Wednesday, December 31, 2008
This past year has been a good one for treats and Blondie and I have been steadily tasting the offerings at the Treats Truck. With the year drawing to a close--and the Treats Truck on a well deserved vacay until the New Year--it seems high time to countdown our top five Treats Truck treats of the year...
5.) Chocolate Candy Candy Cupcakes:
The frosting had a great minty kick and it wasn't overly sweet--always a plus in my book. The cupcake itself was denser than I usually go for and yet with the frosting it worked well. Christmas Cupcake perfection. I hope these stick around in the New Year.
2.) Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
So moist, so fluffy, so spicy, so sweet, so delicious. The pumpkin cake is perfectly spiced, while the cream cheese frosting wasn't too sweet. Big winner.
3.) Seasonal Sugar Cookies
Normally sugar cookies are easy to pass up treats. But Kim knows her way around a sugar cookie. These are very chewy and sweet. The frosting is creamy without being overly sugary. Yum!
4.) The Peanut Butter Jamwich
Two peanut butter cookies sandwiching a thin shmear of both creamy peanut butter and of raspberry jam. Delish. I'd be a fan even if I didn't come up with the name. Very excited to see that the jamwich has made it's way into the regular treat rotation.
Our post this summer on the appearance of conecakes at the Treats Truck has generated a ton of interest with links from Cupcakes Take the Cake, Midtown Lunch, Serious Eats New York, Cityrag, Gothamist, Grub Street, and Zagat Buzz among others. And there have been charged reactions from equally vociferous pro-Conecake and anti-Conecake factions... Delicious nostalgic treat or boring snack best left at Midwestern bake sales? We're decidedly pro. Conecakes are fun and a pleasant departure from the standard cupcake and the Treats Truck is the only place I've ever seen them for sale in the city. I love the mint chocolate chip conecake and Blondie favors the vanilla chocolate chip one.
Keep informed of the truck's location by calling (212) 691-5226, checking their Twitter, or visiting treatstruck.com. Kim and co should be back in action for deliveries on Monday, January 5th and she'll be in her regular spot on 38th Street & 5th Ave from 12:00pm to 3:30pm.
Looking forward to the New Year we can't wait to see what Kim has in store for Valentines Day and we'd love to see some gingerbread slices find their way onto the menu... What are your favorite Treats Truck treats?
Previous Treats Truck Reviews:
Chocolate Candy Cane Cupcake
Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Double Chocolate Trucker
Election Day Cupcakes
Halloween Specials, Part 2
Halloween Specials, Part 1
Pecan Butterscotch Bar
Chocolate Chip and Mint Chocolate Chip Conecakes
Mexican Chocolate Brownie
The Nutty Co-Worker and PB&J Jamwich
Chocolate and Vanilla Cupcakes
Orange Chiffon Cake
Peanut Butter Brownie
Raspberry Oatmeal Jammy
Raspberry Lemon & Mint Chocolate Swirlie Dots
Chocolate Truck Cookie
Carmel Creme Trucker
Peanut Butter Chocolate Sandwich Cookie
Chocolate Chipper with Nuts
Mint Chocolate Trucker
The Van Leeuwen Ice Cream Truck may be on vacation until the weather warms up, but that doesn't mean that you can't get your ice cream fix...
That's right Van Leeuwen Ice Cream is now available in pints at area Whole Foods stores. Pick up your pints at: Bowery, Tribeca, Union Square, Columbus Circle, White Plains, Jericho, Manhasset and Edgewater.
Go forth and eat ice cream. And stay tuned for truck sightings come spring!
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Lawman and I decided to check out Downtown Atlantic a couple of Sundays ago. I'd heard that they had a good brunch and the restaurant was on our way into Manhattan for some Christmas shopping, but I have to admit that I was mostly lured by the promise of trying out their cupcakes...
When we arrived their window was stocked with a charming assortment of chocolate, vanilla and coconut cupcakes that were about the size of a Crumbs cupcake but clocked in at $2.50 rather than $3.50.
