summer summer summertime (stuff and things)

It’s hot but you’ll hear no complaints from me. Warmth is better than a polar vortex. Here’s some stuff, and some things.

1. I was invited to a party showcasing Austrian products at Cafe Katja and I am now in love with Austrian people! Everyone I met was incredibly friendly and when I was hesitant about trying some of the food they jumped in to explain what as being served. And it was all good. Spaetzle is my new jam. Cafe Katja I will be back.

antidote chocolateMy favorite product was gourmet chocolate from a Brooklyn company called Antidote Chocolate. Right now I’m munching on a lavender and red salt chocolate bar. Check out the flecks of salt and the pieces of lavender. I like fancy details like that. All of Antidote chocolate bars are made with mostly raw and roasted cacao and less sugar which means you can eat an entire bar in one sitting and you’re still eating healthy. (I may have made that last part up, ha). I want to try Mango + Juniper next, and probably Banana + Cayenne, and you know what, Ginger + Panela looks good too.  See the rest of the flavors here.

antidote chocolate

2. Do you remember the explosion that destroyed Pommes Frites in the East Village? They are  trying to reopen and have started an Indiegogo campaign. Donate if you can.

3. If you watch The Walking Dead and like Norman Reedus you’ll find this tumblr funny.

4. Cute donut headphones! Popsicle headphones! Cupcake headphones! Ice cream headphones! And my second favorite, Burger and fries headphones!

donut headphones

5. Congratulations to Misty Copeland,the first African American principal dancer of the American Ballet Theatre. Black girls rock!

3 year goals 😂😂😂 #blackgirlsrock #ballerina #mistycopeland

A photo posted by @morena_linda88 on

6. How to make a toasted marshmallow shake via Smitten Kitchen.

7. Meryl Streep in 1979 and today, in the same dress. Still a fox and no plastic surgery. The rest of Hollywood should take note.

Meryl Streep

8. This couple took wedding photos at Shake Shack. Obviously I love them.

9. An artist in Chicago fixes potholes with mosaics. They’re so beautiful.

Jim Bachor mosaic

10. A picture drawn by Melissa Iwai of The Hungry Artist depicting what dads in Brooklyn look like. It’s spot on, absolutely perfect and hilarious.


11. I just bought this shirt. Raaaaaaaaaddddd. And I want the sweatshirt too. Mindy Kaling was my inspiration.

12. Check out the hashtag #TheAfricaTheMediaNeverShowsYou for some inspiring pics and stories from the motherland. It’s not all poverty war crimes.

 13. You can buy edible cookie dough now. PB & J is calling my name.

14. Gilmore Girls reunion. Everyone was there (except Suki). I could cry. “Where you lead, I will follow.”

15. Goonies never say die!

16. I went to the NYC Pride Parade and Gandalf (Sir Ian McKellen) was Grand Marshal! Gandalf I loooooovvvvvveeee you.

My man Gandalf!!!!!!!! #nycpride 💜💛💚💙❤️💜💛💚💙❤️

A photo posted by Akua (@btwnbreakfast) on


In order to try the famed fried chicken dinner at Momofuku Noodle bar you have to make reservations weeks or months in advance. It’s an ordeal and that’s why I have yet to visit. But if you want to try the a fried chicken sandwich from Danny Chang’s new restaurant Fuku all you have to do is cruise down to the East Village around lunchtime and pray there isn’t a line. I’d suggest going in around 3 because the lunch crowd has passed on by then. fukuThere isn’t a lot on the menu. Just a sandwich, a couple sides (salad and fries) and some drinks which means they can pump food out quickly. And that’s a good thing because Fuku is standing room only. The Fuku fried chicken sandwich is crispier than a Chick-fil-a sandwich but not as crispy as a KFC sandwich, and it tastes better than both. And enormous chicken thigh is dipped in a habanero purée, coated in buttermilk, dredged in some mystery spices and fried to perfection. For some extra heat, squirt on some Momofuku Ssam sauce that sits on all the tables. To me it tastes like a spicy mixture of barbecue sauce and plum sauce. fuku Right now, Fuku is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11-4. P.S., I’ve been to Fuku twice since it opened and the potato wedge fries are good too!

donna bell’s bake shop

Do you watch NCIS? I do not, but the owner of Donna Bell’s Bake Shop plays Abby on the show, and that seems to be a draw for a lot of people.  The biscuits are the most popular thing on the menu so that’s what I ordered. They’re quite large, like 1 and 1/2 of my hands out together. Unfortunately they weren’t the best biscuits I’ve ever had. Biscuits need to be two things: flaky and buttery. These biscuits were neither. I did like the thick piece of ham and that the sandwiches are coked to order. But will I rush back? Nah. Maybe if I’m in the area again I’ll try a baked good.

Donna Bell's Bake ShopClick to add a blog post for Donna Bell's Bake Shop on Zomato

nourish snacks

I went to an event and they were handing these out. Now I’m mad that I didn’t try a few more flavors.

nourish snacks, mr popularThese are half popped corn kernels, and they are addictive, salty, crunchy bits of deliciousness. There are just three ingredients: corn, salt, and either soybean or sunflower oil.

nourish snacks, mr popularPeace out, I’m off to buy all the flavors. Save $10 on your first $25 order here.


