As anyone who read yesterday's post knows, I was in a funk most of Friday. But the day ended on a high note with my daughter's birthday celebration. We went to a really cozy little vegan restaurant in Nyack called Main Essentials. The food was excellent and served with such genuine good will by the dread-locked staff [it's a Rastafarian establishment] that if you closed your eyes and ignored the modest furnishings and cold NY temperatures, you might have been in one of those tony Bahamian resorts where the staff just about trips over themselves in an effort to please. Talk about island hospitality! I wish I had brought my camera. I would have taken photos of the steam table selections which included a lovely basamati rice, a bean stew, kale, mock chicken, empanadas, fried plantains and what my sister-in-law kept calling faux beouf. All of the mock meats were soy-based, of course, but the textures and tastes were amazingly real. I had rice with beans, some of the faux beouf stir fry, the plantains and the kale. Though not usually a fan of kale, this was scrumptious and not the least bit bitter. Those who had the chicken found it equally good. For my less adventurous husband, there was a Boca burger. There was also a soup available but none of us indulged. The place is also famous for its custom blended juices and fruit smoothies: my sister-in-law had a pineapple and canteloupe melon juice blend and my husband had the Caribbean Breeze smoothie made of bananas, berries, mango, pineapple and soy milk. And both my son and my husband enjoyed a ginger beer that had just enough burn to be very smooth. My daughter enjoyed her presents. We got her a delicate marcasite necklace and a small sculpture of a wolf by a native American artist. I also bought her some tubs of frozen cookie dough: two for her dogs in peanut butter and cheese & oats flavors and two chocolate chip for herself that are casein and gluten free with vegetable and fruit purees added for extra oomph. Not everybody's cup of tea ... but hey, she's vegan and she likes that sort of thing. So, all in all, the day ended well even if it began inauspiciously.