Location: 379 Grand St. nr. Essex St
Price: Varies $2.00-$3.00 each
Okay so this is another posting resulting from me aimlessly watching No Reservations on the internet. I really have to blame Tony for being such a good story teller and making everything look like it tastes so good. This time it was the “food porn” episode and it started when he was eating that amazing bowl of pho (dang him and his Viet food). So, as a result I biked down to Chinatown Hester St. to try out a new place (will post about that soon). As long as I was in the area while craving some dessert food, I figured I’d go swing by the spot I’ve been thinking about for a while: Doughnut Plant. I got some recommendations off my phone from a recent post by NYCfoodguy and decided to go with 3 of the popular doughnuts.
First off, yes I know I’ve admitted to myself already that I’m a super fatty for ordering 3 of these and inhaling them. Second off, these were REALLY good and my favorite being the creme bulee. The creme bulee is a bit small but, its almost like eating a handheld creme brulee. The bottom has the hard caramelized sugar coating just like a real creme brulee and my favorite part and contains a delicious creme brulee filling. The carrot cake was still great and had tasty candy like pieces on top of the doughnut with a pure carrot cake flavor throughout. The tres leches was the sweetest of them all with a sugar coating and bits of creme filling inside for a nice surprise. I think what I love the most about these treats were that they’re quite light and not overwhelming with just the right amount of sweetness. $2-$3 is bit pricey for doughnuts but I think I just got too used to buying doughnuts from those midtown coffee carts. I’ll take doughnut plant over those carts any day.
Location: 184 9th Ave (bw 21st and 22nd)
Price: $3.25 – $4.50
I had to give Serious Eats a little more credit when they finally wrote a negative review on Lucy’s; surprisingly, they were brutal for once. So with a regained trust in Serious Eats, I had to try the pumpkin bar from Billy’s Bakery when I saw the picture of a perfect looking dessert from Billy’s Bakery. Even though I’m not a huge fan of Billy’s cupcakes, on paper, the bar seemed like everything I wanted; what’s there not to love? Cream cheese frosting, LOVE. Pumpkin cake, LOVE. Walnuts, LOVE. I was already in love even before I tried it because even my trusty NFT claimed Billy’s to be a favorite of theirs.
The pumpkin bar was severely disappointing (severely, maybe because my expectations were severely elevated?). The frosting lacked the flavor of cream cheese and the texture was grainy; it just tasted like pure sugar. I immediately stopped tasting the frosting and just proceeded onto the cake. Whilst the cake was moist, the cake lacked pumpkin flavor and spice; it was boring and disgustingly sweet. I stopped with the bar after the initial tastings.
Thank goodness my friend spotted and bought the pumpkin cheesecake because we were both pouting from the pumpkin bar. Unlike the bar, I was severely surprised at how awesome the cheesecake was (severely, maybe because my expectations were severely low?). The cheesecake was heavenly; the texture AND flavor was a mixture of pumpkin pie and cheesecake, more on the pumpkin side. The flavor of the pumpkin was right on and the cheese was more of the supporting flavor, which I loved. It wasn’t too sweet and it was the perfect companion to my cup of joe. The crust had broken pieces of pecans in it which made this dessert the perfect autumn treat.
I had Veterans’ Day off and it seemed like I was the only one, amongst my mostly banker friends, that had it off. And being the asshole that I am, I dedicated the day to myself as my “mental health” day, instead of honoring our veterans the proper way. So what does one do on a “mental health” day? It’s only natural that I would pick to do the most “couple-y” and “mom-y” things in the city, duh. Enter.. Guggenheim. If abstract art is your thing, it’s a good time to go
Alice’s Tea Cup
Location: 220 E 81st St (bw 2nd & 3rd Ave), 102 W 73rd st and 156 E 64th St.
While staring at Kandinsky’s art, all I could think about was the pumpkin scone that was soon going to be in my stomach. Once I got to Alice’s Tea Cup, I couldn’t get myself to sit next to moms having tea parties with fellow moms and daughters so I had mine to go. For $3, you get a huge scone and a side of preserves and cream. I tore off a small piece as I walked out the door and the first thought was “Oh shit, that’s good.” Afraid of becoming a victim of thoughtless eating, I placed the scone in my bag for later consumption. I thought the scone was seriously lacking the pumpkin flavor but too strong on the spice. A little more moist than the generic scone and it was actually topped with a caramel glaze that tasted nothing like pumpkin. It was the combination of the pumpkin scone and the slighty burnt caramel-taste glaze that I absolutely loved; too bad they didn’t drench the whole scone with the glaze. Muffin tops exist, why not scone tops?
Good, but doesn’t deserve a dedicated trip to the UES for it.
Ronnybrook Milk Bar
Location: Inside Chelsea Market (9th Ave bw 15th and 16th St.)
With so many mentions in the New York Diet (nymag), I was thoroughly excited to try Ronnybrook Milk Bar. Because my uneaten scone was still in my bag, I trekked down to the Chelsea Market for a leisurely lunch and to soak in the smell of heavenly butter produced by all the bakeries. I ordered the Pressed Mozzarella (pesto, tomato, basil, eggplant on olive panini). This sandwich was so disappointing, the pesto was lacking, there were maybe 4 pieces of basil (I opened my sandwich to check), the tomato wasn’t ripe, and I totally forgot about the eggplant because I didn’t taste any eggplant. It was so bland that I topped the sandwich with the side salad, making it a little better. I do give Ronnybrook credit with the fresh mozzarella and the olive bread. The bread was flavorable for bread standards and the mozzarella was fresh with the right texture. Such a shame the bread and the cheese flavors couldn’t shine through this sandwich.