What A Girl Is Really Thinking When It Comes To Food

Tag Archives: east village


entrance to tu-lu's bakery

Tulu’s Bakery [Click the photo above to go to Tulu’s website]

338  E 11th St (between 1st and 2nd Avenue)New York, NY 10003

I’ve had a blog for whatever period of time, and my cousin Jamie has worked for a bakery for a few years, and she’s always bringing her homemade goodies to family events (ok she did it one time, but an elephant never forgets), and I just realized I should blog about the bakery she works for, so disclaimer, it is my cousin’s bakery, but my whole family dies for food, so if we like it you’ll like it.*

Also a disclaimer, we’re not real cousins, we’re cousins of cousins, but like we’re cousins. Get it?

So I brought my other cousin (she’s a real one) Ali to the bakery, because lets just make this a family affair. We went on a Saturday at like 12:30 to have a desserty (not a word) brunch.

I arrive, and the bakery is small, it’s more of a pick-up and go then a sit and eat, but there is seating, so I just start making myself comfortable putting my jacket on another chair, finding a spot for my bag. I order a coffee and a water before I go to town, and I get a text from my cousin:

text message

I walk outside, and there is my awkward cousin just loitering around on 11th Street, and it just cracks me up. Like here I am making myself at home, and she’s acting like a vagabond.

So, what do we order? So, their specialty is the coffee cake, and boyyyy is it.

A red velvet cupcake, because it has cream cheese frosting, so that’s like the sugary version of a bagel with cream cheese for brunch (isn’t it????)

A jalapeno corn muffin just to switch it up.

and last but definitely not least a chocolate chip cookie.

I start attacking each item with a plastic knife so we can divide it up between the two of us.

My cousin Jamie comes out to say hi to us, and she just stays. The bakery can bake itself. We’re more important. Deal with it people.

“You are not going to take a picture of me are you?” says Jamie.

Chef gear ain’t cute. She’s in a bandana, shoes that can be described as orthopedic, make-up free (she does have blemish free skin fyi), and just clothes she wants to destroy in a kitchen (will she hate me for reading this? Possibly).

“Nope, you’re good.”

“Ok good, because some Japanese newspaper said they were just taking a picture of the plate and I saw the article and I was in it. I’m famous in Japan.”

“Totally.”

I’m starting to fill up but I’m digging the coffee cake on all levels, and don’t want to stop.

“You should hear the things people talk about in here.” People really are oblivious. No one censors themselves anymore. I can’t even imagine what the baristas at Starbucks think of me (she’s obsessed with her mom, and is always yelling at her…wait yeah I can).

My cousin proceeds to tell us about how two girls came into the bakery ordered, and then continued to have this “private” conversation:

“I really want to change my name to Tiny, because I’m so tiny.”

“You really are so tiny.”

“But then I looked it up on Twitter, and someone else already had that name.”

That’s when I go, “wait her name, or her twitter name.”

“I wasn’t sure. I hope it was her Twitter name.”

“I should probably get back behind the counter, I’ve been standing here with you for a while.”

“K, bye.”

* So on a health note: this is a gluten free bakery, and for the record gluten is not less caloric, less fattening, or more healthy. A cake is a cake. A cupcake is a cupcake and so on and so forth.  It is just made with different ingredients to keep the baked goods together and not fall apart. All the food is good, and if you happen to have a gluten allergy, it’s a fab option. And that is that!

Picture time….

coffee cake

Coffee Cake

I don’t even love coffee cake, because I think it can be a little dry, but not this one. This with a cup of coffee, is just a delight.
red velvet cupcake
Red Velvet Cupcake
They are small by cupcake standards, so guilt free? I don’t know. Very very good. done.
jalapeno cornbread
Cornbread Jalapeno Cake.
Not the best. I don’t recommend. It’s just a change of pace if you want something savory, but if you’re going to a bakery stick with the sweet stuff.
chocolate chip cookie
Chocolate Chip Cookie
Secret reveal: it’s made with espresso. I die for chocolate chip cookies, and this is no exception.
display
Here is the display, take ya pick!
bakery wall
And here is their, I don’t know, mascot? I’m into it.
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Poco [Click the photo above to go to Poco’s website]
33 Avenue B (on the corner of 3rd street) New York, NY 10009

Can I wear black leggings with brown fry boots and a cream button down.

or do the colors not math

match

This is the text message that started by Saturday morning before I left for a brunch (bottomless brunch of course) with 4 girl friends of mine.

