As a follow-up from yesterday’s heavy post, I did want to thank those of you who reached out. I really appreciate all of the warm thoughts and prayers you guys are offering up on behalf of Kourtney’s family and friends, and know others share that gratitude as well.
Today, I definitely felt the urge to lighten the mood, so I’ll move forward with that coffee shop review I mentioned yesterday… A while back, my friend and I met for espresso at Cafe Grumpy: a local coffee shop in Chelsea that’s been around for a few years. Lena Dunham’s Girls’ character works (did work? I’m not caught up) at the Green Point location. Since I’m nowhere near cool enough for Brooklyn, I decided to see what my work neighborhood’s location had to offer.
I didn’t photograph the latte art or take any fancy shots of the chill ambiance because I am the worst ever, but the feeling of “cool” definitely plagued the air. Maybe that was because we got seats by the ill-shutting door and it was eight degrees outside? I’d settle for an even mix of both.
The latte was strong, the coffee was smooth, and I ordered something titled a “jalapeño cheddar biscuit” that was the size of my extended hand (because how could you not?) that absolutely changed my life. Other than that, I think it’s simultaneously cool and sort of silly that they don’t have wifi. Cool for fostering an un-plugged atmosphere of socialization and relaxation/uncool for the obvious reason that the wiffy (Nick Miller’s pronunciation, heyyyy New Girl fans) being kind of THE thing niche coffee shops have going for them.
I’m kind of a sucker for a fine selection of coffees and freshly baked pastries, so the fact each Cafe Grumpy location offers both is huge. Overall, it was nice experience, and I’d go back for more of those jalapeño cheddar pieces of heaven alone.
As soon as I heard about BarBacon — a single focused restaurant that opened a few months back in Hell’s Kitchen, I
forced nicely asked one of my friends to accompany me on a visit. A restaurant that centralized on the winning (and artery clogging) bacon and beer combo — what could be better?
We started with the Tasting, which included four kinds of bacon: jalapeño, spicy pepper, maple and smoked applewood. Each was delectable, but we deemed the jalapeño as our favorite. Before going, I noticed that Yelp reviewers were loving on the grilled cheese and lobster roll. A common thought after doing some preliminary research would be to order said grilled cheese and/or lobster roll, but my friend and I aren’t really the trend-following type (just kittens we met working in fashion), so she went for the pulled pork sandwich and I opted to check out the lobster bisque. Both entrees were phenomenal.
If I went back again (and against the health-conscious part of my brain’s better judgement, I would), I think I would cave and try the grilled cheese. And probably not go at 7pm on a Friday since it’s the end of their happy hour (4-7pm is half off well drinks and beers) and they don’t take reservations. Overall, it’s a cute joint. If you’re the meat-eating type and ever find yourself in Hell’s Kitchen, it’s worth checking out.
Every day calls for coffee, but some days, you just need a latte. And not a fake, sugar-filled, 7-11 style “Skinny Cow Mocha” that comes out of a push-spout on a “coffee” machine, but real espresso poured over steamed and foamed milk. Enter Sullivan Street Bakery.
SSB is actually known for their no-knead bread, from which they make excellent pastries, pizzas, and loaves of all shapes and sizes. I wasn’t very hungry so I stuck with the drink and some fancy-sounding pastry with a name I didn’t know how to correctly pronounce. While the pastry was sweeter and smaller than what I had hoped, the dough didn’t disappoint. Being a former barista myself, I was also able to appreciate the latte art and the over-looked essence of being able to sit down, relax, and slowly sip the steamed beverage.
That snack cost me just under $10, and while I expected to pay more for that than something comparable at Dunkin’ Donuts, I thought it was a little much for such a small lunch. Regardless, the experience of sitting in a corner of a cutesy bakery sipping on an overpriced, frilly drink while reading that morning’s AM New York (something’s gotta give) was just what I needed. I visited the Chelsea location, but Jim Lahey also owns another (the main) SSB location in Hell’s Kitchen and a renowned pizza restaurant, Co., also in Chelsea.
My friend and I recently had a dinner date at New York’s favorite meatballery (that sounds like a thing, right?). TMS has five locations in the city (we went to the one in Chelsea) and is known for their completely customizable menu. You choose your type of ball, sauce, and how you’d like it (i.e. on a salad, in a sandwich, etc.). I had only been once before (during the two months that I was a vegetarian, so it doesn’t count) and my friend had never been, so we were excited to get our meat on.
I choose the spicy pork balls with classic tomato sauce aside of the roasted veggies of the day: brussel sprouts. My friend ordered the chicken balls on top of carrot and thyme risotto with a side salad. We both loved what we had, although I wish they had turkey balls on the menu…for some reason eating chicken in a ball weirds me out.
Because we’re both fatties and my friend heard amazing things about their ice cream sandwiches, we decided to splurge on dessert. We both had brown sugar ice cream (which was unreal!); he sandwiched it between snicker doodle cookies and I with the daily cookie: pecan devils food cake. I raved and raved about it so much in the following days that my colleague at work walked down on her lunch break and tried my creation for herself. :)
P.S. The era of bad cell phone pictures on here is coming to a close soon, I swear. You’ll just have to bear with me for a littttttle while longer. Sorry!
Happy Friday to all, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY to one of my dearest friends, Jorge! May the next quarter of a century present as many adventurous and prosperous fortunes to you as your first!
Jorge and I (along with a few other friends) stumbled into this fantastic West Village beer garden called Houston Hall last Sunday, and needless to say it was a very pleasant surprise. The restaurant/pub opened earlier this year, and apparently the location was converted from a functional parking garage. Their beers were hoppy, their grilled cheese menu was one of the best I’ve seen, and their atmosphere and ambiance was truly unique. Having so many options of restaurants and bars in the city, I often don’t frequent the same place twice, but I can honestly say I can’t wait to head back here.
P.S. I didn’t forget Feminist Friday! My intentions are not to always take the easy way outs, but for this week, here’s a great interview with Anna Holmes, the founding editor of jezebel.com, who strongly believes that this f-word doesn’t deserve the negative connotations it often carries.
Enjoy the last few days of summer this weekend!