Tag Archives: NYC

The UWS gets a heck of a lot more appealing

I’m pretty excited that another gluten free destination is coming to the upper part of Manhattan.  Not that I don’t love trucking it all the way down to Tulu’s or Babycakes, but it will be nice to have a store just for ME!

They say that every Sunday is “Sample Sunday” – and if there was ever a girl who loves her free samples, it’s me.   They’ll also carry baked goods from Tulu’s, Pi, and Heaven Mills.

See this article in DNA info.

Welcome to the Big Apple G-Free NYC!

Sidenote: will someone please buy me this book?

Crepe Day at Chelsea Market

See where I’m going with that?

Last weekend I went to Chelsea Market to scope out the scene and visit the only gluten free crepe place I have ever heard of.  And therefore, by default my favorite and the best crepe place ever.

Bar Suzette – if I were a poet I would write an ode to you.

Bar Suzette Menu

There were so many different kinds of crepes I wanted to try, but I narrowed it down to the sweet crepes and ordered a nutella and banana. I also was really impressed that they changed their gloves before they made my crepe, and seemed to have really good cross-contamination practices.

Hello beautiful

When I finally got the crepe into my hands, there was no stopping me.

 

Nutella makes smiles happen

Bar Suzette’s crepes are so amazing.  They’re chewy and warm and made with quality ingredients. After my savage destruction of the crepe, I needed some milk.  Luckily Ronnybrook Farms Milk Stand is right around the corner

Got milk?

Even though the market was really packed that day, after eating my way into a sugar-high/carb coma, it was alllll good.

Plus, when you live in NYC there’s always some place to go walk it off.

Bar Suzette – Chelsea Market

75 Ninth Ave at 16th St.

 

Dean and Deluca’s “Pumpkin Potion”

Yesterday I got my first real dose of Christmas in the city.  We went in to get some ingredients for dinner from Whole Foods, and a little present to send my dad (to make up for abandoning him on Thanksgiving).  But there was so much to see that we ended up making an afternoon of it.  Who can take a quick trip to the grocery store when you get off the train and see this view of Central Park?

So we headed to Dean and Deluca to see if they had anything for my dad, and to give us an excuse to get coffee ourselves.  Usually I kind of hate going there a little bit, because they have all of the best baked goods in the city and I can’t have ANY of it.  So, being in the holiday spirit and all, I opted for the “Pumpkin Potion” made with soy milk.  It’s a blend of something pumpkin, and chai, and I think magic – because this thing was soooooo good.  It made Pumpkin Spice Lattes from Starbucks look like car wash hot chocolate (what? they didn’t serve hot chocolate at your car wash?)  It was incredibly frothy, and even though I’m not usually a fan of chai, the spiced and subtle pumpkin flavor was really amazing.  Almost made me not envy the line of people getting cupcakes and pastries.  Almost.

We also got a few of their Origin Chocolate bars, which didn’t make it home whole.  In our defense, it was a long subway ride.  Other gluten free food options at D&D include:

  • Siggi’s Yogurt (I’ve had the Orange Ginger and it was decent)
  • Macaroons (sometimes they have packaged ones, but the sales people will never give me a straight answer about the ones in their display case).  Plus, if you’re in the area you might as well get your macaroons here).
  • Nut mix and cranberry nut mix
  • Soups (they had butternut squash when I went, that is gluten free.  But check for other varieties)
  • Larabars (at the SoHo location, not at the Rockefellar Center location)
  • Tons of candy and artisan chocolates
  • Terra chips and popcorn (at SoHo location)
  • At the SoHo location they also have a lot of prepared foods, sushi (but no soy sauce), cheeses, and fresh fruits and veggies.

On the way there we saw the big tree getting prepped for the lighting in Rockefellar Center. Right now it looks like a construction zone, but soon it will be all gussied up and ready for Christmas.

Apologies for those of you who can’t try the yummies at Dean and Deluca.  For those of you in the city – D&D moved to 48th Street a couple of months ago.  It’s much more discrete now (not even on Google Maps yet):

Dean and Deluca

On W 48th Street between 6th and 5th Ave.

Or 560 Broadway (right outside the Prince Street subway)

 

Pala Pizza

Based on the recommendation of some helpful Yelpers – Nick and I hiked down to the Lower East Side to try out Pala Pizza.  I didn’t mind the trip though because we got to see the sights and sounds of Washington Square Park on the way. 

Washington Square Park

 

We started out with the arancini, which are risotto balls stuffed with mozzarella cheese and spinach, then they’re fried in a dedicated fryer.  There are a ton of other options for appetizers as well, but according to all the reviews, these are a must-have.  They were like a more sophisticated mozzarella stick…crispy outside, arborio rice that sticks to your teeth, and a sweet tomato sauce to dip in.  My only complaint about this dish is that there weren’t more of them!  $4/risotto ball is pricey no matter how you cut it.  

Then the big decision on pizza – Nick loves meat toppings, of course, but they wouldn’t let us get a half and half, so he left it up to me to choose 🙂  I picked one with spinach, ricotta, cherry tomatoes, mozzarella, garlic and parsley pesto.

