Sunday, September 24, 2006


Last night I had cupcakes at Crumbs to celebrate my 25th birthday. Crumbs has a wider variety of cupcakes than Magnolia; they had everything from Caramel Apple (mmm) to Carrot Cake to your basic Buttercream. With all of the choices most of us couldn't choose just one cupcake. Between the 5 of us, we tried 10!

Crumbs' light, whipped buttercream frosting wasn't as sweet as Magnolia's but still is generously spread and tasty, especially the raspberry. The big disappointment with Crumbs was the dryness of their cake. The chocolate was more moist than the vanilla, but it still wasn't what I expect from (a cup) cake. Specifically, I would avoid the Boston Cream Pie cupcake, which was surprisingly skimpy on the cream and overwhelmed by the fudge-y frosting.

I would return to Crumbs again if craving a cupcake and in the area (or at Dylan's Candy Bar), but I won't go out of my way to get there. Crumbs also serves giant muffins, cupcakes, tea, milk, coffee, et cetera, and is a kosher eatery.

Location visited: 1371 Third Avenue @ 78th Street
: Mon-Tue: 7:30 a-9:00 p, Wed-Fri: 7:30a-10:00p, Sat 8:30a-10:00p, Sun 8:30a-9:00p
: $ ($3.50 for regular cupcakes & $1.99 for minis)

Orchid Lounge

As I'm still clueless about NYC, I used Citysearch, which I've found very reliable for finding good event venues in unfamiliar cities, to find my 25th birthday celebration destination -- Orchid Lounge. Our 10:00 p arrival was perfect; we were just in time to snag the one unreserved bench. Orchid was filled with birthday parties, which I managed to poach some nice boys from!

The atmosphere was great, relaxed and elegant with an Asian aesthetic, and their drink list was very inventive and reasonably priced. Every time they ring the gong behind the bar you get free shots (in little glasses that look suspiciously like communion cups). After all the shots and drinks, I can't remember the names of my drinks, but I highly recommend the pineapple/vanilla vodka and coconut vodka/basil seed "sunscreen" martinis.

The DJ seemed to be playing a decent mix of music, however, I couldn't hear it often so this definitely isn't a venue for dancing. In spite of missing dancing, I really enjoyed Orchid Lounge and hope to go back for drinks again sometime soon.

: 500 E 11th St at Avenue A
Hours: Mon-Tue: 7:00p-3:00a, Wed-Fri: 5:00p-4:00a, Sat 7:00p-4:00a, Sun 8:00p-4:00a
Cost: $ ($8-10 for a martini)


Saturday, September 23, 2006


While wandering around the West Village with my faux roommates, Lauren & Vika, we had to stop by their favorite ice cream shop, Cones. It is tiny with hardly any seating, but perfect for getting a sweet treat while walking around the area.

They have around 30 ridiculously tempting flavors of ice cream and sorbet. Luckily, the staff will give you up to two samples to help you make your decision. I had the amazing pear sorbet and also sampled my friends' tasty selections of raspberry and watermelon. If you aren't a fan of sweet ice cream, then you won't like it, but who doesn't like their ice cream sweet?

The only downside is that a small cup of ice cream is around $3.00. Then again I guess that isn't that much given the quality and inventive flavors. You definitely can't buy anything quite like it at the grocery store.

Location: 272 Bleecker St (Between Morton Street & Jones Street)
Hours: Sun-Thurs 1:00p-11:00p, Fri-Sat 1:00p-1:00a
Cost: $ ($3 for a small cup)

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Salad Inspiration

Recently I read a NY Times article, Vegetable Love, Requited, which caused me to crave a good salad. I love restaurant salads, but I never enjoy my own salads nearly as much. This probably has to do with my ingredient list consisting of lettuce, carrots, cottage cheese, and perhaps tuna fish, but I digress.

The author, Celia Barbour, obviously finds making salads intuitive. If only I were so lucky... Her best piece of advice was to simply turn your favorite recipe into a salad for a satisfying result. This idea may not be novel to you, but it was a revelation to me that needed to be immortalized here along with a few other ideas:
  • a simple salad dressed with a made to taste concoction of oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper. (This made me miss summer and one of my best friends Laura, who had this recipe mastered.)
  • butter lettuce mixed with craisins, sliced apples, & goat cheese (I made this immediately after reading the article using romaine lettuce and it is amazing. You have to try it).

Thursday, September 7, 2006


Following dinner at Mogador Cafe, we went to KeyBar for a few drinks. As a birthday isn't a birthday without a shot, we all tried their signature Rolo shot. It's a unique idea, but I must admit that I prefer eating regular Rolo's.

KeyBar is small and reminds me of a dive bar. It's casual, has unique art on the walls, and plays good, non-pop music. While I wouldn't go for the atmosphere alone, I would go for the sweet happy hour deal. It is 2 for 1 drinks from opening until 10:00p.

Location: 432 East 13th Street (Between 1st Avenue and Avenue A)
Hours: Sun-Thurs 6p-4a; Fri & Sat 5p-4a
Cost: $

Mogador Cafe

I enjoyed dinner at Mogador Cafe for Jaime's birthday tonight. We had a bit of trouble getting there from Union Square, but once we arrived everything was gravy. Our group was seated in a cute outside area and luckily they weren't upset that half of us showed up late.

The food was reasonably priced and the entrees were big enough for two (girls at least), so we had lots of leftovers to take home. I managed to eat every entree I wanted to try on the menu by convincing two of my friends to get the Couscous with Lamb and the Couscous with Chicken and ordering the Bastilla myself. Bastilla is a chicken, almond, and cinnamon filled pastry, which I highly recommend. As for the other dishes, everything was cooked perfectly...oh so tender meat and delicious seasoning.

Your biggest problem at Mogador will probably be deciding what to order. Since I broke out in hives after eating my meal and the leftovers I probably won't go back. :(

Location: 101 Saint Marks Place (Between First Avenue and Avenue A)
: Sun-Thurs 9:00a-12:30a, Fri-Sat 9:00 am-1:30a

Cost: $$