Category: FOODIE

Quinn Pretzels 

We have a new favorite snack in the house, Quinn Pretzels. They are gluten-free, soy free, corn free, dairy free and Non-GMO certified.

We fell in love with the story behind the brand as much as the taste.  They use an ancient grain called Sorghum…and you can track exactly what field each batch of grain comes from. They are true farm-to-bag-snacks.  We take our Quinn pretzels everywhere we journey.

Our personal favorite flavor is the Touch of Honey and you can find them at Whole Foods Market.

 

 

Arthur Ave

After a full day at the Bronx Zoo, we wanted to finish our adventure with a great dinner. Close to the zoo is Arthur Avenue, the Bronx Little Italy. This iconic street is lined by Italian restaurants, bakeries, and butchers. We ended up at the famous Dominick’s, 5 star eatery mid-avenue. Dominick’s is no regular restaurant, on Arthur Ave since 1962. Remember: Bronx Italian. No need for a menu, the waiter let us know what we should eat. The waiter openly judged our selections just by his facial expressions. Actually, He was very nice and deserved a big tip. Antipasto salad, stuffed artichoke, chicken parm, veal parm, meatballs – just amazing. The dishes came with ziti (sauce perfect). We made the mistake to ask for spaghetti. Nope, ziti! Amazing meal in a uniquely New York atmosphere.

No dessert at Dominick’s. We took our full bellies down the street to Marrone’s Bakery, also classically Italian. Cannolis are spectacular: real custard and powdered sugar. We also got cookies and carrot cake.

NYC is much more than Manhattan. Arthur Avenue is evidence of that fact. Dominick’s and Marrone’s are pure New York. A visit to the “Boogie Down” is a must for both tourists and homies.

Dominick’s
2335 Arthur Ave
Bronx

Marrone Pastry Shop & Cafe
2349 Arthur Ave
Bronx

Cafe Luxembourg 

Since moving to the UWS over 5 years ago, Cafe Luxembourg has been a frequent stop for my family, friends and our visitors.

Cafe Luxembourg is a neighborhood landmark…an UWS staple.

I love the vibe here as much as their food.

No matter the time of day (or what menu I’m ordering from) the food is always delish. They offer breakfast, brunch, lunch, prix fixe and dinner…and their lattes with almond milk are among my fav. They made a cute little heart on my last visit❤️

This place is always busy so I highly recommend making a reservation…and their frites – OMG!

https://cafeluxembourg.com/

200 West 70th between (between Amsterdam & West End Ave

Dylan’s Candy Bar

After Li had his first modeling campaign shoot in Long Island City, we wanted to celebrate with brunch and yummies after. Our first instinct was Serendipity 3 on E. 60th St. However, the line was huge as anticipated. We walked down the block to Dylan’s Candy Bar. This is no regular candy store; there is a restaurant in the establishment as well.


In 2001, Dylan Lauren pioneered creating the world’s largest confectionery emporium and lifestyle brand drawing upon the worlds of art, fashion, and pop culture. The inspiration was Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory.


This store is on the corner of 3rd avenue and 60th St; a store front that is impossible to miss. The ground floor is the candy store. The restaurant is upstairs. We were seated after a short wait. (there were at least 3 birthday parties going on simultaneously). The brunch menu was fun (and there is a cocktail menu for the interested adult). The food was yummy – hamburger and tater tots, breakfast skillet with eggs and potatoes, and a breakfast flatbread with eggs, bacon, cheese and peppers. There was a delay in service because of all the birthdays but the manager was very apologetic and kind; part of the bill was comped because of the wait time. That was very much appreciated.


Dylan’s Candy Bar and Restaurant is a great stop with your kids or while visiting in NYC. And Mom’s the big 59th Street Bloomingdales is across the street…enjoy 😉

https://www.dylanscandybar.com/info/new-york.html

 

 

 

Big Daddy’s

Big Daddy’s has become our go to spot on the UWS. It is a super-fun diner vibe serving classic American treats…including big insane looking milkshakes. The shakes are a must (and definitely Instagram worthy).

If you’re on a diet this may not be the best spot for you as their tater tots are another fan favorite…but I will say their Southwestern Caesar Salad is one of my favorite salads in the city. They do have other healthier options…but all their fun stuff is hard to resist.

2454 Broadway (at 91st). https://www.bigdaddysnyc.com

COOLMESS

NYC has fabulous ice cream shops all over the city but one place is offering a little something differernt…

CoolMess is a DIY experience.

At CoolMess you make your own ice cream at your table. First you select your base flavor, chocolate or vanilla and then you select your flavors. They provide a menu with a variety of toppings, you select 3 toppings per machine, put it all in the machine and let it go.

It took approximately 8 to 10 minutes from start to finish. Li called himself a Lego Artist the other night and now he can say ‘ice cream artist’. He enjoyed this DIY concept and I could imagine he would love even more with a group of his little friends.

