I went to new Shake Shack in the Theater District last night for dinner. It was my first SS experience-- and an experience it was. I was warned about the infamous Shake Shack line... and everyone was right. At 7:30p the line went out the door. A staff member stood outside handing out menus and answering questions. A friend of mine said the black & white shake was a must, and when I asked if it was just chocolate and vanilla ice cream (I'm a New Englander, what do you want?) the employee told me it was chocolate and vanilla ice cream blended with coffee. Sounded good to me, so after a 20 minute wait in line, I ordered one of those and a cheeseburger.
My friend, who ordered after me, got his food about 15 minutes later, and mine came out 10 minutes after his. Given the Disney-worthy queue, seating was at a premium. A couple invited us to sit at their table, so we didn't have to juggle our burgers and shakes on the sidewalk. The burger was good-- nothing incredible, but definitely better than any other fast food option out there. My milkshake had peanut butter in it, which was disappointing, but given the 25 minutes it took to make my food the first time, I just drank it. (And a black & white milkshake is just chocolate and vanilla ice cream...) I must give them a break considering they've recently opened this location, and restaurants always have a few kinks to work out in the beginning. All in all, I'm sure I'll go back to try some of their crazier shake creations, but for the most part I'll be leaving this one to the tourists.
In my adventures around SoHo this weekend, I stumbled upon Papabubble-- makers of the sweetest little candies I've ever seen! They make their hard candies by hand in the shop, and have samples out for you to try. I hesitantly tried their watermelon, salt & hot pepper flavor, and was surprised that I liked it so much. It was a mostly watermelon flavor with a zing of spice when you bit into it. The back wall of the store is lined with shelves that hold jars upon jars of sweets:
Most of their candies bear tiny illustrations or words; a jar of candies that say "thank you!" would be a unique way to show someone your appreciation. They also offer customized messages/colors/flavors that would be perfect for baby showers, weddings, birthdays, or just 'cause. I left with a jar of the mixed fruit candies, after not being able to pick a favorite. They're so yum!
Their store is located on Broome Street, and they're open from noon to 9p Tuesday through Saturday, noon to 6p Sunday, closed Monday.
It's safe to assume the one common goal all New Yorkers are sharing this week is staying cool. We're officially in a heatwave; Central Park was 103 degrees yesterday, and pushed 100 degrees again today. A surefire way to beat the heat: a frozen treat from People's Pops. (And you can get one FREE today at the Cooking Channel truck parked at Vesey Street b/w Broadway and Church from 3:30-5pm!)
People's Pops was just named one of Brooklyn's Best Entrepreneurs by Inc. Magazine, an honor that Joel, David, and Nathalie worked hard to earn. They source local fruits and herbs and make their pops fresh, slinging flavors like Raspberry-Basil and Blueberry-Cardamom at the Brooklyn Flea and Chelsea Market. I've had the pleasure of a Watermelon Basil People's Pop at the Flea-- don't let the flavor combos scare you, it was delicious! And they're much more refreshing and light than ice cream, especially on a day like today.
It's officially summer-- and the temps have been reaching 90 degrees in NYC as a testament. I grew up on Cape Cod, and if there's one thing I miss about summers on the Cape it's homemade ice cream. There are lots of homemade ice cream joints on the Cape, where the ice cream is extra rich, frappes are on the menu, and you can get New England flavors like lobster and maple. Sure, ice cream is everywhere in NYC too, but mostly by way of Mr. Frosty trucks or chain stores like Baskin Robbins and Cold Stone. I had accepted that my summer ice cream kicks would have to be got on weekend visits to the Cape... until now: enter Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory!
Situated on the Fulton Ferry Pier in the shadow of the Brooklyn Bridge, BICF is so worth the trip (and any line you may encounter). While their menu is pretty modest (nothing quite tops lobster ice cream in terms of exotic flavors) the traditional flavors they make are delicious! Made with fresh, all natural ingredients, BICF makes their ice cream in small batches at their two Brooklyn locations. I'm very partial to their coffee ice cream, and I'd highly recommend trying their homemade walnut maple syrup or hot fudge! It's gonna be another hot and muggy weekend-- hit up BICF at sunset and walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. Bring your camera!
I HATE being hot. But living in NYC in the summertime, being hot and sticky is inevitable. I can rarely bring myself to cook when the temps are flirting with 90 degrees. The last thing I want to do is turn on my oven and add to the sweltering heat in my apartment. (I try to limit the A/C use to when I'm sleeping... just using it overnight doubles my electric bill... eek!). Here are a few of my go-to summer food staples that don't involve cooking.
When it's really hot out I don't want to eat anything heavy- I crave refreshing and light foods. This is one of my fave meals for those times. I slice up fresh watermelon and bananas, toss in some granola, and drizzle with honey. Growing up working summers in the hot kitchen at my dad's restaurant, this is what I brought for lunch almost every day. So good!
A good (and quick!) dinner that I make is chicken caesar wraps. I cheat and buy the bagged caesar salad kits that come with the dressing and cheese. To eliminate the need for cooking, I buy Perdue Short Cuts- sliced, grilled chicken breast that's all ready to go. Get yourself a stack of wraps, mix up the salad, throw on some chicken, and enjoy!
I don't have an enormous appetite- especially in the summer. Sometimes I just want a little snack. I like to make my own trail mix and keep it in a canister in the fridge. Nuts and dried fruits can be surprisingly pricey (this girl's on a serious budget!) but I like to pick and choose what's in my mix rather than buy one already made. I usually mix up vanilla yogurt-covered raisins, craisins, and almonds. It's a much better alternative to potato chips and actually fills you up a bit.
I drink a LOT of iced tea. I use Lipton diet/unsweetened powder mix and Country Time lemonade powder mix to make my own arnold palmer half & half by the gallon. Lemon slices and raspberry ice cubes get added to the pitcher, and heart-shaped ice cubes finish it off. Ahhh!