Billy’s Bakery

cupcakes-billys

PC: Yelp

shelf-billys

 

Billy’s is like Magnolia’s little brother. The pesky brother that you have a love/hate relationship with. Hate because of all the calories you will be inhaling the moment you leave that door. LOVE because why? It’s delicious and delectable.

This small shop has a lot of character. And I mean small. Big groups, beware! It’s got that clean, classic look. Kinda retro style. Chalkboard menus are always a win in my book. The sweet, sweet sugary air is also an enticing factor. I came later on in the night so there wasn’t as large of a selection if I came during the daytime. But still we have a nice variety to choose from. My friend and I ended up splitting their homemade chocolate chip cookies and butterscotch ginger cookies. They were wonderful. My type of cookie is one that you can break into without crumbs flying everywhere. A cookie that holds on its own and has some height. Billy’s cookies are just that! As for their cupcakes, ($3!) I tried one of my favorites… carrot cake and red velvet! The cake had a great kick of spice. It was moist and had the texture from the walnuts and raisins. Yum. And the red velvet… the cream cheese icing was spectacular.

I am such a sucker for desserts, so Billy’s was a great unexpected find. Thank you Yelp for bringing me to the cutest little shop. There’s gonna be sibling rivalry with Magnolia’s! Family intervention anyone?

184 9th Ave
New York, NY 10011

 

b/t 21st St & 22nd St in Chelsea

(212) 647-9956

billysbakerynyc.com

Pho Sho.

front-Rolling Spring Roll

PC: Yelp

You may cringe, you may laugh or you may scoff at the ridiculous amount of puns I am about to unleash in this review. You have been warned.

THIS PLACE IS ON A ROLL. (Here we go.)
One of my many food missions in life has been completed: to try Pho. I’m pretty new to everything in the Vietnamese food chain, so I went in with an open mind and stomach. I know what you’re thinking. Your first Pho experience was on Long Island of all places? Yes. And let me tell you, no regrets people. Rolling Spring Roll provided a wonderful foundation for my Vietnamese food pallet. It can only go up from here.

When my partner in crime (Steph M.) asked me to come here, I was like “Pho sho’!” First impression? Tiny. Casual. And a weird shade of green. The menu is small but covers all the essentials. Naturally I wanted to try everything but ended up settling on:
-Lemongrass Chicken Banh Mi: VERY flavorful. The chicken was moist, bread was toasty and the flavors just melded together.
-Beef Pho: Great first experience. The different varieties of meat in one bowl was interesting. I enjoyed the pairing of bean sprouts, basil and jalapenos. Steph showed me how its done with the addition of hoisin and sriracha. Delicious and not too salty.

Bahn Mi-Rolling Spring Roll

Beef Pho-Rolling Spring Roll

Our waiter/comedian of the night was Joe. Joe has a sense of humor like me and our conversation went like this:

(At the beginning of the meal.)
Me: “This pho is PHO-nomenal.”
Joe: “That’s great, I’m definitely taking that one.”

(During the meal.)
Me to Steph: “Wow the music selection here is really interesting and amusing.” *
Joe: *does a little dance while he passes by*

(At the end of the meal.)
Joe: “You didn’t finish it it all?! I’m sorry but we’re not friends anymore.” **
Me:  “………wat?”

That pretty much sums up our hilarious interactions with the waiter that night. Needless to say, I will definitely be back. If you’re looking for delicious, quality Vietnamese food and you can only venture to LI, come here. This place will be pho you. Rolling Spring Roll Shop pho ever.***
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*I think I heard Bryan Adams, Bonnie Tyler and Destiny’s Child in a row.
**I’m sorry, but I didn’t think we were at that level yet… lmao.
***buzzfeed.com/arivoukydis… – you’re welcome.

189 Main St

Farmingdale, NY 11735

(516) 586-6097

therollingspringroll.com

 

Ole-a!

Inside-Olea

PC: Olea

I have a firm belief/philosophy in life that I try live by:
“Sharing is caring.”

And what’s one of the best ways to share? TAPAS.

Olea was brought to my attention by my co-workers. They raved about this cute eatery and its uniquely styled Mediterranean offerings… so naturally I couldn’t wait to go! Inside reminds me of a combination of decorations that borders a Pier 1 Import/Antique feel. My taste in a nutshell. It was a very cozy and relaxed environment which is just what we needed after a long work week. We went early to ensure we didn’t miss the happy hour specials…which are great. You can choose from a couple of wines and sangria (both white and red) for $5 each. They also have happy hours for the tapas $3-6 each and $1 oysters M-F and from 4pm-7pm.

Drink-Olea
They bring you out a nice bread basket with EVOO to dip in. It was very fresh and the perfect start to our meal. As for the tapas, we ordered a bunch. The more the merrier, am I right? I’ll try to be concise and highlight the best parts of each dish.

