The Girl Who Ate Everything

Blogging about food and whatever since 2004.

accidental Mexican bakery, Thai and Indian food, and the wheeze continues

During Saturday's mission to roam around aimlessly with Tristan during his short stay in NYC (after taking a vacation in HAWAII...that bastard!), we took the 6 train up to the northern tip of Central Park just for the hell of it.

"Have you been to that part of Central Park?"

"Nope." [Keep in mind I've seen maybe 1% of the monsterous park.]

"Wanna go?"


I was expecting to go to the park and move my usually sedentary limbs while inhaling slightly cleaner air than what's found in the rest of Manhattan when we came across a most welcoming awning.

mexican bakery
hello, bakery!


Indeed, I do sound that crazy.

The first sight after you enter the sliding door doesn't tell you much in the ways of baked goods since the shop sells an array of Mexican products, but unless your sinuses are full of mucus there's no way you can miss the sweet sweet smell of bakery. It's heaven, basically. (Which makes me wonder what heaven's bakery smells like. It would probably be sensory overload.)

mexican bakery inside
I see trays of stufffff!!!

Besides the smell, the open doorway to the back of the shop reveals mobile racks containing trays upon trays upon trays upon trays (annnnd so on) of freshly baked goods. And then you turn to your left.

baked goods baked goods baked goods
great googly moogly

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH WHAT IS THIS. (When one of the shopkeepers saw me taking photos through the glass door, she opened them for me. I thought that was sweet.)

Obviously, I don't get out enough, nor do I have enough experience with Mexican bakeries. The only one I've been to is the shop on 9th Avenue near the Port Authority (I'm sure there's only one) where I left empty handed after staring at the golden dough chunks long enough to burn the images into my mind. Tristan had once stayed in Mexico with a host family for a few weeks and thus already had a memory bank labeled "Mexican baked goods" that would help him choose what to buy. I, on the other hand, just stared at all the goodies going "WHAT'S THAT" and "OH THAT LOOKS GOOD" and "UHHH...THEY ALL LOOK GOOD, THIS IS NOT FAIR." Tristan ended up getting some kind of light, pillowy soft bun while I went with a dense, coconut-flavored scone-like bread chunk (top shelf in the third photo) and a tender, crackled, pale yellow cookie (second shelf in the third photo).

"I noticed that you did a happy bakery dance."

I did a...what? I have a bakery dance? Well. Sure, why not. :) I felt even happier upon paying only $0.60 per baked good. $0.60! Now everything else feels like a rip-off.


We sat on a spot of grass by a lake with a tiny beach and dug into the goods. The lightly coconut flavored (with dried coconut shavings thrown in) sconey thing was much more filling than it looked. I happily stuffed chunks into my mouth and force-fed Tristan, who doesn't eat a whole lot more than I do despite towering over me by a foot...or two. I liked the cookie even more. Its deliciousness was apparent in the grease stain it left behind on the bottom of the paper bag. Mmm...window of faaaat. The cookie had the tenderness of shortbread, but with a grittier and somewhat crunchy texture. I loved whatever the unidentifiable nutty flavor was. TELL ME YOUR SECRETS, OH FATTY COOKIE OF YUMMINESS! (If anyone can give me more info about what I ate, please tell me!)

wow, trees!

We passed some funky gnarled trees. Not tasty. But kind of pretty!

Although we felt like we had walked around for a long time, north-south wise we found out—as we lazily (or in my case, wheezily) consulted a map stuck to one of the field's fences—that we had traversed a grand total of 10 blocks at various elevations (not that Central Park is exactly mountainous; a little hilly?). However, we also walked from the east side to the west side, adding about another 10 blocks to the length of our walk. ...Which is still pretty damn short. Of course, it was better than sitting around and doing nothing, for how else would I have found that bakery?

Before heading to Central Park, we shared some Chinese food in Washington Square Park. However, this Chinese food was tainted with the spirit of an evil panda-demon.

creepy panda

That's a panda-demon, right? Don't even think of stealing the panda-demon: that shizz is trademarked. Its eyes are excessively shiny and its nostrils are eerily pronounced. DEMON MARKINGS, I SAY.


After our encounter with the demon-panda, we walked up to the Union Square farmer's market. Of course, my real destination was the new-ish bakery, Tisserie. I didn't try anything (which is probably a good thing, as I probably wouldn't have enjoyed it as much as what I got from the Mexican bakery), so I'll just do this retinal-pleasing thing:

tarts display case stuff muffins quiche croissant sandwiches
wheaty things

Thai and Indian food under one roof; it's just what I wanted!


