Archive for the 'Eating out in the US' Category

Magnolia Bakery, New York

Thursday, October 16th, 2008

What would a trip to New York be without a trip to the famous Carrie Bradshaw hang out, The Magnolia Bakery?  (Sorry, I can’t type the name of the show – SATC -here lest I hit some unsavoury weblinks. You know what I mean!).  It’s in a very quiet street near Chelsea – kinda hard to find.  The shop is actually very unpretentious, with its chequered tiled floor, rustic feel and young urban staff.

The cupcakes sit in melamine boxes and you help yourself.  At US$1.75 each, it’s a very guilt free treat (well, on the hip pocket that is!).  Choose from chocolate or vanilla cupcakes with various sprinkles and 2cm thick layer of icing (not for the calorie conscious!!). You need to pre-order if you’re going to buy more than a dozen – but the best part is that you can choose your decorations!  If cupcakes aren’t to your liking; they also serve other desserts including cherry slice, banana bread; and coffee. There is only 1 little table though, so plan to take out. There’s a small park nearby where you can gobble up your cupcake without being watched by everyone!

I just actually bought the cookbook from the Magnolia Bakery from Amazon. It’s got the recipe for those famous cupcakes, as well as many other delectable traditional baked favourites such as peanut butter fudge cheesecake squares…. better hit the treadmill!

American junk food

Monday, March 5th, 2007

Pretzel.jpg  Exhibit A:  Favoured snack of the New Yorker, the salted pretzel. Wikipedia says it’s invented by German monks for rewarding children who learned their prayers (its knot is in the shape of praying arms), it has now found on every street corner in New York in those metal phone booth sized stands.  My friend in New York tells me that no one gets food poisoning from those stands, because if they do, they can just up and move to another street corner.  It was hilarious too, because these stands often sell hot dogs as well, and on one of my walks down the street, there was an American guy who said “Gee that STINKS. I wish they would kill those vendors!”.  Hilarious grumpy man with a chip on his shoulder obviously! Maybe he’s someone who ate a bad one haha ;) .  Quite good, and a healthy alternative to some other baseball match snacks.

Toffee Apples.jpg

 Exhibit B:  The toffee apple on steroids.  Found in amusement parks, eaten by children who haven’t yet experienced a filling at the dentist perhaps? These are HUGE! And covered with anything from regular toffee, caramel, caramelised popcorn, chocolate and nuts, cinnamon… sink your teeth into those ~ and likely they will stay there :)

Fat pizza.jpgAnd finally, exhibit C: the American pizza pie.  On Bleeker street, people were eating huge slabs of greasy pizza – meatballs, pepperoni, meatlovers. I thought I would go for a healthier option, it looked quite bready and non greasy, straight from the oven, and uncut.  I learned once again that appearances can be deceiving.  I had no idea that this beast of a pizza had double the amount of cheese inside, and fatty bits of sausage and who knows what else… by the time I got a snap on my camera, the ring of oil had already started from the cheese which was leaking out the side. Starving though, I tried to eat the crust… and gave up, when my plate became compeltely translucent from the oil, and i may as well have been eating straight off the dirty tray! Eww!  So I just drank the rest of my diet snapple, trying not to think about all the fat I had just consumed! 

Japanese in New York

Monday, March 5th, 2007

Sushi.jpg  Ramen.jpg

Beef rolls.jpgOh yummy yum.  New York’s trendy Upper East side is packed with brilliant delis, trendy bars, amazing Italian - and authentic Japanese!  My friend Viv took me to this intimate local restaurant, in the middle of a popular dining strip where you can’t walk two steps without tripping over a cafe or restaurant that you make a mental note to come back and try!   We had the rainbow roll (US$9.50) – delicate tempura prawn sushi rolls done inside out style, and rolled in roe and black sesame.  Unlike most versions of it, the prawns were light and crispy on the outside, and not embalmed in batter that could cover a dagwood dog. 


Yum Cha (or Dim Sum) in San Jose, CA

Friday, January 26th, 2007

CIMG1977.JPG After a long two weeks in the mountains of Utah and Arizona (and New York!), I was desperately missing a good yum cha meal.  Luckily, my aunty has been living in San Jose for the last 2 years and knew exactly where to take me for authentic chinese (and of a standard comparable to China).  This is a gorgeous version of my favourite, scallop dumplings. Such amazing attention to detail, and bright colours, filled with juicy scallop meat (often restaurants are stingy with this due to the price), and with the different addition of peas. Bring it on!