-Almond Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Dates: Umm, what’s not to love about Bacon? The only negative is that they should have given us more. It was an interesting pair with the dates/almonds. Crunchy and crispy.

-Boquerones al Vinagre: It’s a very light “salad” if you will. Not my favorite. But then again I’m biased since I’m not the biggest fan of anchovies (unless they’re in a sauce). But the arugula and toasted almonds helped balance out that strong flavor.

-Spanish ‘Pitza’: One of the best items of the night. It’s sweet, savory, and spicy in one. It’s a crispy thin pizza with quince paste, Manchego, toasted garlic and red pepper. Side note…If you haven’t had Manchego cheese, you’re missin’ out in life!

-Fried Chickpeas: I’d like to think of it textually-like wasabi peas. Pretty good.

-Patatas Bravas: My friend called this the “fancier version of cheesy fiesta potatoes*”. Which I laughed at. This is a killer side dish. The thing that makes it is the harissa aioli. Yum.

-Harissa-Deviled Organic Eggs: Good. Spicy. But nothing special IMO.

-Grilled Whole Wheat Pita with Spicy Feta Dip: The dip was very creamy and fluffy. I liked the unique twist of the added heat.

From what I’ve seen their brunch is pretty popular as well. So I can’t wait to try that soon. But speaking for their dinner experience, it was a pleasant one. The staff was friendly, attentive and patient while we pick our tapas. And of course the food was pretty darn good! At a place like this, try as much as your wallet can allow. (Happy hour certainly helps!!!) I’ll definitely be back to have the full brunch experience.
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*Really? You’re comparing this place to Tbell? Shameee.

171 Lafayette Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11238

 

b/t Adelphi St & Clermont Ave in Fort Greene

(718) 643-7003

oleabrooklyn.com

This place is ARTrageous!

Wall-Artrageous   Paint-Artrageous

Two things I love:

1. Art (Pottery)
2. Wine

Pottery+Wine+Friends= my Friday night.

I couldn’t think of a better way to catch up with my friends from home. ARTrageous! is an adorable find in the heart of Rockville Center. It’s a fun alternative to the other sorts of debauchery we find ourselves in while visiting RVC.

Friday is BYOB* night. Call ahead of time (day of is fine) and reserve a table. They want you to come at 6:30pm-9:30pm but if you walk in a bit later that’s fine. They offer a hearty selection of snacks. We had pizza, strawberries, cake, veggies, etc. Don’t be shy about grabbing seconds**… they basically come to your table telling you to take more.

Tables-Artrageous   My Platter-Artrageous

When you walk in, to your left you’ll see an array of different pieces to choose from. Yes, some can get pretty expensive. But the average piece is about $20-$30. A little mug may be like $10 and the giant platter may cost $45. So plan accordingly. Once you pick your piece, bring it to the register where you can pay. They have a wall of paints that you can choose from (hardest decision of my day, no joke) and they display what each of the colors will look like once fired. Very convenient. Grab as many paints/brushes as you like… you can bring them to your table so you don’t have to keep getting up for more.

ARTrageous! played fun, upbeat music throughout the night. I was glad to see that even on a reallyyyy cold day (thanks polar vortex) it was packed. There were people of all ages (above 21 of course) and both men/women. My friends and I brought some Riesling and had a blast. The staff members were so nice and said that if we didn’t finish, we can always take some of the supplies home. And it takes about 2 weeks, (depending on how busy they are) till you can pick up your finished piece. I ended up painting a chip/dip plate (see pic) which was very fun. If you’re looking for a relaxing night out, I’d highly recommend coming here. I can tell people think it’s pretty pricey… but for the amount of supplies, food, atmosphere, space, service and selection of pieces… it’s worth it.

______________________________­____
*People don’t mess around with their drinks. I saw some women with a concoction of jungle juice. They take BYOB very seriously.
**Yes, that person is me.

5 N Village Ave

Rockville Centre, NY 11570

(516) 255-5255

artrageousrvc.com

 

Thank You Lady M

Front-Lady M

5 stars for this little slice of heaven.

If you don’t mind, while I indulge myself in telling my Lady M Cake story…
I was sitting at home watching “The Best Thing I Ever Ate” on Food Network. It’s one of my favorites since I had the opportunity to learn about new places to eat, from people that truly know what their talking about. Then what appeared on my screen? None other than the Mille Crepe cake. Just the sight of it on tv and I was hooked. I thought to myself… a cake made from layers and layers of crepes?! With cream in the middle? Perfection. I must try this. That was about a year ago.

It wasn’t until recently when I came across Lady M again and remembered I this culinary confection. Luckily enough it was close to my old work so I could pop on in during my lunch time.  The place itself is pretty small. I could have easily missed it if I wasn’t paying close attention. It’s decor and colors are clean and simple. The first thing I saw of course when I walked in dundundun… was the Mille Crepe Cake. Usually I would say heck no to $7.50 a slice, but this was necessary. I’ve been waiting to try this cake forever! Ladies and gentlemen, let me tell you… every bite was worth every. single. cent.