Kailash is a restaurant in Ridgewood that specializes in Thai and Indian food. Separately. When I told my brother what they served, he imagined fusion, not two different menus splodged together. Since I don't know much about Thai or Indian food, I can't accurately assess how "authentic" their food is, but it tasted good to me. The restaurant has been around for a while, so I imagine that other people think the same thing. The first time I went there was probably four years ago.

grilled calamari
grilled calamari salad

My mum, brother and I shared the spicy grilled calamari salad (methinks that falls under the Thai category) as an appetizer. Since we love fried calamari so much, we figured that grilled must be pretty good too.'s fine, but nowhere near the tastiness of fried. Not even in the same galaxy. Just distant siblings who want nothing to do with each other. Chewy, unfried squid rings just doesn't do it for me. Thankfully, no more squid made its way into our meal and we polished off just about everything else we ordered.

lamb thing

I think this is lamb madras, but if not then at least I can say with 100% confidence that it's something with tender chunks of lamb cooked in a savory curry sauce. Yes, this is as descriptive as I get. I'd have to be smarter to be able to identify what spices were actually in it (or take notes off the menu).

chennai chicken

Even better than my lamb was my brother's chennai chicken (which came with a side of dosa). It's spiciness was more subdued than in my lamb dish and it had a sweeter, creamier taste. I'd want to eat this again.

crispy duck
crispy duck

My mum's crispy duck (Thai, in case it's not apparent) arrived at the table in a violent state of sizzling and smoking. I'm not a big fan of duck, partially because of the fatty skin of which there was much in this dish. My mum managed to eat most of it while my brother picked at whatever meat was left.

Aside from all the meatstuffs, we were also give two plates of rice (white and yellow). By the end of the meal after blindly eating everything on the table, I felt like I was going to explode. Really. In the car ride home I think I sat at an odd angle and hugged my belly as though that would somehow affect the digestive processes going on beneath the skin. Did I really eat that much? I think something's wrong with my digestion, as I've had a similar feeling after every eating excursion I've gone on with my mum and brother (they, of course, emerge unscathed). I guess overeating is a bit of a problem when you're constantly presented with copious amounts of stuff that tastes good.

The next day while driving to the train station my mum said that she liked Kailash more than Mela (another Indian restaurant in Ridgewood) partially because Kailash served larger portions. I don't know if I really want more food. Many times I wish restaurants would serve less so that I'm not as compelled to eat it all. (Yeah, I know no one is forcing the food down your throat, and there is such a practice of taking home leftovers, I have a tendency to ignore the sensation of being full. Yes, I should do something about that.)

...Unless it's dessert. That should come in larger portions.

googlin' time

Mexican Bakery
129 E 110th Street
New York, NY 10029

857 Broadway
New York, NY 10003

22 Oak St
Ridgewood, NJ 07450

and for something random

brown cheese, please
browne cheese, please

Mm, weegie food. I sure like me some geitost. The brown color comes from the caramelization of the milk sugar, which results in a sweet taste in comparison to other cheese. I'm not sure what other popular uses for the cheese exist besides eating on bread, but I ate a few slices by themselves out of pseudo-hunger and I found the flavor too strong. The only places where I've found brown cheese around where I live are at my local Whole Foods in the "fancy butter/cheese" section (as opposed to the regular cheese counter or the dairy aisle) and Nordic Delicacies in Brooklyn.

In reference to my title: yup, I'm still wheezy. But it's not very surprising considering what I'm eating, so...I guess I'm just screwed for now.


Gordon / July 27, 2006 1:29 AM

It looks like you can have bread again! Super! $.60 for baked goods! Just like Chinatown! Man, all that bread looks so good I gotta check that place out. I thought that brown cheese was peanut butter, haha!

Marvo / July 27, 2006 1:43 AM

That brown cheese looks like peanut butter. Mmm...Peanut butter. Yay! Hawaii reference...Must comment.

Helen / July 27, 2006 2:35 AM

I have that same reaction when I find a new bakery. lol. We went to a Mexican bakery in Harlem once. It was up the road from a chicken shop that had huuuuuuuge chunks of what looked like puff pastry in the window. Heck, them babies were pork cracklin's! Of course we bought some, and boy it was good.

Artemesia / July 27, 2006 2:46 AM

The cookie in question sounds like a Mexican Wedding Cookie, made with ground nuts (most likely almonds). It gives them a nice "sandy" texture -- that, & the fact that they're loaded with shortening or lard. But wa-a-ay tasty, I agree.

BTW, are you seeing a doctor for your asthma? As a fellow asthmatic, I feel your pain. Asthma is not something to mess around with. Get yourself some relief with the proper meds. Sounds like you need a prescription for some Advair or something.

