Restaurant Snapshot: Little Choc Apothecary Brooklyn, NY

We set the scene for this Restaurant Snapshot in a quaint little café overlooking the bustling streets of Brooklyn. Warm smells of freshly brewed tea and chocolaty smooth coffee beans waft in the air as the fresh atmosphere and décor wash over you. Little Choc Apothecary is such a calming and relaxing place to go grab brunch with a friend, sit and work for hours, or even just grab a quick lunch. This café produces some of the best crepes around, and trust me when I tell you, that you’d never guess they were a completely vegan and (almost) gluten free establishment.

This fact obviously only makes it better for me, but don’t go blabbing to your non-vegan friends just yet, in case they decide not to try them on principle. First, make them try the crepes and then when they fall in love with them, like I know they probably will, you can finally tell them the great news, theses buggers are totally vegan!

To be honest, I am a huge crepe fan; I’m a bit obsessed. But let’s be real, what isn’t there to love about crepes. They can be both savory and sweet, come on, that’s amazing! You can literally eat them for every meal, morning, noon and night, and I would totally do that! Wait a minute, this sounds like something I should actually try out one of these days, and soon. Anyway, I have always had trouble finding a crepe place that fit my dietary needs. Either the batter wasn’t gluten free/vegan or if the batter was all clear, there would be very few options for toppings and fillings, and what is a crepe really without the filling.

I was so excited when I happened to stumble upon this place during one of my frequent foursquare searches. Side note, foursquare is an awesome tool for finding restaurants and cafes. I can just type in my dietary restrictions, price point and location, then voilà it shows me tons of great options to choose from. I highly recommend checking it out the next time you’re in charge of picking a place to meet for food or drinks with friends.

Now, back to our regularly scheduled program, aka crepes.

Personally, I am a big fan of the savory crepe. Now, I’m well aware that I am probably in the minority here, but savory crepes are my jam guys. I do like sweet crepes too, but the majority of the time I go to The Little Choc Apothecary, I tend to gravitate towards their savory options.

The burrito and breakfast crepe are probably my two favorites that I have tried. Everything that I’ve gotten there has been great, but those stand out to me in terms of flavor and fillings. They both have mushroom bacon, which I will admit is one of my favorite things ever. The burrito crepe also has homemade cashew cheese sauce, which is amazing, guys seriously if I could just get a side of this sauce to drink, I totally would do it, it’s that good.

The breakfast burrito is pretty standard and a good tofu scramble is always tasty, but with the added crunch of the coconut bacon and cucumber, I know it seems strange, but it totally works, this crepe excels to a whole new level.

I have also had the ‘pizza’ and’ garden of eaten’ crepe, both very tasty, but just not my favorites. I am very interested in trying the ‘room for mushroom’ crepe because it sounds wonderful. Let’s get real though, I’m interested in eventually trying all of them, and I’m sure that I probably will very soon.

As far as the sweet crepes go, I’ve only ordered one, sorry dudes. I got my crepe filled with homemade vegan Nutella and strawberries and it was very tasty. They don’t have pre-made options for their sweet crepes like they do for their savory counterparts. Instead, you get to choose your own fillings and toppings. The first two toppings are free, and then it costs 50 cents per each additional item you add on after that.

Now, apothecary is part of the name for a good reason; they serve up an expansive array of loose-leaf teas, along with several specially crafted, medicinal blends.

Such as their sniffles blend that contains, feverfew, lemon balm, and hyssop. This will help clear up your fever and allergy symptoms.

They also make a digestion tea blend, to aid an upset stomach. This includes alfalfa, dandelion, ginger, and peppermint.

Afternoon tea is also offered on their menu, in both sweet and savory options. This includes a pot of tea, a scone with clotted cream and jam, 1 slice of cake and 2 cookies for the sweet option. For the savory, they offer a pot of tea, a scone with clotted cream and jam, a savory crepe and 2 cookies.

