Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Vegetarian & Vegan Delights!

On one of my recent posts, there was a request to hear more about the vegetarian and vegan hotspots that New Haven has to offer. Because most of my family is leaning towards vegan diets (though currently more accurately classified as vegetarian), and I try to eat as healthy and clean as possible, I am actually very familiar with a few great restaurants in the area!

Of course, if you live on campus and have already purchased the meal plan all you have to do is communicate with the chefs in the Dining Hall. They are so great about accommodating to everyone’s individual meal preferences, so as long as you let them know you are a vegan or vegetarian, they will always make an option for you at every meal.

However, if you feel like having a night out with your friends and want to dine somewhere strictly vegetarian I have a few great places to recommend! Two spots that I have gone and enjoyed immensely are Claire’s Corner Copia in the downtown area near the Green, and Fuel Coffee Shop on Chapel Street near Wooster Square.

Both of these places offer a wide variety of meals and are strictly vegetarian (read: no meat offered at all in any dish). In addition, they can substitute ingredients so your meal is completely vegan. I love both of these places and always feel satisfyingly full after. Do note: if you’re driving to Clarie’s Corner Copia, it is in the heart of downtown so you may need to bring change for parking depending on when you plan on dining.

Though the above two restaurants are strictly vegetarian and mostly American-esque foods, if you’re interested in meat- and dairy-free options you may want to try some other, more ethnic foods. The cultures that are best known for amazing vegetarian options are Indian, Vietnamese, and Thai. 

Though I have not explored the Vietnamese and Thai options in New Haven (yet!) I have Yelp‘ed a few restaurants that have very good reviews. Here are a few places I came up with (all of which are in the greater New Haven area): Lean’s Vietnamese Food Cart, Jeera Thai, and Thai Awesome.

I am, however, very familiar with the Indian cuisine available here in New Haven and have to say that Kamal is hands-down the best Indian food you will find in this city. The best part about Kamal, aside from their delicious menu and incredibly friendly staff, is that they have free delivery to Albertus. They have an entire vegetarian section of their menu, so do make sure to check it out!

Thank you, Erica, for that great feedback and question! This is by far my favorite blog that I have written so far – I am such a foodie! Those are the vegetarian and vegan options that I would suggest; it’s a good start – but I’m sure there are many, many more!

Question for all of you: Which vegetarian/vegan restaurants in New Haven (or surrounding areas) are your favorite? Do tell, I’m always looking for new places to try :)

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Tour Guide Training: Completed!

Yesterday I finally became an official Tour Guide for Albertus! I am so excited for this new opportunity to show prospective students everything that I love about being a student at Albertus.

The final part of my training was to conduct a practice tour for our Admissions Office Intern, Alicia. Alicia was really nice and it was actually pretty fun showing her around campus. Even though she had been through a few of these practice tours before with other Tour Guides, I liked giving her my spin on the campus and I had a ton of fun doing it.

In addition to becoming an official Tour Guide, I got my first tour guide appointments! My first shift as a Tour Guide will be this Saturday from 11 am – 1 pm.

I suppose the real reason I’m so excited about this position as an Albertus Tour Guide is because of how much my tour on campus really impacted my own college decision. The day I came to visit Albertus, I had also scheduled a whole day of tours with different colleges in New Haven. I had scheduled my private tour with Albertus in the morning and planned to go to group tours both at Southern Connecticut State University and University of New Haven. That was the plan, however, after my private tour with Kristy-Lee at Albertus I was so impressed that I decided to skip both of the other tours I had scheduled for the day! I knew Albertus was the place for me due to the small size, friendly people, and beautiful campus, so going to the other tours would have just be a waste of time. I credit my decision to come to Albertus to my tour guide; she was such a friendly person, answered all of my questions, and really showed me how wonderful Albertus truly is.

I am so glad that I decided to come to Albertus and have the opportunity to share my love for Albertus with others! Have you ever been on a campus tour at Albertus or another college? If so, what was your experience like?

Monday, September 10, 2012

Weekend Exploring

My cousin, Emily, flew in from Florida this week for a family wedding and decided to spend the weekend here in New Haven with me! I love when I have visitors, because New Haven is such a fun city and I love showing it off.

Because we are both over 21, we decided to grab a few drinks with my boyfriend, and another friend who was in town, Jenna. We started the night off at Pacifico which is a tapas bar in downtown New Haven. Pacifico is somewhat pricey for the typical college student budget, but is a fun place to meet with friends. I hear the food is amazing (it smells delicious), though I have never gone to eat. Pacifico is also neat because they play lots of Hispanic music and have a small dance space in case you get the urge to boogey!

After some good conversation and delicious drinks, we decided to make our way across the street to Bar. Bar is a pizza restaurant during the day that turns into a club/bar during the evening. The pizza here is legendary, especially the mashed potato pizza. Make sure if you go to Bar during the evening that you order your pizza early; by the time I got around to thinking about ordering pizza they only had cheese and peperoni left. After more conversation, and some seriously awesome dancing on our part (or at least we think so…) we went to another nearby bar, Black Bear.

All in all, Friday evening was a huge success and I was able to show Emily a great time in New Haven! New Haven is known for the happening night life, so make sure to hit up these three awesome spots. There are plenty of 18+ places as well in case your or your friends are not 21 just yet. Some of the 18+ clubs I know of are Empire, Elevate, and Toad’s Place.

If you are having a few drinks with your friends, make sure to plan how you are going to get home/back to campus. If you live on campus, there are many ways to get downtown safely: you can take the Yale Transit for free when you show your Albertus Student ID card or you can call a cab. Typically a taxi cab ride to the downtown area from Albertus is $12 each way. An easy number to remember for a cab is: (203) 777-7777.

The next morning even though it looked like it was going to storm, and New Haven was under a tornado watch, I decided to show Emily the breath-taking view from the East Rock Summit. Most of the time, when I take people to the top of East Rock I like to hike up, so they get the full experience. However, because we were short on time, and the weather was not predictable, we decided to drive up.
From the Summit you can see the city of New Haven and the ocean. If you look carefully into the distance on a clear day, you can even see New York City! Emily loved the view and we took quite a few pictures before heading back down the mountain.

Not only is the view incredible, but East Rock Summit also offers a wonderful field area with picnic tables and grills. On nice days you can usually find families having barbeques and picnics and students studying, enjoying the beautiful weather. It’s also a very dog-friendly area, so if you have a pup it’s definitely worth the trip!

Showing Emily around New Haven was a ton of fun! We made a bunch of new memories and I know she fell in love with New Haven, just as I did when I first visited.