The Girl Who Ate Everything

Blogging about food and whatever since 2004.

more hot chocolate and bagels

Has anyone noticed how I'll sometimes go on these single-food crazes over the span of a week, eating more of one food than I would usually ingest in a year? I don't have any explanation for the overall pattern, but the instant-hypothermia-induced-death cold weather lately has given me more reason to drink hot chocolate.

When I see people hugging a warm cup of tea or coffee between their palms, I jealously think, "God dammit, if only I liked conventional hot liquids, then I too could artificially warm my insides as the rest of my body turns into an ice cube." (That may not be the exact though,'s not that far fetched.) The only hot liquid I really like is hot chocolate, and within the realm of hot chocolate I find most of it is unfulfilling. Too watery, too sweet, and primarily not enough chocolate. Can't a girl get coma-fied by way of chocolate? CAN'T SHE?!

While walking down from Union Square from class to work and getting my not-entire-covered face bitch-slapped by the cold, my brain said one thing: "Holy crap, you were practically falling asleep during class." And then it said another thing: "HOT CHOCOLATE, WANT." The problem with this desire is that I already knew that I'd be going to Jacques Torres later in the day, thus starting my morning with hot chocolate and having hot chocolate twice in one day probably wasn't such a good idea. But...but...

baked goods

And then I found myself standing inside Le Pain Quotidien on 8th Street and 5th Ave. Doh. It's such a nicely designed place, waaarm, displays resplendent with baked goods, waaarm, rows of crusty bread loaves behind the counter, waaarmmmm...and the menu declared the presence of hot chocolate. Ah-ha! I ordered a small hot chocolate and watched the employee pour liquid out of a metal pitcher labeled "HOT CHOCOLATE". Mm, hot chocolate pitcher...that's a good idea.

hot chocolate
hot chocolate

$3.20 later, I had my small 8oz cup of hot chocolate. Smells good. Looks alright, kinda light. Tastes...kinda watery. Feels kind of watery. Not enough chocolate. Not overly sweet. Almost has this powdery taste, despite that its a liquid. And...not enough chocolate. Thin. Sad. I am. Defeated. And $3.20 poorer.

I had to try it to find out, yes? Now you know. Learn from my mistakes, dear children. The hot chocolate isn't not awful, but it's in no way worth the money. I did chug the cup since it was better than nothing; it was the first thing I ingested all day. Obviously it's the bread and other baked goods that Le Pain Quotidien is known for. I WAS CURIOUS, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD. My hot chocolate adventures are not going well at all. If anyone has recommendations for awesome NYC hot chocolate that aren't from a chocolate store (because I'll eventually make my way to them) oir City Bakery and are downtown, let me know.

Bagels on the Square
Bagels on the Square

Last week I went to Bagels on the Square per mzn's recommendation after thinking about eating at Pearl Oyster Bar, but changing my mind when I realized it'd be more fun to eat there with someone else.

060224 001
impressive selection

They've got a a wide selection of spreads to fulfill all your random cream cheese cravings. "Today I feel like...DUTCH APPLE." Or "Today I feel like...LESS FAT SCALLION." It's not low fat, just less fat; I guess that's truthful. In my opinion, if you're that concerned you may as well just skip the cream cheese. And skip the bagel. Eat a piece of fruit; they're damn tasty! But not bagel tasty.

After ordering an herb sourdough bagel with scallion cream cheese (yeah, I didn't feel like being adventurous with the filling), the man asked if I would want it toasted. Toasted? No one has ever asked me that before. Why yes, I would like my bagel toastified! There's a first time for everything.

french toast?
french toast?

I was ready to walk out with just my cream cheesy bagel, but the "FRENCH TOAST" jumped in front of my face and punched it. Ow. Of course, I had to try it. So intriguing! So potentially delicious? We shall find out.

toasted herbed sourdough bagel with scallion cream cheese
mm, bagel

By the time I found a place to sit down (ended up going to the Kimmel Center), the warmth of the toastiness had largely dissipated. Of course, the crunchy results of the toasting remained; the bagel had a thin, crispy crust while the insides were moist and soft. [Drooool] I had no trouble chewing the bagel, although it did get a little messy from the splodgey, not-completely-firm cream cheese. Overall, I thought the bagel and cream cheese were great and something I'd want to get again. One thing I found funny about the toasted bagel was that it tasted texturally similar to an untoasted Murray's bagel (I'd say Murray's was chewier and not as soft). Maybe Murray's has a good reason to not toast their bagels; they already taste like they're toasted.

French toast bagel

While I was planning to save the French toast bagel for later, I still had time left for my lunch break. "Gee, I may as well dig into the other bagel and carb myself to death." Now this bagel could've benefit from toasting. There was no crispy exterior to speak of and the bagel was so chewy that mastication made my jaw throb. I don't know if these problems only apply to the French toast bagel; I'd want to try an untoasted herb sourdough bagel to compare. I wouldn't say it tasted anything like French toast; it just had a really faint sweet flavor that made me prefer a plain bagel. As much as I love bready things, this was disappointing. Damn you, French toast bagel. I think we need some kind of society to protect the good "French toast" name and all the deliciousness it entails in the vein of wine regulations. French toast! I luuurve youuu!

["French toast bagel" wasn't necessarily a misleading name, but...I overreact. Rawr. A real French toast bagel would have to be a bagel fried in egg. Anyone try that?]


