Tuesday, June 30, 2009

New York Favorites

Here's a list of some restaurants I fell in love with during my month in New York this spring:


Alice's Tea Cup
156 E. 54th
102 W. 73rd
220 E. 81st
Three different locations, this small chain features adorable, hole-in-the-wall tea houses. You can get a pot of tea and scones for two for just $10 in the morning. I prefer to stop in for tea and a scone to go, followed by a walk through Central Park.

423 Amsterdam Ave. #1
Though there are many other locations, including Central Park South, I am partial to this one because it was the location of my first Sarabeth's experience. This place has the most incredible brunch. There can be a wait for a table, but it is beyond worth it!


32 Spring St.
Open since 1905, Lombardi's is America's first pizzeria. Though I haven't yet been there, some good friends ate there on my recommendation and loved it. I'm waiting to go back this fall to hopefully get to try it!

Cafe Tasia
38 E. 8th
Located between Union and Washington Squares, this Thai restaurant is a great bargain on Sunday afternoons. They have a prix-fix menu where you pick how many dishes you want, then pick whatever you want to eat. 3 courses can be under $10.

345 E. 12th
This restaurant sells one thing and one thing only: macaroni and cheese. You can make your own or pick from their menu of suggested combos. My favorite is the Cajun.

Peanut Butter & Co.
240 Sullivan St.
Just off of Washington Square, this restaurant (owned by the owners of S'Mac) features the American standard with a slew of twists.

Friend of a Farmer
77 Irving Pl.
This homey restaurant east of Union Square is a great place for a weekend meal. Their cornbread and apple butter are incredible. Ask for a table upstairs by the fireplace!


John's Pizza
278 Bleeker St.
This is supposed to be one of the best pizza joints in NYC, though I have yet to experience it. My best friend, an NYU student, has agreed with this statement many times.

Blockheads Burritos
322 W. 50th
This restaurant, just off of Times Square, has great margaritas for just $3. I have yet to experience this, but everyone from my program raved about it!

754 9th Ave.
This location, of four, is a trendy spot that features an Asian/American fusion menu. They have everything from pad thai to pot pie. Their pomegranate margaritas are incredible: big and strong. Splitting one might be a better option.

37 Union Square West
Once again, my love of Thai food speaks. This came to me as a recommendation from my mom last September and I have now eaten there twice. It is fantastic. Not the cheapest of restaurants, but delicious and so worth it.

Grimalidi's Pizzeria
19 Old Fulton St.
Once again, I have yet to try it but this is supposed to be the absolute best pizza you can get in the New York Metropolitan Area (come to think of it, I've yet to have good pizza in New York...maybe it's because I like mine deep dish, Chicago style...but anywho).

103 W. 77th
This is my absolute favorite restaurant in all of New York. They have great cocktails and amazing California food (...I'm from California...what can I say, I'm partial). This is definitely a place for a nicer evening out, but a restaurant I hope to make one of my regular spots every time I visit Manhattan.


Rice to Riches
37 Spring Street
If you like rice pudding, you'll love this rice pudding parlor. It's not the cheapest of treats (an order of rice pudding can put you back almost $10...and that's on the smaller side of things) but so much fun. I'm not a huge rice pudding person, and I love this place. Just be careful not to order too much. This stuff is rich and you won't get through very much before wanting to put it down.

Milk & Cookies
270 Bleeker St.
This place is great: ice cream sandwiches made while you wait. They have a huge assortment of cookies with four or so ice cream flavors to pick from. A great treat if you're down in the area.

Magnolia Bakery
401 Bleeker St.
This is the original location of the bakery (and the one featured on Sex and the City) but they've sprouted up around town. Magnolia is known for their rich, smooth cupcakes. If you come to the Bleeker location, be prepared to wait in line. The NYU kids are regulars at this spot.