Yes, it’s fine.

Wanna share a cab?

“Yes, but hurry up I’m leaving right now,” I say as I fast forward through my Gallery Girls recording. I’m not leaving yet, but my friend is the slowest person on Earth, so I figured I’d light a fire under her legging clad ass.

I read the next text message:If ur lying ur dead (emoticon).

I’m in a cab, I reply as I turn up the volume.

I finally pick up my friend and off we go to Poco to enjoy a nice bottomless brunch on a pretty Saturday afternoon.

When we arrive the hostess informs us that there will be a slight wait since people came late…slight huh?

The other three girls arrive, and we attempt to wait patiently. We’re all in standard brunch garb, jeans, sandals/sneakers etc, and there is my other friend standing 5”10 with thick rimmed glasses, hot red lipstick, a scarf, combat boots (its almost 80 degrees out) and an oversize Chanel (her uniform). The only difference from her usual day to day outfit is that now she has an IPhone in her hand as opposed to her Blackberry.

“Do you like having an IPhone?”

“Um…it’s my 4th one.”

It’s been less than 30 days since she received her first one.

“How do you keep losing them?”

“Well I left one in a cab, but I realized as soon as I got out of the cab, so I took off my shoe and threw it at the cab.”

“Oh, so you got the phone.”

“I missed…”

“You have lipstick on your teeth.”

5 minutes turns into 30 minutes as we stand outside shooting the hostess dirty looks (how much longer..like 10 more minutes?…15 minutes later…they’re paying the check…10 minutes later….paying the check…we hate you) We are finally seated at a table outside, but CC Sabathia hasn’t charged her phone and it’s about to die, so she starts running around the restaurant asking if there’s an available outlet, and then says she wants to sit inside so she can hear the music better. I give her the seat closest to the speakers to make her feel better.

Waiter, wheres my drink….

“Mimosa!”

“2 mimosas!”

“3.”

“Bloody mary.”

“Can I have sangria?”

“Do you do pitchers?” They do, but only of mimosas, which they serve in a champagne bottle, tricky.

“You know, we were waiting half hour for our table,” says my friend hinting for some sort of accommodation aka extra pitchers.

“What a shame! Well you’re sitting now.” That was unsuccessful.

…and then brunch ended. No seriously, it didn’t. but it’s all a bit of a blur.

I having officially ended the Dukan Diet got a skirt steak sandwich, that I think had chimichurri sauce in it.

My other friend ordered the pulled chicken, which was pretty much chicken salad, but she didn’t realize that until she got it, so that didn’t go over well.

Two ordered eggs over easy with bacon, and one ordered lobster benedict (which I somehow neglected to take a picture of, sorry!). All of our meals came with home fries and salad. The home fries tasted like they were frozen and reheated, and the salad had a weird tropical like dressing, but that dressing goes very well with a mimosa (or does it?).

There was nothing left. Two of our friends had to leave early, and one of their bags swung around the table and spilled mimosa everywhere, which led to bees flying everywhere, everywhere!

The check comes, and I realize the other two girls were in remedial math in high school, so I’m going to have to drunkenly do this check…damn it.

“Can you hand me my phone or no?” I hear my friend ask a group of diners sitting near the outlet her phone is charging in, and then she gets up to talk to a group of guys instead, and then comes back to report, “they’re all gay.”

“Lets go to Beekman Beer Garden.”

And then I died. But the moral of this story is, we’re all willing to wait half hour if it means we get a bottomless drunk brunch in good weather and good music. But you could have been nicer about it Poco..I am a food blogger after all.

Poco (bottomless brunch special)

The best part of the meal. The champagne bottle is really a bottle of mimosa.

Poco (grilled skirt steak and cheese sandwich: with fried eggs, creamy avocado, letuce and tomato served on a French baguette)

I want to say the cheese was like a Manchego which had a nice salty bite with the steak and avocado. It’s not exactly brunch, but we did eat at 1:30pm so it’s fine.

Poco (pulled chicken sandwich: apple wood smoked bacon, lettuce, tomato, and chipotle aioli)

Translation: chicken salad sandwich with bacon. It was a little too mayo-y, but fine.

Poco (two eggs over easy with bacon)

I didn’t taste the eggs, but you have to be a pretty crappy restaurant to mess this up.

