Jaunts With Jackie

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Category: NYC

In Search of the Perfect Dessert in New York City

Are you in search of the perfect dessert in New York City? If you are I have some suggestions for you. If there was ever a city to splurge on dessert, it is NYC. There are so many options that it might be hard to narrow down your choices. I am going to share a few of my favorites.

Dessert Cookies

Levain Bakery is currently having a cult-like following over their perfect cookies and I for one am a card-carrying member. Levain Bakery has multiple locations in the city. During my last visit to New York City, Nicole and I stopped in to get dessert for the picnic we were going to have in Central Park. We went to the location on Third Avenue. The line was long but efficient and it moved fast. We each ordered a cookie. Their cookies are a staggering 6 ounces each and they cost around $4 each.

The Perfect Cookie

We ordered their classic Chocolate Chip Walnut and their Dark Chocolate Chip. I firmly believe you will never find a more perfect cookie than their Chocolate Chip Walnut. This is the cookie of ALL cookies. Ooey-gooey chocolate, crunchy walnuts, and a crisp and chewy cookie at the same time? Sign this girl up right now. I’m honestly not a fan of nuts in my cookies but the walnuts added more texture than flavor, which was perfect! The Dark chocolate Chip is rich and decadent. It has some brownie qualities to it and it is delicious. I think Levain Bakery just might be serving the perfect cookie.

Cookies from Levain Bakery

Ice Cream in Chinatown

Chinatown Ice Cream Factory has been in business since 1978. It is tucked in on a small street in the middle of a bustling Chinatown. The original location is at 65 Bayor St and they now have a second location in Flushings. Their storefront is small and it’s not unusual for the line to be out the door. When you get inside they have a sign hanging on the wall with all the flavors they are currently serving. They have flavors ranging from every day common to the exotic.

Try Something New

One of my favorite flavors is Almond Cookie. It is Chinese almond cookies from the Famous Fung Wong Bakery soaked and blended into ice cream. Of course, they serve their ice cream in either a cone or a cup. There isn’t a place to sit inside so we always order our ice cream in a cup and walk around the neighborhood while we enjoy it. There’s a reason why Chinatown Ice Cream Factory has been in business for 40 plus years. They serve delicious reasonable price ice cream.

Ice Cream from Chinatown Ice Cream Factory
Walking around Chinatown eating our ice cream.

Magnolia Bakery

Magnolia Bakery is a quintessential New York cupcakery. I’ve watched my fair share of Sex and The City episodes and those ladies loved Magnolia’s Bakery. They opened their first bakery in 1996 on a quiet corner in the West Village. Today they have locations worldwide. The original location is my favorite. It reminds me of stepping into my grandma’s kitchen. Whenever I visit I always feel as though I’ve been transported to another era. Their cupcake menu varies, but they always serve their famous Red Velvet cake with whipped vanilla icing. Each regular size cupcake is $3.95 and they also sell mini sizes.

Banana Pudding

When I go to Magnolia Bakery I rarely get a cupcake, because I have fallen in love with their Banana Pudding. The regular pudding is a layer of vanilla wafers, fresh bananas, and creamy vanilla pudding. The small size is $4.50 and it is served in an adorable branded container. The pudding comes in different sizes, but a small is more than enough for one person. On my last visit, I tasted a chocolate version that has Oreos, bananas, chocolate pudding, and chocolate shavings. The sample was delicious, but I ordered the original. Directly across the street is a city park. We usually take our dessert there and sit on a bench and people watch. The streets in this neighborhood are adorable and they are filled with Brownstones with big stoops. It is a neighborhood that Carrie Bradshaw would love too.

Banana Pudding from Magnolia Bakery
Looking for Carrie Bradshaw’s apartment while we were eating our pudding.

Serendipity 3

Serendipity 3 claims to be the oldest coffee house boutique in New York City. Andy Warhol, Marilyn Monroe, and Jackie Kennedy all frequented this location. A scene from the movie Serendipity with John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale was filmed inside. This upper East Side boutique coffee house is small. They take a limited number of reservations for lunch & dinner, but none for dessert. I always walk in and add my name to the list and then walk around the neighborhood. On the same block is Dylan’s Candy Bar the famous candy store owned by Dylan Lauren. If your wait is really long, (FYI: we’ve waited over 2 hours before) you can head towards the East River and ride on NYC’s only ariel tram. The fee is included in your Metro Card and you can ride the tram to Roosevelt Island.

