Posts Tagged ‘dessert

04
Oct
10

Macaron

I’m sitting inside MacarOn in Midtown, one of my favorite places for coffee. It’s on 36th at 8th Ave. Sandwiches and Salads are made to order. Coffee and milk are organic. MacarOns are gluten free. French pastries, sandwiches, and salads, incredible tasting coffee. Add the WordPress app for iPhone into the equation and what else could a girl in NYC ask for? MacarOn Café

Let me get back to my coffee now.

03
Nov
09

Pinkberry

I was introduced to the phenomenon of Pinkberry while working in Midtown.  My colleagues and I would walk to 32nd street to get a fix of this frozen yogurt.  And I really mean frozen yogurt- yogurt that is frozen, not an unsatisfying substitute for ice cream.  My usual Pinkberry order is original or green tea yogurt with berries and mochi.  My friend Dave and I stopped in at Pinkberry before our friend’s performance on Theatre Row.  I decided to try the Pinkberry Parfait because it looked so pretty.

Pinkberry Parfait

Pinkberry Parfait

If you are wondering if the word phenomenon is an overstatement for a frozen yogurt product, you can read about it in the LA Times.  Pinkberry has become a staple in many Manhattan neighborhoods.  You’ll probably see me in line one of these days.

05
Aug
09

Max Brenner

Max Brenner (Chocolate by the Bald Man) at Union Square has set out to create a chocolate culture.  I must admit I’m a believer in his campaign.  Just look at his Sweets menu and you’ll understand.  I think that this would be a great place to go on a date but I’ve only been to Max Brenner with girlfriends, which is indeed a fantabulous way to spend an evening.  The waffle fries were a winner, dusted with chili and cocoa powders.  We had dinner before having dessert, although I wouldn’t have been opposed to skipping dinner whereby leaving more room for dessert.  They used to serve my favorite “Chocolate Mess” which was chunks of moist chocolate cake topped with 3 scoops of vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, chocolate sauce, strawberries, and sprinkles, all encased in an 8 inch round cake pan served with spatulas instead of spoons.  It’s not on the menu anymore but there are plenty of other fun items on the menu.  What I love about the desserts is the interactive element to them.  The sauces come in tiny flasks and you get to drizzle it on your own dessert, or especially fun are the chocolate covered pop rocks that pop in your mouth!  There is an almost cubist feel to the desserts, the way each element of the dessert is broken down.  And the serving mugs are absolutely adorable.  I love the dark chocolate mocha that you can also get to go at the counter and is served in the hug mug in the restaurant.  There is the Alice cup, the hug mug, and others.  There may be richer, smoother chocolate around but I haven’t found a place yet that provides such a fun experience.  Be sure to peruse the chocolate shop in the front.  It also houses a barrel of molten chocolate which is also quite a spectacle.

Max Brenner Entrees

Max Brenner Entrees

Max Brenner Banana Bread and Chocolate Banana Crepe

Max Brenner Banana Bread and Chocolate Banana Crepe

04
Aug
09

Dim Sum at Golden Bridge

Dim Sum is a Hong Kong style breakfast or lunch that could be considered the Chinese version of Spanish Tapas.  Dim Sum is the Cantonese pronunciation and in Mandarin it is Dian Xin.  It literally translates as a little bit of heart.  The only few words I know in Cantonese are, in fact, Dim Sum dishes.  Because Dim Sum is served on small plates, it is best enjoyed with a larger group of people so that you can order a greater variety of dishes.  I’ve had a couple of birthday celebrations at Golden Bridge on Bowery and Canal Street.  The other place that I like in Chinatown is Grand Harmony on Mott St.  They still have the nice (relative) ladies who push around the carts  of the steamed, fried, sauteed, and dessert carts.  There is also a congee cart and sometimes there is a nifty cart that  they grill savory diakon radish cakes on.  Be aggressive when ordering your food and don’t be afraid to ask specifically for anything!  Once you get a dish from the cart, the ladies stamp your bill and at the end of your meal, a waiter tabulates your bill on the spot without the use of a calculator.  It’s best to pay cash, as they add a percentage to the bill for credit card payments.

red G Bridge dim sum

Clockwise from the top: Spareribs, Crispy Fried Shrimp, Sesame Balls, Chinese crullers wrapped with rice noodles (my friends always tell me but I can’t for the life of me remember the name), Har Gao (shrimp dumplings), Dan Ta (custard tarts), more Har Gao, Steamed Chicken Feet with Black Bean Sauce, and Chinese Greens with Hoisin sauce in the center (You Cai in Mandarin).  Missing from this photo are every man’s favorite, Siu Mai, and we also ordered the Fried Rice with Chicken and Salted Fish.  Dee-lish!