Want to know where to go right now? [Click the photo above to read Updating the Eater Heatmap:Where to Eat Right Now]

Nothing says football season more than wings and beer! [Click the photo above to read Beyond Buffalo: New York’s Nine Most Exciting New Wings]

Summer is over, which means more time in the city to go out, eat late night, and then feel guilty about it the next morning! [Click the photo above to read 10 Great Late Nite Bites in the Meatpacking District]

Miracles do exist! Tates Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandwich, a tatewich! You can purchase them as soon as above or make them yourself! All you need are cookies and ice cream, and a sharp knife. Thats it! It’s a crowd pleaser!

P.S. I stole these pictures, I wouldn’t be caught dead with that manicure.


Desnuda

122 East 7th Street (b/t 1st and Avenue A) New York, NY 10009

http://www.desnudany.com/main.php

Since starting this Dukan Diet I have literally been shoveling in all forms of steak, turkey and chicken, and even sashimi and any baked fish I can get my hands on (I mean I had been trying the Skinny Bitch (vegetarian) diet for a while so this was a whole new world for me).

With that being said, I’m sort of sick of all this food, so I was dying to come up with a new way to continue my diet (after two weeks of doing this and I had already cheated…I mean I have a food blog what did you expect?) so my mind wandered to oysters.

I don’t die for them like some people, but I thought this was a good opportunity to expand my palate, so I found Desnuda, a Cevicheria (and oyster bar) and wine bar…an anorexic alcoholic’s dream. Yay!!

I convinced my lush of a cousin to join me (she had oysters the night before, but I think the wine bar swayed her), and I was on my way.

Desnuda is on a block in the East Village, which has a million and one amazing restaurants, so as I was aimlessly searching for the restaurant (no sense of direction AT ALL) I walked by three restaurants I was interested in for my next adventure (still haven’t been to Pylos or Luke’s Lobster) before I made it to Desnuda to be greeted by my cousin already sipping a glass of wine at the bar.

“Is there seating in the back?”

“I think it’s just the bar, “wine bar.””

“Oh, I get it.”

I order the same glass of rose as my cousin (I trust her) and scan what’s happening around me. There is a date happening next to my cousin (which I will agree, it is a fab date spot), and two gay men and their lady friend sitting to my right.

The bartender plops down truffle popcorn in front of us, and I slide it closer to my cousin and I. I suddenly realize it might be for the whole bar.

“I’m sorry is this yours?”

One of the gay guys looks up and replies, “no, it’s yours. They give it to everyone once they order a drink.”

Oh, ok…

“They must like you better than me, because they didn’t give me popcorn when I sat down,” my cousin says.

While that’s nice of her to say, I’m pretty sure they were just waiting for the rest of her party to arrive. I don’t think they thought my cousin came to a wine bar to sit by herself and drink (that’d be so sad).

My cousin had already scanned the menu and decided she was very into two tuna ceviche options, and a lobster ceviche. I really had my heart set on oysters so we figured we’d split one ceviche, and go our own way on one dish.

“Which tuna do you want?”

“I can’t eat fruit on my diet, so whichever one doesn’t have fruit.” (I already had popcorn woops).

“They both don’t.”

“Let’s do the spicy one.”

Then the bartender/waiter/chef (he does it all!) tells us about the specials of the day. I can’t tell if he lists two specials or one, because I only caught the first sentence and the last sentence, but I was into it.

“Maybe we should get a special and a ceviche, and then see what happens next.”

Bye oysters.

“Excuse me, was that one special or two?” (we’re dumb)

“Two.”

“We’ll get the first one,” (which was hamachi).

I sadly was buzzed from the one glass, and my cousin was cruising to her second.

“I like to try new drinks,” my cousin says.

“What are you getting next?”

“Can you get white wine after you have red, or is it the other way around?”

“I have no clue.”

“I don’t want the waiter to think I’m dumb.”

“Who cares if he thinks you’re dumb, just order a drink.”

She gets the cava, while I just get a second round of the rose. What do I know??

I then watch the bartender/waiter whip out a weird gadget and place glass bobbles on the table that look like round light bulbs: smoke starts going everywhere, and we hear him instruct our neighbors, “wait a minute ½ for this, and then eat this one minute after…”

Sounds complicated, but I’m jealous. What are they eating?

Tea smoked oysters.

Our tuna ceviche comes first, but I was convinced it was the hamachi, because when I ordered I said “we’ll have the Hamachi and the tuna ceviche” so I had assumed it’d arrive in that order, which in retrospect makes absolutely no sense, but like I said I had one glass and was tipsy.

