Manhattan Eats 2!

A continuation of our food stops while in New York City this last November.

West Village NYC at Night

Walking through the West Village on our way to a place which pairs alcohol and cupcakes… Hmmm.

Sweet Revenge

Gourmet cupcakes paired with wine and beer. Are we dreaming?

Right before our trip I heard about this place and I thought the concept was very unique. I added it to the list of places we might stop while roaming around the city.

After dining on Halal Guys for dinner. We were looking for something for dessert and remembered Sweet Revenge. Taking the #1 Red Line South to Christopher Street we walked through the West Village to enjoy the sites until we reached Carmine Street.

Sweet Revenge Restaurant

When we arrived Sweet Revenge looked like it has always just been around. Inside there are only a few tables but we were lucky enough to find one right between the counter and the window for the three of us. We had a nice view of the street looking through some vintage windows.

The menu was quite large, but we soon learned, as with any bakery, that you need to get here early for best selection. We arrived around 7:30pm to find a lot of the cupcakes were already sold out for the day. We only had a few Signature Cupcakes from which to choose.

The Sweet & Be Merry menu outlines all of the desserts offered. Signature and Artisan cupcakes are all paired with your choice of a recommended beer/cider or wine/champagne. The restaurant also offers breakfast and lunch menus along with a small food menu with a range of options from 2:30pm to close.

Sweet Revenge – Peanut Butter Cake, Ganache Center, Peanut Butter Fudge Frosting paired with a Weihenstephaner Hefe Weiss from Germany.

Crimson & Cream – Raspberry Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting paired with a Raspberry Bellini.

Dirty – Valrhona Cake with Dark Chocolate Truffle paired with a Fairfiew Pinotage from South Africa.

The concept of this restaurant made me really excited. Why wouldn’t you want to eat cupcake paired with wine or beer? Sounds like an excellent idea.

Overall I liked the space and ambiance. The staff was great and attentive. The presentation of the cupcake was beautiful. I love how they bake them in parchment paper so it is rustic and like unwrapping a present. The pairings of the alcohol went well with the sweetness in the cupcakes. However, we all felt the frosting was great, but the cupcakes were dry. It really left me not wanting to finish my cupcake. I really expected it to be moist. Maybe it was the time of day. Maybe a different cupcake would have been better. I am not sure. In my opinion if they can fix this then they definitely have a winner.

Sweet Revenge, 62 Carmine Street, NYC

Zabar’s

The Upper West Side grocer that is a must stop for any foodie.

Zabars NYC

Zabar’s started out as a small shop selling smoked fish in 1934. Over 70 years they have been selling smoked fish and fresh roasted coffee to New Yorkers 365 days a year. This store is always hopping. According to their website 35,000 people visit their store every week!

Zabars Cheese Counter

The store has several specialty counters including fish, coffee, baked goods, and cheese! Upon entry to the store you are brought inside to the amazing cheese counter. Every cheese you can imagine. Grab a number and get in line.

Cheese Section Zabars NYC

If the cheese counter is not your thing or you are just checking it out don’t worry. There are plenty of pre-packaged cheeses ready for you to pick up and be on your way.

pecorino romano Zabars

Pecorino Romano, excellent for making the beef from our Tuscan Cooking Class.

Hebrew National Zabars

If you are a fan of Hebrew National. This is the place to come! Seriously! If you need it kosher, Zabar’s has you covered.

Zabars Sea Salt Chocolate

When checking out I found these wonderful chocolate bars. The dark chocolate and sea salt was the perfect combination. I also took home some Zabar’s mustard and a pound of their fresh roasted coffee. If I lived here I would be one of the 35,000 weekly visitors. There is always something new to be found and tasted here… Check it out!

Zabars, 2245 Broadway and 80th Street, NYC

Social Eatz

Chef Angelo Sosa’s latest NYC restaurant.