I pondered and ogled while Lawman secured a table. And as much as I wanted to stuff my face with all of their various cupcake permutations, I opted to start with real brunch settling on splitting the Downtown Eggs Atlantic and the Fancy Eggs with Buttermilk Biscuits and Southern Gravy with Lawman.
The Downtown Eggs Atlantic--basically eggs Benedict with smoked salmon--was delicious and at $9, quite reasonably priced for a Brooklyn brunch.
The biscuits and gravy were ok, but nothing special. They were somewhat more appetizing than they appear in this photo, I wouldn't bother ordering them again. Overall the portions were more than plentiful. Definitely more than I could comfortably finish, especially after chowing down on the delicious complimentary carrot bread.
I'm pretty much a sucker for a complimentary anything and this bread was just perfect. Moist and dense, but not too dense. Sweet but not too sweet. Really, really good. And no nuts! Huzzah!
By the time Lawman and I worked our way through the carrot bread and the two entrees we were beyond stuffed. No room for a cupcake taste off, but we did score one for the road. After some deliberation I went for the chocolate cupcake with vanilla frosting.
I'd give them high marks for the cake which was moist and chocolatey. I'm still not sure what I make of the frosting. It was very buttery and subtly vanilla--I wouldn't have minded a hint more vanilla flavoring. I think my main issue was the texture. I would have liked the frosting to have been a little lighter and fluffier as it was the frosting was rather like a dense buttery mass. Definitely better than the Cupcake Cafe's frosting--which while gorgeous, tastes like a stick of butter with food coloring--but I can't say it's a frosting that I'll crave.
Overall the brunch was a good deal and the cupcakes certainly are generously portioned for the price. I hope to make a return trip to try out the chocolate and red velvet ones.
364 Atlantic Ave
between Bond Street & Hoyt Street
Brooklyn, NY 11217
Monday, December 29, 2008
Danny had visited the Golden Shopping Mall food court and found some delicious dumplings. Eager to follow his advice, I promptly headed in that direction once off the train, and wrongly entered the first entrance marked "Golden Shopping Mall". I walked down a flight of stairs, into a hot basement area with food stalls, mostly advertising noodles and soup, only one had a single, solitary tray of dumplings. I came to the quick realization that I was in the wrong place. Back up the stairs, out on the street, I walked a few steps down the block before seeing another "Golden Shopping Mall" entrance, this one marked with the beautiful sign "food court" which probably should be with the other entrance because whatever kind of food court this side had, it no longer exists. The only place upstairs to get food was the stall, but not the sign, I recognized from Danny's post, and they had dumplings. Bingo, we were cooking with gas.
Pocky, including blueberry. I love blueberries. I love Pocky. I needed dessert. Mmm, blueberry Pocky. Delicious.
Golden Shopping Mall
41-28 Main Street
For a SE:NY article about the other food available, click here. jump
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Not only am I off until the 5th, I'm sick. It happened Tuesday night. This means one thing many hours of TV-watching. My TV-watching led me to the cutest video ever made by the comedy group, Good Neighbor, hope you like it. jump
Friday, December 26, 2008
Those hopes were dashed Tuesday evening on my walk to Penn Station. I had seen work being done at the new spot, but no evidence as to what the final outcome would be. Alas, the new Europa signage means yet another boring salad/sandwich/soup place. Midtown is being slowly conquered by such places, the two biggest conquistadors being Europa and it's twin, Cosi. I resolve to boycott such establishments in the new year. That's right Cosi, you can keep my free sandwich or salad that on my Cosi card!! I will be taking my lunch dollars elsewhere. jump
Thursday, December 25, 2008
And now the conclusion of A Muppet Family Christmas with a medley of Christmas favorites including I Saw Three Ships and The Holly and the Ivy--two family favorites around ye olde Christmas tree at Casa Brownie. What do you want? We're a bunch of WASPS at heart. If an enormous room full of muppets singing and Kermie and Piggy smooching under the mistle toe gets you a little teary eyed consider yourself warned. And for those of you thinking...gee...I wish I had more Muppets to watch on Chrismas...
Enjoy Bert and Ernie in this little Christmas number! Merry Christmas, everyone!
