July 10, 2012

"It's New York. City of Love." -Michael Scott, "The Office"

The other day, my friend Jeannette called me to tell me she had just bought some amazing cupcakes in NYC and wanted to share her adventure on the blog. Welcome my 2nd Guest Blogger, my former Miami neighbor and dear friend, Jeannette! 

Hi everyone!  Guest blogger Jeannette here, ready to recount my cupcake experience (among other amazing food adventures) while I was in New York City.  

I've been a fan of this blog since its inception, and even partook in the last cupcake stop in Chicago (yes, that's me winking at the camera in our 90s sitcom montage).  I was in New York this past week, to play a chamber music concert with a few friends, and while I will mention a few of the amazing places we dined at, I will first begin with my trip to Baked by Melissa.

located at 2325 Broadway, Upper West Side, New York
The cupcakes are mini and thus not overwhelming, and there are 10 constant flavors and 1 flavor of the month- this month was Orange Creme.  Price is based on the quantity, not the type of cupcake- it starts off at $3.00 for 3, and then gets cheaper as you buy more, so I got 25 for $20. 


Standard flavors were offered, such as Red Velvet, Cookie Dough, and Mint Chocolate Chip (ok, relatively standard).  More fun flavors included Cinnamon, Cookies&Cream, Peanut Butter&Jelly, S'mores, and Chocolate Chip Pancake, where the cake part was made from pancake batter, and not cake batter.  

Each cupcake had just the right amount of frosting, and the cake was always moist.  The cake itself was either chocolate or yellow cake (with the exception of Red Velvet), so the frosting was the most interesting part and what made the flavor.  PB&J's frosting was just that- peanut butter icing, with a dab of jelly in the middle (pictured top row, 1st, 3rd and 5th columns).  Chocolate chip pancake had a maple syrup icing with chocolate chips on it (pictured 2nd row, 1st, 3rd and 5th columns), and the S'mores cupcake had a graham cracker fluff middle, with chocolate icing and graham cracker fluff as topping (pictured 5th row, 2nd, 3rd and 4th columns). 

Because we were trying to give very detailed descriptions of how they tasted, we all ate a cupcake in 3+ bites- we quickly realized though, that to get the full effect of the flavor, you had to pop the whole cupcake in your mouth.  Overall, we all were quite pleased with the cupcakes, and we think that the more unusual flavors were better than the "normal" ones.  Also, the shop now takes orders online from across the nation- if you're in the mood for some delicious but pricey cupcakes, have at it!

My hosts also took us to several delicious places for lunch/dinner- here are some highlights:

Zen Zen Barbecue is a Korean BBQ place in New Jersey.  Though on the pricier side, Korean BBQ is always fun with a group of people, and the calbi (not pictured) was awesome. 
Zen Zen Barbecue, located at 356 Bergen Blvd, Fairview, NJ
Luke's Lobster, located at 426 Amsterdam Ave:


We both ordered the lobster sandwich, and while it was pretty straightforward (lobster meat with melted butter on a toasted bun), the lobster tasted fresh and delicious 

A few other AMAZING places to eat:

Sake Bar Hagi, 152 W 49th St (between 7th Ave & Avenue Of The Americas) - Japanese bar food

Mario Batali's Eataly, 200 5th Ave - restaurants, gourmet markets, dessert, gelato, coffee

Sripraphai, 64-13 39th Avenue, Woodside - amazing Thai food and moderately priced!

Japadog, East Village - hot dogs with (you guessed it) Japanese toppings- absolutely delicious!

Finally, we ended the trip on a high note (literally!) with some karaoke at Duets 35, an Asian-style karaoke place.  There were 5 of us, and we had a humongous room to ourselves.  The place was great, as they had the most current pop songs available, along with a huge book full of oldies but goodies.  Any song I could think of was listed, so I highly recommend this place for some group fun!  Avoid the apple martinis though- they are WAY too sweet.

karaoke!

If you're still reading this, thanks for sticking with me on my summary of my week-long trip to NYC!  Special thanks for letting me post to this awesome blog (sorry this ended up being such a long entry!), and thanks to my hosts for taking me everywhere, as well as Jane and Joanne for meeting up with us at various locations to increase the fun and Asian factor. :)


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