I don’t like donuts. I don’t know, maybe its because they can be cloyingly sweet at times, the powdered ones make such a mess or possibly because I feel like crap after I eat them. Nonetheless, I usually try to avoid them. However, the Doughnut Plant is the exception to the rule. They’re sophisticated bites with really out-of-the-box flavor combinations.
For my birthday, my friends created a food tour for me with all my favorite spots (including some new ones) and the DP was on the list. The best thing about my college friends is that we’re expert share-ers. So everyone in my party each tried a different flavor both from the cake side and the yeast side.
For the Yeast flavors – the Valrhona Chocolate, PB&J Square
Cake flavors – Tres Leches, Green Tea, Carrot Cake
My favorites were… the Tres Leches which was such an unexpected taste. This “three milks cake” was soft, buttery and had that nice milk-sweetness from the glaze. The Valrhona packed a punch in chocolate goodness and was super rich. And lastly, the PB&J Square… I mean, what’s not to love? Turning a classic childhood memory into a decadent dessert. And a donut nonetheless! Genius.
Yeah they’re a bit pricey. But can you really put a price on sugar-y happiness? (Wow, that was horrible.) But in all seriousness. Take all that change in your piggy bank, head to the DP and try something new…. Be adventurous. You won’t regret it, they’re the best in the area.
379 Grand St
New York, NY 10002
Hello my fellow food friends,
I hope you had a fantastic holiday season and New Year Celebration. Looking back, 2014 was a crazy year filled with amazing memories, a trip to Italy and of course delicious eats! I’ve had the opportunity to explore Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn and Long Island more than ever. Along the way, I’ve discovered my love for new foods thanks to the help of my friends and food-lovers.
This year I’ve tried:
-Xiao Long Bao (Soup dumplings)
-The famous DKA from Dominique Ansel’s bakery (no cronut yet…. it’s on my list)
Etc., Etc., Etc. (to name a few!)
To my readers…. thank you so much, for taking the time to hear what I have to say. I hope you enjoy my perspective and maybe someplace I visit will become your next stop! So here’s to another year of GREAT food, WONDERFUL people and LONG LASTING memories.
K-town has always been one of my favorite places to visit. It’s a lot more hustling and bustling these days than it used to be. I guess people are discovering their love for Korean food! That being said… the restaurants have gone up quite a bit in prices. However, Woorijip is one of the more reasonable establishments around.
Inside this little nook is a bright, clean place with a surprisingly decent amount of seating. Woorijip cranks out tons of delicious food daily. They have a pretty big buffet with both cold/hot choices. What’s delicious: bulgogi (shredded korean beef), kimbap, kimchi (fermented cabbage… Spicy good.), japchae (glass noodles), squid, noodles, dumplings and more! They also have some more familiar items like fried rice and garlic chicken. They have trays and containers that are weighed by the lb. (I think $7.99/lb) You can slide down the buffet and beyond that they sell individual containers with food as well… If you’re in a rush or more of a “on-the-go” type. It’s also great because if you’re not familiar with the Korean cuisine, you can try a bunch of things and for a decent price. Total win. Yeah for being adventurous!
I’m not sure if they weight the food factoring out the tray and container… but I hope they do cause that wouldn’t be cool. But my meal was a little less than $10. Not too shabby! (And for a plate that I almost didn’t finish.) And that was with a water bottle too. ($1)
It seriously doesn’t get any better than this. Can’t wait to come back. If you’re a beginner to Korean food, come to Woorijip. You won’t be disappointed.
12 W 32nd St
New York, NY 10001
Finding this place was a blessing and a curse. Here’s why:
BLESSING: This place could not be more adorable. It’s a branch of 3 Alice Tea Cup chains. This one, (like the others) is magical in more ways than one. The decorations alone transport you to another world. If you like mis-matched tea cups, an assortment of “tea party” bites and that overall antique/mystical vibe, this is your place. Basically, everything I love. And trust me, it’s not posh in anyway. People of all ages eat here. From little girls bearing sparkly tiaras to a couple of old friends catching up on their lunch break. There is a small space when you first walk-in (I think they did that on purpose to emulate Alice in that tiny door scene) but don’t think it stops there! There is plenty of seating upstairs.
