Just to give you an idea of what a few days in the life of a total sweets addict are like, here’s a list of all the baked goods I ate / ogled over the holiday weekend. Taste Tester’s family was in town and we wandered all over the city for various tourist activities, so this treats tour will take you through quite a few neighborhoods. Some are CPB treats, and some aren’t, but I thought they all deserved a mention. Scroll all the way to the bottom for a quick recap of the “CPB only” treats.
Add these places to your list of “Things to Consume” the next time you are in NYC!
*It should be noted that I was hoarding a Fine & Raw Lucuma & Vanilla Chocolate Bar in my purse the whole weekend which I managed to nibble on, despite all of these stops. Hehe.
• TREATS TRUCK!!!!! (see their site for schedule / location)
Man was I excited to finally find this! Taste Tester’s mom was in the middle of telling me a story when I stopped dead in my tracks and yelled, “Treats Truck!” Perhaps I need to work on my manners… Here’s what we ate:
- Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookie
This was pretty freaking delicious. The texture was perfect and the peanut butter flavor was intense. It tasted like peanut butter in cookie form – which is how it should be!
- Peanut Butter Brownie
This paled in comparison to the peanut butter cookie but was still good. It wasn’t quite as moist and dense as I prefer brownies to be. Also, I think the peanut butter was only on top of the brownie, not actually in it.
• Beyoglu (Turkish, Upper East Side)
Everyone at the table made fun of the “shredded wheat” dessert (called kadayif) when they saw it on the menu, but it was delicious. Kadaif is baked shredded wheat with pistachio, with a texture that was similar to a coconut macaroon. It was very moist and sticky with a sweet nutty flavor.
• Joe The Art of Coffee (Union Square)
This became my regular coffee stop when I worked in Union Square. They make awesome lattes (and draw pretty designs in the foam). They get their pastries from a variety of excellent bakeries around the city including Ceci Cela, Tomcat and Corner Cafe. I tried the Apple Walnut Muffin. Freaking awesome.
• Union Square Greenmarket (Union Square)
I’m pretty much incapable of walking past this farmer’s market without wandering through. You can get CPB treats at a variety of the vendors, some of which are even vegan. You can find a delicious Chocolate Peanut Butter Muffin at the Bread Alone stand.
• Caracas Arepa Bar (East Village)
I have been to Caracas maybe half a dozen times and I think I’ve ordered their famous De Pabellón arepa every time I’ve been there. I already knew it was good, but when I saw them beat Bobby Flay on Throwdown I was drooling at my TV. I had to go back! Despite waiting nearly an hour for a table (at 3pm on a Friday), the whole family loved the arepas. When it came time for something sweet, our group decided to order every item on the dessert menu. The collection included Quesillo (their thick and caramelized flan), Marquesa de Chocolate (layers of thick chocolate mousse and homemade Maria cookies) and Obleas (two very thin round wafer with dulce de leche in between that you eat with your hands). I tried all three and if I had to pick a favorite, it would be the Obleas. I love wafers and the dulce de leche filling was really nice and silky.
• M&M World Store (Times Square)
I had visited this store on my Midtown Manhattan Candy Store Tour, but Taste Tester (an M&M fan) had never been there. On a whim of crazy, we decided to go in on a busy Friday night, but the relentless Times Square crowd proved too much to handle, so we abandoned our mission a few minutes later. Upon exiting, we bought our M&Ms from the news stand located immediately outside the store exit. Score!
• Cafe Grumpy (Chelsea)
After all the tourist activities of the day, Taste Tester needed a caffeine boost, so we made our way to Cafe Grumpy. While I knew they carried Intelligtentsia (his favorite coffee) I didn’t know that they sold treats from the much raved about Chocolate Room in Brooklyn. Taste Tester’s brother tried the chocolate cupcake which he regarded as “very dark”. Unfortunately they were out of the Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Sea Salt Cookies. I vow to return.*
• The Blue Dog Cafe (Chelsea)
We got a fair dose of attitude upon ordering a latte with soymilk and honey (what is it about the soymilk request that makes baristas so agitated?) but at least the lattes were good. They also sell a Peanut Butter and Roasted Pear sandwich, Peanut Butter Fudge Tart and a Reeses Peanut Butter Cupcake.
• Scott’s Pizza Tours (Little Italy / Greenwhich Village)
You’re probably thinking, “what the hell is a pizza tour doing on a CPB list?” Well, Scott’s super fun NYC Walking Tour takes you through neighborhoods where you walk past such tasty treats shops as Rice to Riches, Amy’s Bread, and Cones.
• City Bakery (Flatiron)
It’s pretty hard for me to wander around this neighborhood without paying a visit to City Bakery. We picked up a few of their famously good Chocolate Chip Cookies and a shot of their also famously good Hot Chocolate. I’ve had both items many times before and they never fail to disappoint. Taste Tester’s mom commented that the Peanut Butter Cookie didn’t look very good. I can confirm from experience that if there’s one thing at that place that you should skip, it’s the pb cookies. Dry tasteless lumps. Bleh.
• Hill Country (Flatiron)
Now you’re probably wondering, “what the hell is a BBQ restaurant doing on this CPB list?”. There is a Peanut Butter & Jelly Cupcake on the dessert menu which TT’s brother enjoyed. I made the foolish decision to pass on dessert. If I hadn’t already had a Joe’s muffin, CB cookie, CB hot chocolate, and some fine & raw chocolate that day, I might have given into temptation. It seemed logical at the time, but in retrospect I don’t know what I was thinking – who passes on dessert?!
• Carlo’s Bakery (Hoboken, NJ)
On the way to my mom’s for Easter, I made a stop at Carlo’s, which is one of her favorite italian bakeries. The place was a zoo partly because it was Easter Sunday and we italians need our cannolis, but also because they were busy filming their upcoming TLC reality show, “Cake Boss”. They’ve been filming the last three times I’ve been in there, so maybe you’ll catch me in the background of one of the shots, drooling over the pignoli cookies. Hehe. Carlo’s also sells a Reeses PB Cupcake which I have been meaning to try.
And thus concludes the feast!
To recap the weekend’s “CPB only” treats: Treats Truck’s Peanut Butter Brownie, Union Square Farmers Markets Treats (including Bread Alone’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Muffin), Cafe Grumpy’s Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Sea Salt Cookie, Blue Dog Cafe’s Peanut Butter Fudge Tart and Reeses PB Cupcake and Carlo’s Reeses PB Cupcake.
*Update: We returned a couple weeks later and grabbed a few of Cafe Grumpy’s Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Sea Salt Cookies. They had a nice flavor, but were scary-buttery. They left a giant icky grease stain on the paper bag that held them. Yikes! It was a good cookie but not one that I would go out of my way to have. My arteries are probably thankful. Taste Tester didn’t like it much at all.