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.
The past few weeks have been very work-centered for me, so when a good friend asked me to catch up over dinner this past weekend, I jumped at the opportunity. She was craving crab, so after she conducted some internet research, we decided to hit up The Boil, a seafood restaurant in the Lower East Side.
This local spot’s core competency is that after “boiling” your critter (i.e. shrimp, lobster, clams, etc.), they combine it with a sauce and spice-level of choice, shake vigorously, and serve it in a plastic bag. The real fun is in sloppily maneuvering through your sauced-up friend(s) with plastic gloves and de-gutting them before eating. It’s very hands-on, a little murdery, and probably not the best first date joint — unless you have absolutely no inhibitions in which case I’m indefinitely envious.
If these official Yelp reviews don’t sell it for you; Go. For. The. Garlic. Bread. But, seriously. That bread is heaven-sent and like $2. Done and done.
The Boil is definitely a one-of-a-kind seafood joint, even in the plentiful land of restaurant options that is NYC. My friend and I both really enjoyed ourselves, and although beheading two pounds of shrimp isn’t something I see happening again my personal near future, I’d go back sooner rather than later for the experience alone.