My trip to the city last weekend was a blast! As usual, I learned a lot of things. First of all, the day before New Years Eve is a mob scene. The train was packed, the stores were packed and Times Square looked vaguely like a refugee camp. Add thirty degree weather on top of that, and I didn’t make all the stops I had on my list. Nevertheless, there was plenty to see and do, both old and new as my companion and I walked around and discovered.
I really enjoyed the Bryant Park holiday market. I love all the holiday markets, but Bryant Park had the advantage of still being up and running after Christmas. It had a great vibe to it – even in the cold – with ice skaters and shoppers milling around cheerfully. It was the perfect time to get a liege waffle at one of my favorites, the Wafel and Dinges stand. This time I went for nutella and bananas (to make it seem ever so slightly healthy) and whipped cream (to blow that healthy hope completely out of the water). The waffle was just as good as the snappy patter from the man making it.
After we took the exactly two seconds to devour this, we searched the rest of the market. There were plenty of good things to much on, but I found myself unable to pass by the Dough stand. These donuts looked amazing!
I was torn between the blood orange and the hibiscus, but finally went for the blood orange. It was so tangy and full of flavor! It was just on the good side of too much. I’m sorry I didn’t go back and grab a couple to take home, because now I really want to try all the other flavors.
I’m starting to get the impression that donuts are the new big thing in New York – totally making cupcakes a thing of the past. I’ve been a big fan of The Doughnut Plant for some time now – I love their inventive flavors and I love how they make their filled donuts square so there is just that much more filling in them. I was also surprised to see a new donut place at the Chelsea Market, in the spot where People’s Pops used to be (I hope this is just a seasonal turn of events, as I would have had one of their ice pops even in 30 degree weather!). I’m not seeing this new place on the Chelsea Market website, and I can’t remember the name but they made small, donut hole type donuts that they fried on the spot. The real hook was that they had about half a dozen or more bottles with flavored powdered sugar to sprinkle on top. There were flavors like green tea and lavender – it looked pretty cool and if I hadn’t still been really full from the blood orange donut I would have tried it! Another thing I saw all over the place was churros, Which in my opinion are just donut cousins, so there is a definite trend towards fried dough-like products going on in the city. Perfect on a cold day walking around!
I checked out the new Todd English Food Hall at the Plaza. This is a place where you can get some really amazing sweets without having to move very much! Again, I was really too full (and still too cold!) to really sample the wares, but I will be back and I will do a serious hurt on them, in a gastronomical sense.
We ended the day with a steaming hot bowl of chicken kar-jeabe from Arriang in Koreatown. This place is a real gem, hidden up on the third floor. It’s a great place to take someone when you want to impress them with your NYC insider know-how and an even better place when you are cold and in need of something comforting and warm. When you first sit down, you are provided with tea, iced tea, and metal bowls filled with kimchee and spicy pickled turnips. Then comes the soup, filled with chicken, long chewy noodles, tiny dumpling-like noodles and thinly sliced potatoes. It is hot and chickeny and fantastic……..
After that it was off to Penn Station where I had to complete the cycle of the day with a donut from Tim Hortons. I love their maple donut and I love that New York is one of the few places in the U.S. that you can get them! It’s just the perfect sugar rush to stay awake for the train ride home.