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Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

Though I lived in Emmaus for almost four years, I never bothered to check out the Allentown Farmer’s Market. For one thing, Emmaus has a killer farmer’s market itself. The other reason being someone once told me the Allentown Farmer’s Market is just a bunch of grocery store produce shipped in from Giant and Weiss. Nothing is locally grown, in other words. I finally paid this questionable market a visit last weekend, and I must say I was pleasantly surprised!

Whether or not all of the produce is locally grown I’m not sure, but the market itself was a lot more diverse than I expected. Imported gourmet and specialty foods, Amish pies and pastries (baked, apparently on premise), spices, flowers, Mediterranean food, and the reason I was there: organic, exotic vegan food!

I was helping out my friend Wendy in her stand for the day. Not to be biased, but the smells wafting out of her stand put all the other vendors to shame.

She had some side dishes ready to go, including Teriyaki Tofu, Masala Potatoes, Coconut Cashew Rice, Indian Samosas, Curried Cabbage, and Garlic & Sage Carrots with Balsamic Vinegar. As usual, Wendy was also selling Vegan Treats, from the shop in Bethlehem.

Yeah, if you’ve never tried a Vegan Treats Pumpkin Whoopie pie, you need to go ahead and do that. Their Peanut Butter Brownies are pretty amazing too.

The Cowboy Cookie. EVERYONE LOVES THIS COOKIE. I never knew what all the hoopla was about until I tried one.

Entrees are also made to order. Above, the “Taste of India” platter: karachi dahl, crisp indian crackers, samosa and organic brown basmati rice served over organic greens, finished with red curry dressing, mango chutney and coconut flakes. Wendy was also offering up Chipotle Chili, West African Peanut soup and my all-time-favorite, the Bombay Burrito. The priciest item on her menu ($14.95) but so worth it. Plus, I was eating mine for like three days afterwards, it’s simply huge!

One of our hottie patrons enjoying some vegan chili.

And many other happenings at the market:


In closing, the goofy rickshaw slightly weird clown ferris wheel.

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Balasia has opened a store in the Allentown Farmer’s Market! The space will be up and running starting next Tuesday, November 24th. Expect restaurant classics like Curry-yaki & Teriyaki Baked Tofu, Chipotle Chili, THE West African Peanut soup, Ginger Curry Pumpkin soup, Coconut Quinoa & other seasonal dishes. The new space will have more of a take-out vibe than the previous building in Emmaus, with minimal seating but a full menu.
Teriyaki Tofuyum.

 

The Allentown Farmer’s Market, normally open Thursday – Saturday weekly, will be open Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday of Thanksgiving week. It is located at 1725 W Chew St in the Allentown Fairgrounds.

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Well I had planned on posting a big thing on the PA Energy Fest last weekend, and the Celtic Classic Fest this weekend, unfortunately last weekend I was too busy working the Balasia stand to really see anything worthy of mention, and today it is raining, so that’s the end of that plan. I did take a 30 second break at the Energy Fest to take a few random pictures:

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DSC00767Doesn’t this look like a good time?! It was fun, the food was awesome (in our stand anyway, I didn’t try anyone else’s food) and the biodegradable utensils were made out of corn. Which I thought was pretty cool.

I spent yesterday in NYC, getting my art fix and much-needed Ethiopian food fix.

DSC00790James Cohan Gallery

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DSC00780Jaume Plensa’s “In the Midst of Dreams” at Galerie Lelong

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DSC00842Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery

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grafthis isn’t art, it’s a cool iphone application that makes pictures look like polaroids. But I guess some would call this graffiti art. I’d call it an interesting backdrop.

ch-marketWe stopped in Chelsea Market on our way to dinner

fatwitchand I attempted to spoil my appetite with a caramel Fat Witch brownie. My appetite, however, refused to be spoiled (it was a really good brownie though)

meskAfter a loooong walk and one short cab ride, we finally made it to the restaurant.  Meskerem is located at 124 MacDougal St in Greenwich Village; it’s a cute little hole in the wall (or I guess in this case, ground) tucked down below eye-level. It seats maybe 30 people, and if you’re going as a party of two, be prepared to get intimately aquatinted with the people sitting next to you, as the tables literally sit mere inches from each other.

