Monday, February 28, 2011

FREE Chocolate and Beer Pairing Party

What: FREE Chocolate & Beer Pairing Party

When: Mon, Feb 28, 6-8PM

Where: Pure Dark
1775 Union St

Cost: FREE

Celebrate the end of an era at Pure Dark's chocolate and pairing party tonight. This chocolate pop-up shop in the Marina will be leaving after its three-month stint, so make the most of it before it's gone. Completely free, don't miss the dark chocolate and crafted beer.

55% off at Little Pie Company

55% off at Little Pie Company.

$9 gets you $20 worth of pies, sweet treats and more at Little Pie Company.

Deal Terms
* You can buy as many vouchers as you’d like.
* Limit 1 voucher per person per table (i.e. a table of 4 can use 1-4 vouchers) or limit 1 voucher per person per day (if picking up).
* Valid for dine-in and take-out only (you can pre-order for in-store pickup); voucher cannot be used for delivery or shipping.
* Full value of voucher must be used in one visit; no change or credit returned.
* Cannot be combined with other offers.
* Voucher not valid until day after purchase.
* Promotional value expires 05/25/2011.

$15 for a Six-Brownie Sampler Pack from Vermont Brownie Company

Spend $15 for a Six-Brownie Sampler Pack from Vermont Brownie Company!

Expires Aug 29, 2011. Limit 1 per person, may buy 2 additional as gifts. Limit 1 per visit. Valid for delivery. Delivery Fee included.

Vermont Brownie owners Katherine Krebs and Shawna Lidsky baked dozens and dozens of brownies before developing the ideal recipe—one that packed enough chewy, chunky, chocolaty punch to rip the Throwdown title from under celebrity chef Bobby Flay's fudge-laden feet. Sampler packs are assortments of the best-selling of Katherine and Shawna’s preservative-free, made-from-scratch, and artistically assembled brownies. Each box contains one of each of the following six flavors: signature, dark chocolate chevre, espresso dulce de leche, peanut butter, maple toffee crunch, and walnut chunk. Express orders may require substitute flavors. All flavors are made with local farm-fresh ingredients, making for a sophisticated taste of Vermont not captured since the Americans retook Fort Ticonderoga by eating it.

Spring Cupcake Crawl

What: Walking Tours Manhattan Spring Cupcake Crawl

When: Sunday on March 13, 11AM

Where: Billy's Bakery 184 9th Avenue (bet. West 21-22 Street)

Cost: $5 donation to help feed the hungry

From the event page:
Join us for a Cupcake Crawl on Sunday on March 13, for the best cupcakes in Chelsea and Greenwich Village. Purchases are optional.

We’ll start with Billy's, an experienced crowd pleaser. Then we’ll head to Amy's at Chelsea Market, a top baker who never disappoints. Next stop is Cupcake Stop, started with a truck now a store. And lastly Magnolia Bakery, the grandmommy of them all.

Meet our tour guide with the red ball cap saying Walking Tours Manhattan on Sunday March 13, at 11:00am at Billy's, 184 9th Avenue, bet. West 21-22 Street.

Walking distance is 1 1/4 mile, tour lasts 1 ½ hours.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Review: Bomboloni

Place: Bomboloni
187 Columbus Ave
(between 68th St & 69th St)
(212) 877-3080

Items ordered:
Pistachio donut, apple donut, creme brulee donut

Cost: $1.50 each

Rating out of five:

Disbelief followed by disappointment.

Lets start with the pistachio bombolini. (Again, I apologize for the photos of camera phone photos, this will hopefully be the last time I ever have to do this).

Not much pistachio flavor to speak of at all. Had I been blind folded I don't think I would have been able to discern any flavor other than "custard", which is a shame. The dough wasn't anything to write home about either.

It was when I bit into the apple donut that I felt I understood Bombolini. They use apple sauce for the filling. Seriously, I'm not shitting you. Like straight from the jar apple sauce. I was appalled. Such a cute place with real Italians working behind the counter shouldn't be serving this to customers, they should have a sense of shame.

Applesauce?! What are you doing in a donut? Get out, you don't even fit!

Then, there was the creme brulee...

Plain, ordinary custard inside with a hardened top. This particular donuts dough tasted almost exactly like Dunkin Donuts'. Except not as good. Seriously. I was shocked. The dough alone made me gag, but the custard? Guys, your missing an amazing opportunity. Don't just use the same uniform custard for every donut (other than the apple one, for fucks sake), actually make something different for each one. Something that tastes like what you claim to be mirroring.

As it is now, you couldn't pay me to come here again.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Review: La Maison du Macaron

Place: La Maison du Macaron
132 W 23rd St
New York, NY 10011
(212) 243-2757

Items ordered:
Vanilla macaron ($2.50), pistachio madeleine ($1.25), and a pistachio truffle (95 cents).

Rating out of five:

(Yes, that's a picture of a picture taken on my phone- trust me when I say it was my only workable option)

I know, I know. As so often happens, I just don't agree with the masses. La Maison is a place many consider to be ~the~ macaron spot. From what I saw on my visit I really can't see why.