So good! and SO spicy!

Hamachi is prepared next, and is just so so pretty. I like the tuna better, but the Hamachi was yummy, but they put salt and pepper on top, and it was just way too salty.

My cousin is up to glass #3, while I’m treading lightly with #2. I decide it’s only right if we get a third dish, and the lobster ceviche is ordered, which was my favorite by far, probably because it was the least healthy according to my diet. It came with mango (oops), and it was mixed with coconut milk (douple oops).

“The guy next to me keeps bumping his elbow into me,” my cousin says.

“Do you want to move seats?”

“No, it’s ok. I think he has an accent. Maybe he’s Israeli.”

“If he’s bumping into you then he’s definitely Israeli,” and we start cracking up, we’re hysterical! (she married an Israeli, judge me if you will, but they’re pushy sometimes, but I’m ride or die for my homeland).

 As we’re paying the bill, I realize I’m not even one step closer to liking oysters more, but I like ceviche more.

Desnuda (rose wine)

It’s a wine bar so I have to highlight the wine. Here it is. I know nothing, and I can’t give an ounce of an educated summary of the flavors, but I drank it, and it increased my BAC, so I’m into it.

Desnuda (truffle popcorn)

The beginning of the end of my diet. Some people are a little over truffle’d everything. Sometimes I agree, but not this time. I don’t know why I’ve never had this before! AMAZING, and worth just going for wine and the popcorn!

Desnuda (tuna ceviche with jalapenos and scallions)

This was SO spicy. I really liked it though, and I thought it was good quality tuna. It was the right cut, and had good flavor!

Desnuda (hamachi: with scallions and salt and pepper)

A little salty but I scraped the salt off and threw the scallion everywhere! You can see the jalapeno on the side, which was accidentally left over from the tuna. I’m messy.

Desnuda (lobster ceviche: coconut milk and mangos)

I couldn’t find the detailed description on the online menu, but trust me when I say I died for this. I love lobster in general, and I was obsessed with the mango/coconut milk combo.


Nicoletta [Click the photo above to go to Nicoletta website]

160 Second Avenue (on the corner of 10th Street), New York, NY 10003

I know what you’re thinking, I’ve never heard of Nicoletta, what is this place? I’m just so insanely on trend that I decided to a try the new Michael White restaurant that opened in mid-June (let me think I’m cool ok!).

I secretly knew there might be a wait since it’s a new restaurant and they don’t take reservations, but I didn’t tell my friend who I was meeting there (like I was gonna let her pick a different place), so I got there a few minutes early, put my name down, and phoned my mom to kill some time.

I see my friend approaching, and I tell my mom I have to go, “you called me!” She says and then hangs up. Jewish moms…

I break the news to her that there is a wait, and I have to say, she kept it together pretty well, considering she texted me that she was starving a few minutes before arriving, so plus 5 for maintaining your composure girl.

We opt to go across the street to 13th Step to get a beer, while we wait for our table (they call you when your table is up). Just as we order our Blue Moons (the girly beer), we get a call saying our table is ready. It was like 10 minutes earlier than they said, so I already loved them. We cancel our drinks and haul ass back to Nicoletta (it was 10 feet away, but we were hungry!).

“This place is so cute. I love the aesthetic….you can put that in the blog. aes-thet-ic,” my friend says it slowly like I’m about to whip out a pad and jot it down.

“I’ll be sure to note that.” That being said, it is cute. Brick walls, red décor, I’m gonna label it “laid back chic.” Do what you want with that information.

We order our wine and settle into the menu.

“Ok, what are we gonna get?”

We try so hard to look at the menu and decide, but we keep getting distracted, talking about how hungry we are, her “douschebag professor,” you get the idea….

I felt like my eyes were turning into ping pong balls as I tried to catch the waiter’s eye, maintain eye contact with my friend, and scan the menu (I’m a multi-tasker what can I say?).

“Ok, let’s just decide on a pizza first.”

“I’m not into red meat,” my friend replies.

“Great, I try to avoid red meat too.”

We go for the broccolo pie, which is broccoli rabe, peppers, and some pesto thing happening.

“Doesn’t your family think it’s weird that you don’t eat meat? Like your dad?” (referencing one of my blog posts, she’s a fan!)

“Yeah, he does, but then he does this…” and I motion him hitting his chin implying my face blew up.

“I hate that! My brother makes fun of me too, but did he run 3 miles before eating, no! I did!”

