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Vegan ‘Funyons,’ Anyone? Raw-Food Truck Hits Avenue A

Squeeze Truck 1Emily J. Hara The Squeeze truck.

A new food truck will hit the streets of the East Village next week. According to its creator, The Squeeze will be the only bio-diesel-fueled, pressed juice truck in the city. It’ll certainly be the only one selling vegan “Funyons.”

When Karliin Brooks turned vegan at the age of 16, she craved more than just granola bars. She went on to graduate from N.Y.U. with a degree in Nutrition and Broadcast Journalism and then attended the The Natural Gourmet Institute. Now the 38-year-old caterer has reconditioned a onetime UPS truck and will use it to serve buckwheat popcorn and “Twix” bars made with dates and soybean in lieu of caramel.

“We are food alchemists,” said Ms. Brooks, whose partner in The Squeeze is Jen Gatien, producer of “Limelight.” “We convert high-energy raw food into something that people can recognize and would consume.” Read more…

Can L’asso’s New Bagels Light a Fire Under the Competition?

L'ASSO_015Noah Fecks

Thought the bagel burger was unorthodox? L’asso EV is getting into the bagel business, and the restaurant and pizzeria plans to offer hemp-seed, gluten-free, and even vegan varieties.

The ingredients aren’t the only thing of note: the all-organic orbs will be baked for 10 to 12 minutes in the restaurant’s wood-fired oven at the beginning of the day and then toasted in the same oven, to order. Greg Barris, a co-owner of the restaurant, said the bagels will be a whole different story from the traditional kettle-boiled variety. “They’re not as puffy and they have that wood flavor to them,” he told The Local, going on to liken them to harder, flatter Montreal-style bagels. Read more…

A Guide to Gluten-Free Eating

Tu-lu'sGrace Maalouf A customer orders at Tu-Lu’s Gluten-Free Bakery, which is dedicated specifically to providing treats without the protein found in wheat, oats and barley that causes illness for those sensitive to it.

In the sprawling East Village dining scene, there’s no shortage of choices: cheap or exorbitant, healthy or indulgent, quick or leisurely, deciding on a meal is a culinary choose-your-own-adventure. There are plenty of options for meat-eaters, for vegetarians, even for vegans. But for the rising number of people intolerant to gluten, a protein found in wheat, oats and barley, what’s the best way to navigate the pizza- and dessert-lined streets of the neighborhood?

Enter the spate of restaurants ready to guarantee every last corner of the masses has access to a few of their favorite things. More and more are adding special gluten-free menus or dishes, and others are altering their entire line of offerings to make them friendly to those who can get sick from certain grains and flours.

At East Village comfort-food headquarters S’MAC, for example, the entire mac-and-cheese menu is available in gluten-free varieties. So whether diners want the gruyere-bacon “Alpine” dish or the manchego-fennel-onion “La Mancha,” all the pastas can be ordered sans gluten.
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