Frozen Hot Chocolate

You can’t go to Serendipity 3 and not try their Frozen Hot Chocolate. This is the dessert that John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale shared in the movie and it was also featured in episodes of Girls and Gossip Girl. The Frozen Hot Chocolate comes out in a big glass with a saucer underneath to catch the spillover. The drink is thick and rich, but not overly sweet. It is covered with whipped cream and topped with chocolate shavings. It costs $14 and is big enough to share, but beware Serendipity has a $12.50 minimum per dinner. The Hot Chocolate now comes in other flavors such as peanut butter, mint, and S’mores. Everything in NYC is expensive and at Serendipity you are definitely paying for the experience and they don’t disappoint. The Frozen Hot Chocolate is delicious and the inside of the restaurant is kitschy and fun.

Outside Serendipity 3
Frozen Hot Chocolate.

Eileen’s Special Cheesecake

It is hard to add just one place for cheesecake in all of NYC, but I’m going to do it. I do love Junior’s and it has a huge following, but I have fallen in love with this tiny Greenwich Village bakery that specializes in cheesecakes. The best part of Eileen’s is that in addition to a regular size they also make cheesecake minis which means you can try more than one flavor. Their bakery has about 10 stools inside, so it is more of a grab and go location. In 2019 Food & Wine deemed Eileen’s Special Cheesecake as the best in America. The minis cost $5.25 each and there are 10 flavors to choose from. My favorite is the Dulce de Leche it is light and fluffy and the tang of the cheesecake mixes perfectly with the Dulce de Leche.

Eileen’s Special Cheesecake located in Greenwich Village
The cheesecake was so good we forgot to take a picture before we took a bite.

Big Gay Ice Cream

Your life will not be complete until you try a Salty Pimp from Big Gay Ice Cream. Big Gay Ice Cream started as a seasonal food truck and they have now expanded to multiple locations in Manhattan and Philadelphia. They serve traditional soft serve ice cream that is mixed with imaginative and fun ingredients. Their treats range in price from $5 – $10. My favorite location is in the East Village.

The Salty Pimp

I have only tried one thing on the menu, the Salty Pimp because I love it so much. It is a vanilla ice cream cone injected with dulce de leche, lightly salted and dipped in a chocolate shell. During the summer lines to get inside can wrap down the street. There are a few tables and a long bench that you might score a seat at. Overall the ice cream is tasty and the shop is kitschy and fun what more could you ask for in a dessert location.

The Magical Unicorn at Big Gay Ice Cream Shop
The Salty Pimp
An ode to the Golden Girls.

Spot Dessert Bar

Spot Dessert Bar in New York City only serves desserts and drinks. Their flagship location is on St. Marks Street in the East Village. Spot Dessert Bar opened in 2009 and was the vision of Iron Chef of Thailand, Chef Ian Kittichai. Their desserts are served tapas-style, of course, you can order one to eat by yourself, but it is more fun to order multiple desserts for the table and share them. Most of their desserts are $11.95 each. They have their classic desserts that are always on the menu and then some that are seasonal. The restaurant is very small and they have now partnered with Yelp. You can log into Yelp and add your name to the waitlist before you arrive.

Cookie Camp & Matcha Lava

Cookie Camp is a fresh half baked marshmallow cookie, covered with pretzels and cookie crumbs and served with condensed milk ice cream. They bring it to the table in an individual cast iron pan. The warm cookie topped with the cool ice cream is a decadent combination. Matcha Lava is their most popular dessert. It is a warm dark chocolate cake filled with matcha ganache, served with matcha green tea ice cream. The matcha ice cream balances out the sweetness of the chocolate cake. It truly is a delicious dessert.

Cookie Camp
Matcha Lava
Matcha Lava

My Very Favorite Dessert in all of NYC

My favorite dessert in all of New York City is the Golden Toast from Spot Dessert Bar. It is a warm crispy honey buttered toast that is served with strawberries, homemade whipped cream, and condensed milk ice cream. I never thought I would like this dessert because I thought it would be too much bread, but I was so wrong. The combination of the butter and honey makes the outside of the bread sweet and crispy and the ice cream is delicious. The Golden Toast is the best and you absolutely have to try it when you are in the city.

