Hello Friends! The past couple of weeks have been a whirlwind of fun. If you’ve been keeping up with our Facebook page, then you already know that we were in New York City. Our plan to visit NYC during the holiday season came about after my husband’s close friend from Medical School got engaged, and informed us that his wedding would be around Christmas time. A few days before we left, we were invited to a friend of my husband’s marriage nearby in New Jersey. Two weddings, our own wedding anniversary, and the beautiful holiday season- what’s not to be excited about? 🙂
Here’s a quick rundown of some of the foodie fun we had:
On our first full day in New York, the three of us (me, hubby, and son) visited the home of the famous New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookie- Jacques Torres Chocolates.
At first we bought a few Chocolate Chip Cookies that were already baked and sitting on a platter, along with two cups of Hot Chocolate- Regular for my husband, and “Wicked” (spiced with cinnamon and ancho chili powder) for me.
The Hot Chocolate was amazing! I loved both flavors, and if I’m ever in NYC again, I would definitely go back for more.
The cookies, however, left me underwhelmed. After eating a few bites, I started to question whether I was at the right bakery and if my memory had failed me. They tasted like any other cookie from any other bakery.
Before leaving, my husband went back inside to buy a snack for our son (they sold chocolate dipped spoons; perfect thing to keep a toddler in high spirits for a few hours in a stroller 😉 ) . He came out with a plate of fresh and warm cookies. After taking a bite of the fresh-out-of-the-oven cookie, I realized why it is so hyped! It was PHENOMENAL!
I guess my final verdict would be that these cookies are best when they are fresh. After cooling to room temperature, they lose their appeal. Frankly speaking, I think the magic is in the chocolate. The quality of the chocolate is top-notch, and I truly believe that that’s what sets these cookies apart from others.
There were a few days of pouring rain, but we didn’t let that put a damper on our plans. We took the subway to Manhatten, and we did the whole tourist thing- we walked through Times Square, walked all the way over to the United Nations Headquarters, and back to the Grand Central Terminal.
The Grand Central Terminal was unlike anything I’ve ever seen! It was basically a HUGE underground subway station with endless shopping and food. We walked through the Terminal for some time and explored quite a bit, and then we made our way over the Food Court. There were at least 50 unique mini food shoppes set up (and this is only the Food Court. The rest of the station had little restaurants and bakeries dispersed throughout!)! We stumbled upon Magnolia Bakery and decided to indulge a little bit 😉
I ordered a slice of Hummingbird Cake and my husband decided on a Chocolate Cupcake (Zuni was totally knocked out at this point, so we bought him a cupcake that he thoroughly enjoyed back at the hotel 😉 ).
Oh, and I also bought a jar of sprinkles, you know, as a souvenir 😉
Our thoughts- these are totally awesome! They have that old-fashioned taste to them that reminds you of home or someones grandma (you know, those grandmas that make the best desserts?). My only complain would be that although Magnolia’s menu was extravagant, the actual bakery didn’t carry many of the items on the menu.
Another bakery we visited was the famed Levain Bakery, which totally blew my expectations! I was expecting a regular store-front type bakery, but upon reaching the bakery, I was totally blown away. Levain is literally the tiniest bakery I have ever seen. You have to take a few stairs downstairs to get to it, and it’s literally a 3-foot counter, with a few items displayed under the counter to showcase what they offer, with 2 stools for customers to sit at and enjoy their baked goods. I was totally taken aback, and to be honest, I was completely humbled. It really made me realize that one doesn’t need to be up-in-your-face with marketing when the product is good. It will sell itself.
I ordered a few Country Rolls, a Walnut and Chocolate Chip Cookie, and a Double Chocolate Chip Cookie. I took the warm cookies back to the car and my husband and I dug in right away.
Oh. My. Gosh.
These are just insane. I have no words to describe the amazingness of these. My husband was literally making the weirdest faces and sounds while he was eating these! He was in cookie heaven! The texture of these is phenomenal! When warm, they’re oozing, and soft yet still firm. They’re even better the next day! My only complain would be that they’re humungous, so they’re more of a meal instead of a snack (but that’s really not so bad, is it? 😉 ).
As for the Rolls, they were totally fabulous too! Perfectly soft on the inside, and chewy and crusty on the outside. Perfect to just tear up and eat with a smear of butter 🙂
And now, moving on to one of my absolute favorite places that we ate at- Café Luluc in Brooklyn. This restaurant was small but packed to the rim with customers. We ordered Pancakes, something that they’re known for, and a Veggie Sandwich.
I can say, with completely honesty and integrity, that these pancakes were the best I have EVER eaten (apparently I’m not the only one who thinks that… check our their Yelp reviews!)! They were a little crisp on the outside, and light and fluffy on the inside… just like clouds! Even my husband was raving about them, and he’s not even a breakfast-y type of person! The veggie sandwich was so fresh and delicious too! I want to go back to New York just for this place 🙂 It was honestly one of the best restaurants I have ever eaten at. The food was great, the staff was courteous, the ambiance was light and airy… Overall it was one of the best experiences I’ve had at a dining institution, and even better was the fact that we went there for our anniversary 🙂
Well, I guess that ends my quick roundup of some of the foodie fun we had in New York! We visited a few Pakistani restaurants too, but there was nothing that stood out or was extraordinary. I guess Chicago and San Francisco is where the Pakistani goods are at 😉
It’s been good New York! I can’t wait to see you again!