Kathy / February 28, 2006 7:36 PM

You we're right by my dorm - Rubin! I never had their hot chocolate (though I do like the one at Chocolate Bar) but would stop into Le Pain Quotiden on my way to class for a BROWNIE. It's more like a flourless chocolate cake than anything, very dense, fudge and very very chocolately. On good days the brownie crust will be thin and crackly and on even better days it will still be warm from the oven. Not economically priced at $4 but it's only $.80 more than watery hot chocolate. :)
I will go to Pearl's with you. It's about time I settled my lobster roll issue. After bakery-ing and indian food carb-ing, that is!

Lai-Yee / February 28, 2006 7:49 PM

Mmmmm. Bagels. Uber tastiness. I really like the veggie flavored cream cheese, so long as there aren't any mondo chunks of veggie in it. A veggie puree if you will.

roboppy / March 1, 2006 12:38 AM

Ani: Mmm...scallions...well, next time I'll try dutch apple; that seems like a more unique flavor. :D There's no need to thank me, but you're welcome!

Kathy: I didn't know Rubin was right there!...I dunno where most of the dorms are, hehe. Or. The names. THE HOT CHOCOLATE IS POOTY, OH GOD. I guess everything there is overpriced. Yes, let's go to Pearl's!

Lai-Yee: I never had veggie flavored, but I'll make sure to try it. Mmmm.

santos. / March 1, 2006 7:09 AM

>Has anyone noticed how I'll sometimes go on these single-food crazes over the span of a week, eating more of one food than I would usually ingest in a year?

yes. now will you buy me a bagel?

tian / March 1, 2006 4:10 PM

hey robyn, i also go through single food crazes til i get sick of it and stop eating it for some time.. my latest indulgences : 1 large size Nutella in 3 days, 5 pieces of cheesecake in 1 day, and steamed red bean paus for months, I ate 4 in one morning!

anyway i found this :
city bakery tops the list!

Liz / March 1, 2006 4:18 PM

Agh! Wish I'd had more time yesterday.

Thanks for getting me on a cocoa kick- I had some really delicious Mexican cocoa that had chili in it.

Rose / March 1, 2006 5:55 PM

LePain Quotidien's hot chocolate is good...but I always felt like an outsider when I went to their Madison Ave/UES shop (near my old job). Lots of strollers, babies and mothers dressed in J.Crew. I love kids, but when there's 10+ of them in a single place, i get really ancy. I've never been to the downtown location. I'm guessing the crowd must be a bit different.

roboppy / March 1, 2006 8:06 PM

santos: SURE!...I'll even eat it for you.

tian: 5 pieces of cheesecake? I hope they were small pieces! ;) Thanks for the list, I'll check out Otto at some point.

Liz: Sweet jesus, I'll have to try that Mexican stuff out!

Rose: Maybe the downtown one is bad. THE DRINK WASN'T GOOD, I SWEAR! It wasn't crap,, the price-to-goodness ratio was way off, and it's absolutely nothing compared to Jacques Torres. (Ooh, I'll have to write that entry.) There were some kids at the one I went to also, but not a crapload. WOO!

Rich / March 1, 2006 8:17 PM

Pearl Oyster Bar is pretty darn good. A bit high faluting considering it's laid out like a diner and packed with yuppies but the food tastes good.

Re: the french toast bagel. Blasphemy to call something that is basically an egg bagel w/ cinnamon 'french toast'. It must be fried. I will try this soon. I made some crazy kahlua dough stuffed empanadas last night at like 2am, so clearly french err freedom toast bagels would be fair game.

Sara / March 1, 2006 11:00 PM

Wait! I don't even live in New York but I actually have an answer for you re: DELICIOUS HOT CHOCOLATE. Have you been to Payard? It's on Lexington at 74th. 1032 Lexington, to be exact. When I visited NYC, my friends, knowing my love for chocolate, insisted that I go. And I must say it was fantastic. Definitely thick and rich and coma-riffic. And really, really good with a croissant, though one might consider that gilding the lily.

I don't remember if I've read any entries of yours saying you've been to Payard. I'm pretty sure it's not in your neighborhood, which may explain that. But you should really go. It's really, really, really, really, really good. In my opinion.

roboppy / March 2, 2006 8:14 PM

Rich: Mmm, lots of falutin...SO TASTY! I shall try it.

Ooo let me know how your french toastified bagel comes out! You made empanadas at 2 AM? Whaaa?! Impressive. I'd like to believe I'm asleep by 2, but if I'm not it's because I'm online. Crap.

Sara: Ah, Payard, good suggestion! Alas, I have yet to go there (I once walked by so I could say, "Ah, I'm not eating here today...sad, Robyn, sad"); it's on my list, along with a gazillion other things. ;D But I shall bump up Payard for delicious hot chocolate. Another good place for hot chocolate is La Maison du Chocolate, which I'd try more than once except 1) not in my area 2) quite pricey and 3) SO MUCH OTHER STUFF TO TRY! Like Payard! Eee!

AugustusGloop: No bagels over in the other hemisphere? :O Maybe I should eat more to fill your void. ...Okay, that'll just make me fatter and not help anyone at all. IT WAS AN IDEA.

lori / March 4, 2006 11:31 PM

Single food cravings in one week usually happen to me "around that time of the month." The queerest craving I had was for all food things round. (???) Robyn, one of the saddest things has to be watery hot chocolate. When it's like that, it's called hot cocoa.

roboppy / March 5, 2006 1:40 PM

Lori: Hehe, interesting...I don't think mine is tied with a time of the month; THEY JUST HAPPEN A LOT. Hahahaaaa...ha. I think bread is more like a month-long food craving.

The round thing is weird, I gotta admit. ;)

Hot cocoa! Damn, false advertising. I usually see everything labeled as hot chocolate.

Something random from the archives