The Golden Toast

There’s Always More to Try

I would go back to all the locations on my list. Some I have been to multiple times and I stop by every time I’m in the city. The good thing about NYC is there are plenty of desserts to choose from and more than likely you will be doing a lot of walking so hopefully you won’t feel guilty about trying a few.

Momofuku Noodle Bar… New York City

A Noodle Bar That Is Worth The Wait.

Some restaurants are worth the wait and Momofuku Noodle Bar falls into that category. During my many trips to New York City I have passed by Momofuku Noodle Bar. I always wanted to try it, but the line was always out the door. The East Village location does not take reservations. Momofuku was started by David Chang in 2004. The New York Times credits him with the rise of Asian-American. Bon Appetit Magazine named Momofuku the most important restaurant in the United States. Momofuku means lucky peach.

Momofuku Noodle Bar in the East Village, NYC

Avoid The Crowd, Get There When They Open.

One summer evening, my daughter Nicole and I were in the area. It was before the dinner rush and we were able to grab two seats at the bar top for dinner without waiting in line. We started with drinks. Nicole had a Hibiscus Yuzu Iced Tea and I had a Tiger Lager from Singapore. It was a typical hot and humid evening in NYC, so both drinks were refreshing. We decided that we had to try the famous buns. As an appetizer we shared an order of the pork bellys buns. It comes with hoisin sauce, scallions and cucumbers. The buns were light and airy and the meat was a nice mix of sweet and savory.

Pork Belly Buns are a Momofuku speciality.

Ramen Noodles

For dinner Nicole ordered the Ginger Scallion Noodles. It comes with Momofuku barley noodles, pickled shiitake, cucumber and wakame. I ordered the Spicy Hozon Ramen. This ramen also comes with the Momofuku barley noodles and instead of meat it has chickpeas, scallion, and bok choy. I wasn’t sure if it would be too spicy, but it had a nice level of heat. The combination of the chickpeas and the ramen made this a very filling dish. Both ramens tasted fresh, they had depth of flavor and they didn’t taste overly salty.

Spicy Hozan Ramen

Go Ahead And Try Dessert

Although we were both stuffed from dinner we decided to split a dessert. We ordered the soft-serve with puffed rice. The puffed rice added a pop to the creaminess to the soft-serve and it was a good way to end our meal. Overall, the services was amazing. Our water was continuously refilled and the wait staff was very attentive. Momofuku is a small restaurant so you will be in tight quarters. It doesn’t look like they can accommodate parties larger than 6. After walking past this restaurant so many times, I’m happy that we finally got a chance to try it and I wouldn’t hesitate to eat there again.

Soft-serve with puffed rice.

Momofuku Noodle Bar, NYC

The 3 Best Pizza Slices in NYC

Everybody has their favorite style of pizza and the best part of visiting New York City is you can try it all. There is a pizza place on every block. While visiting my daughter Nicole in Brooklyn we decided to give some a try.

Juliana’s Pizza, 10 Old Fulton St. Brooklyn, NY

Juliana’s Pizza

Our first stop was Juliana’s Pizza on Old Fulton Street in Brooklyn. Juliana’s is an old school pizzeria that opened in 2012. The proprietor is Patsy Grimaldi. Patsy owned Grimaldi’s under the Manhattan Bridge just a few doors down from Juliana’s. Grimaldi’s was a New York institution. Lines would snake down the street for blocks. About 10 years ago Patsy and his wife sold Grimaldi’s and settled into retirement. Much to the delight of Brooklyn after a few years of retirement, he opened Juliana’s Pizza named after his mother. We went for lunch on a rainy afternoon. There was a line outside, but we were a party of two and we agreed to sit at the bar so we were seated quickly. We had an amazing view of the coal pizza oven.

The coal pizza oven.

We split a salad and decided on the classic Margherita. It has a typical New York thin crust, with San Marzano tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and basil. We also tried the War Flag an American Pilsner brewed in Brooklyn. The salad was a nice start. It was fresh and tasty.

While we waited for our pizza we sipped our beer and watched the pizzas go in and out of the coal oven. Our pizza came out piping hot. The crust was thin and golden. The cheese tasted fresh and it was gooey. The pizza was basically perfection. Between the two of us, we ate a whole pizza, and that left no room to try dessert. Maybe next time. I paid in cash, but I did notice that you can use your credit card, unlike at Grimaldi’s which is cash only. The restaurant was very busy, but at no time did we feel rushed and the service was excellent. I believe Juliana’s is a must-try for an authentic New York City Pizza.