While they do offer other coffee and espresso based drinks, I suggest sticking to the loose-leaf tea options. They are unique and a special treat that you just can’t find everywhere, unlike these other café staples.

The Little Choc Apothecary is a whimsical and inviting space that serves up some damn good food. I highly recommend you check them out if you like crepes, tea and a nice place to chill for a few hours with friends or a good book.

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Restaurant Snapshot: Blossom du Jour New York, NY

I happened upon Blossom du Jour, by complete accident one day. I was early meeting a friend for lunch and she wasn’t ready yet, so I decided to walk around the block while I waited. It’s a good thing I did too, because as I looped around the block aimlessly, I stumbled upon this quaint little restaurant.

Blossom du Jour is a small chain of vegan fast food restaurants in New York City. It has a super chill vibe to it and a wide selection of food to choose from, with some great gluten free options as well. It can be hard at times to be gluten free as well as vegan. My choices can be very limited seeing as many vegans can have gluten, and a lot of vegan foods at restaurants do contain gluten, which can be a bummer. Anyway like I was saying, they have quite a few GF options for me to choose from.

I ordered the burrito and was pleasantly surprised at how good it was. Mind you, I have not had a burrito in a very long time because most places do not have a GF tortilla/wrap large enough for a burrito. So, this burrito may very well have just been good and not as amazing as I thought it was, since I had sort of forgotten what they taste like. Update, they are pretty damn good. Man, I have missed burritos. The burrito had vegan cheese and vegan sour cream, both of which were great and tasted very similar to, and just as good, their dairy counterparts.

I also opted to add avocado, which was really good, but was around two dollars extra. However, I was not aware of this upon ordering. The girl at the counter asked if I would like to add avocado to my burrito and I was all, heck yeah I do without thinking to ask how much it would be. I thought maybe a dollar or so, but boy, was I wrong. While I really liked the addition of the avocado in the burrito, next time I would definitely go without it. It was creamy enough with the cheese and sour cream and didn’t really need the extra creaminess added from the avocado. The rest of the ingredients were pretty standard rice, beans, salsa and corn, all the ingredients you would expect to find in a burrito, but like I said it was good.

I was so impressed by my first visit to Blossom du Jour that I ended up going there for lunch again the next week. This time I ordered the GF beet burger. This burger was served on GF sliced bread, which I thought was a bit weird at first, but the bread was really good. It was dense and flavorful, and I really enjoyed it. I would have enjoyed it more with a sandwich or as toast, opposed to a burger bun, but I got over it. The burger was a beet patty with vegan horseradish mayo lettuce and tomato. Overall I liked the burger as well, but I am in a desperate search for the best gluten free, vegan burger and sadly this was not it. It was good, but I would have preferred an actual bun and the burger was a bit too mushy for my liking. If anyone has any suggestions, please send them my way, like I said I’m desperate.

The restaurant also has salads, bowls, burgers, smoothies and shakes. Everything looked and sounded amazing.

I am especially intrigued by the shakes, I can’t tell you the last time I had a milk shake and it sounds really good.

I am really excited that I stumbled upon this place and am looking forward to going back again soon to try out more of the amazing and delicious food they have to offer.

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5 Inspirational Celebrities, That Are Using Their Fame For Good

I think that we have preconceived notions of whom or what celebrities are. The truth is they are just the same as us, only their lives are put on public display at all times. They are subject to rash, snap judgments by the general public for no other reason than because we can. I think that some celebrities are idolized for trivial and materialistic reasons, but there are quite a few celebrities who use their fame and recognition to bring awareness to causes that they care about and believe in.

These are the celebrities that I look up to and admire. I respect them for using their fame to help the world or animals or hunger, whatever the cause they may care about.

I am also inspired by celebrities who are unapologetically themselves. I think we take for granted that we can be whoever we want and do whatever we want with out thousands of people judging us. Sure people still judge us, but our lives are for the most part not on public display for the whole world to see and judge.