The Bulgolgi Burger at Social Eatz. Sauced with soy, sugar, scallion, garlic and sesame oil then garnished with cooled cucumber kimchee, kewpee and a japanese mayo. The beef was spiced well but I was really expecting this one to blow me away flavor-wise. I expected a pow from the kimchee. It never really happened. After all, kimchee is spicy fermented cabbage… I guess I was expecting the same from the cucumber version of it. Just an average burger.

The Bibimbap Burger. Winner of Eaters – Greatest Burger in America Competition. Korean for “mixed meal”, it’s ground beef with a slow-cooked egg, covered in lettuce and served with pickled carrot and cucumber. The burger was juicy. The pickled carrot and cucumber were tangy. The soft egg was a great addition. Overall, it balanced very well, but remember this isn’t your typical American burger. If you like Asian flavors, then you will like this burger.

Mandy and I awaiting our meal.

Social Eatz Chili made with slowly braised garlic, lemongrass, ginger, and tomatoes. Topped with crispy corn chips.

social eatz onion rings

Toga Rings – Crispy sweet onions battered and fried until golden brown and sprinkled with togarashi spiced salt.

social eatz

Curry Creamed Spinach. Just as it sounds. Tasty!

Daryl and the Bibimbap burger.

Social Eatz, 232 East 53rd Street at 2nd Avenue, NYC

Distrikt Hotel NYC

This hotel is a newer addtion to the Choice Hotels Ascend Collection. It was recently completed and located on 40th Street just east of 9th Avenue. Right across from the Port Authority, close to theatres and Times Square.

40th and 9th NYC

Sleek, modern design paying homage to the different areas of the city.

Distrikt Hotel Room NYC

The room was small (it’s NYC), but nicely appointed. The bed was comfortable and there was plenty of space for our bags. The shower was wonderful. I wanted to stay in it all day. My only complaint was there needed to be more lighting in the room. The staff was great and took care of any issue promptly.

There are computers in the lobby, free cider, and the hotel has umbrellas you can use for free on those rainy days.

Distrikt Hotel, 342 West 40th Street, NYC

Blue Ruin

We stopped in this dive bar right next to our hotel while killing time before heading to the airport. I liked the character of this place so I snapped this photo while enjoying my drink.

Blue Ruin 9th Ave NYC

Blue Ruin, 538 9th Avenue, NYC

Westway Diner

We stopped here for a quick breakfast before we went to the airport. The service was spotty, the food was average, the coffee was ok, but there was a large menu from which to choose.

Westway Diner hell's kitchen

Westway Diner Coffee

While dining Daryl informed us this is where Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld came up with the idea of the “show about nothing.”

Westway Diner Hells Kitchen

Westway Diner, 614 9th Avenue at 44th Street, NYC

FAO Schwartz

The toy store of your dreams, right? Wrong. I was very underwhelmed.

I guess I was expecting this amazing toy store. I was more impressed with Harrod’s in London. Maybe I’m just getting old… Nah!

FAO Schwartz Candy

There were some neat things. The store had a large candy section with some vintage candies from which to choose.

wax bottle candy

Remember these “wax bottles” or Nik-L-Nips. They are just sugared water and wax, but they remind me of being a kid. I still am unsure why we ever wanted to eat the wax. Did you eat the wax? Yuk! Desperate for sugar and candy I guess.

Look $23.00 Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups!

Karin couldn’t resist the Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup! (Love you Karin! You’re a STAR now!)

The coolest thing about the store other than the aforementioned sweets was the Muppet Workshop. You could build your own personal muppet for $99! I thought it was pretty awesome. I still don’t know what I would do with my own personal muppet, but I could have bought one! So it is still cool!

FAO Muppet Factory

I still do not know what song they were singing.

Waffles & Dinges

Sorry Waffles & Dinges! I didn’t forget about you, but I was too full to try one of your lovely waffles topped with dinges. In the meantime I did manage to be gifted a jar of your spekuloos but that is another story in itself…

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