But I'm not damning them to the list of avoidables just yet. The reason being that their menu clearly states that the macarons should be served at room temperature and the ones I received were ice cold. I know first hand that environment can alter a pastry quite a bit, so I'm willing to give this place another shot in the future.

Also, in the interest of full disclosure, this was my first macaron. Take from that what you will.

I'm a person who looooves her sugar. If something has a good flavor, there is no limit to the level of sweetness I can handle. I found these "too sweet" because their sweetness wasn't balanced out by a strong or interesting vanilla flavor. It turned me off from trying others, especially at $2.50 a pop. Who do these macarons think they are- cupcakes? I was expecting something sophisticated but also just plain good. This left me disappointed.

I was also disappointed that they didn't have any pistachio macarons, so I ordered the two pistachio things they did have- the truffle and the madeleine. Neither tasted much like pistachio at all. The truffle I didn't even finish, it tasted like white chocolate (not a fan). The madeleine was weak and dry, I finished it on principle, hoping it would maybe win me over. It did not.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Review: Sweet Potato Pecan Pie at Dinosaur

Item: Dinosaur's Sweet Potato Pecan Pie
700 W 125th St
New York, NY 10027
(212) 694-1777

Rating out of five:

First things first: I know this is a shitty picture. I was tired, and it was for some reason proving hard to photograph and I just knew it wasn't going to be worth struggling to get a better shot of.

Secondly, this is NOT a sweet potato pecan pie. This is a sweet potato pie with pecans on top. Nothing wrong with that, but it would be nice if they advertised it properly.

The sweet potato pie isn't enjoyable on its own (light on spice and bourbon, heavy on suga, but with the pecans its alright. Not much else to say about this. To be honest, I felt like it was somewhere in-between one and a half cakes (crappy) and two cakes (mediocre), but since I finished it I decided to go easy and give it the full two.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Review: Lindt Petits Desserts

Item: Lindt Petits Desserts

Cost: $9.99 (seriously)

Rating out of five:

Usually I don't buy mass produced chocolate from a chain drug store. Since I started baking and eating more (and better) pastries I just can't stomach things like Hershey's, Dove, or even Godiva (which has been mass produced store bought chocolate for a very long time now). But I was desperate and having a rare cocoa craving, so I caved and bought the second most expensive box the store had, figuring the priciest was bound to the be the best.


Here's the breakdown:

Creme Brulee: Its in the center of the photo on the box- everyone involved in this transaction knows this is the piece that matters most. And it is the second best tasting one in the box, but that ain't saying much. Its not really a creme brulee flavor, I'm not sure how to characterize it. It runs dangerously close to a subtle coffee. There's the smallest bit of a crunch to it. Whatever, it was the piece I excitedly tried first and thus knew it didn't bode well for the rest of the box.

Tiramisu: There's actually a coffee flavor! Too bad I'm not such a fan of said flavor and prefer tiramisus that are apparently flawed because they're lacking it. I think a lot of people would find it enjoyable, possibly the best out of the other pieces.

Millefeuille: As I found out, Millefeuille is another word for a Napoleon, as the picture on the box so helpfully points out. I don't know what's going on here but its not a Napoleon. It was at this point in my experience that I decided chocolates turned into desserts that originally contain little to no chocolate was probably a flawed concept. Its got a creamy inside, again I think other people might get something out of this but it just didn't do it for me.

Meringue: Why the fuck would they even attempt this? I dreaded biting into this chocolate. It wasn't as bad as I thought, but I don't get "meringue" from this either. The inside was mostly creamy, but for whatever reason they also included these tiny crunchy white bits in there.

(not only is the little shit not photogenic, he fails to upload properly- and is not worth fixing)

Lemon Tart: Ugh, the things I do for all the folks who don't read this blog. I fucking hate lemon, but I bit into this and promptly spit it out. This means people might actually enjoy it, because it positively reeks of lemon just like most lemon flavored desserts do. Its got a layer of lemon goo inside. So there you go.

Now on to the extra mystery chocolates! You know, the rejects that didn't make the cover of the box. You wouldn't want your customers to get too much of a "good" thing, now would ya?

Dark Chocolate Crunchy Thing: Super bitter outside, creamy inside, gross allover.

Smooth Milk Chocolate Thing: Whoa, what's going on? It looks like pure mediocrity but...there's something going on....maybe a hint of almond? Creamy inside with that signature annoying crunch that comes from I don't even know where, but overall not a horrible piece of chocolate! I almost finished the entire piece.

(The inside of dark and milk chocolate mystery pieces)

So here's my overall verdict: This product sucks. But your getting 18 pieces with a cutesy theme, and I have a feeling a lot of people who just enjoy running to the corner store for their chocolate would enjoy this as long as they don't expect the pieces to taste like the desserts they were supposedly modeled after. And with that Hallmark Holiday around the corner, maybe this is something folks want to keep in mind.

If your girl is a picky eater, a "foodie", or a pastry chef for the love of god...just don't.