie burger (they also sell Yves veggie dogs). Theeeeenn I went to the best-kept secret in baseball stadiums, the toppings bar. I’m not ashamed to admit this is where I always clean up at baseball games. The Citi Field topping bar did not disappoint. I topped my sandwich with sautéed mushrooms, onions, lettuce, tomato, jalapeno and deli mustard. This also works for nachos or fries if veggie options aren’t present. Tried and true. And I wasn’t hungry for the rest of the game.

And the Mets promotion was a MetroCard. With an article telling the international food options along the No. 7 train (the line that runs past Citi), I might have to return next summer for some food and baseball.