Posts Tagged ‘Lower East Side


Crawl for a Good Cause (LES)

Attention all cupcake fiends and significant others who want to impress their cupcake fiends!  Walking Tours Manhattan has an organized pub cupcake crawl through the streets of LES this Sunday (5/22) to benefit the Food Bank for New York City all for a nominal donation of $5!

First they will start at the popular vegan/gluten-free cupcakery, Babycakes (mental note for my detox starting in two weeks).  Second and third will be Sugar Sweet Sunshine (off-shoot by one of the ex-Magnolia cupcakers) and Butter Lane.  The crawl will wrap up at Dessert Club.

If you are around Sunday, definitely go check it out.  For $5 (or more if you choose open your heart and wallet a little wider) you get to walk through one of the most awesome neighborhoods in the city while tasting deelish cupcakes and contributing to feeding our hungry, homeless masses.  GOOOO!


Making Mobile, Making Mortar (East Village/LES)

So if you recall from my summer jaunts across the city last year, I came across two scrumptuous ice cream vendors: Melt Bakery at the Hester Street Fair and the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck in Union Square.  Within the past week, there’s been some buzz about both that I thought you guys would find useful. 

Bowery Boogie is reporting that Melt Bakery is now going to set-up shop at 132 Orchard Street.  Does that mean they will no longer be a staple at the Hester Street Fair?  Hope not!  Hester Street and I have a date coming up in a few weeks and I definitely want to check out Melt’s pretty awesome ice cream sandwiches with their creative flavor combinations.   Lily Koi, Ike, Cocoa Daddy and the Jackson are on the top of my to-try list.  I’ll have to report back on this…

As for the Big Gay Ice Cream guys, they are making news of their own.  Gothamist is reporting that they will be setting up shop in the East Village on 7th Street somewhere between First and A.  Unfortunately we don’t have a timeframe other than “this summer” to go off of, so I guess we will have to keep checking their website with pictures that will make you want to spontaneously lick your screen.  I’m not saying I do that, but I’m just saying you maaaay want to do that.  Just maybe.


Hester Street Fair (LES)

I’ve been eyeing the Hester Street Fair since the beginning of the summer after reading about these yummy La Newyorkina popsicles, but just hadn’t been able to make it out there until this past Saturday.  I’ve never been, so I wasn’t sure about the details but all I knew was that I was going to find some good quality, CHEAP food.  It was a an absolutely beautiful Saturday in LES and I was running a little late, but I don’t think Little Miss Chatterbox really minded since by the time I got there, she apparently had sampled half of the vendors.

As soon as I got there, it was small.  Smaller than I anticipated, but the minute I stepped through the iron threshold, I knew I was in love.  First thing I see?  Pretzels and La Newyorkina side-by-side.  YES!  But I composed myself and my very empty belly and decided to look for LMC, scope out all of my food options and make a plan of consumption.  I found her perusing the Brooklyn Craft table selling sock monkeys.  Yes.  Sock Monkeys.  But, they were the cutest damn sock monkeys you’ll ever see. 

After taking a quick spin around the lot and suggestions from the already seasoned LMC, it was down to Luke’s Lobster Roll or White Slab Palace’s Swedish Meatballs.  Since Luke’s Lobster is a regular vendor, I went with White Slab Palace because I didn’t know when they would be out again.  I ended up getting the last batch and once we tried them, we realized why.  The texture was perfect and the sauce was amazing…we kept soaking it up with the potatoes!  To hydrate we went with the lingonberry lemonade which was surprisingly not to sugary and just right.  Next time lobster roll!  Promise.

Once we were done eating, we decided to check out everything else.  First stop was the visually stunning spice and tea table.  Since I’m Indian, I have half of those spices in my pantry so I was more fascinated with the teas.  You had everything from Flu Tea to chocolate orange tea.  YUM.  I just wish I drank more tea, but I’m a bit to partial to Indian chai so they just never do it for me.  We moved onto one of my favorite two vendors there on Saturday–Guerilla Ice Cream.  I sampled three different flavors and let me tell you the Libertação (chocolate + port wine) left every part of your body tingling.  It is served with frozen caramelized bananas and cashews.  OMFG.  I had to hold off on ordering a full portion because I wanted to try other vendors and I was afraid these guys were about to ruin it for me.  Next stop Melt Bakery.  Here’s one for your entrepenuerial spirit.  These two guys quit their jobs to make ice cream sandwiches and debuted them on Saturday.  Brilliant.  But not as brilliant as their sandwich’s flavor combinations (peach + bourbon brown butter shortbread?, mango lassi + cardamom crackle?; salted caramel + brownies?!).  They are just starting out, so head down to the fair and help these guys out because the product is worth it.

