Monthly Archives: April 2010

>Crumbs Bake Shop: 1371 3rd Avenue New York, NY (multiple locations)

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These cupcakes *look* amazing. They are huge and adorable and beg you to ignore how overpriced they are. I must admit, I’ve brought them to parties purely because they make a great presentation. (Though, now that I’ve actually tried them, I promise I won’t be doing that anymore) Thinking of stopping in to treat yourself? Don’t bother. They are sickeningly sweet, even for a serious sugar-freak like myself. The cake is dry and tastes like it came from a supermarket mix. The frosting is too thick, super oily and waaaaaaay too corn syrupy. Some of the cake flavors are filled with a center of flavorless goo. Ew.
Please see the review of Kyotofu immediately.

>Lenny’s: 1481 2nd Avenue, New York NY (multiple locations)

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Well, I usually try not to eat fried garbage, but I was REALLY craving a chicken cutlet sandwich today thanks to someone who mentioned Rocky’s deli to me. (Rocky’s is a deli in the town that I grew up in- pretty much the best deli in the world) I stopped into Lenny’s thinking that a deep-fryer is a deep-fryer no matter where you are. Oiy. Sadly mistaken. There were 3 thin slices of ‘chicken’ on this sandwich- but it was mostly mushy, oily breadcrumbs with some poor quality meat inside.  Ew. The pickles that came with my $8 (!!!) lunch were bendy and chemically..like the ones that come from a grocery store jar (aka: not worth my time) So, I guess the happy ending of this story is that I only ate half. Nice way to turn what would have been a caloric/fat content splurge into something that I didn’t feel particularly guilty about. Next time I’ll rent a car and drive up to Rocky’s.

>Beyoglu: 200 East 81st st NY, NY

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This is a great restaurant to go to on a nice day. The outdoor seating is lovely with cute little blue-tiled tables and great people watching. It gets pretty crowded and there is usually a wait for the outdoor seats, but assuming you aren’t starving and/or super impatient, it’s worth waiting for. It’s a great place for a date as there are lots of nice small plates to share, and the waitstaff is great about checking on you ‘just’ the right amount. I’ve actually lingered here chatting for hours and appreciated that they don’t rush you out and they don’t bother you. You do get frequent water fill-ups which I love. Just about everything is perfectly complimented by the awesome fluffy flatbread that is quickly replaced when you finish it. I suggest the hummus, the cacik (yogurt with cucumbers & garlic) and the delicious Beyoglu salad. I’ve eaten inside here too, but don’t like it nearly as much. It’s an okay atmosphere, but on the dark side and the acoustics make for shouting matches to hear your dining companion.

>Street Sweets: Locations change daily, google-able

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Not to be confused with the Treats Truck, which was reviewed recently, this truck is also an outstanding place to stop for a snack. The great thing about the new trend to sell sweets this way is that it’s getting easier and easier to turn a corner and stumble onto one. My friend and I were pretty full from lunch, but we passed this truck as we were walking to the subway and decided we could probably both manage to find a little more tummy room. I had the coconut macaroon (very thin and crispy) with a layer of nutella and OMG it stopped me in my tracks. Wow. Absolutely fantastic. Crunchy, just sweet enough and perfectly complimented by the perfect smear of hazelnut goodness. My friend was equally impressed with her cookie. Plenty of other things to try the next time I spot the truck! Look for it near you!

>The Barking Dog: 1453 York Ave NY, NY

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This place is 2 blocks from my place which means I go there pretty often. The food is a diner-with-a-twist and has a comfortable (very dog-friendly) atmosphere. You can bring your dog to sit outside and they’ll even bring over a cute lime green bowl of water for him/her. If I’m in the mood for a great big salad or the best breakfast around this is where I’ll go. The homemade biscuit that comes with breakfast is scrumptious with a light honey taste.  Pretty good burgers also, though I do not recommend any of the other sandwiches or entrees I’ve tried. Stick to the salads or breakfasts and you’ll love it. Or, on a hot summer night it’s fun to go with a pal and share a delicious Haagan Daas sundae or sip on chocolate egg creams. I love to meet friends here to catch up because you can sit and chat for a long time and no one really bothers you (aka: pretty inattentive service inside year round. There is however, pretty great service outside on a gorgeous day when they want to move the people eating outside along in a hurry)