Max Brenner
841 Broadway between 13th and 14th
This place is awesome...if you love chocolate. And you better if you're going to come here. They have an extravagant menu of alcoholic and non-alcoholic chocolate drinks, fondues, cakes, cookies, and so on. They have regular food too (I got a burger with fries...sprinkled in cocoa powder) but their desserts are what they're known for.

Levain Bakery
167 W. 74th
This place is famous for their giant, half-pound cookies. These masterpieces are dense, delicious, and still warm out of the oven every time you buy them. If you're not too keen on the sugar overload, they have scones, bread, mini-pizzas, and coffee as well.

Crumbs Bakery
321 1/2 Amsterdam Ave.
There are a ton of these around the city, but this is the original. They have a huge array of cupcakes including Elvis (peanut butter and banana) and Cosmopolitan (in honor of the Sex and the City film release). They are awesome.


Divine Bar West
236 W. 54th
This is just north of Times Square, so it's a little pricey, but their white chocolate berad pudding is to die for and they have some fun mixed drinks. Beware, though, this is a wine bar, not a bar, so unless it's on the menu or really classic, they probably aren't equipped to make it.

753 9th Ave.
In the heart of Hell's Kitchen, this bar has the biggest martini menu you'll probably ever see. Selections include oatmeal cookie and birthday cake martinis.

The Snug
751 9th Ave.
Right next door to Vintage, this joint has great happy hours and hot bartenders.

Cosmic Cantina
105 3rd Ave.
This place is a load of fun. Black lights, neon paint, and all organic products. In front, you can get your typical cantina food, but if you head into the back, the bar has some great, freshly made organic cocktails. Be nice to the bartender, Dan, and he'll be nice back (actually, he'll be nice regardless). And if you go, tell him I say "Hi!"

315 w. 44th
Just off of Times Square, this jazz cabaret is know for hosting famous New York performers and writers. Check out who is performing while you're in town and plan on stopping in once during your stay!

So that's my lowdown. I'm sure I'll be able to add to this list every time I head out there, and even more when I eventually make the big move!

Alas...I need to head to bed. I have an Econ midterm in the morning. Hopefully it won't be too bad. My math brain has grasped supply and demand, trade, and elasticity pretty well so far...

Monday, June 29, 2009

Here we go...

So I've started this blog in an attempt to keep track of all I want to do and as a log for what I've done, where I've been, and what's in store for me. Lord only knows if anyone will actually read this, but I'll make sure to write down any exciting things that happen, log new delicious restaurants, and catalogue the bad stuff (ie: straying from goal #1) so I can hold myself accountable.

Current goals to accomplish before September 15, 2009 (move in day for the Balboa house!):

1.) Get back down below 150 lbs. Since I got home from New York, I've slacked off and spent two whole months on facebook and wasting my time doing lord knows what. Right now, I'm in 12 units of summer school in 5 weeks (eek!) so the gym isn't entirely an option on a regular basis. I'll get started on this goal by eating right and not snacking while I'm studying, really listening to what my body needs, and being responsible on weekends when I'm out with friends (this should be interesting with the 4th just around the corner...). I will be going to the gym for cardio or weights, taking yoga or pilates, biking, or swimming for at least an hour 6 days a week. I can do it. It's going to happen. I have almost 3 hole months, and if I lose a pound a week, I'll be beyond my goal.

2.) Sing 3 times a week once summer school ends. I've been slacking off on this, and there is no reason I shouldn't be singing 7 days a week!

3.) Pass the Biology and Chemistry of Cooking and get an A in Microeconomics and Costume Design. I'll do this by staying on top of my reading: one chapter for Econ every night or two, reading a little bit of my cooking book nightly, and staying engaged in my costume design projects once I've started them.

4.) Visit Taylor and Janice during my month off down here.

5.) Explore San Diego with Courtney.

6.) Watch the sun rise over the Atlantic Ocean the morning I fly home from New York in September, and watch it set over the Pacific Ocean that same day.