Her hair was pale, almost white. It flowed in waves which adorned her glowing, porcelain skin. Her eyes, framed by long lashes, were a soulful pair of indigo. They seemed to brighten the world. A straight nose, full lips – much like the picture of perfection. Had she smiled, the world would sigh with contentment. Had she laughed, the world would laugh with her. Had she wept, the world would wish to comfort her.
Her eyes traced the bookshelves like wrapping paper lining a particularly significant birthday present. Each book given a title with another witty reference, parody, or emotionally-guided key phrase. None of them gave her a thrill, none of them excited her sense of curiosity or morbidity; what she usually sought in reading material. That is, until one book grabbed her attention and refused to let go. The book was called The Boxer & The GoalKeeper: Sartre versus Camus. What better way to end a beautiful day than to buy a book about two nihilistic dead guys in a metaphorical boxing ring?
It was then that it occurred to her that she had two options. At this point in her life, she had to choose between two paths. Would she take the philosopher’s gritty walkway, or save her capital in order to purchase a sweet treat?! The mental battle was fierce, but in the end, cake won. Cake always wins.
Peacefood Cafe is located on University Place and East 11th in New York City. It is quite easy to find, but rather hard to enter due to all the other satisfied consumers coming in and out of the door. Yet, when you enter, there don’t seem to be many people. Was there a party in the backroom which I was not informed about? Did they all arrive in a clown car? The world may never know!
Bobo and Tilly Telulah were the last couple to exit, with Barky the dog only steps ahead. Once Bobo’s giant red shoe got out the door, I dashed inside and nearly cried with joy. Cake! Cookies! Blue tiles! It’s like they knew exactly what I wanted! Here I thought I was a lone sweet-toother in a world of savoury junkies, and it turns out Peacefood Cafe gets me. They really GET me!
Peacefood Cafe’s appearance made me smile because of its New York-ness. Anywhere else in the world, a vegan cafe would be a super laid-back spot full of quinoa hugs and the music of Yusuf Islam or Joni Mitchell. However, in New York these days, downtown is the new uptown. I felt underdressed, but I was wearing my bloat-proof dress. I could eat a baby elephant, and nobody’d be any the wiser.
Now, knowing I was having this baked good as a substitute for a nutritious lunch (in the name of science!) I figured it would be acceptable for me to try multiple things…. As in, I’m a grown up and I can eat all the sugar I want. Then the reality hit me that I talk big, but eating that much would probably cause spontaneous human head combustion. It runs in my family.
Cake? Cookies? Blue tiles?! What did I want to eat? Typically, vegan cakes are reminders of how much you love animals. You have a moment where you think, “Wow, this is my life. I have chosen this lifestyle, this cake, for the sake of animals. I’m a good person. A really good person.”
However, here there’s no self-righteousness or self-pity. If I weren’t a vegan, who knows if I’d ever step foot into Peacefood Cafe! Fortunately, I am a good person (a better person than most, really) and therefore, here I am looking at the most magnificent cake display to ever be displayed as cake. Camus and Sartre were way behind me now, I had no regrets. No desire to turn back. I was in it to win it!
What first really, truly tempted me was the “Magic Cookie”. Quite honestly, the cookie ingredients weren’t all that interesting. There is practically no doubt in my mind that I would have been disappointed with the “Magic Cookie”, but, on the other hand, it’s magic. How can I skip over the magic option?
I can now say with great relief and contentment that I was then swayed and batted and beaten out of this misguided thinking. This was because I spotted the gluten-free peanut butter cheesecake. It was shining bright like a diamond. A peanut-encrusted diamond with 10 carat chocolatey goodness. I wiped away the tear wobbling down my cheek, and with great pride and honour, I waited for the cashier to get off the phone. Like a child dancing foot-to-foot awaiting a deep peeing experience, I impatiently and passively aggressively stared him down while knocking my knuckles on the counter. My smile and eye contact relentless. When he finally hung up the phone, he looked at me with both fake sincerity and a bit of concern for his safety.
“Can I help you?”
“Peanut Butter Cheese me, please.”
That’s totally code for something somewhere. He knew what was up. He got me that slice pronto.
Now, what is more of a shameful experience, I wondered…. Taking my “to-go” container to the host and asking to sit alone while I snap photos of everything and shove cake in my mouth, or sitting alone outside on the bench shoving cake in my cheesecake hole? I went with the bench. Anything to avoid human contact. Of course, as soon as I sat down and opened the plastic container, a young man who was entering the place gave me a, “Damn, that looks good!”
Keep walking, patron, this is not to be a shared experience. Peanut butter cheese for my mouth only.
The cake itself? Hnnnngggg! Now, let’s start with the negatives, that’s quicker. If I’m being really real here, the cheesy part itself could have been more cheesy. This cheesecake was rather custardy. A New Yorker is looking for something more creamy.
Taste-wise, it was perfect. At first it wasn’t peanut buttery enough for me, but I quickly realized that if it were anymore peanutty, my taste buds would up and leave town for an abused peanut shelter. It would just be way too much peanut action. Now, the peanuts on top were a gift from Buddha, Allah, and Kevin Costner, I tell you. They were perfect. The chocolate was in good amounts, as well. It didn’t overwhelm and cover-up other flavours. Not to mention, all the exciting textures going on! The bottom crust was like the edges of a brownie; crisp, chewy, and delightful.
Unfortunately, there were no napkins in the bag. It wasn’t until I got to the gym that I realized that it looked like I had just returned from dinner with Hannibal Lecter.
With great confidence, I give Peacefood Cafe a good rating. It would be higher if not for the rather pricey priciness and the fact that I left regretting every life choice I had made that led up to me being there (basically, I was SO full!)
Tune in next time when I review something else!
Rating: 9.5/10 unicorn hugs
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