Moving on…I saw a pulled pork table, but with noone there buying…nor selling.  No idea what happened there, but maybe next time I’ll have something more to report on.  At this point, I was back at the beginning and smack in front of the whole reason why I even came…La Newyorkina.  *cue heavenly sounds*  I just stood in front of the board of flavors not able to make up my mind…but after much back and forth I narrowed it down to the Mango con Chile and the Sangrita.  Pick one.  Which one?!  I’ve made life-altering decisions faster than I made this one.  Ugh.  I went with the Mango con Chile but I felt like I was tearing my self away from the Sangrita.  I’m a brunchtime Bloody Mary drinker, so I was torn.  Get a grip.  So I sunk my teeth into it and tasted mangos…no chile.  Not happy.  So I took another bite and woah…there’s the kick.  It was like a frozen version of the fuit smothered in chile-limon.  So sweet with the perfect amount of kick.  They are living up to the hype I built up over the past four months.  But I didn’t want to leave Sangrita behind!  So I walked around and visited the other vendors below to give my tummy some more bandwidth.  Then came back.  I got the frozen spicy tomatoe treat and it was exactly what I wanted it to be–savory, spicy, tart, perfect.  All I needed was a shot of tequila on the side and I would’ve been done.  So satisfied.

Roundup of the rest of the vendors:  SkimKim had a great variety of spreads, bloody mary mixes and salsas.  The chick (Kim I presume?) was pretty cool too.  Kickstand  Coffee produces what they claim to be the best cup of coffee around by using local roaster and peddling their goods on bicycles.  Different.  The patrons who tried a cup seemed to enjoy it.  We passed  Macaroon Parlor  who had an awesome display.  I liked their marketing style and their macaroon flavors were definitely unique.  Too bad our belly’s were at capacity, but must try next time.

If you’re in the neighborhood, this is a must-do local spot.  How can you pass up sock monkeys and spicy tomato popsicles?  You can’t. 


NO-lita Shake Shack?? Nope.



So the showdown between the city’s most-hearted burger establishment and certain pool of LES neighbors ended up in the expansion plans being ditched for the new proposed location on the corner of Mulberry and Prince.  *sigh*  We’re just going to have to wait a little longer eat one of their burgers south of 23rd.



Hecho en DUMBO (Lower East Side)

So Fashionista emails me at 3 about doing dinner.  Twist my arm. Please.  She wanted to try Danny Mena’s new contemporary take on traditional Mexican dishes in LES and she knew I was a sucker for tequila.  As I was waiting for her, I started off with a regular margarita per the uber-cute bartender’s suggestion.  Dimples + my best libation interests in mind = happy drinker.  He said the original is probably one of the best on the menu because it’s made with all fresh juices so you can know what a margarita should REALLY taste like.  It was refreshing, light, not overly sweet and exactly what I was in the mood for.  Thanks Dimples.

So Fashionista gets there and we decide on sitting all the way in the back at the kitchen counter.  It’s always a great experience watching your food being prepped and plated.  So while I was working on my margarita, she decided on trying the Margarita de Jamaica.  It was made with agua de jamaica which is a hibiscus infused juice.  I tried it and thought it was well made for sure, but I actually liked my margarita better.  I felt the Jamaica margarita was missing something…I little zing.  When you drank it, it fell flat on your palate.  In the meantime, I finished my first drink and had been eyeballing the Tequila con Sangrita at the bar so I had to have it.  Let me just say this is the one item from the entire evening that’s going to bring me back over and over.  Hell, while I’m sitting here and writing this I want one.  Right now.  This can’t-get-any-better drink is served in two snifters.  One is chilled Cazadores Resposado tequila and in the other is a eyeball-tingling traditional spicy tomato chaser.  It’s the perfect sipper for your dinner because of the latter complimenting really well the flavors typically found in Mexican cuisine.

Onto the meal.  We decided on the jicama salad, sopes de pollo, crepas de langosta and the burritas de res.  The jicama salad was exactly what it was supposed to be:  light, flavorful, pretty and prep your palate for the rest of your meal.  It was comprised of shredded jicama, pineapple pieces and avocado in a watercress dressing with a dusting of chili flakes.  Fantastic flavor.  Not one component overwhelmed the other…perfect teamwork!  Then we moved on the the chicken sopes.  These are a mini version of the a very traditional dish.  Thank goodness for my snifters because this one was bland.  There are little tortilla medallions served with chicken, black bean puree, crema fresca, shredded lettuce and cotija cheese.  Despite sounding out of this world, they were not impressive.  You bite into it and are sorely disappointed by the lack of kick.  Next was the miscroscopic crepas de langosta.  It’s fresh Maine lobster stuffed into an herb crepe and topped with a creamy chile pasilla sauce.  It was very good.  The flavors that needed to be there to carry the dish were there…namely the pasilla sauce.  The only problem was that for $20 it should have been more than three-bites big–mind you, I’m a petite gal with small bites!  Last up is the burritos de res made with shredded steak which has been braised in lime juice with caramelized onions.  Folks, that’s where the seasoning begins…and ends.  If it weren’t for our trusty house salsas they gave us with the sopes, we would have had one disappointing meal.  The burritos were dry (how the heck does that happen when something is braised?!) and flavorless.  Steer clear of that one.  Despite our 2 for 4 record with the dishes, we decided on having desert–if for nothing else but us still being hungry.  We opted for the trusty tres leches cake.  How can we go wrong with that one?  It was unconventional tres leches, but it was good: light, not overly sweet and a decent portion for two small appetites to share.

Would I come back here?  Sure.  The kitchen has promise, but if for nothing else, this place is a sure win with the drinks (dimples not taken into account I swear!).


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