NYC: Eat ‘Til You Drop

March 11-16, 2010

Warning: This post is not to be read on an empty stomach. Also, this post is heavily laden with images. It’ll take some patience, but it’s worth the wait.

A trip wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t sample as much of the local fair as I can. This trip was no exception. I was feeling particularly deprived since Virginia Beach doesn’t have quite the selection of eateries that Los Angeles does.  Our main focus was ethnic cuisine and CUPCAKES! Good Gawd! I’m thankful we did a lot of walking. Otherwise, I would have returned 15lbs. heavier. Here’s a pictorial of some, but not all of our epicurean exploits.

Magnolia Bakery
401 Bleecker Street
New York, NY 10014

Review: With cupcake afficionados, there is a bit of debate over who has the better cupcake – Sprinkles cupcakes (L.A.) or Magnolia Bakery (NYC). As someone who has sampled both, I can honestly say it boils down to personal preference. Both make superb cupcakes. With Magnolia, I enjoyed the moistness of the cake as well as the airiness of their frosting. Because of the nature of their frosting, I did find the cupcakes best consumed immediately lest the frosting turn into a gooey mess. Oddly enough with Magnolia, my favorite dessert is not their cupcakes. I am HUGE fan of their banana pudding. {I blame my cousin Rhed}. I won’t recount how many cups of Banana Pudding I consumed except to say the amount bordered on the obscene.

Thai
Yum Yum 3
658 9th Ave
New York, NY 10036

Italian/Pizza
Don Giovanni
358 W 44th St
New York, NY 10036

Cupcake Cafe
545 9th Ave
New York, NY 10018

Review: While extraordinarily gorgeous, the cupcakes were dry and dense. The flavor was akin to cupcakes made from Betty Crocker box. We were very disappointed.

Cupcake Cafe cupcakes

Chinese
New Wonton Garden
56 Mott St
New York, NY 10013

Babycakes NYC
248 Broome Street
New York City, NY 10002
Review: A visit to this cupcakery turned out to be a tad controversial and a bone of contention. Babycakes is a Vegan and Gluten-free bakery. The former Cali girl in me really wanted to try their confections. Babycakes bakes with all-natural, organic and delicious alternatives free from the common allergens: wheat, gluten, dairy, casein and eggs. The majority of their cupcakes are sweetened agave nectar. As someone who has had many Vegan desserts, I wanted to see how Babycakes stacked up. The problem came because I did not warn my dining companions Cicely and my cousin Rhed that it was a Vegan bakery. As a Southerner, Cicely was particularly disappointed. I captured the look on her face as she tasted the cupcakes, but I shan’t post the photo lest she kill me and never speak to me again.

The verdict? They cupcakes are pretty good considering how they are made. Do they compare to regular cupcakes? Absolutely not. As compared to other Vegan desserts, they are quite tasty.

The Hello Kittys with Babycakes Cupcakes

Magnolia Bakery
Rockefeller Center
1240 Avenue of the Americas,
New York, NY

Note: Our trip to Babycakes angered the Sugar Gods according to Cicely. The wrath of the Sugar Gods entailed several delayed trains and getting completely drench in the torrential downpour. To appease the Sugar Gods, we needed to make a stop at a cupcakery that served “REAL” cupcakes. There is some credence to her claim. Once we got cupcakes, our night improved, as did Cicely’s mood.

The Hello Kittys with Magnolia Cupcakes

The Hello Kittys with Little Cupcake Bakeshop Cupcakes

Little Cupcake Bakeshop
9102 3rd Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11209
Review: We scheduled a tweetup at this bakery. Because Cicely and I were not familiar with Brooklyn, we did not realize that this bakery was inconveniently located. With the inclement weather and several train delays, we arrived shamefully late to our own tweetup. I would like to say that the cupcakes made up for the delay, but I can’t. I found that the cupcakes were inconsistent. Either the cake was dry and seemed old or the frosting was gritty and too sweet. The company with whom we had the cupcakes with more than made up for the trek.

Gray’s Papaya
539 8th Avenue
New York, NY 10018

La Crepe
51 Spring St
New York, NY 10012

Japanese
Oh Taisho
Frnt C, 9 Saint Marks Place
New York, NY 10003-7850

Grimaldi’s Pizzeria
19 Old Fulton Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201

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