[This is a continuation of Part 1. Of course, you need a first part before you have the second part. An exception is dessert, which you would normally eat after the first part (ie, something that isn’t dessert), but is perfectly okay to eat as the first and second part, and possibly a third part. Really! I don’t make these things up. However, you may want to consult your physician before heeding my words.]
We headed to Alice’s Tea Cup to oogle at baked goods. Ah, the simple cupcake. So cute. So appealing. Why? WHYYYYY? Like a fuzzy baby bunny, I cannot turn away. Thank god these cupcakes were behind glass because otherwise I’d…um, breathe on them and render them unfit for human consumption. Except for myself. Which means I’d have to eat it. Have to. It’s my duty as an American. Or maybe that’s “joining the war on terrorism.”
Oh lordy, these scones. These mountainous scones. Thank god Melody was there to share the scone with me or else I would’ve had to eat the whole thing (remember, it’s my DUTY, or something) and go into a scone coma (I daresay, a scoma). I’ve never been in a scoma and I’d rather not know what it entails.
Conveniently, Levain Bakery was nearby. Of course, I had to buy some of their fudgey “cookies” for food trading and to share with Melody. I have to say “cookies” because I don’t really know what these are. They’re called cookies and I suppose they resemble cookies more than they resemble cake, biscuits, or muffins, but what kind of cookie looks like this?
THE BEST COOKIE EVER. Obviously I jabbed it with my spoon to reveal uber-dense fudge-esque innards. If I thought the walnut chocolate chip cookie was intense, the peanut butter chocolate chocolate chip cookie was…more so. [Insert drooling sound effects] I can’t do it justice with my lacking vocabulary but anything that has the word “chocolate” in its name twice probably has a lot of chocolate, so if that’s your thing (envision me gasping if it’s not), you have to check out this cookie. They also have a sans-peanut butter version for those of you who were terrorized by peanuts in a previous life.
Out of the fog loomed Jacques Torres Chocolate Haven and in the window sat…
BAGS OF CACAO BEANS. Or. Well. I think they’re cacao beans. Whatever they are, you know they’re going to turn into delicious, calorie-dense chocolates.
See, I told you. I unfortunately couldn’t locate the Brulee Bar, which is my favorite one (not that I’ve had them all, but you can’t get much better than caramel flavored chocolate). However, they seem to have every other bar in stock. Everrrryyy oonnnne. I ended up buying a few bars and cookies for food trading but nothing for myself since I’ve gotten so much in the past (I’ve tried each of their three cookies, which are all among my favorites in NYC, and I’ve had a few bars and pieces and…oh god, I’ve had too much).
Walking north, we headed towards Magnolia, the infamous bakery that started a cupcake frenzy, cupcake bakery offshoots, and has shown the world that Americans are crazy because WE STAND IN LINES TO BUY CUPCAKES. Seriously, Magnolia has a “bouncer” to keep things moving smoothly. I love cupcakes, but holy crap, not that much. I think Magnolia’s cupcakes are good (best when right out of the oven, of course) but they suffer from mega-over-”stop it, they’re just cupcakes, not the Pope”-hype. Many people have asked me if Magnolia’s cupcakes are really good and I’d say yes, they’re good, but they’re just cupcakes. To me, cupcakes are muffin-shaped cakes with frosting. No-frills. Rather simple. Like a Chinese egg custard tart, except with more possibilities for being dressed up and two to three times more expensive. I enjoy cupcakes and I love simple food. But I can only go so crazy about a cupcake. Magnolia doesn’t always have a line so if you can, go at a less busy time. As for when that time is, I’m not sure. Friday nights are probably not a good time.
While Melody was buying cupcakes, I rushed down Bleeker to Bruno Bakery to pick up some marzipan for food trading. Marzipan costs $28/lb? I’ve never bought mazipan from Bruno Bakery before, so I have no idea what it tastes like (I know what marzipan tastes like, just not…their’s). Hopefully, it’s good.
While walking up to 8th Avenue, we happened to pass Mary’s off Jane, which according to their sign closed yesterday. Sad! Bakery! Closing! NOOOO! I had to eat something from this bakery, anything, before it closed. THE WHEATY DELIGHTS MUST LIVE ON IN MY SUBCUTANEOUS LAYER OF FAT!
While Jane said she wouldn’t normally allow photography, she said it didn’t matter now that she was closing. Wow, that’s depressing…and of course, I shot away. Her cakes, cookies, bars, muffins, and other pastries are so photogenic. I mean, were photogenic. Aw. As this was my first visit, I can’t say I helped it stay in business, but I don’t exactly live near it.
I bought a congo bar, which had a shortbread-ish cookie base covered with a creamy coconut spread, topped with a layer of crispy chocolate. Mmm. Of course it was good.
I overheard a conversation between Jane and a customer about the bakery’s closing, who said something along the lines of, “Don’t make me go to Magnolia!” Hehe. ;) Mary’s off Jane seems like a very good bakery with a wide selection of baked goods and ample seating. It’s too bad it didn’t last.
We took a quick stop at Chocolate Bar so I could buy a bar per food trade request. I’ve been there once before, but wasn’t very into the coconut cream pie bar I tried. I was disappointed by the sliver of filling when I was expecting…more. They have interesting flavors; maybe I was just unlucky.
They’ve recently started selling artists bars with specially designed labels. A portion of the sales goes to the Third Street Music School Settlement, so if you feel bad about eating chocolate, at least someone is benefiting from your gorging. I was interested in getting one buuuuut…not enough to actually get one. It’s not like I’d keep the label and I already had a lot of chocolate. [sigh] Maybe another time.
Nearby on Hudson Street was the British food shop/purveyor of meat pies Myers of Keswick. Melody wanted to pick up a British candy bar for her sister and while I would’ve loved to buy a box of Cadbury Roses, I resisted. Yes. Go me. Some other foods were easier to resist.
I like beans, but I probably eat them most frequently in the form of red bean paste, which I don’t even eat that often. While Heinz may be equated to ketchup in the US, in England they seem to be the main producer of baked beans. Oh wait, I mean beanz. You can find these cans just about everywhere in England, from what I observed when I visited two summers ago, which was also when I had my first taste of beans on toast. Beans on toast is a fine meal/snack, but it’s not something I’d necessarily crave unless it held nostalgic meaning for me. It’s not gross or challenging to eat, but it sounds like a meal conjured out of boredom/drunkenness. “So I’ve got these beans. And this bread. NOW WHAT DO I DO?!” I might eat beans more often if I ate canned foods (I rarely do; I don’t like soup and otherwise, the only canned foods I’ve had in my kitchen are sardines and coconut milk, which aren’t as easily found in other forms). Anyway…I really like the Heinz can label. It’s cute and simple.
My god, I think that’s the end. We ate dinner at Soba Koh (which I should write a separate entry for) and went to JAS Mart afterwards where I picked up some Pocky for food trading, plus some for myself (finally got the soy powder flavor: it’s my second favorite, right after black sesame).
Well. That was a long day. I didn’t do much all weekend, although I did spend a large chunk of my Sunday making a loaf muffin (a loaffin?) since I didn’t have a muffin pan to help Diana with a film project. Over a couple of hours, she filmed about 7 minutes of me preparing the loaffin which she will have to edit down to 30 seconds. Lordy. When she finishes, I’ll let you see it.