War Flag, an American Pilsner brewed in Brooklyn.
The classic Margherita Pizza.
Spumoni Gardens in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn.

Spumoni Gardens

The first Saturday in April was opening day for Luna Park at Coney Island. We took the train to Coney Island and rode the old wooden Cyclone. After the roller coaster ride and the walk along the boardwalk, we decided to go try some pizza at Spumoni Gardens. We took the train one stop and then walked to the restaurant. Spumoni Gardens is located in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn.

When we got there it was a lively Saturday afternoon on their patio. Spumoni Gardens is known for its Sicilian pizza. They sell their pizzas as whole pies or by the slice. Their Sicilian pizza is made in a rectangle. One slice is $3.00. It was a thick crust and the sauce is on top of the cheese. We ate on the patio and they serve it up on a paper plate. We each got a slice and sat on the patio with a lemonade. The crust is thick and the sauce is plentiful and it was easier to eat it with a fork. It was good and I’m glad we tried it.

Thick crust Sicilian Pizza with the sauce on top.

We both got a serving of Spumoni Ice Cream for dessert. Their Spumoni is a mix of Vanilla, Chocolate, and Pistachio. In my opinion, it was the star of the meal. We ate on the patio, but they have a full-service restaurant inside. The whole area had a down-home family vibe.

A serving of Spumoni Ice Cream.

Joe’s Pizza

Joe’s Pizza is a Greenwich Village institution. It was founded in 1975 and has been listed on NYC’s best pizzas over and over. They have a simple menu. Whole pies or by the slice. They also have Sicilian pizza on the menu, but I have never tried it.

Joe’s Pizza, 7 Carmine St.

Joe’s Pizza is a walk up and orders pizzeria. There are a few stools and stand up tables, but mostly you order to go. The day Nicole and I went she saved us seats on a bench in the square across the street. The square is officially Father Demo Square. It has a fountain and benches and is a good place to sit and people watch. I went and ordered our pizza.

We both chose a slice of cheese pizza. It is a huge slice and they serve it on a paper plate. They have cans of soda and bottled water for sale as well. They do not accept credit cards. Joe’s pizza is the quintessential New York slice of pizza. The crust is thin and if you look around you will see people folding their slice in half. This is what all walk-up pizza should taste like, flavorful and not greasy and a perfect not floppy crust. Joe’s Pizza serves both the local neighborhood and hungry tourists. Joe has become so popular they now have 4 other locations scattered throughout New York City.

A slice from Joe’s Pizza, Greenwich Village.

These 3 pizzas are just the tip of the iceberg. There are 100’s of other pizza places in New York City to try, but I would definitely make a return trip to all three of these locations.

A Walking Tour of Brooklyn Bushwick, Cobble Hill & Dumbo……

I landed at JFK on a gorgeous spring day in April. After dropping my suitcase at my daughter’s apartment in Brooklyn we set off on a walking tour of Bushwick. I wanted to see the graffiti and street art that is part of The Bushwick Collective.

Biggie Smalls

The Bushwick Collective

The Bushwick Collective is located off of Flushing Ave. in Bushwick. There are blocks and blocks of murals that you can visit by just walking around the neighborhood. There really is something for everyone. We saw both portraits and cartoon type murals. It appears that this area of Bushwick is up and coming. We walked past fancy new coffee shops that we were next to functioning machine shops. We were also able to peruse a couple of eclectic vintage shops.

Till Death Do us Part
My own super model.
A quilted wrap for the telephone pole.

Finding a Lunch Spot in Bushwick

After walking around we decided it was time to eat. I had heard about a restaurant in Bushwick Called Dock. We weren’t sure they would be open because we were there during the weird hours after lunch and before dinner, however, when we go there we found that they were still serving lunch specials for another 40 minutes. Dock is a busy restaurant and reservations are usually a must, but this was the perfect time to try it. Dock was started by three chefs that have different backgrounds. They have combined their talents into one fabulous restaurant. Dock has 3 different head chefs one for sushi, one for Thai cuisine and one for ramen.