Now this…was a pizza.  The best gluten free crust I’ve had.  Not to diss my old-faithful, Risotteria, but this pie really takes the cake.  For a second I panicked, thinking that they gave us the wrong pizza because there was no indication that it was gluten free.  This crust has the slightly crunchy/chewy bottom, takes some effort to pull apart (in a good way), and has yummy written all over it.  The creamy ricotta, fresh tomatoes, and stringy mozzarella were just right.  

They also put a bundle of oregano on the table, so you can sprinkle it fresh right on your pie:

Somehow, after finishing the pizza, we still had room for dessert.  So we got the apple tart:

Apple tart with vanilla ice cream

 

The tart was…alright.  Although I don’t think I’ve tasted anything remotely like pie crust in years, so I was satisfied.  The crust is kind of like a shortbread, then there’s boiled apples with cinnamon on top.  They also had an almond cake with chocolate sauce, that I’m regretting not getting in retrospect.  

Ah well…the pizza made up for it. 

Thanks for the recommendation!  I will definitely be back!  

Try it yourself:  Pala Pizza – 198 Allen Street.

Lunch Spot – Blue Dog Cafe

This is what I eat for lunch on Fridays.  Why only Fridays?  Because Fridays are for treats, and it gives me something to look forward to for the whole week:

Falafal from Blue Dog Cafe

 

Blue Dog is a mainstay for a lot of people in my office, and they have a daily rotation of fresh salads, soups, and sandwiches.  I’ve never seen the same dishes there, and they use seasonal ingredients which keeps everything feeling new and exciting.  My two favorite are the baked falafal salad, and the baked polenta salad.  Both have these little balls of baked falafel or polenta (both are gluten-free, I’ve asked) and a ton of veggies.

The falafal salad has roasted carrots, asparagus, celery, tomatoes,  zucchini, chickpeas, and arugula.  I opt in on the black olives and feta cheese, but say “no, thank you” to the croutons.

At $7.07 for a small salad, it’s a bit pricey for an everyday item, but for once a week, I’ll take it.  The portion is very filling, and I usually end up putting some in the fridge for a mid-afternoon snack.  

Blue Dog Cafe – 101 West 25th Street (between 6th and 7th Ave).  No website – just go there. 

My usual lunch?  Whole Foods salad bar.  All of the ingredients are listed and organic – and I usually end up paying under $5 for a nice, filling portion.  Spinach/romaine, salmon, beets, some kind of Asian slaw, almonds, quinoa = super salad. 

Cafe Habana

After work on Friday, Nick and I went to Cafe Habana down in Soho.  We went here primarily for the grilled Mexican-style corn – coated in creamy mayo, rolled in cojita cheese, and sprinkled with chili powder:

Grilled Mexican Style Corn

 

The corn met all of my expectations, and at $4.25 for two pieces, it’s a great cheap eat to share.  

Since we saved on the appetizer, we splurged on some drinks.  A Mojito for me and a Pacifico for Nick: 

Ahh...refreshing

 

The brownish color of the Mojito is due to the face that they use brown sugar instead of white.  So good I had two. 

For dinner I had the Camarones al Ajillo with black beans and yellow rice: 

Spicy shrimp

 

And Nick had the gluten-filled Cuban sandwich and fries:

He says, “It was alright.”  I wouldn’t know, but it doesn’t seem like I was missing much.  One point for the non-gluten eaters of the world. 

The quick-and-dirty: 

  • Great people watching at this joint.  Many mustache sightings. 
  • Fairly cheap dinner for two – if I wouldn’t have gotten two $8 Mojitos we probably could have gotten out of there for about $35. 
  • They also have a couple of other entrees and appetizers that appear to be gluten-free and vegetarian (Sopesitos and a masa boat stuffed with goat cheese, beans, and sun-dried tomatoes)
  • Get here early if you don’t want to wait. 
  • My recommendation = get a Mojito and some corn and move on for dinner. 

To visit Cafe Habana – 17 Prince Street, New York, NY.  (RW to Prince Street or the 6 to Spring Street)

Buenas suerte.

(Kind of) Hidden Find – Stumptown Coffee

My ever-so-hip father introduced me to Stumptown Coffee  at the Ace Hotel, and I’m ashamed to admit now that I had no idea it existed, even though it’s only three blocks from my office.  I stopped by here today to pick up a pound of coffee for my dad, and I found out it comes with a free small coffee!  ($11/lb).   All of the men working behind the counter look like Newsies, and are very friendly (an anomaly in NYC baristas).

Stmptown Coffee on 29th and Broadway

The best part about this location is that it’s connected to the Ace Hotel, which is a hipster magnet, but also a great quiet place to read and sip your coffee.  The lobby is beautiful, and has tons of comfy chairs, big oak tables to work on laptops, and areas to gather a group of friends.  It’s the kind of place you want to smoke a pipe and wear an ascot.  Another nice feature is that they have waiter service around the lobby, so you don’t need to wait in the line at Stumptown to get a coffee and a bite to eat.  It looks like they have a ton of yummy pastries, which of course, I can’t try to tell you how they are.