CoolMess is located upstairs (note for strollers) above Burger Heaven, 137 East 62nd St (at Lexington Ave). www.coolmess.com

Big Gay Ice Cream- West Village

Today was National Ice Cream Day. We tried to be imaginative to celebrate and we succeeded. We found Big Gay Ice Cream in the west village. To our surprise, this company has multiple locations in the city. We wanted good ice cream and a cool vibe. We chose the west village location on Grove St. across 7th Avenue from the Stonewall Inn, the epicenter of the LGBTQ movement. This is one of the most socially significant, lively neighborhoods in NYC. And, we were happy and honored to be there. Before we got our ice cream, we walked over to the Stonewall but it was closed as it was early afternoon. Next door is a pet store, Citipups, which has a lot of memories for us – this is where we adopted Tulip ‘Tooties’ 6 years ago. We looked at the puppies – Liam was enthralled. We scoped out a 9-week-old Morkie. It was very hard not to bring the baby home.

We tore ourselves away from the Pet Store and walked to Big Gay Ice Cream – small corner store on Grove and 7th Ave. Very colorful and inviting with a unicorn on the front glass window.

We sampled the Dorothy Cone and the Rocky Roadhouse Cone. The Dorothy has a vanilla soft ice cream center infused with Dulce de Leche and covered with crumbled Nilla Wafers. Rocky Roadhouse is chocolate ice cream with almonds, chocolate morsels, and mini-marshmallows. Need I say – OMG!

Li had a vanilla ice cream sandwich with sprinkles which was out of this world. Our ice cream celebration was a great success. This location is right on the 1 subway line – Christopher St. station. Highly recommend. Enjoy!

https://biggayicecream.com

Nix:

I’m not going to lie, when my friend Stacey told me we had an 8:45pm reservation at Nix, I was not all that excited about the time or the location. I mean, I’m a mom, in my 40’s and rarely venture out of my neighborhood. I know, get a life, right, ha.

Nix was worth giving up beauty sleep, making the trek downtown and consuming the calories…it was a cool vibe with eclectic vegetarian and vegan food!

We decided to order a drink because we had so much to catch up on and we made our own creation, despite all their fun creations on the drink list. We went with a vodka and strawberries combination topped off with a little champagne…refreshing and not too sweet. There may have been more than one of these custom cocktails consumed during the evening.

For our first course we went with the avocado, ginger and mint dip with the Tandoor Bread. O- MY-GAWD! I could’ve eaten this all night long. Normally I would have had the dip with raw veggies but our (delightful) server highly recommended their house made Tandoor Bread.

Under lighter fair we tried the broccoli- artichoke dumplings with kohlrabi, ginger and scallion oil. When I say Stacey and I were fighting over the last dumpling, that may be an understatement. This was so unique and so delish.

The last two dishes we ordered were under the bolder section of the menu. One was the Cauliflower Tempura with steamed buns and house pickles. Although I believe this is one of their signature dishes I would probably skip this next time around…it had a little too much kick for my wimpy taste buds. I would also blame this spicy dish for that extra cocktail! The other dish ordered was the Pan-seared potato gnocchi, fresh chickpeas, lava leaves, and lemon. The was A-MAZING! Possibly one of the best gnocchi’s I’ve ever had. Highly recommend.

For dessert we went with the chocolate mousse cake, passion fruit and amaro. We scraped every last bite from the plate.

Evidently Nix is tough to get a reservation but it was fairly calm on the Saturday night we were there…but then again NYC on the weekends, during the summer, is fairly calm in general.

For my vegan and vegetarian friends (or for my friends that like a blend of unqiue combinations) definitely check out Nix.

http://www.nixny.com

Pier i Café

Do you love burgers?…

Pier i Café is an outdoor café located along the Hudson River.  It is a seasonal café, open May to October, and located at West 70th Street and Riverside Park South.

 

It has a casual menu, leisure vibe, scenic views and what I think is one of the best burgers in NYC. This is one of our favorite ‘go to’ spots in the summer…train park, walk along the river and yummy eats.

 

 

Oatmeal Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies:

I joined Weight Watchers about a year and half ago and truly love it. I am happy to report I have lost 30-35 pounds (depending on the week) and have had several friends and family join with similar weight loss success. As Li says, it’s ‘easy peasy lemon squeezy’ once you get into it.

I also happen to be a sweet tooth junkie so this is my healthy go to that does the trick 😉

 

Ingredients:

2 Bananas

1 1/4 Cup Uncooked Quick Oats

Cinnamon (I love cinnamon so I tend to add quite a bit but add to your liking)

Splenda packet (you can leave out or add sweetener of choice)

¼ Chocolate Chips (I sometimes add Cacao Nibs instead)

 

Directions:

Preheat Oven to 400. Spray a non-stick cookie sheet or muffin tin (I tend to use muffin tins).

Mash the bananas and mix all the ingredients in a bowl.  Drop into muffin tins filling about a half way.

Bake approximately 15 minutes (or to your liking, softer or crunchier)

*I often add blueberries or raspberries to this recipe as well. So yummy!

Weight Watchers- Approx. 1 SP per cookie