29
Jul
09

Ippudo and Cha-An

Hooray for birthdays!!  I turned…well, let’s just say that it makes me happy to get carded when I order a drink!  My friends took me to Ippudo for ramen and Cha-An for dessert.  A well rounded Japanese evening out.  If you go on Ippudo’s website, the intro says, “Ramen is Japan’s Soul Food.”  I’m still thinking about the exact parallel between ramen and say, chicken and waffles, but I think I understand generally what they are getting at.  It was my first time eating there and it did not disappoint.  I had heard that people wait over an hour but we got there right at the start of dinnertime and were seated right away.  The broth was incredible and they also offer an option of bringing you extra noodles to go with the broth.  I ordered a special for the day, a cold noodle dish with Tan Tan in the name.  It immediately brought to mind Chinese Dan Dan noodles which are a spicy noodle dish, also with ground pork, from the Sichuan province.  Some Chinese people talk about how everything in this world originated in China, just like Mr. Portokalos in the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding says, “Give me a word, any word, and I show you that the root of that word is Greek.”   I guess legend does have it that Christopher Columbus brought noodles to Italy from China, as well.  Well, according to Ippudo’s website, ramen was brought over to Japan by a Chinese Confucian of the Ming Dynasty.  The cold noodles I had came in a chilled Pyrex measuring cup with egg, shrimp, wine jelly, ground meat sauce, cilantro, fish flakes, and instructions to mix everything together really well.  The flavor was incredible.  My friends’ ramen in broth was incredibly flavorful, as well.

For dessert, we walked from 4th Ave and 9th Street over to Cha-An, a Japanese Tea Room.  I had the Black Sesame Creme Brulee and the Green Tea Float, and my friend had the Zenzai (actually, he had two of them).  The brulee came with a scoop of ice cream on top and a sesame crisp.  The Float had a red bean ice cube floating in it.  Honestly, I could have eaten two orders of the creme brulee, as well.  And the green tea flavor of the float was really good and strong, like I remember the drinks tasting in Asia.  I would like to experience the tea ceremony there, at some point.  I think rituals are underrated in America.

Oh, and somewhere in Manhattan there is a guy walking around with a shirt that says, “Everybody loves Ramen.”  Let me know if you see him!

Ippudo Cold Noodle Special

Ippudo Cold Noodle Special

Sesame Brulee with Ice Cream and Green Tea Float

Sesame Brulee with Ice Cream and Green Tea Float

27
Jul
09

Lunch at Bouchon

I have never been to French Laundry in Napa Valley or any other of Thomas Keller’s reputable restaurants, such as Per Se, located inside the Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle.  But his Bouchon Bakery (also at Time Warner) is on my list of things that act as anti-depressants for me, along with puppies and chocolate anything, of course.  When Lea, my best friend from college, said that she wanted to eat her way through New York, I knew instantly that I would take her to Bouchon.  We stopped there for lunch and I had what I remember the waiter calling a Wagyu Steak Sandwich with Tomato Marmalade and Basil Pesto.  Sometimes genius can be misunderstood but there was no misunderstanding between me and this sandwich!  Ultra-tender beef and cheese melted between the perfectly toasted baguette dressed with the sweet tomato on the top and basil pesto on the bottom.  If there was a scale of delectability…

Lea had the Corned Beef Sandwich and later we grabbed some of the desserts from the counter to go.  It’s also my favorite place to go for coffee.  Bouchon coffee paired with browsing books at Borders makes for an affordable luxury for the starving artist in NYC!

red2 Bouchon steak sand




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