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Might I suggest a visit to the Broadway Panhandler where I scored some excellent bacon wrapping paper and a couple little presents for Lawman...
Bacon wrapping paper wasn't the only thing that caught my eye. I love fun and unique Christmas ornaments. And if you like to trim your tree with faux food, the Broadway Panhandler has a nice selection of food related ornaments. There were little wine bottle ornaments and sparkly cupcake box ornaments. And piggies!
Shhhhh! Here's what I got Lawman...
It's a sock piggy!
And a knit piggy!
So cute I could just eat them up.
If your Christmas traditions include the "controversial pickle hiding tradition of dubious origins, look no further than Crate and Barrel for your pickle ornament needs.
65 East 8th Street
New York, NY 10003
Crate and Barrel SoHo
New York, NY 10012
Monday, December 22, 2008
Last weekend I popped by One Girl Cookies to do a little hot cocoa sampling with Erin and Robyn. Upon arrival I noticed these adorable cupcakes in the window. Cupcakes at One Girl?! Hmmm. This deserved further investigation...
Alas, they didn't have any of the cute Christmas tree cupcakes for sale at the time. Sadness. So we consoled ourselves with a couple of whoopie pies and Robyn offered up bites of her regular vanilla cupcake with vanilla frosting ($2.00). The cake was moist yet still toothsome and the frosting wasn't overpoweringly sweet. Yum.
Yesterday I popped in and again they didn't have the little Christmas tree cupcakes but said that they might be making some for sale that afternoon. I don't know what it is about these cupcakes...maybe it's the idea of eating several trees worth of frosting awakens my inner cupcake dinosaur. It's a cute idea for decorating cupcakes for the season and if I can't make it back to snag some, I might give it a try myself at home.
One Girl Cookies
68 Dean Street
I followed Gina DePalma's recipe and guidance.
Russian tea cakes or Mexican wedding cookies, whatever you call them, these are little nutty sweet pieces of delicious.
Pecan Sables, buttery and nutty. At one point, the Mexican wedding cookie and pecan sable doughs got mixed up. Serious tastings occurred in order to save Festivus!
Some of Brownie's famous chocolate gingers. I can hope she likes them a little.
By the way, Happy Hanukkah to all out there celebrating it! Mmm, latkes.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
When Jim Henson's universes collide! Here's where Kermit's nephew Robin discovers a Fraggle hole and they meet the Fraggle Rock gang...
Enjoy! We'll post the final part on Christmas Eve! jump
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Grab your cup of cocoa as we return to the snowbound muppets in quite possibly one of my favorite parts in the Muppet Family Christmas Movie. Why, you ask? Well, I'll let you in on a little secret...
As as kid I didn't like Big Bird. At all. He was a little too, um, sensitive and annoying. Come on a giant bird that acts like a two year old? Even my toddler self couldn't relate. So when the Swedish Chef discovers the "gobbla, gobbla humonga" my little heart stirred with hope.
Other highlights...Kermie worrying about Miss Piggy out in the snowstorm (aw, so romantic) and Fozzie's mom referring to Big Bird as a huge canary. Cookie monster eating all the Christmas cookies. Bert as "Mama" in the "Night Before Christmas" pageant. Sam the Eagle bemoaning "Is there nothing sacred?" when the two-headed monster comes on as Santa. Genius. Pure genius.
Friday, December 19, 2008
Sure the V Train is the newest subway line in the NYC subway system, but you wouldn't know it this Sunday. If you happen to be in the 2nd Avenue station at just the right time you can hop the "Nostalgia Train" to Queens and check out the excellent classic subway ads...
A couple of weekends ago while heading into Manhattan I happened to look up at 2nd Avenue and noticed the Nostalgia Train was sitting across the platform. I jumped off my regular old F Train and hopped onto the curious old fashioned train which was primarily composed of R-1 subway cars from the early 1930s.
The cars are in fantastic shape. I love vintage advertisements and it was cool to see all of the ads for products from that era--hello, Postum!--and also products that continue to have a presence in today's marketplace like Clark Bars and the National Biscuit Company aka Nabisco.
Look it's the 1950s version of "If you see something, say something"!
