Wednesday, August 28, 2013
NYC Trip (Brother's return to the States!) Part 2
Day 2 of my stay in NYC consisted of going around NYC collecting cheesecake slices from various bakeries.
I had done my research beforehand on what people thought were the best cheesecake in NYC. If you read my blog, you know my boyfriend adores cheesecake. Since we were in NYC for his birthday, I couldn't bake him a cheesecake so I wanted to see if I could do the next best thing which was buy the best cheesecake in NYC.
I rallied up taste testers (aka my siblings) who were up for the task!
First things first though....I had to pick up the cake and get them back home to the fridge in a timely fashion. I made two separate trips just to be safe.
The only place I was concerned about was the one all the way in the Bronx: S & S Cheesecake. It's been on various top cheesecake lists so I didn't want to be deterred just because of the distance.
That being said, the only reasons I've been to the Bronx have been for Yankee games and the Bronx Zoo.
Ready to start on our cheesecake scavenger hunt!
We rode the 1-train all the way up to 238 St. only to be greeted with this...
There was a note on the door saying... "If closed, go next door to Vargas Grocery!"
I went to the grocery store only to be told they didn't have any at the time and they weren't sure when they would be delivering the cheesecake. I called the bakery and found out they were on holiday for two weeks. I was on the website before but didn't see any mention of holiday so I was slightly peeved. Two hours stuck on a subway is not my idea of time well-spent!
My brother and I were not going to let this ruin the rest of our day so we headed back to Manhattan to have lunch. The Mexican restaurant we wanted to eat at was Rosa Mexicana. It's a chain but they make some of the yummiest food I've ever had. I love their guacamole that they make table-side.
We were early so to kill time, we went to Fishs Eddy to look at kitchenware.
I bought some steak knives for the house before heading to our lunch destination!
Cheesecake hunting was put on hold since I didn't want to carry around cheesecake while we were eating lunch.
Front of Rosa Mexicano (Flatiron)
One of the reasons my brother really wanted to eat here was for their virgin margaritas!
He definitely deserved it after waking up so early to head to the Bronx with me.
Complimentary chips with two types of salsas
My brother's Pork Belly and Scallop Tacos
My Cobb Salad with Grilled Chicken, Chorizo, Blue Cheese, Pickled Onions, Avocado, Cherry Tomatoes
The salad was filling and delicious yet I wasn't stuffed by the end of it.
After lunch, we headed to the Union Square Greenmarket to do some grocery shopping to prepare for our Sunday BBQ. I love outdoor markets!
We bought some packets of fresh lavender for our bathrooms and gifts!
My boyfriend texted me around noon asking me how many cheesecakes I manage to buy so far...
I texted back (lamely)..."0"....
That would soon change though. By the end of the day, I managed to hit up the rest of my list!
Dinner consisted of leftover lasagna I made the night before with a large side of wilted kale and broccli stalks (from the market).
Dessert would commence when my sister came home from work and we conducted our (very scientific) taste test!
Exhibit A - Two Little Red Hens (Upper East Side)
Exhibit B & D: Venieros Italien Bakery (since 1894; Lower East Side)
I got both their New York Style Cheesecake (D) and their Ricotta Cake (B)
...I needed a stand-in for S & S
Exhibit C - Pasticceria Rocco (West Village)
Exhibit E - Fortunato Brothers (Brooklyn)
Exhibit F - Junior's Cheesecake (Time Square location)
Exhibit G - Eileen's Special Cheesecake (Nolita)
That's a lot of cheesecake!
I was the only one who knew which cake was which (I wrote the name under the letter so I don't mix them up later) and we sampled each one and wrote our scores on a scorecard.
Two Little Red Hens was the clear winner among all of us without any debate.
What I found odd was that of the 7 cheesecakes we had, only 3 of them had a crust. I was always under the assumption that New York cheesecake had a crust?
Runner ups for me were Eileen's Special Cheesecake and Junior's.
This was definitely a fun activity to do and I got to explore different areas of NYC while on my scavenger hunt. All I bought was cheesecake though even though the other treats looked so tempting!
A little bit of 7 different cheesecake was a great way to end the night! We didn't finish them all so we made a plate of leftovers that my sister just recently finished!
Have you ever tried to hunt for the best _____?
I thought it would be easier to do if we had all of them in front of us rather than go place to place. It's easier to go back and compare rather than remember based on memory.
Until next time....
NYC Trip Part 1 - Cronut Craze, Lunch at The Dutch, Exploring NYC
NYC Trip Part 3 - Chelsea Market, Trader Joe's, Smorgasburg, Brooklyn
NYC Trip Part 4 - Cornelia Street Cafe, Popbar, Big Gay Ice Cream
NYC Trip Part 5 - Paris Baguette (K-Town Bakery), Outdoor Cookout & Game Night