April 2, 2013

Spring Break OH-Thirteen, Part 2

2nd Stop on Spring Break Vacay: NYC
Partners-In-Crime: Yours Truly,  Friends-Stacey, Karla, Ruby, Donna, Anna
The Plan: Explore as much of NYC as I could in 4 days with some of my favorite people.

I haven't spent that much time in NYC in the past but have had short visits to the city for work/school-related things. For this trip, I tried to eat and see as much as I could.

Best Meal: First Top Chef Winner Harold Dieterle's Kin Shop. Twin Sista steered me to this article about the restaurant and I knew it would be my splurge meal in the city. But then splitting the meal 5-ways with old college friends actually made it not a splurge but a delicious meal with good company. My favorite dish was a black rice noodle (sorry no pic of it). So tasty and a nice departure from the ubiquitous pad thai noodles. We also got some very tender but very spicy Thai fried chicken and super delicious non-gamey goat curry.
Best Post-Dinner Dessert: Following the Kin Shop meal, my friends Donna and Ruby and I spent two hours sampling refreshing and satisfying ice cream at The Big Gay Ice Cream Shop. I've heard so much buzz about this ice cream truck and was so glad to hear they opened a shop so I didn't have to chase down their truck in the city (they actually have two locations). We sampled THREE kinds total and each were good in their own right. If you like fruity and boozy, go for the Gobbler (the one in the cup-with pie pieces, bourbon and apple butter). If you like chocolately deliciousness, go for the best-selling Salty Pimp or I'm-not-sure-what-the-name-is Nutella cone (not the chocolate-covered cone). They also offer unique toppings such as Trix Cereal, Sriracha, Cardamom.
Spiciest Dish: Spicy Cumin Lamb Hand-Ripped Noodles at Xi'an Famous Foods. I got the recommendation from Serious Eats and Anthony Bourdain's NYC episode on No Reservations. Could you really not visit a place after someone says, "If I lived around here, I'd be eating here everyday." The noodles were chewy and thick and tasty but seriously, so spicy. It was one of those I'm-sweating-so-bad-but-I-don't-care-cause-this-is-so-good types of food. Another bonus: a pretty cheap meal. (I made a vine video of my meal there).
Most Fun Meal: Yakitori Totto which serves grilled skewered food. The portions are small plates (tapas-style) so that offers you to share and eat a variety of options. My favorite: skirt steak.
Number of Cupcakes: 2 but had plans for 3. First was a recommendation from my friend Sunny two years ago. I never forgot and made sure I went to Sugar Sweet Sunshine. I ordered a Holla Back Girl, a banana cupcake topped with cream cheese frosting. Their cupcakes are only $1.75 each (so cheap!). It was perfectly moist, topped with just sweet enough frosting to balance out the not sweet cake and had a great, not artificial banana flavor. Best cupcake in a long time.
located at: 126 Rivington St, Lower East Side, New York, New York
The second cupcake was a gift from one of my oldest friends, Anna. We both happened to be visiting NYC at the same time and met up for brunch and cupcakes. She purchased cupcakes from City Cakes. Each cupcake is $2.50 but she got a buy 3 get 1 free deal. Even though I sampled 3 of the 4, I wanted to only review the best one: Irish Car Bomb. It was boozy and chocolate-filled and was still kind of moist after a day it was purchased. Pretty decent cupcake (can't say that about their red velvet and salted caramel...sorry).
located at: 251 W 8th Street, Chelsea, New York, New York
Epic Fails: Ok not really epic but the holiday week really put a damper on some of my plans. I had plans to get bagels at Barney Greengrass after getting help again from Serious Eats but they were closed for Passover. Then I ventured over to Two Little Red Hens for another cupcake but got there a lil too late on Easter Sunday. 
Other Good Times: Chicken and Rice at The Famous Halal Guys, Momofuku Hot Chocolate with Charred Marshmallows at Momofuku Milk Bar, $5 Cappucino at Le Pain Quotodien a chocolate chip walnut cookie at Levain Bakery, fancy cocktails at Raines Law Room and karaoke in K-Town. 
I'll be going again to NYC for work in May and hopefully I'll get ramen, a hot dog, bagels and another cupcake! 

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