Adalmin / July 27, 2006 2:58 AM

I want to wall myself up inside that bakery and have a happily ever after with the thousands and thousands of delicious carb-hunks inside.

Wow. Carb-hunk. Imagine a man made out of bread. Like, a really sexy man. Only not just sexy, but *edible*. And tasty too. Mmm.

Cathy / July 27, 2006 8:28 AM

Ooohh Mexican Bakery! I absolutely love that shot of the trees in Central Park! Seriously, I might make that my desktop background. Gorgeous! You have some major will power to walk into that second bakery and not get anything. I wouldn't have been so strong. :)

Mahar / July 27, 2006 8:57 AM

Oooh, yummy baked goods!

More reason for you to come here Robyn. We have LOTS of Spanish-Mexican desserts here. If only because we had colonial/trading relations with both countries for what, 3 centuries?

And Tristan, is this Tristan I found cute? Send my regards, bwahaah!

Ani / July 27, 2006 11:47 AM

That tree photo I hope will be award winning one day. It's looovely. Your Ridgewood is soo nice Thai and Indian food under one roof!!

Annie / July 27, 2006 12:31 PM

Hooray for getting back on the foodie trail! I too find that a grease spot ("fat window")on the bag is a guarantee of delicious baked goods...or, when found under a sandwich, not entirely a good thing.

Nico / July 27, 2006 1:02 PM

I was equally excited when I found a Chilean bakery in Vancouver...the bread gods had rewarded me for whatever it is that i did right!

Sugar-overdose, here I come (and since the pastries were cheaper, no, i didn't save money; i just bought more stuff).

Deb / July 27, 2006 1:03 PM

Carb-hunk! Hilarious!

Robs, I always liked that end of the Park. It was much quieter than the other well-trodden parts except during the Gates thing (orange gates everywhere for Art's sake).

Mexican bakeries are the best! You can find some authentic ones in Passaic, NJ, if you're willing to venture forth...

roboppy / July 27, 2006 1:24 PM

Gordon: tasty! Whether I should be eating it is a different story. Doooh. Chinese bakeries and Mexican bakeries are my faves!

Marvo: I wanna go to Hawaii! :'( One year my family considered going, but instead we went to Taiwan. Maybe we weren't seriously thinking of going to Hawaii. Mrrh.

Helen: There was a meat store next to the bakery with GINORMOUS PORK CRAKLIN THINGIES! Kinda scary! I just want the buns and scone-esque things. :D

Artemesia: Thanks for the info! "Sandy" is a great description; why didn't I think of that? The fat-loading made them taste SO AWESOME!!!

I'm not seeing a doctor. :P I did see a doctor to get my inhaler...last fall. I had the inhaler for more than 6 months before I actually needed it. Kinda weird. The doctor actually gave me Advair too, but since my asthma went away, I didn't feel like using it. That may sound like a bad idea, but I have my own reasons for thinking that taking Advair wouldn't have been a good idea either. :P I had a few inhalers while growing up, but doctor's never gave me anything else (and didn't seem to give me much advice on how to avoid asthma besides the usual triggers).

I got a check-up almost two months ago and since I wasn't asthmatic at the time, my doctor didn't notice I had any problems. I should go back so I can get some meds before going to France. :\

Adalmin: HAHA, carb-hunk! That sounds odd, even if it's the same thing as a chunk. Kinda. In an episode of Yakitate one of the characters is covered in bread and has to pretend he's a statue. But then he has to pee really badly...uh...besides sit still. ...Okay, that was only vaguely related. CRAZY JAPANESE STUFF!

Cathy: I'm glad you like the photo! You should make the bread a desktop background though. ;D (Actually, I never have a food background; I have a picture of a cute bunny.)

Mahar: I'm almost afraid to go to the Philippines in fear of total food overload. :O Why must everything sound sooo goood?

Same cutesy Tristan! :) He's so angelic!

Ani: Thanks! My Ridgewood has too much food. :O

Annie: Heey guess where I went today...TEMPLE! Still good for a quick, cheap, semi-healthy eat. I'll eat something more foodie minded tomorrow, hehe.

The fat window reminds me of the Simpsons episode where Homer rubs a burger (or something else?) on the wall, turning the wall transluscent in the process. HAHAHAHA.

Nico: That is the problem with cheap pastries; ye just buy more than you need. It's hard for me to only buy ONE thing when I go to a Chinese bakery. "Damn I get get two buns for $1!" Mm, thriftilicious.

Deb: The Gates was one reason I visited Central Park. stuff!...I wasn't too enthralled, but I guess it was cool. :)

Oo, thanks for the info. I don't know if I've ever been to Passaic, but after looking at it on a map I know I've been...around the area. I'd love to check out some bakeries.