Display-Lady M  mille crepe-Lady M

The cake is perfectly put together. The stacked pieces adorned with the creamy filling makes for the most interesting yet glorious texture. It’s smooth yet rich. They have other cake flavors like the Green Tea and Strawberry Shortcake which I will have to venture yet again to try. I am sure if it’s anything like the original, it will be nothing short of phenomenal. Thank you Lady M for fulfilling one of my dessert bucket list items.

Oh. And they have locations throughout Manhattan. So if you can’t make it up to the UES, no worries my friends.

 

41 E 78th St
New York, NY 10021
b/t Madison Ave & Park Ave in Upper East Side

(212) 452-2222

ladym.com

Belgian Fries Galore

Front-Pommes Frites

 

Pommes Frites is the proprietor of everything that is french fries. My true weakness in life. They’ve somehow managed to cultivate this community of fry-lovers. And these people mean business. If you think you’ve had the best, pop on into Pommes Frites and prepare those taste buds. Sure the fries are classic in nature and have the crisp/salty factor that everyone looks for. But there’s something said about a product that’s simple and done 100% right. They’re fresh-out-of-the-fryer good. However, the spotlight is really on those sauces.

With over 25+ sauces to choose from, it’s hard to decide on just one. What I recommend is taking a gander at the selection and while you’re waiting (trust me there WILL be a wait…this place always has a line) you can ask to sample some of them. I asked for 3. ($3.75 combo, to order them all and it’s totally worth it). I kinda copied the girl ahead of me (her choices were spot on!) and ended up with: Sweet Mango Chutney Mayo, Pomegranate Teriyaki Mayo, and Honey Mustard. BAR NONE, I have the say that the Sweet Mango Chutney Mayo takes the cake. Not gonna lie, the Pom-Teriyaki was kinda funky but still good.

The space is small. You may be hovering over people to glance the menu or to get a glimpse of the fries being cooked. *Commence mouth-watering* I watched them in the fryer, how they added in the seasoning and by the time they placed them in the bag I’m surprised I had the willpower to not jump over the counter and snatch them. As for the seating issue… psh. Fries are finger foods and a lack of chairs aren’t going to stop me from munching away.*

Fries-Pomme Frites
All in all, Pommes Frites just makes sense. These Belgian fries will change your perspective forever.** Only WARNING: You may come here and quite possibly fall in love with it.

*The real trick is the balancing act of the sauces and the fries. It’s an acquired skill.
**Mickey D’s, BK, Wendy’s will never be the same.

123 2nd Avenue, New York, NY 10003

b/t 7th St & St Marks Pl in East Village

(212) 674-1234

pommesfrites.ws

What A Sweet Treat.

Logo-Butter Lane

Photo Credit: Yelp

What does one do on a beautiful Saturday night with a bunch of your closest friends? Cupcake tour of course!* For my birthday I created a mini college reunion/celebration of my birth kinda weekend. Seeing as I am a big cupcake enthusiast, I had to hit up a few places on a night like this. We headed down to the Village and stepped into the lovely store Butter Lane. (It’s been on my “cupcake bucket list” for a while.)

It was later in the night so there wasn’t a big selection but still enough to choose from. We each had different flavors — hey that’s strategy right there.** My friends having to make it as obvious as possible (which I love) made me wear a “Birthday Princess” plastic tiara. The super friendly worker explained what flavors were being offered and that since it’s my birthday I could have my cupcake for FREE! Here’s the catch: I had to take a picture with the cupcake and it would be put on their Instagram. COUNT ME IN!

Honey Cupcake-Butter Lane

Photo Credit: Butter Lane

One Cupcake: $3.25
Cupcake on your birthday: FREE
Pic on their Instagram/website: Priceless.

Honey Cinnamon (vanilla): Superb. The frosting was just the right touch of sweet and with a backdrop of spice.
Maple Pecan (banana): Nutty, yet had the sweetness of the syrup. Reminded me of pancakes, but better.
Coconut (chocolate): Mounds bar anyone? Toasted coconut and chocolate is a match made in heaven.

Me

That birthday/cupcake/instagram pic!

I think it’s really interesting they not only have vanilla and chocolate as a base, but banana. Unique and smart thinking… it was super moist. TIP: Check in with Yelp for a free frosting shot. I had a great experience at Butter Lane and will most definitely be back. Thank you to the girl who helped make my birthday extra special and for the scrumptious (and not overly sweet) cakes.

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* Well okay, maybe not all friends do this. But mine do. We decided to keep our drunken debauchery to a hiatus and actually remember our nightly festivities.
** This way, we can taste a multitude of flavors and plus… sharing is caring am I right?

123 E 7th St
New York, NY 10009

b/t Avenue A & 1st Ave in East Village

(212) 677-2880

butterlane.com