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, but...it'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...
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.
$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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?]