Category Archives: Sweets & Treats
There are a few items that tourists must eat on their trip to New York City. Thin crust pizza, a dirty water hot dog from a cart, and an authentic NYC bagel. There are probably more, but for the sake of keeping this article down to a decent word count, let’s stick with three.
Something makes bagels from “New Yawk” a bit different from its relatives around the nation. Maybe it’s the water, or perhaps it’s the different things you can put on top of it. It’s a basic bread-type food with many possibilities. “Bantam Bagels” on Bleecker Street has popped up and is offering a new spin on the classic carb, making them bite-sized and filled with flavor combinations that will make you “change the way you bagel”, or so their slogan says.
So, let’s get past this obstructed view from across the street and get some bagels!
After a two year run on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, “The London Candy Company” has moved to a new location on Bleecker Street in the West Village. Offering a bevy of UK goodies that you can probably only find in this store, or at least the sheer volume of sweets, owner Jignesh Patel has cemented himself as the go-to place in NYC for British candy.
What better time is there than before Halloween to check out this store and give you guys a brief photo tour of the inside of this amazing shop!
Kickstarter is the place where dreams go to wither and die, or blossom and thrive. Like many other fans of that site, I love to scour the pages upon pages of ideas and concepts for things, like video games, comics, technology, or my personal favorite, food. It’s hard to choose what item you want to back when you are on a limited budget, especially when it comes to the tasty edible options out there. Luckily for me, I found Cinnarookies.
Billed as the hybrid between a cinnamon roll and a cookie, the Cinnarookie was created by Minnesota natives Ashley Wiermaa and Lindsey Else. The dream of these two business ladies/ bakers was to take their unique cookie idea and turn it into a national business. Like all start-ups, there are tons of expenses when it comes to starting the corporate side of things, so Ashley & Lindsey turned to their kickstarter to raise $3,500 to get the ball rolling. Thanks to their successful fundraising efforts, they raised more than they needed, and lucky for a backer like me, I got my hands on a dozen of their cookies as a thank you gift! So, let’s take a sneak peek at the Cinnarookie!
Born in South Africa, Justine Pringle moved to America and eventually met her husband, Andy Laird, who was a musician who performed often in the city. In an effort to sell merchandise that was more than just shirts or CD’s, the couple decided on a whim to make chocolates. Much to their surprise, the sweets caught on and soon their side-job turned into a full-time career and enterprise, “Nunu Chocolates”.
The name originates from a term in Africa for young children, but the chocolates that this booming company create are not your average box of Russell Stover. At the Mad. Sq. Eats event, I checked out the Nunu booth, which was offering tastings of their chocolates paired with wine and beer. Sadly, I was there to work and not drink (however, my work was gorging on food, a tough way to earn a living), but I did pick up a box of chocolates to take back for later. The Booze Box ($12), pictured above, holds six pieces of their handmade chocolates, each with a different kind of liquor inside. Let’s tear into it and get ourselves a simultaneous sugar rush and buzz!
Not to be confused with macaroons, the popularity of the French macaron has gone worldwide with foodies for some time. My first taste of them was in Japan in 2008, where I was anticipating what I knew as macaroons and not the meringue cookie sandwich with almond powder and buttercream filling. Foodies are huge on macarons, and while I am not a rabid macaronist (is there a term for hardcore macaron eaters?), I can appreciate why some people go nuts over them.
At “Mad. Sq. Eats”, I ran into the “Macaron Parlour” and interviewed them for my video on the event. I could not leave their stand without sampling their goodies, and somehow I ended up walking away with a quadruple helping of them. It was all a blur after that, with a sugar rush on one part of my brain battling against the food coma I was having from so much binge-eating that day…
Anyway, in my calorie-induced madness, I managed to bring back four macarons to do a proper review and get my sugar fix on once again.
While I was filming at the “Madison Square Eats” event earlier this month, I saw the cute little “Momofuku Milk Bar” booth, maintained by the equally cute and friendly register girl. Run by David Chang with the baking prowess of Christina Tosi, Momofuku has built an empire around their high-quality food, but I had yet to visit any of their many shops in NYC.
Reeled in with the decorations of mini-pretzels strung atop the booth like Christmas lights and enamored with the pixie-like smile of the register girl, it did not take long for me to drop way too much money at their booth.
On her suggestion after informing her that I was a Momofuku virgin, I bought a slice of the “Crack Pie”. I wondered how many times a day she had to fake-laugh her way through customers that made drug jokes about the pie. Being the gentleman I was, I made one myself, her genuinely warm fake-laugh putting a grin on my face too. Damn you, Momofuku girl. Damn your cuteness and delicious baked goods. Let’s see if your pie was as amazing as you were.
I have a soft spot for Key Lime Pie, but I could not explain what it is I like about it. It seems so different compared to the other desserts I like, especially pie, in that I am not a fan of citrus-based desserts typically. Chocolate and oranges are a good mix, but something about it rubs me the wrong way.
While I was hanging out at the “Madison Square Eats” event, I found myself in front of “Mason Jar”, a classic American style bar and eatery that had a ton of beer and a bit of food. When I saw the words “Key Lime Pie” on a piece of 8 x 11 paper taped up on top of their booth, I knew I had to have it. After all, it was the only pie of it’s kind at this food fair, and the pie itself is a wonderful enigma to bakers. Simple in theory, but very easy to do wrong, either making it gelatinous, having a frankenstein shade of green, or an artificial lime flavor. How does “Mason Jar” do their Key Lime Pie? Let’s find out!
As the old saying goes, “Apple pie without the cheese, is like the kiss without a squeeze.” Apple pie with cheese on top was a big thing in the United States up until it began to fade out in the late ’70’s. These days, it’s extremely difficult to come by this treat at all, my only knowledge of it came from “Taxi Driver” when Deniro’s character orders it in a diner. Ever since I saw that movie, it became my mission to find this version of apple pie, and I finally came upon it in an unexpected place.
“Hill Country Chicken”, a fried-chicken joint near Madison Square Park, offers up much more than just deep-fried poultry. With a large selection of freshly baked pies at the front-counter, when I read “Apple Cheddar” I was immediately sold.