The second-floor is gorgeous. It’s bright and cozy inside. My waitress sat me right away and was so incredibly helpful. I told her that I had a smaller amount of time for lunch and asked if I were to have enough time for a few cups of tea/scones. She said she would be extra-speedy and get that tea brewin’ right away. What a sweetheart. From the endless options of teas I chose the Herbal Chai. It came with honey and chai milk. I also ordered the 2 scone and 1 pot of tea — approx 3-4 cups, special. The scones were buttermilk and pumpkin glazed.
I will go out on a limb and say these are the BEST SCONES I have ever had in my entire life. And possibly for the rest of my life! I don’t know how anyone can top these pillow-y heaven filled pastries. The scones came with clotted cream and raspberry preserves which just added a sweet/tart treat to the already amazing scone. It was creamy and just perfect. I read my book and sat in scone heaven. All for $12!
CURSE: The amount of calories I consumed in Alice’s Tea Cup was probably an absurd amount, but who cares. Anything that tasty is worth it!*
*Calories don’t exist in Wonderland right?
156 E 64th St
New York, NY 10021
I feel like I’ve just hit the jackpot.
And by jackpot, I mean I’ve discovered delicious, cheap, fresh food in the most unexpected place imaginable. Yes, I’m talking about in the basement of a hare krishna temple. Don’t you just love that?
You can wander past this place without doing a double take. There’s no large neon sign. No flyers. No people advertising outside. It’s good ol’ fashioned word-of-mouth marketing and of course many thanks to all of you. When you walk in, look past the man that sits by the door and past the temple services and to your right you will find Govinda’s. Picture this: Walk down a flight of stairs into what looks like a much-needed-rennovation space that reminds me of an older catering hall/cafeteria. The walls are a interesting shade of green and it’s a veryyyy casual atmosphere. And….. I love all of it.
The staff here is incredibly friendly and always have a smile on their faces. If you look at the sign on the wall (see picture) it’ll tell you the price breakdown. Everything is made that day (buffet style) and fresh out of the kitchen. Their desserts for the most part are vegan so if you have dietary restrictions, always ask! They’re very accommodating.
As for the food. Holy cow (irony, I know) this stuff is GOOD. No GREAT. They offer vegetarian/vegan options without sacrificing any flavor. I’ve been able to each lunch here (Mon-Fri 12:00-3:30pm) a few times and their star dish IMO has to be the eggplant parm. It’s not your traditional eggplant parm by any means in that there’s a underlying hint of curry with every bite. Super “meaty” and cheesy. I’ve also had their: pumpkin soup, quinoa salad, curry chickpeas, roasted curry potatoes/veggies, vegan cookies and cupcakes. Their meals come with their own homemade multigrain bread which is pretty stellar like everything else.
Not only are the portions pretty hefty (I have yet to finish my full lunch), but they’re very reasonably priced. Everything I’ve had here has been nothing short of amazing. I’m looking forward to becoming one of their “regulars”.
305 Schermerhorn St
Brooklyn, NY 11217
Disclaimer: I take my cupcakes very seriously. I’m by all means no expert, but then again my taste buds don’t lie. And with that being said, YOU SHOULD GO TO MOLLYS.
Despite the fact that this place is freakin’ adorable, they produce some really sweet treats. With the combination of those swing seats and the childhood decorations, Molly’s truly transports people of all ages back to the good ol’ times.
I came here with a food tour group and out of all the places listed on the tour description, this was one of the spots I was looking most forward to. I was told that what makes this establishment unique is that they were one of the few places to come up with the “interactive/customized” approach. Here you can pick a cake base, a frosting, a cake filling and even some toppings if that tickles your fancy. Their daily selections vary so make sure to ask at the counter. I truly wanted to sample everything in the bakery, it was tempting.* As for my cupcake: moist, buttery, held the frosting magnificently, dense enough and with the perfect note of sweetness. They also even have a sprinkle station if the cuteness factor hasn’t reached its limit yet.
