Showing posts from February, 2011

NYC: Bed Stuy: Heavenly Crumbs

Heavenly Crumbs (website is under construction)* sells custom designed cakes as well as some small baked goods from a small storefront in Bed Stuy on Franklin Ave. near a lot of the cool restaurants.  It's been in the neighborhood for years, and it'd been on my list to check out since the first time I google-mapped the neighborhood into which I knew I'd be moving.

The woman working there (who I'd guess is also the owner) was very, very friendly.  The cupcakes looked really run-of-the-mill, circa 2009 cupcakey, so I opted for a sweet potato pie and a monster mix cookie:

They were fine, but the cookie (about 1.5 inches in diameter) was $1.50 and the pie (2.5 inches) was $4.25, and those prices seem steep for the quality to me.  Maybe their custom cakes are cool.

I ate the cookie and half of the pie for dessert that night, and then the next night, after getting exceedingly drunk, I vaguely recall slathering it with Trader Joe's Valencia Peanut Butter with Roasted Flax …

Lula's Sweet Apothecary: NYC: East Village

I visited Lula's last summer and have been meaning to go back ever since.  At this point, I think it's finally time to just write the review and hope the future will bring me a good opportunity.

What I remember about this small but uncramped East Village ice cream shop is that there was old fashioned music playing* and that everyone there was surprisingly friendly (this was back in my early days of New Yorkerness when I had learned to fear snootiness of one sort or another at every turn, so kindness was always taken great note of), quick with the smiles and sample offerings.  It is cash only though, so be prepared!

It's all vegan here, with gluten free-options abounding too (not to mention organic stuff and whatever "all natural" means).  The confection that delighted my mouth that day:

It was good stuff.  I love me some cashew ice cream.  And I love living in a world where I can get non-cow cake batter ice cream.

You can follow them on Twitter if you wanna know …

No. 7 Sub: NYC: Chelsea

Sometimes, even in New York City, you can start to feel like you've seen it all on menus. Not so at this affordable (all subs are $9) little sub shop underneath the Ace Hotel. 

I would love to have had at least a dozen, but so far, in the ascending order of deliciousness:

5. Tuna salad, apples, bbq chips, and mung sprouts
4. Imitation crab, capers, potato chips, and more
3. Lamb meatloaf, strawberry pico de gallo, curried crema, cheddar, and pappadam sub
2. Bologna (from Schaller & Weber), parsnip mole, ricotta, pickled red onions and pumpkin seeds
1. Fried Clams with Pickled Strawberries, Roasted Leek Mayo, and Frisée

I realize this is super ignorant of me, but I'd never considered that bologna could be something so different from the Oscar Meyer-y little slices I enjoyed in childhood.  This sandwich was pretty awesome.  There're lots of great flavors happening, though actually it probably would've been better to have a bit less meat just because the sandwich was s…

Bedford Hill Coffee Shop: NYC: Brooklyn: Bed Stuy

July 2011 Update:

Apparently they have an espresso aioli now.  Man, I really have to make the rounds in Bed Stuy again.

March 2011 Update:

I made it back to Bedford Hill to try one of their pastry-stuffs and in order to see how their Americano compares to the epiphany-inducing one I had at Little Skips the other day.  They had a number of baked goods that tempted me, but one was the clearly irresistible option.  They have created a Bed Stuy Nutella conversation with their Hot Nutella Tart as a retort to Dough's Nutella-filled donut.

Now, historically I haven't really cared much for tarts, and maybe it's just the Nutella, but I must say I don't think it is.  I actually really enjoyed a flaky pastry for once!

My enjoyment this time may have been a direct result of pairing it with an Americano.  I'm generally pretty cynical about food and beverage pairings somehow elevating each other so that the gestalt is something more than the sum of the component parts, though I…

Little Skips: NYC: Bushwick

Life has led me to Little Skips multiple times now, and I don't fight it.  The place sort of makes me happy and perhaps zen-ish, to the point where I am totally fine with my breakfast date and I ordering the same exact meal*, The Norwegian open face sandwich and an americano.

"The Norwegian: Goat cheese, smoked salmon, avocado, tomato, and red onion on a multi-grain flat bread"

This was of course delicious, I mean, look at the ingredients, yum.  What I really want to talk about is the americano, and here's where I make a confession.  Despite the fact that I love coffee, that I had a crush on it as a Mormon kid, that it was one of my first outlets for my rebellious spirit, and that I worked at a coffee shop for the latter three of my four undergrad years, I've really allowed myself to be a very low-brow coffeephile this whole time.  I've been pretty aware of my ignorance (though ever more and more so) for a couple of years, but I've sort of fought learning…

Jive Turkey's Fried Turkeys

I was wandering around my neighborhood early last summer, when I noticed something about the Food Network in the peripheral vision to my left. And what should I spy but an advertisement that this little joint in Bed Stuy has been featured on TV THREE times!  Thus, I went in.  Into Jive Turkey*.

From the HDTV screen on which they play their television appearances on a loop at all times, I learned about their made to order whole fried turkeys, which one can order and have shipped anywhere in the US, packaged for easy reheating.  The Peking Turkey, the Orange Zinfadel, Honey Pecan, Peach Bourbon, Mexican Mole! Damn snap!

