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.