veg-comboWe both ordered the Vegetarian Combo.  The food was fantastic; I found the portions a bit small, but at the same time, our entrees came out to only about $14 each. The vegetables were cooked to a tender perfection (still with a bit of bite though), and the bean purees were spicy and comforting.  The yellow split peas remain my favorite dish, with the sauteed cabbage coming in at a close second. It all tasted very traditional, but I have yet to see a freaking mesob anywhere in any American Ethiopian restaurants. Anyway, Meskerem was a fantastic experience, delicious food, no wait at all, and cheap!

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If you missed out experiencing Balasia before the restaurant closed, you’ll have a chance to catch Wendy Landiak at the PA Energy Fest in Kempton this weekend, Friday the 18th through Sunday the 20th. The chef has access to a full-blown kitchen this year, so expect restaurant-quality dishes. Indian fusion and BBQ tofu may or may not be involved.

yummy Balasia food

Balasia food porn, just for kicks

Also, if you’ll take notice of our happenings on the right-hand side of the page, LV Eggplant is now on Twitter, as result of a conversation between Josh and I that went something like this:
Carolyn: you never update the blog, I know you go out to eat all the time, is it so hard to snap a couple pictures and tell the internet whether the food was good or crappy, huh?! (whine whine whine whine)
Josh: um yeah… I’ll get around to it

Repeat the above dialogue once a week for several weeks. Eventually, we decided Josh could handle 140 character tweets every once in a while, without having to commit to writing a whole post. So feel free to follow us as we tweet mini-reviews and share random food info as we discover it throughout the LV!

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Though the restaurant isn’t ready to unveil it’s new location just yet, you can catch Wendy of Balasia (aka best food on earth) at the Allentown Grower’s Market at the PPL Plaza on 9th and Hamilton for the following events:

 

Every Wednesday from 11:30 am – 1:30 pm from now until October

Balasia will be offering assorted vegetarian snacks like specialty hummus, soup, quinoa salad and Vegan Treats cookies, brownies, and whoopee pies.

EDIT: Wendy is also offering vegan ice cream. Call ahead to order (or, if you’re lucky she will have some extra on hand) with basically any flavor combination you can think of: cashew cinnamon, chocolate peanut butter, berry vanilla, you name it and she’ll make it.

 

Blues, Brews and BBQ 

Saturday June 13th from noon – 8 pm

Come out for Balasia’s setian BBQ, baked black beans, corn on the cob, curry potato salad, grilled portabello mushroom caps and who knows what else. Good food, good music, good beer – sounds like a winning combination to me.

 

Chef Wendy has also been offering a vegan buffet at Tierra Sana on Sunday nights from 5-10 pm. Tierra Sana is a “whole foods fusion” restaurant located at 100-17 Queens Blvd/ Forest Hills in New York (67th ave exit off the R train).  If you’re in the area, check out the buffet. With dishes like gobhi salaad (whole cauliflower crowned with creamy avocado), kacha kela foogath (plaintains in coconut sauce) and kela mithai (broiled bananas with toasted almonds) it might just be worth the train ride!

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As it turns out, the Bethlehem Raw Love Cafe project is no more, but to all you raw enthusiasts or plain old adventurous eaters out there, fear not, as Gary Warren (previously involved with the opening of the Raw Love Cafe) has announced last week:

“the same enthusiasm and effort that was going into starting the RAW LOVE CAFE in downtown Bethlehem is now at The Wildflower Cafe at 316 S. New Street, 1/2 block from the Fahey Bridge in Southside Bethlehem. Working with Michelle, the proprietor of the Wildflower, we have found a valuable compatriot in a compassionate environment. She shares our passion for wholesome, affordable food, and she and her place have always represented a hub for community spirit. In short, it is a good match.”

Gary will also be working with Wendy Landiak of Balasia on October 27th for a 3 course Raw Night, featuring raw food, drinks, and a community table setting (private seating also available). Call Balasia for reservations: 484-330-6405.

I, for one, will not be missing this.

-Carolyn

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