Lunch At Dock Restaurant

Our lunch special was $10.95 and included a soup, egg roll, or salad and one entree. I had the Oyster Soup and Pad See Ew. Nicole had an egg roll and Ramen. We split a Kyoto Matcha IPA . I’ll start with the Matcha IPA. I’m not a fan of IPAs they are usually too bitter for me, however, this one was great. I could taste the bitter hops, but it was balanced out by the matcha. The color was fantastic. It was a deep grassy, green. My oyster soup was delicious. It had the perfect amount of heat and sourness mixed together. It lots of fresh oyster mushrooms and fresh vegetables. My Pad See Ew was also good. I had it with tofu. It wasn’t overly spiced and that allowed me to add my favorite chili oil to enhance the flavors. Nicole’s egg roll was ok. Probably not the star of our meal, however, she liked her Ramen. I give The Dock 5 stars out of 5 and I will be going back to try something else on their extensive menu next time I’m in the area.

Three types of Asian Food in one restaurant.
Kyoto Matcha IPA
Oyster Soup
Pad See Ew with Tofu
Ramen

Exploring Cobble Hill

After lunch, we headed to the subway and went to the Cobble Hill area of Brooklyn. I wanted to go to an independent bookstore that I follow online called Books Are Magic. Of course, I loved it. They have the cutest mural painted outside and inside is filled with books. Their staff has curated sections and titles that they recommend and they have an amazing section for children’s books. We spent a long time looking at books and I had to buy a Books Are Magic t-shirt before I left so that I can wear it at home in my library.

I think Books Are Magic!

Heading to Dumbo, Brooklyn

After the bookstore, we hopped back on the subway and head to Dumbo. For those not familiar with Dumbo it is an acronym for down under the Manhattan Bridge overpass. It is one of my favorite areas of Brooklyn because of the amazing views of Manhattan. We went to the Empire Store on the waterfront. We walked up the stairs to the top and had an amazing view of both the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges and the Manhattan skyline.

Dumbo

A view of the Brooklyn Bridge.

Perfect Views in Brooklyn

Walking along the waterfront is always entertaining. The views are amazing. There are always lots of photoshoots going on. There are plenty of restaurants, bars, and coffee shops to stop at. Because it was April as soon as the sun went down it got very chilly. We decided that it was time to get back on the subway and head back to Nicole’s apartment. We had an amazing day wandering around Brooklyn.

The Perfect view.

The 5 Best Doughnuts in NYC

You might think that while visiting New York the only round food you should try is a bagel, but then you will be missing out on some tasty donuts. While visiting NYC in April, my daughter and I decided to try out some of the specialty doughnuts the city has to offer.

First Stop: Dough

First stop was Dough in Brooklyn. Dough now has a few other locations throughout the city, but the Clinton Hill location in Brooklyn is the original. Dough makes traditional yeast doughnuts with untraditional glazes and toppings. Inside their storefront, you can take a peak and seem them making their fresh doughnuts. There is not enough room to eat inside, so plan on taking your doughnuts to go. I decided on the Lemon Poppy Seed. The lemony glaze had the perfect ratio of tartness and sweetness. The poppy seeds were more for aesthetics than taste. The donut had a nice rise from the yeast and wasn’t greasy or heavy. Overall, a very satisfying donut. Dough makes their doughnuts daily and they have seasonal as well as daily varieties to choose from.

Lemon Poppyseed from Dough

Second Stop: Doughnut Plant

Day number 2 and our second stop for our donut tour was Doughnut Plant in Chelsea. Like Dough, they have other locations throughout Manhattan, but their Chelsea location was their first. We decided to order coffee and sit down and eat our doughnut inside because there are tables and chairs. We both order coffee of the day and I ordered a Peanut Butter & Blackberry Jam Doughnut. Nicole ordered the Hazelnut Chocolate Filling covered with Roasted Hazelnut Glaze. The first thing to notice is Doughnut Plant is home of the square doughnuts. They have been in business since 1994 and they make their doughnuts without preservatives, eggs, or trans fats. The peanut butter & blackberry doughnut tasted just like mom’s peanut butter & jam sandwich. It is a square donut filled with jam and covered with the peanut butter glaze and because of its square shape you get jam with every bite. It was yummy and super filling. The hazelnut doughnut was round, rich and delicious. The Doughnut Plant has a nice mix of yeast and cake doughnuts to choose from. In addition to their delectable doughnuts, they also have some amazing stuffed doughnuts decorating their walls. There is a stuffed doughnut to represent each one of their doughnuts that they serve.