They also have ice cream, cookies, pies and more but they’re best known for their cupcakes. I also saw that with every purchase donations are made to help schools in the community. Fun fact, am I right?
Overall, I’d have to give that coveted gold star we always wanted as a kid to Molly’s. They offer a fun, engaging, bright environment…. the workers are friendly and let’s be honest… who doesn’t love cupcakes?**
*I didn’t wanna be THAT person on tour.
**If that person is you, I’d like to meet you. I’ll change your mind, I promise!
228 Bleecker St
New York, NY 10014
Oh, my childhood.
I have very vivid memories of coming home from school to the sweet, sweet smell of freshly baked cookies coming right out of the oven. I remember running up the stairs, so excited that I almost didn’t want to wait for them to cool. There’s something about your olfactory nerves — it can trigger the most vivid moments. Levain did just that.
This place has been on my “to-try” list for practically forever. I don’t make it to the UWS often, but since I was seeing a show at Beacon Theatre, naturally I had to go! From what I heard, there’s always a line… the inside is tiny… and it’s 100% worth it. At $4 a cookie, it’s not cheap but you’re paying for the king of all that is cookies.* From looking at the small selection, the obvious choice was the Chocolate Chip Walnut. Decent size, very pillow-y looking and that smell was heavenly. I just hoped it would taste as good.
One word: PERFECTION.
The best moment is when you take that first bite. Cookies have a serious power over people** and immediately transport them to their happy place. It’s a beautiful thing, really. Slightly crunchy on the outside but OOEY-GOOEY almost half-baked goodness on the inside. There is some serious magic going on in that kitchen.*** We were lucky enough to get a uber-fresh batch out of the oven. I was so surprised my cookie was strong enough to hold together. My experience there was everything that I thought it would be.
I don’t know if you’re the type to travel for food. But if you had to pick a place, THIS IS IT. You bet I’ll be back. No doubt about it.
167 W 74th St
*Levain=Heisenberg of cookies.
**Instant smiles/positive mood. Cookies should be the solution to all our problems.
***I bet you there’s Keebler elves working in the wayy, wayy back of that tiny store. Wouldn’t be surprised.
New York, NY 10023
b/t Columbus Ave & Amsterdam Ave inUpper West Side
To be honest, sometimes I’m skeptical about price-fix menus. Yes, the food comes at a slight smaller portion. But that’s to be expected. In past experiences, sometimes even the quality/flavor lacks that luster that you would find in their regular dishes. Not here. No way, no how. Bengal Tiger Indian Food packs quite a punch when it comes to their cuisine.
Located on the 2nd floor, Bengal Tiger is a cozy, bright little space. There’s not much seating to go around so if you plan on coming for a bite… arrive before that dinner rush. They have beautiful artwork/phrases from wall to wall with those classic warm as well as jewel tones… very inviting. I was meeting my friend after work and we got there JUST in time. We managed to snag the last spot since a portion of the restaurant was conquered by a meetup group. Although a tight space, we sat comfortably.
Vegetarians, have no fear. You have options here! (Rhyme not intended.) My friend had plenty of meatless options which was great. For the price of $16.95, you get an appetizer, entree and dessert. Not bad IMO.
App/Veggie Samosa: Phenomenal. The outside is crispy and the inside was generously seasoned filled with potato and peas. And it was on top of a green & red sauce that had quite the kick. Let’s just say I asked for a personal pitcher of water.
Entree/Chicken TIkka Masala: Had to go with the classic choice, of course Indian spicy. (Go big or go home!) The chicken was extremely tender and there was just the right amount of sauce to meat ratio. The layers and depth of earthiness and savory flavors were on par.
Dessert/Kheer: I’m a rice pudding lover. Add cashews? Spices? Home run.
All in all, I highly recommend Bengal Tiger. There’s unlimited basmati rice and their Naan is superb. The prices won’t burn a hole in your wallet and they don’t sacrifice on the spice. Staff was incredibly friendly and my water glass was never empty. This is a fantastic little spot to satisfy all your Indian Food cravings.
58 W 56th St
New York, NY 10019
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.*
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