They also have food to order.  The first time I went in, I had the hand carved fried turkey sandwich with lettuce & tomato and dilled havarti cheese on slices of challah bread for $6.46.

The proportion of turkey to all else was too high, and the challah bread not quite as challah-y as I'd hoped.  It was like a sandwich your dad would've made for you, which h…

Alcatraz: NYC: Bed Stuy

I can't remember how I heard about Alcatraz opening up.  I suppose it was probably from a food blog newsletter.  At first I had thought it was going to be a down-to-earth taco joint sort of enterprise, but I was wrong.

It seems pretty ambitious for a classically trained chef to open a French/Mex fusion / Fine Mexican Cuisine (they call it both on their menu) in Bed Stuy, but Franklin avenue is the spot for it if anywhere in Bed Stuy is.

It really is a bit expensive though, and it's sort of deceptively so.  "Tacos" are 4 bucks each, and each order is one taco.  They're good tacos, but when you're paying $4 for one taco in Bed Stuy, you start to get this whole "What the hell is your game plan"/"Am I missing something here?" line of questioning in your head for the guys running the place.  Maybe it's all gonna work out for them, charging these prices in these nicer places on Franklin Ave. (Nice, Bistro Lafayette).  Je ne suis pas sur.

I …

Orwasher's Bakery: NYC: UES

After eating at Mahjong Dumpling one day, I headed for Orwasher's Bakery for dessert.  A customer of mine a few months earlier had told me about her Monicakes that she was selling there on consignment (is there a different word for food?)

Cakies: cake inside cookie dough and then baked, which sounds pretty good and looks even better:

I really want to try her lemon cake with poppy seed cookie.

Then she'd also got these cakies:

These look more like cookie dough inside a chocolate shell, but maybe that's wishful thinking.

When I arrived at Orwasher's I found out they no longer had her stuff, but I wound up finding other delights!  On top of that, I'd read that they were making loaves of bread with Sixpoint Otis Stout, which is one of my favorite beers in the world, so yeah, I bumped Orwasher's up on the agenda.

They were giving samples of that bread though, and I couldn't really taste the beer too well.  Maybe if I got a whole loaf I'd be able to taste it, …

Mahjong Dumpling

Eater NY alerted me to this new spot from the Cascabel Taqueria people, and the menu here was even more fascinating than at Cascabel, so I made making it out to the UES for Mahjong Dumpling a priority!  In fact, it's wound up meaning that I didn't have time to get my library books turned in, which will lead to me paying fifty cents or so.  Worth it?  Oh yes.

Check out the menu here.  Menupages has wrong and/or old information as far as the hours go.  I got scared when I saw 5 P.M. to 11 P.M. listed there, but then I called and learned they open at 11:30 A.M. every day.  Whew.

After passing about a dozen of the cutest dogs I've ever seen, I made it to Mahjong Dumpling, where I was greeted by a very friendly waitress.  It was mid-afternoon, so the place wasn't crowded, but they were getting consistent business even at that time, so I think they're probably doing well.

FYI: The food is nut free, mostly organic, and vegan-friendly.

I feel like whoever made this menu is …

NYC: Bed Stuy / Clinton Hill: Taqueria Tepango

Wandering around my neighborhood, I was happy to discover Taqueria Tepango, a reasonably priced Mexican restaurant.  As I've mentioned before, the cookie cutter Mexican restaurant menus and overall restaurant styles in NY are different than those of Texas, but this place seems like one of the decent NY ones.

I first ate here back in my days of mole thrall, so I had to order the Mole Poblano ($10).

I really would've liked some pico de gallo, guacamole, cheese, sour cream, and/or at least some cilantro with this.  It was good though, at the perfect spicy level for me.

Overall, it's better to order the burritos, which are $8 and are totally big enough for 2 people.  Ordering one of these things for yourselves is really pretty hazardous.  The pollo/chicken is great, and the tinga (spicy chipotle chicken) is of course even better (unless you don't like spicy at all, obviously).

That hot sauce is, as far as I can tell, just blended habaneros though, so I steer clear of it, opt…

Nice Pizza: NYC: Bed Stuy

A lady on the G Train alerted me to the existence of this French style pizza place a few blocks away from me.  And it's apparently been here in Bed Stuy for a while, all ahead of its time 'n' shit.

She urged me to try the brie tart:

Eh, it didn't really float my buttons the way she'd led me to expect, but that's probably because I don't really care for tarts or any flaky crusted things, whereas almost everyone else shits their pants for them, so give it a try!  Also, the salad was delightful and served with some kick ass ranch.  Hell yeah, Frenchies.

When I told one of my roommates I'd be ordering pizza and asked if he'd like to go in with me, I asked if he had any preferences for what kind of pizza to get.  He said, "Oh, the La Marguerite (tomato, cheese, oregano) is fine."

Fucking hell no.  I told him I'd just make the decisions then, and I ordered this guy:

Oh yeah.  Lactaid downed, I bit in.

I was hoping for a softer crust, this bein…