...Oh wait, I remember once that I went to Corrado's and on the way I was on a street loaded with bakeries! Unfortunately, I did get to try any of them.

Natalia / July 27, 2006 11:54 PM

Sadly, I know very little about mexican baked goods. I do know, that that sconey coconut chunk looks good.

I like how that thai/indian place serves their food. It looks like boats filled with saucey, meaty goodness!

TEd / July 28, 2006 12:54 AM

OMG cheese made of caramelized milk!!!

You remind me of someone. Except you're about food like she's about anime.

/food's better.
//WAY better

santos. / July 28, 2006 1:04 AM

mexican wedding cookies are smaller, sandier, and covered in powdered sugar; i think what you have is rather generically called galleta de coco, or coconut cookie. yay. that unidentifiable nutty flavour could have come from toasted coconut, or sometimes coconut palm oil used as one of the fats. it tastes nutty with cooking.

Julie / July 28, 2006 11:48 AM

Wow, I love the brown cheese! I must find some; not because it looks good, but because it is so odd. I am glad you pointed out the wonder of Mexican bakeries--they can be so good and so cheap!

Mahar / July 28, 2006 12:23 PM

Yay, he's such a cutie!

I hope I'm not frightening him. Sheesh, talk about internet stalkerish.

Oh, when in France, be sure to eat a lot for me. It's been 2 years since I've been there, but goodness know I remember those flavors. *Drools*

roboppy / July 28, 2006 4:22 PM

Hi doods. I've officially become too lazy to reply to all the comments. Yet I will write a long explanation about it instead of actually replying to the comments. Something is probably wrong with that. It doesn't help that I'm at work...and it is actually part of my job to be online all the time, so THERE! HAR HAR! I finished most of my work already, besides the stuff that confuses me or makes me wish I didn't care about web standards.

Anyhoo, thanks for the comments! It's nice to get feedback even when I don't think I've written anything worthy of much reaction. The cheese has garnered a lot of attention.

santos: Thanks for the clarification. Come ot think of it, a loooong time ago my mum attempted to make Mexican wedding cookies. I don't think I liked em...didn't think they were sweet enough. Strangely, thish is one of the few things (maybe the only thing?) I can recall my mum baking. IN MY LIFE. (scratches head) I've made things like cookies and brownies, but I could almost swear that she never has. Our oven would be used a few times a year, like Christmas and Thanksgiving.

Oops, that was a long digression.

It's possible that my memory is just very poor.

Mmm coconut cookie...I think I should get another one for research purposes.

Karen / July 29, 2006 10:09 AM

Just want to say that Advair is GREAT for asthma. The only med that keeps mine under control, and oh I wish i could take it while pregnant. Grr. Try it. Really. Unless there's some side effect you don't like about it.

diana / July 30, 2006 9:40 AM

I was over at Tisserie a day before I read your post. Looked nice, more of a bakery huh? I didn't buy anything. I ate somewhere else instead.

Jennifer / July 30, 2006 2:48 PM


Besides being a fan of yours, I am a yogini. And one of my yoga resources sent me the below (I of course thought of you immediately). I wish you much relief.


Although most asthmatics are unaware of it, they tend to chronically breathe at a rate two to three times faster than normal. Paradoxically, instead of providing more oxygen, over-breathing actually robs the body of it. Asthmatics do take in more oxygen when they over-breathe; but, more importantly, they also breathe out too much carbon dioxide. This expulsion leads the blood to stop releasing oxygen to the cells and creates the classic symptoms of an asthma attack.

That's why learning to control your breath can help you control your asthma. You can practice consciously to avoid over-breathing by slowing down your breath. It's a good idea to practice this everyday, but you can also practice when you feel like you're in danger of an attack. By slowing down your breath rate you may be able to reduce the incidence and severity of asthma attacks.

Start by spending a few minutes a day noticing how quickly you are breathing. You may be quite surprised. Then consciously slow it down. Count all the way to six as you breathe in, and all the way down from six as you breathe out. Spend at least five minutes with this practice.

Over time you'll start to reprogram your breath rate and decrease the likelihood of an attack.


2 related articles and/or exercises:

tragaperras / August 14, 2008 5:48 AM

I have been living in Philippines for the last 20 years. Once i visited India along with my parents and the food culture there was really amazing and very diversified. Each and every state there has it's own speciality in especially in food (language cloths, and tradition would be other terms). I enjoyed many recepies their, some of them i remember Chola bhatoora, shahi paneer, matar paner i like most. If in future i will get a chance to visit India, I would not like to miss it, exclusively for Indian Food :)

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