>William Greenberg Desserts: 1100 Madison Ave NY, NY

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My grandmother asked me to bring almond macaroons to our recent Passover dinner. This sent me in a tailspin searching high and low around Brooklyn and the Lower East Side, but much to my dismay, the only place I found them did NOT have kosher-for-passover ones. I personally love the coconut ones, but when Grandma asks for something specific, we do not argue. How funny is it that I finally wound up finding them oh, about 10 minutes away from my house. Why I didn’t check FIRST at this upper east side Jewish owned legendary bakery is beyond me. Apparently, I much prefer wild goose chases around the NYC boroughs. Anyway, (and we will just look away from the fact that they wound up costing me $28 for ONE lb of cookies) they were absolutely outstanding. Slightly chewy without actually sticking to your teeth. Deliciously and naturally flavored with almond paste. Yum yum yum. I made it a point to go back the following week to treat myself to their famous black & white cookies- which were every bit as wonderful as the reviews around here have built them up to be. It was then that I found out what I’ve been searching to discover for oh, about 3 years now. THIS is the bakery that supplies Agata & Valentina AND orwashers with the most amazing rainbow cookies/rainbow cakes I’ve ever had. I am ALWAYS on a mission to find the best ones in the world and will pretty much always buy one to try where ever I see them sold. (unless they have sprinkles on top, which automatically gets them black-listed in my book) Well, let me just start to explain why these are SO far above any others I’ve tried. In between each layer of colorful cake, there is a layer of jam- apricot and/or raspberry. The cookies are tops with thin layers of dark chocolate. So far, I have not told you why these are any different from anyone else’s….but here I go. THESE amazing rainbow cookies put an extra surprise layer of marzipan between each layer of cake and jam and OMG OMG OMG it takes them to a place that is out of this world incredible. Please go visit this awesome bakery, spend too much money on too much sugar and then send me a thank you note for making you drool. If you want, you can come running with me afterwards so that you don’t feel so guilty. That’s what I do.

>Orso Restaurant 322 W 46th Street NY, NY

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My mom and I had just finished an awful dinner a few doors up the street and decided to treat ourselves to some yummy after-dinner treats here. We had 30 minutes to kill before theater so we went in for dessert and cappuccinos. As soon as we saw profiteroles on the menu, we knew what we wanted. They were fantastic in every sense, if not maybe just a little on the small side. The pastry was puffed and light, and the gelato inside was a subtle coconut flavor. They had poured warm caramel and chocolate sauce over the top, which pretty much perfected the dish. Our cappuccinos came in cute mugs that fit perfectly in our palms and we enjoyed the extra frothy top quite a bit. The clientele was obviously of a much higher class than the tourist trap we mistakenly ate our dinner at. Oh well, lesson learned. Next time we will definitely come here to enjoy our dinner AND our dessert.

>Brazil Brazil Restaurant 330 West 46th Street New York, NY 10036

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You’d think that maybe the fact that we were at a Brazilian restaurant, but seeing things like caesar salad and risotto on the menu would have tipped us off that we could probably find somewhere better to eat, but sadly no. We went in. We did get the outdoor table we requested, seated next to an arrangement of dusty, tacky, pastel, fake flowers on a wire pushcart. The paper tablecloth on our table was marked with the drinks of the previous diners, but did that bother us, nahhhh. We had food on our minds and could overlook stuff like that for the time being. The walls were painted a horrific shade of salmon, but still, we kept our hopes high that perhaps we would be pleasantly surprised. After all, the place was packed- with a line of people outside waiting for tables to open up.
A basket of italian bread was left for us by our gruff waiter, who pretty much just walked away when we said we’d just stick with tap water. He came back to take our orders a little while later – a goat cheese salad to share, a glass of sangria (which, incidentally wound up being the ONE remotely Brazilian thing on our table) Pasta primavera for my mother and grilled tilapia with vegetables for me. Mysteriously, on the side of my fish sat a weird pile of chickpeas and alfafa sprouts. Is THAT supposed to be Brazilian? I’m so confused. So, okay, the food was boring, but not terrible. Definitely not Brazilian though. But wait! Is it perhaps Brazilian to add some chef’s hair to the broccoli? AH! That must be it! Actually. No. I don’t think ANYTHING can justify or explain that. It’s just F-ing GROSS. When I told the waiter about it, he simply took the plate away. No “I’m so sorry.” No “Is there possibly anything else that I can bring for you?” Nope. No words at all. He did however, not charge us for the hairy broccoli, so I guess that’s a plus.
Going to theater? Eat ANYWHERE else.

>Docks Oyster bar and grill. 633 Third Ave, NY NY

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I had dinner here a few nights ago with my mother and was very pleased. I had 6 delicious oysters and the iceberg wedge. Let’s face it. No one orders an iceberg wedge thinking that it’s a healthy salad option. This kind of lettuce is pretty much devoid of any nutritional benefits whatsoever, BUT it DOES serve as wonderful platform to put all kinds of unhealthy yet delicious foods atop. I was pretty much in heaven eating my crunchy, refreshing ‘salad’ topped with blue cheese, bacon crumbles and tomatos. Deeeeelicious. Maybe tomorrow I’ll have some romaine.

>Wildgreen Cafe 1555 3rd Ave New York, NY

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I love getting fruit smoothie drinks here after a good run. The no fat no sugar muffins taste indulgent even though they aren’t even cheating.
The breakfast wrap with soy-cream cheese, dried fruit and granola on whole wheat is fantastic too. The hot food selection always looks healthy, and yummy.
The only negative is that the sitting area is tiny- and usually you have to wait for someone to get up if you want to sit down.