Just a nice Oasis in the Flatiron district, and has yet to get too hyped or busy.

Ace Hotel Lobby

Note for Michiganders:  Rumor is that Stumptown is going to be coming to Ann Arbor sometime soon, care of Comet’s Coffee in Nickel’s Arcade.   Apparently Stumptown requires that vendors be trained by an actual Stumptown staff member on how to brew their coffee, so Comet is saving up to fly someone out to Ann Arbor to train them.

Coffee is delicious, very strong, and $2 for a small.  Also, they make their cappuccino foam into a heart sometimes.

Stumptown Coffee at the Ace Hotel

20 West 29th Street (Between Broadway and Fifth Ave)

Buzzbuzzbuzz.

Cheese Rocks and Rolls

 

Big Booty Bread Co. on 23rd St.

 

Friday over lunch I walked over to Big Booty Bread Company in Chelsea.  I don’t know why, but they don’t really advertise themselves as a go-to gluten-free spot – but they have one of my favorite finds in the city.  Their cheese rocks and cheese rolls are masterful – so chewy, satisfying, and hearty that you can’t tell the difference between their rolls and an artisan one.  

Cheese rocks, rolls, and corn pancakes

Big Booty Dictionary:

Cheese rocks (lower left of display): light in color, really moist on the inside, perfect to dip in soup or make into a burger bun

Cheese rolls (to the right of the rocks): more eggy dough, sweet, with a big air pocket on the inside, warm and slathered with butter is the best way to eat (if you can get it home without eating it on the subway, like someone I may know…)

Corn pancakes: like arepas, but no filling.  They have a plain and cheese variety, and both are great.  Like an ultimate cheesy breadstick.  I’m currently plotting to buy a couple of these and dip them in ranch dressing.

So what did we do with them?

My boyfriend, Nick, made his cheese rock into a bun for his bacon jalapeno cheeseburger.  We picked up some McClure’s spicy pickles at Sweet Afton in Astoria, and put those on the side.

Nick's bacon cheeseburger and McClure's pickles

I had my cheese roll with egg salad the next day for lunch (no pickles for me, they’re far too spicy).

Two egg whites, one yolk

Please excuse the dying house plant in the background.  

Big Booty Bread Co. is at 261 West 23rd Street, between 7th and 8th Ave.

Cheese rocks and rolls are $1.75, and they have a large selection of breads and cupcakes for your gluten-eating friends.  (I also saw they have homemade meringue, but didn’t ask if it’s gluten-free…).  

Beware: I came here around noon and they were almost out of cheese rolls, so try to come in early in the day.

Rock and roll, baby.

Babycakes, oh my Babycakes

Yesterday was a positively glorious day to live in New York City.  I’d been planning on going back to Babycakes for quite some time, so it seemed like the perfect day to make the trek down to the (lowest of the) Lower East Side to get me something sweet.

We got off the train at Prince Street, pushed through the crowds in Soho, made our way through the outskirts of Chinatown, and eventually came to the shining sugary Mecca of gluten free bakeries: Babycakes!

The Taj Mahal

*Sidenote daydream on bakeries: they are probably my favorite place on earth.  The smell of sweet saccharine goodness, the aesthetic beauty of all of the goodies lined up in their little rows according to type and color, the wax paper that they use to pick everything up with, the little samples that they put out on the counter so you don’t strangle someone while you’re waiting.  It’s amazing, and I purposely avoid bakeries now for the very same reasons.  No use torturing myself in a place that I can’t eat anything…but Babycakes is different.

Holey Moley

I CAN EAT IT ALL!!! NOM NOM NOM NOM

Now came the difficult part – choosing what to get.  They had a variety of cupcakes (pumpkin, carrot, red velvet, vanilla chocolate), brownies, frosted ginger bread, frosted banana chocolate-chip bread, a variety of cookies, and a variety of donuts.

Originally I had my eye on a chocolate dip donut (a rare find in the GF world), but then the guy in front of me ordered the frosted banana chocolate-chip cake and I wanted that too.  But, he took the last piece [jerk].

So I ended up with the caramel chocolate crunch donut instead:

Caramel chocolate crunch donut

**Deep breath out**  IT WAS SO GOOD.

It was so moist, gooeyness overflowing from all over it.  It had this chocolate drizzle on top, and just melted in my mouth with every bite.  The only regret I had was not getting a tall glass of milk to go with it.

I haven’t eaten a donut in THREE YEARS.  THIS WAS AWESOME.

And I got the wax paper that I love…and I licked it clean right in the middle of the street.

The quick-and-dirty:

  • It is pricey ($4-5 for anything).  But worth every penny.
  • It is deep into Manhattan.  But worth the walk.
  • I’ve read mixed reviews from gluten-eaters, but it is certain to be a treat for anyone with Celiac.

To get some yumminess yourself – 248 Broome Street, between Orchard and Ludlow.  Or order from www.babycakesnyc.com.