Rehabbed subways cars from the 1930s through the 1970s are running on the V line between 2nd Avenue and Queens Plaza. The Nostalgia Train comes but once a year, so don't miss your chance either this Sunday or next Sunday, December 28th. My timing was a little off and I needed to get uptown before the train took off for it's next trip, so I'll definitely try to squeeze in a special ride this weekend. Anything I should check out at Queens Plaza?
From Lower East Side 2 Av station on the V line at:
10:00 am, 11:30 am, 1:00 pm, 2:30 pm, and 4:00 pm
From Queens Plaza station at:
10:45 am, 12:15 pm, 1:45 pm, 3:15 pm and 4:45pm
And remember..."Don't be a Sticker..."
For more photos check out my flickr set.
Since our first foray, many have stepped up including Zach who pretty much schooled us youngins on how to make a sandwich. Brownie and I hadn't had the chance to meet again for a redo, until yesterday. With $150 worth of meat at stake, I knew I shouldn't put down the first combinations I thought of; research and tastings NEEDED to occur. After meeting, I gave Brownie the one rule: everything had to be $13.99/pound or less; that was the very sensitive price point, but you could only have two items max that expensive. Yes, there may have been a spreadsheet involved in my calculations. After cleaning up at both Murray's counters we headed downstairs, and set up shop. During the next half hour of intense research, we both came up with favorites.
Unfortunately, only one person can go home with the meat. Stayed tuned to Midtown Lunch to find out who wins, and if you think you have a winning sandwich, enter it in the comments before 5pm EST TODAY!
Murray's Real Salami and Murray's Cheese
Grand Central Market
43rd Street and Lexington Avenue
Thursday, December 18, 2008
I've been going to Woorijip for more years than I can count. It's a Korean cafeteria palace of wonder. So many excellent cheap options! But over time I've gotten into a rut. Nine times out of ten I'll have their spicy pork. Sometimes I'll mix it up with some vegetable pancakes or some pancakes of the krab or vegetable variety and that's enough to make me happy. With the (somewhat) cold weather we've been having I found myself craving soup, so I decided to venture out of my comfort zone and check out Woorijip's Noodle Bar...
If you just get takeout at Woorijip you might never really take notice of the Noodle Bar, a little ordering counter by the kitchen in the back. The Noodle Bar is open Mondays through Fridays for lunch from 9:00am(!) to 2:00pm and for dinner from 3:00pm to 7:00pm.
The day that I went they had six options. Everything sounded good, but my friend and I were most drawn to the ramen with egg ($5.00) and the spicy kimchi pork and ham soup--the most expensive soup on the menu at $7.00. The two ladies at the Noodle Bar moved the line along quickly. And within a few minutes we each had a steaming bucket of soup. Both soups came with a small side of kimchi and my spicy pork kimchi and ham soup came with a side of rice as well. If you look at this photo you can see that the rice is in a fairly standard pint-ish sized container and the soup dwarfs it.
Both soups were good and filling. You could eat half of the serving and be satisfied. The pork soup had kimchi, pork, rice cakes, ramen, SPAM, and pieces of hot dogs. Kind of random and yet it worked. Definitely warms you up, too. Halfway through the soup I needed wanted to take my sweater off. By the end of the meal I walked to the subway sans jacket.
The fresh egg was a good addition to the ramen--sort of reminiscent of an egg drop soup with those lovely little egg threads. Soups by their very nature tend to be salty, but I didn't feel that either of these were overly so. Definitely not as salty as the soups at Sapporo.
I tried to hit up the noodle bar again this week, but alas, the early luncher gets the bucket of soup. I stepped away from my desk a wee bit too late and arrived right in the noodle bar dead zone. No soup for me. But wait! What's this in the Woorijip fridge? Kimchi Stew with Pork for $3.00?!
Ok, the portion size is smaller, but this was actually just right for lunch, especially when paired with the $2.50 Radish Kimchi Bibimbap which came with a little scallion pancake. Yay! A different and satisfying lunch for under $6. My work here is done.
12 W 32nd St, New York 10001
Between 5th Ave & Broadway