Peanut Butter & Blackberry Jam and Chocolate Hazelnut from Doughnut Plant

Because it’s a square doughnut you get jam in every bite.

Doughnut Plant has the cutest stuffed doughnuts hanging on their walls.

Third Stop: The Donut Pub

Stop number 3 on our doughnut tour was at The Donut Pub in the West Village. The Donut Pub is known for their doughnuts, pastries, and cookies. They are open 24 hours a day. Inside the Donut Pub is a small counter to sit at and also a few tables. We tried the French Cruller and the Croissant Donut. The Cruller was a fancy, twisted design. It was light and had sugar glaze over the top. We sat at the counter and they served it to me on a paper plate and I need lots of napkins. It wasn’t greasy, but the glaze stuck to my fingers. The Croissant Donut was served warmed up on a small paper plate. After the first bite, you could tell that butter had to be one of the main ingredients in this doughnut. Out of all the doughnuts that we tasted this one was definitely the richest and most filling. It had so much butter in it that it left a buttered ring on the paper plate. We were happy we tasted the cronut, but I don’t think either of us needs to eat one again. I would go back for a cruller and maybe try one of their other flavors. I would also like to try their Black & White cookie. It’s been rumored to be the best in New York City.

The Donut Pub in The West Village
The Original French Cruller
The Croissant Donut
My view while I was sitting at the counter.
Maybe next time a Strawberry Croissant Donut

Fourth Stop: The Doughnuttery

Our 4th stop was The Doughnuttery in the Chelsea Market. While our other doughnuts were regular size, the Doughnuttery makes their doughnuts in a small bite-size version. We ordered 6 minis for $6.00. We watched the small cake doughnuts plop into the fryer. They are then scooped out and covered with your choice of a sugar and spice topping. With the minis, you can pick two toppings. We choose House of Cardamon which was cardamon, orange zest and star anise and Paris Time which was lavender, vanilla, and pistachio. I liked the House of Cardamon best. The orange zest gave it a fresh taste. Nicole liked the Paris Time, because of the pistachio. The mix of sugar and spices coating the doughnuts made them flavorful without being too sweet, however, out of all the doughnuts we tasted these tasted the most fried. I would order them again to try a different topping, but these were not my favorite.

The Doughnuttery inside of Chelsea Market
The Menu at the Doughnuttery
House of Cardamom mini doughnut
Paris Time mini doughnut

Fifth Stop: The Doughnut Project

Our 5th and final stop was The Doughnut Project in the West Village. They are now for their unique and seasonal doughnuts. I had previously been to the Doughnut Project and ordered their famous Everything Doughnut, so this time I wanted to try something different. I ordered The Black Gold AKA Brownie Batter and Nicole ordered the Bronx (Olive Oil and Black Pepper.) They have a few bar stools to sit at, but they were all occupied so we took out doughnuts to Washington Square Park to eat them. The Black Gold had an extra dark chocolate glaze with house-made chocolate cookie crumbles and sea salt. It was like biting into a light and airy brownie. If you are a chocolate lover then I say this is a must-try. Nicole’s Bronx was also light and airy. You could taste the olive oil and you got a little zing from the black pepper.

The Doughnut Project in The West Village
I love the art on the inside of The Doughnut Project.
The Black Gold AKA Brownie Batter
The Bronx

Overall, we have gone back and forth about which doughnut was our favorite and we can’t come to a conclusion. All 5 locations were good and they all offer something a little different. I think it all comes down to what you are in the mood for.

Top Chef in Brooklyn

I love Top Chef and I am always excited to eat in a contestant’s restaurant. One hot and humid Saturday in August Nicole and I decided to spend the day in Brooklyn. We took the subway to the Prospect Park area. I wanted to eat at Butterfunk Kitchen. Butterfunk Kitchen is owned by Chef Chris Scott. He is know for his soulful take on southern food. Unfortunately, we got there in the afternoon and they do not open until 5:30 p.m.

Butterfunk Kitchen

We were starving and decided that we would try his new smaller restaurant next door. Sumner’s Luncheonette is also owned by Chef Chris Scott and they are open for breakfast and lunch.

