Sunday, March 16, 2008

New York State of Mind

During a recent visit to NYC to visit family, I decided to finally make a trip to Chelsea Market, home of the Food Network and famed bakeries such as Eleni's and Fat Witch. Below is a picture of some of my spoils.

Clockwise from top left: cupcakes from Eleni's (one is yellow cake with chocolate buttercream and one is chocolate cake with mocha buttercream), famed sugar cookies from Eleni's in fun summer shapes, a mini blondie from Fat Witch, and 2 original fudge brownies from Fat Witch.

As a whole, I was kind of disappointed with Chelsea Market. I imagined it to be something totally different, like a combination of Boston's Quincy Market (with food stall after food stall after food stall of prepared food) and a farmers market with lots of fresh produce, cheeses, meats and fishes....

The shops are far and few and pricey, but i'm not sure if thats because its NY or because this is a slightly tourist trappy place. The few places we visited were good but not worth returning to again.

Reviews from my Yelp page:

Friedman's Delicatessen: I'm a sucker for a jewish deli. pickles, knishes, sandwiches...what else do you need? While on the slightly pricey side, the sandwiches were delicious and HUGE. I only got though half my sandwich and that was plenty. So we brought enough sandwich home for lunch tomorrow, so I guess we really got 2 meals for the price of 1, right? So I am a pretty picky person when it comes to eating egg salad and tuna salad in a commercial setting, but theirs was GOOD. Really good. My friend got the brisket sandwich and the meat was a nice and tender (there was a little too much fat visible for my taste but it was still good). The potato knish was also huge and delicious. The matzo ball soup was really good too. The broth wasnt too salty and the ball was the perfect consistency (a little too perfectly round if you ask me, but i digress). Will i be back? Mmmm...prob not since next time I'll be in search of a cheaper lunch but I'm not sorry I came. Definitely not.

Eleni's Cookies: Wow....and I don't mean that in the good wow sense. I am so unimpressed. iIhave been eagerly awating a visit to Eleni's ever since I saw her cookies featured in a 2001 issue of Martha Stewart weddings magazine. Yes, 2001. It was a long time coming and my bubble has been burst. The sugar cookies, while very pretty and somewhat tasty, are NOT worth the $3.50-$10 each pricetag. I picked up a flip flop, lobster, and bottle of sunblock. total? $10.50 for 3 cookies, each the size of a pack of gum. The cupcakes are piled high with fluffy buttercream frosting, and oddly enough, cheaper than each cookie. We took a vanilla with chocolate buttercream and a chocolate with mocha buttercream. the cupcakes themselves really had no flavor. The frosting was the winner in flavor over the the cupcake by far. As for the boutique...what a horrible setup. The goods are placed behind a counter that is at eye level (the one thing going for them compared to typical bakery setups where you have to hunch over to see the goods in the case), but the glass walls (aka sneeze guards) are so high that the snotty girls behind the counter can't hear you when you place your order. I had to shout my order 3 times over the glass. Also, there were several prewrapped items that were not priced and the girls had no idea how much they were.

Fat Witch Bakery: One of the best commercially made brownies I've ever had. I mean honestly, nothing beats a homemade brownie (be it from scratch or from a box of duncan hines) but these are damn good. we picked up some regular and some blondies. MMMMM.....I would return for these in a heartbeat.

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