I can admire the strength and self-confidence it takes to be who you are, eat what you want, say what you feel, wear what you want and not care what people might be thinking or saying about you. A mentality like that is something to strive for in my opinion, and everyone on this list exemplifies these traits. I am inspired by their actions and the way that they carry themselves, in business and in their everyday lives.

Nikki Reed

Nikki Reed has recently become one of my most favorite celebrities, not because of the work she has done on screen, although she is a great actress, but because of all the wonderful things that she does and represents in her everyday life. Her recurring beauty and nutrition column, Take 5 with Nikki Reed, on Elle.com, is amazing. I wish that she would post more often as I am constantly checking the site to see if she has posted anything new and I just missed it!

Nikki lives a very active and healthy lifestyle and from what I can tell is holistic in the things she eats and puts on her body. She is also an avid animal lover and advocate. She has also collaborated with Freedom of Animals to help promote their vegan and cruelty free bags, which look lovely.

Also, before I forget, I have major brow envy. She probably has some of the best eyebrows I have ever seen. I can only hope one day that my eyebrows and my lifestyle choices will look slightly similar to hers.

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Lauren Graham

Lauren Graham has been a long time favorite of mine since my days of watching back-to-back reruns of “Gilmore Girls” when I got home from school.

I have enjoyed watching the different roles she has played both on screen and off. She was amazing on “Parenthood”; I am so guilty of getting too emotionally invested in that show and crying along with her in almost every episode, like I’m sure many other fans did too.

I devoured her book “Someday, Someday, Maybe” and am anxiously awaiting the sequel, which hopefully is coming soon! I absolutely loved her writing style and the way she told her story. It made me want to try to write a book that was just as relatable and down to earth as hers was.

I have loved her commitment to the characters she has played and the way she can make you feel like you know her. I also admire her attitude and take on life. She is hilarious on twitter and in interviews; I always love seeing what she is up to next.

Kristen Bell

Kristen Bell has been one of my favorite actors since I first starting watching, and instantly becoming obsessed with, Veronica Mars. I soon realized that she is a completely honest, funny and confident woman; all traits that I aim to have in my own life.

In every interview that I have seen, she seems to be so down to earth and really loves her life and what she does. She is hilarious and isn’t afraid to say and act how she really feels, even if it makes her look a bit ridiculous at times.

And I have to mention her relationship with Dax Shepard, which is something to strive towards. They seem so happy and carefree and loving and I feel like that is how a relationship should be.

Plus, PS, she is vegan and an environmental activist too!

Leighton Meester

Leighton Meester is the epitome of an indie, cool girl. She has taken the indie movie world by storm, in my mind anyway, and I have liked almost everything she has done. I think that she has really come into her own as a person and with her style since “Gossip Girl” ended. Don’t get me wrong I like “Gossip Girl;” I just like Leighton more now since the show has ended.

She is also a singer and I absolutely love her songs and her vibe. I feel like it has kind of an indie rock feel, with a bit of a folky vibe weaved into it. I went to see her perform in person and she just seemed like a very chill person. A lot of people were there because they wanted to see Blair Waldorf, but my friend and I were there to see Leighton. You could kind of tell that she wanted to be recognized for herself and not the character she played, but she was still polite and welcoming to all her GG fans.

It seems like she is completely comfortable being herself and doesn’t care what anyone thinks of her and that is an outlook that I am trying to adopt for myself. I love her fashion sense and her carefree attitude; she never tries to be anyone but herself and I like that about her.

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JK Rowling

All of the other celebrities that I mentioned I admire because of their lifestyle choices and their business endeavors, as well as their personal beauty and fashion styles, but I admire JK Rowling for entirely different reasons.

She is an amazing writer and a successful businesswoman, but she is also so much more than that. She is strong, independent, fearless and determined. She has taught me to never give up on my dreams.

I will leave you with the speech that J.K. Rowling gave at the Harvard commencement ceremony in 2008. It’s a bit long, but so worth it.

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