Somner’s Luncheonette

We were there at 1:00 p.m. so I am assuming we missed the crowds. There was only one other couple eating inside when we were seated. The inside reminded me of having lunch at my grandma’s house. The decor is unpretentious and comfy. I really wanted to try his fried chicken, but it is not on the menu at Sumner’s. I decided on the next best thing a fried chicken sandwich with Old Bay and coleslaw. Nicole ordered the corn-meal crushed catfish with jalapeno jelly and southern aioli. We decided we would cut our sandwiches in half and split them. The fried chicken sandwich was moist and the chicken had a good crust. The coleslaw was fresh and tasty, however, the star of the lunch was the catfish sandwich. The jalapeno jelly added a nice spice along with the creaminess of the aioli. Both of our plates came with a side of potato salad and a pickle. The potato salad had a spicy mustard base instead of mayonnaise.

Fried chicken sandwich

Both sandwiches left us wanting to come back and try Butterfunk Kitchen.

Uncle Louie G’s

After lunch we started walking towards Prospect Park. Walking down a residential street we walked past Uncle Louie G’s.

Uncle Louie G’s

It had signboards out on the sidewalk that were advertising the best Italian Ice. I did not know what Italian Ice was, so I figured I better try it. I ordered creamsicle. Italian ice is a sweet frozen dessert made with fruit juice and ice. It has a similar texture to sorbet. I found out that is a popular treat for New Yorkers in the summer. I liked it. We took our across the street and went and started walking through Prospect Park.

Italian Ice

Prospect Park

Prospect Park is 526 acres. There are hiking, biking, and running trails. There are also small lakes with boat rentals, lots of sports fields and band shells where they hold concerts. We finished eating our Italian Ice while we watched some turtles sunning themselves on a log on the water’s edge.

A turtle sunning himself.

We brought a blanket and had plans of finding the perfect place to sit by the lake. Nicole was going to draw and I was going to read a book. We never found that spot. It had rained the night before so all the grass was way too wet. We kept walking. We walked on one trail that made it hard to believe that we were in a city, let alone Brooklyn.

A canopy of trees in the middle of the city.

He walked through a canopy of trees, we saw patches of mushrooms, crayfish in a stream, and lots of wild flowers.

A stream in the park.

So many mushrooms.

A crayfish.

We were having a great time, until the mosquitoes started eating us alive. The combination of the heat and the mosquitoes was enough to convince us that it was time to find the subway and head back to Nicole’s apartment.

Nicole under one of the many bridges.

Great views

We met a couple picking these berries. I asked them what they were, but they didn’t speak English.

A heart.

So many intricate flowers.

Sunflowers are my favorite.

Bassanova Ramen in NYC is the Bomb!

In August I stayed in Brooklyn with my daughter. One night after she got off work I met her in Manhattan for ramen. Never mind that it was 95 degrees outside and the humidity was about 70%. Nicole promised that this was the best ramen she had ever tried. Bassanova is located on the edge of Chinatown. The window fronts are street level, but the actual restaurant is down some stairs.

 

Bassanova

There is a big sign letting customers know that they are cash only. Bassanova is a transplant from Tokyo. I decided on a half order of the Tondaku Wadashi Lime Tonyum Goong Ramen. It was shrimp, mixed green onion, okra, red pepper and lime. The broth was a perfect mixture of sour and and spice. The noodles, shrimp and vegetables were perfect.

Tondaku Wadashi Lime Tonym Goong Ramen

We both decided that next time we would order a full order. We paid our bill and decided to walk around.

Little Italy and Chinatown run into each other. We wandered around Little Italy and looked at street graffiti.

Street Art

Street Art

It was a warm night and we decided to walk over to the Original Chinatown Ice Cream Factory. I had a cup of coconut and green tea. Their store is barely wide enough for two people to stand side by side, so we took our ice cream to go.

Yummy!

We walked down a street that the asphalt was freshly painted. It looked like we were stepping into a painting.

This street looked like a movie set.

We did a little window shopping and then bought some Dragonfruit and an egg custard to take home with us.

Dragonfruit

 

Egg Custard Tart


We walked back through Little Italy to get to the Metro.

A flying Horse

Little Italy

We rode the train back to Brooklyn and called it a night.

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