Rose’s Donut

April 11, 2012 § Leave a comment

While I was traveling last month in a land far removed from such refined, confectionery goodness, my dear friend was able to sample a treat for her breakfast stateside.

Here is the donut that Rose so enjoyed, purchased at Culture:

Out of jealousy I demanded further details, but, true to form, she stated only that it was, “really, really good.”

Judging by the photo I describe this specimen (most likely made by Dough) to be light and airy as a cloud which is tethered oh-so-delicately to earth by the subtle crunch of its sugar coating.

Simple, satisfying, and demanding to be tried; Rose and I will be back to split this soon.

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Eli’s Redux

February 29, 2012 § Leave a comment

I really cannot believe I had yet to try the breakfasts at Eli’s Bread before this week. This babka “muffin” just made my life so much sweeter:

The bread could not have been more fresh, its interior impeccably airy and light while the outer edges held a necessary crunch. Like the best, most indulgent cinnamon toast rolled up and dusted with powdered sugar, each bite revealed tiny layers of babka held together by a pervasive cinnamon-raisin swirl.

There’s a reason (and in this case, a perfectly plump and flavorful raisin) for Zabar’s impeccable reputation. Eli, please make me breakfast anytime.

Eli’s

February 28, 2012 § Leave a comment

So I finally purchased something from the new(ish) Eli’s Bread in Grand Central Market:

Banana chocolate chip muffin.

When something has “chocolate chip” in it’s title I tend to assume the chocolate exists throughout instead of simply resting on top of the item in five (yes, I had already eaten one before taking a photo) solitary chunks.

Alas, this really was a banana muffin wearing dainty chocolate accessories. While I never quite got over my initial disappointment at this chocolate-chip letdown, the light, airy, and extremely banana-y muffin still won me over. What a nice change from my usual suspects and perhaps one of the more virtuous breakfast choices that still contains chocolate.

The Shop

November 29, 2011 § Leave a comment

This fall has brought several new additions to my midtown coffee/bakery arsenal (which once was comprised solely of Joe), what with Culture and Steve’s breaking onto the scene. And just today (after reading some pleasant reviews) I finally made it to The Shop, located across the street from the NYPL in the lobby of the Andaz hotel.

I felt it was my duty to sample both dessert and breakfast items and I can now say with authority that the chocolate-chip cookie (house baked!) and carrot-walnut muffin are divine*. The cookie was moist and studded with a plethora of tiny, tiny chocolate chips which, despite my general preference for huge chocolate chunks, added to the softness and general character of the cookie.

The muffin was potentially groundbreaking even despite spending a few too many seconds in the oven (as indicated by char marks on the muffin’s outer lip). Hints of cardamom played between finely chopped carrot and walnut, the inside moist against the firm and walnut-dusted edges. I might have to find a way to stop by 5th avenue more often; this could easily become a part of my morning menu.

*So divine, and my office break so peaceful as to involve no cell phones/cameras, that I did not get a chance to snap either item. Use your imagination!

Cookies (eaten)

October 21, 2011 § Leave a comment

This week I have had the pleasure of trying three (maybe four) truly excellent cookies. Unfortunately they were so good and the eating process so consuming (ha) that I never had a chance to document them… at any rate I will do my best to describe their excellence.

First there were the unexpected treats from Bouchon bakery in Columbus Circle. My roommate, who works in the area, came across some cookies one night that were bound for the trash as the bakery was closing. Thankfully she rescued several specimens and brought them to the safety of our kitchen. This was extremely fortunate for us but not so much for the cookies since our kitchen is not, in fact, a safe place for baked goods. They were devoured within 24 hours.

The best: Thomas Keller’s take on a Nutter Butter, well-described in this Fork in the Road post.

The next day was lunch in Bryant Park which somehow led to coffee at Culture Espresso. Upon entering the shop it seems my friend and I were simultaneously bowed over by two chunky-looking specimens sitting happily next to the register. Since the chocolate-chip and oatmeal raisin appeared equally irresistible, we did the logical thing and split them both. This was honestly the best decision of all time since I still can’t decide which was the best! Both soft yet firm and choc-full of cinnamon (in the oatmeal raisin) and awesome pieces of chocolate (in the chocolate-chip), each cookie was an exemplar of its type.

I guess I’ll just have to try all three again! This time I will remember to pause for a picture.

If My Memory Proves Correct…

October 3, 2011 § Leave a comment

One of the problems with eating a decent amount of baked goods is that sometimes you forget to properly record which is which. From what I can remember about my breakfast last week this should be a rosemary-currant scone:

Regardless of the flavor, I can definitely attest to its overall deliciousness. Another new addition at Joe, this scone was moist, light and flaky; soft currants contrasted nicely against the firm and sugar-speckled crust while a hint of herb (that I believe was rosemary) added a nice earthiness to cut the sweet. I will do some research and determine the bakery responsible since I definitely want to find more like it!

New Guy at Joe

October 3, 2011 § Leave a comment

In sync with the changing seasons, Joe in Grand Central has brought out several new baked goods to add to their traditional arsenal.

A few weeks ago (and at the recommendation of one of the friendlier baristas) I had the pleasure of trying this muffin:

The “berry cardamom” option was true to its name. Cardamom never fails to remind me of the chai made by my host family in India and as if on cue, after one bite I was transported back several years to the kitchen table at which I first learned of this wonderful spice.

The blueberries and raspberries played well with the cardamom, no one flavor overpowering the other. The texture was on the softer side but I honestly wouldn’t have had it any differently. All in all an excellent muffin and a wonderful addition to the pastry case.

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