*For the record, Nourish Snacks has no idea who I am. I just think the products neat.

clinton street baking company

I don’t remember what this waffle was called, or all the ingredients that went into creating it but I do remember it was pretty darn good. Clinton Street Baking Company is located in the Lower East Side and it only seats 32 people so there is always a line. Recognize this and plan accordingly. Also it’s cash only, a fact that I missed but the nice waitress let me run across the street to the ATM (damn those fees, don’t be like me).

My waffle was a special. I don’t know if it will ever be available again but you can show them the picture, cross your fingers, and hope for the best. I remember it had bananas, caramelized pineapple, coconut whipped cream, and it’s possible the yellow stuff is mango sauce. So much decadence my friends, so much decadence.

clinton street baking company I hear good things about the pancakes too. Go on a weekday if you can to avoid the crazy wait time. They serve breakfast for dinner too.

Check out the full Clinton Street Baking Company here.

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mad men exhibit, the museum of moving image

I’m still mourning the loss of Mad Men even though I’m not sure I loved the series finale. By the way my favorite part of this season was this: Burn it down Joan!

Right now the Museum of Moving Image (all the way up in Queens) has a Mad Men exhibit featuring costumes, sets, scripts and writers notes from the show. It’s a fan’s dream. Here I am chilling in Don Draper’s office. I loved all the detail including the booze Don liked to drink and pictures of his kids on his desk. Apparently you aren’t supposed to take pictures in this section of the museum because I got yelled at by a guard but of course I still got mine…😏 mad men, museum of moving imageA few of Sally Draper’s outfits. mad men, museum of moving imageA few of Joan’s outfits. mad men, museum of moving imageBetty Draper’s outfits. mad men, museum of moving image The conditions for employment given to Don in season 7 by the advertising agency after he went crazy. mad men, museum of moving image The Mad Men writers room. mad men, museum of moving imageThere are many more things that I wasn’t able to take pictures of (because I had to be stealth) like Don and Betty’s kitchen, a case filled with Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner’s hand written show notes, detailed character and episode explanations, and outfits from other characters. The exhibit will be in the Museum of Moving Image until September 6, and entry is free on Fridays from 4-8. I may go again so I can make sure I’ve taken absolutely everything in. Peace out Mad Men, it’s been a great ride.

essen update

Crucial Essen update. I went back again (because I have no self control) but this time for breakfast! My breakfast favorites were Nutella crepes filled with fruit, over easy fireside eggs with salsa, and a mango, apple, strawberry fruit medley. They also have omelets of every kind, breakfast sandwiches, tater tots and hash browns, pancakes, and french toast. I visited the Soho location this time and it has a second floor with seating. Something the other Essen locations desperately need.

essen breakfastDon’t forget about the Nutella crepes!

essen, slow fast food

This is going to be a case of “looks gross tastes great” but I have to write about my new favorite lunch place, Essen. I’ve eaten at Essen three times this week and it’s likely that I’ll be back tomorrow because I like it that much. Essen is a deli/hot bar/salad bar/ and sushi place. I think that’s everything. Essen has something for every taste. I personally have only experienced the hot bar which is similar to the whole foods hot bar, but with a wider selection.

Normally these kinds of place are gross, and I worry about how long the food has been sitting out but the people who work at Essen are on point. The workers are constantly cleaning and refreshing the food, and unless you get there at the end of lunch time the food is always fresh. The food is $8.99 a pound and it adds up quickly but I see things and I can’t stop grabbing.

essen, slow fast food

This was my plate from my first visit to Essen. Ham, grilled eggplant, grilled flank steak, mashed potatoes, salmon, avocado mozzarella and tomato salad, brussels sprouts, and roasted zucchini. There could be more stuff buried in there but I don’t know. This meal came out to $10.

I had an appointment on the Upper East Side and afterwards I visited another Essen that served pork belly! And I kid you not when I say it was the best pork belly I’ve ever had. Juicy, fatty, and sweet. I need to make my way up to the UES more often…

My absolute favorite foods from Essen are the pork belly, the avocado, mozzarella and tomato salad, fried vegetable dumplings and the chili shrimp. You must try these four things.

There are four Essen locations in the city and I’ve been extremely pleased with the two I’ve visited so far. I’m 99.9% sure you would too. I wonder what the breakfast buffet is like…

baked by melissa

The latest in hybrid desserts, the cupcaron from Baked By Melissa. The tiniest cupcakes on Earth are topped with a baby macaron. From left to right, cotton candy, strawberry, and blueberry cheesecake ( topped with a piece of cheesecake instead of a macaron).

baked by melissa, cupcaron

Cotton candy is my favorite, but its only around until June 22. Also I gotta stress how tiny these things are. I think six of them would equal one regular cupcake. They are 3 for $3 which isn’t a terrible price…baked by melissa, cotton candy cupcaron

Check out the full Baked By Melissa menu here. The shops are not hard to find. It seems like a new Baked by Melissa shop pops up every few months.

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the obliteration room

This is the Give Me Love exhibit by Yayoi Kusama in the David Zwirner Gallery.

the obliteration roomThe main feature of the exhibit is The Obliteration Room. The room started out white but each visitor is given a sheet of stickers and is allowed to place them wherever. See that green sticker to the right? Yeah that one is mine :D.

the obliteration room Give Me Love will be in the David Zwirner Gallery until June 13th and it’s free and open to the public.