I’m suddenly wondering if we’re on the same page…

“You run 3 miles?”

“I work out like 5 or 6 days a week.” Hmm, do you? I work out 3 days a week, putting her at a 50% advantage in the aerobic department. I don’t like not being the fit one at the table (it happens often if you can imagine). I’m starting to doubt her.

We order two “small bites,” of a cucumber salad and risotto balls (her suggestion, my love for her is growing again).

We look over at the table next to us, and two skinny girls are eating 3 small bites. We will NOT be outdone.

“Maybe we should get that eggplant,” she says. I can forgive you for your 5-6 workout regimen. Consider it water under the bridge.

We order, and my friend rushes to wash her hands. The cheese stands alone. I whip out my phone, and pretend I’m busy.

She sits back down, and tells me there is a bathroom on the main floor. I am loving this place more and more.

The small bites are indeed small (my pictures below make them look large, but they are not, but they’re also $5 sooo I get it), but they’re really really yummy.

Cucumber salad is on the healthy side with a nice crunch; the eggplant has great flavor, and it comes with bread so yay to that, and the risotto balls are deep fried balls of rice, so I didn’t foresee that being a problem (only 4 of them though, so portion control!)

My friend notices little silver circles at the sides of our table.

“Is this for our bags?”

I look around at the other tables. “Nope, that’s where they put the pizza stand in.”

Honest mistake. She’s going to kill me when she reads this, because she’s going to say I made her sound like an idiot. I think it’s a normal question!

Before I can fully laugh at her, we look at the skinny girls next to us, and see their pizza has come. Looks like they’re eating tonight too. I wonder if they ate anything else today, or if they’re just naturally skinny.

Our pizza arrives, and it’s go time! It was yummy, but I’m gonna shoot you straight, I liked the small bites better. We decided we would have preferred a “saucier” pizza.

“Like the ones the girls have next to us…” Do you think these girls know how much trouble they’re causing for us?

I look down at my wine, and I see a little bug has lost its way into my glass of rose, and is now doing the free style in my glass. It looks like the bug is legit swimming in my glass, and I cannot stop watching it.

“Look at that thing!”

“It’s really swimming.”

I share with the busboy that I have an Olympic swimmer in my wine glass, and he takes it and returns with a new glass that is bug free.

“Would you ladies like dessert?” YES.

Gelato is the only option, and I’m not complaining.

“Would you like any toppings?”

We pick the pistachio nuts that the waiter recommends, and he looks at us all crazy and says, “that’s it?” Toppings are fifty cents fyi.

We go for the caramel sauce.

As we wait for our dessert, we see the girls next to us have ordered individual gelatos. Now they’re just rude!

We get ours, and it is definitely the best part of the meal. It’s amazing. 16 handles may be across the street, but ditch the fro yo and get the gelato for sure.

As we depart from the restaurant, I realize there is construction on 3rd avenue, and no cars are allowed on the street. Guess I’ll call my mom while I walk home.

Nicoletta (wine)

This picture was taken before a bug flew into my glass. I don’t know much about wine, but I liked mine.

Nicoletta (cetriolo:spicy red wine vinegar marinated, cucumbers, black peppercorn)

This was delicious! I am a really picky cucumber eater (I don’t like when it has a mushy center), and this had the perfect crunch and mix of acid. I loved it!

Nicoletta (caponata: marinated sicilian eggplant, peppers, pine nuts, basil)

This was surprisingly amazing. I loved it, and tried to share with my friend, but I kept dipping my fork back into the little bowl.

And that bread? Crispy and unreal.

Nicoletta (suppli’ risotto, mozzarella, ragu antico)

A deep fried carb with dipping sauce. It’s not packed with flavor, but it’s not meant to be. It’s just yum.

Nicoletta (broccolo pizza: broccoli rabe pesto, smoked scamorza cheese, cherry peppers, spicy bread crumbs)

Looks pretty good right??? I think it’s the same pizza they have on the website, which makes me feel like I have superb photography skills. Anyway, it is really great, but I think it needed something like maybe more tomatoes or salt, and they dont serve the food with any of your standard pizza toppings.

Nicoletta (gelato with caramel sauce and pistachio brittle)

I could not help myself with putting up two pictures of this. It was just so good. They said the gelato was vanilla flavored, but I swear it had some marshmallow thing happening. Also, please note that it’s not a super large portion: they serve it in a regular size glass.



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