Equinox’s colonization of the Bedford + Bowery zone continues. The gym chain opened locations in the Williamsburg and the East Village in 2016, with the East Village opening being accompanied by signage declaring “There goes the neighborhood.” Today the chain opened its “much anticipated” (or so says the press release) Lower East Side location inside the new luxury building that killed beloved late-night spot Bereket and other East Houston Street mom-and-pops.
Health & Wellness
Zach Neil had a pretty sweet idea: “I wanted to find a way to do something with cake and ice cream and elaborate toppings and I wanted to make it make it vegan as well.”
He did some Googling and came across Black Tap’s immensely popular, decadent (and non-vegan) cake batter milkshake, the Cake Shake. Neil’s new shop, which fully opened in the East Village last week, is called Cakeshake. But it isn’t a mere Black Tap knockoff. “Essentially, we wanted a place where anyone could go and order this over-the-top Instagrammable shake that is also sensitive to lifestyle and [is plant-based],” he tells Bedford + Bowery.
Over the top indeed: Following up on the edible gold trend that seems to have swept New Yorkers into a fervid consumption of metallic substances (gold-plated chicken wings, anyone?), Cakeshake is offering an appropriately named #blingbomb shake, whose golden and silver sparkles practically blind the viewer and mask the mountain of mini cupcakes and vegan ice cream that lies underneath.
Neil embarked on his vegan shake voyage about a year and a half ago, when he started trending toward a more plant-based diet, but realized that eating that way outside of major cities was a real challenge. And not just for him, but his daughters, too. “I have two daughters who have a sweet tooth. I’ve taken them on my journey on veganism. I wanted [options] that were healthier and plant-based,” Neil told us. Then the idea dawned on him: why not vegan milk shakes, with some gluten-free options and maple bacon-topped treats (ask for the “Elvis”) for the carnivores as well. Neil pitched the idea to his friend (and now the store’s executive chef), Felix Castro, who loved the idea. With the help of co-owner Tim O’Grady, Cakeshake was born.
Most of the shakes range from $10-$15. There’s a 100% vegan #popmocha shake that comes packed with tres leches ice cream, espresso reduction, hand-made caramel corn, and whipped cream in a smorgasburg they call “plant-based heaven.” Other notable options include a vegan avocolada shake, which is their take on a piña colada, except with the very millennial addition of avocado to the usual pineapple. They’re constantly experimenting with new flavors, so you’ll just have to visit in person to see their latest menu. Note: kids under the age of 12 get a free drink with purchase of an adult shake, so this is one family-friendly joint. Bring a friend to share.
Cakeshake is located at 514 East 6th street, and is open from 2 pm-10 p.m. every weekday.
Sure, you can beat the heat by buying cubed watermelon at the bodega, but that’s so basic. Here’s how to get your watermelon fix and be extra.
Ladle soju punch from a watermelon
At Pocha 32, 15 W 32nd St # 2, Koreatown.
Pocha 32, a second-floor pub hidden away in Koreatown, would be worth the trip even if it didn’t use hollowed-out watermelons as punch bowls. Notes written on chopstick wrappers hang from the fishnet that covers the walls and ceiling, and oil drums serve as tables. It’s a festive place for dipping a ladle into a watermelon and helping yourself to a frothy mixture of ice, soju, Sprite, and fruit puree. This is a lot of drank even for two people to share, but you can always sneak the leftovers into the Vivi lightbulb jar below.
On the heels of San Loco closing its Bushwick location, we now know what’ll become of its old digs on Second Avenue in the East Village. New signage at 124 Second Avenue, near St. Marks Place, indicates the narrow nook has been taken over by The Dumpling Shop, a takeout spot specializing in “internationally inspired” dumplings.
The latest health-minded fast-casual chain to hit Manhattan just launched off of Union Square. Panorama Middle Eastern Grill is clearly aiming to become the Levantine Chipotle, and is hoping to succeed right across the street from where The Hummus & Pita Co. failed. Backed by a Canadian real-estate developer, the restaurant aims to open 15 locations around Greater New York in the next few years, starting with its first at 820 Broadway.
There’s no shortage of gluten-free beers, thanks to specialty breweries like Omission, Green’s, and Glutenberg, as well as one-off brews like Anheuser-Busch’s Redbridge or New Belgium Brewing’s Glutiny. But even with Yelp at your disposal, tracking them down at local bars can be a challenge. “Searching for gluten-free restaurants is a good start,” says Zach Lountzis, a beer-lover with Celiac disease. “But it doesn’t help much with bars that offer gluten-free beer.” That’s why we’ve put together this list of watering holes with decent gluten-free options.
It’s been said that adding plants to your living space is a great way to improve both the appearance of a room and your own personal well-being. But what if you’re really bad at keeping plants alive? Well, in that case, maybe a cactus will be good. They don’t need to be watered very much. Plus, if you happen to be passing through the Lower East Side, you can browse a variety of Southern California cacti, now that The Cactus Store pop-up has returned to spend another summer near Seward Park. More →
If you’ve never been able to awkwardly murmur your food order to a server in the dark while a movie is playing due to your dietary restrictions, soon you will have your time to shine. Indeed, Alamo Drafthouse will unveil a new vegan menu this Tuesday, so even those who refrain from animal product consumption can feel anxiety about whether or not they’re chewing too loudly during a crowded showing of A Quiet Place where no one seems to be eating anything crunchy but you. More →
The Lower East Side’s beloved Katz’s Delicatessen has changed the game for the subscription food industry by debuting a pastrami on-demand service this week. Bloomberg first broke the news that the 130-year-old Jewish deli has launched a monthly subscription box, bringing deli meats to doorsteps nationwide. More →
In the shadow of the Manhattan Bridge, a group of plucky amateurs were facing off in a game of street hockey at Rev. Joseph Moffo Rink. It was the Hammerheads against the Monstars, two teams with a bitter rivalry in the Mofo Hockey League, and the action was chippy from the outset. A defenseman for the Hammerheads jostled in the corner and emerged with the ball – a tangerine-colored sphere designed not to bounce on the asphalt. He flung it up the boards to his teammate, who raced shoulder-to-shoulder with one of the Monstars to retrieve it. They wore sneakers, not roller skates, and even though the surface was 50 feet shorter than a regulation rink, it was exhausting.