chameleon cold brew coffee

Cold brew coffee is available everywhere in New York (especially Stumptown), but until this week I hadn’t bothered to try it because I didn’t understand the hype. I assumed cold brew coffee tasted the same as regularly brewed coffee but I now realize that I was completely wrong.

Chameleon Cold Brew CoffeeNormally I don’t do black coffee. I like all the milk, sugar, and flavoring that Starbucks has to offer so I was pleasantly surprised by how mild the Chameleon Coffee tasted. When beans are cold brewed different chemicals are released (than when brewed with hot water) that makes the coffee less acidic, and therefore taste less bitter. Also, cold brew coffee has more caffeine than regularly brewed coffee (yay). I had the vanilla cold brew coffee which was slightly sweetened, but nowhere near the level of sweetness of a drink from Starbucks. I am now a cold brew convert.

* For the record, Chameleon has no idea who I am. I just think the product is neat.

popbar

I was doing some West Village wandering when saw Popbar, a place on my “to-try” list.  At Popbar they serve gelato and sorbet on a stick that you can customize with a variety of dips and toppings. I chose a salted caramel pop, dipped in milk chocolate and rolled in waffle cone pieces. I should have gone crazier with my topping choices because I’ve been looking through pictures on Instagram and the combinations are making me envious. I should have added pistachios and crushed kettle corn, and white chocolate too. I think the price was 50 cents each for  unlimited dips and toppings so you might as well go crazy. The salted caramel was on par with my absolute favorite Talenti. It’s just harder than normal gelato so it will stay on the stick. Popbar Check out the full Popbar menu here. Happy Spring/almost Summer. Much more Ice cream to come. Popbar on Urbanspoon

my favorite things from trader joe’s part 3

It’s a forever kind of love.

Part 1,  Part 2 

1. Caramelized Onion Dip– I actually meant to grab the bacon cheddar ranch dip but this was a happy mistake. It’s made with every bad-for- you condiment you can think of but who cares!? I eat it with kettle chips.

trader joe's caramelized onion dip

2. Maple Water- This is the liquid maple syrup is made from. Tap a tree and put into a box. The only ingredient is maple water. It’s barely sweet, like blink and you’ll miss it sweet. Have you tried those waters that don’t have any sugar or artificial sweeteners in them but they taste like raspberry essence or lemon or whatever? It’s like that.

Trader Joe's Maple Water

3. PB and J Milk Chocolate Bar- Tastes like the sandwich, but you know without the bread.

Trader Joe's PB and J milk chocolate bar4. Honey Glazed Miso Salad- A good, quick flavorful lunch. And under $5.

Trader Joe's salad 5. Wine Country Chicken Salad- The best chicken salad I’ve ever had. I think it’s the pineapple juice.

Trader Joe's Wine country chicken salad

 

*For the record. Trader Joe’s has no idea who I am. I just think the products are neat.

pret a manger power lunch

Heeeeeyyyyyy I’m back again with more new food from Pret a Manger. They’ve just introduced Power Lunch bowls. Each bowl is made with ingredients that are supposed to give you energy to power through the day. I had the Southwestern Chicken and Avocado and added the balsamic vinaigrette for an extra punch– though the bowl was good on it’s own. The only negative thing I’d have to say is that the bowls are tiny. I had to add rosemary and olive oil chips (highly recommend) to make a complete meal. You should also try the strawberry lemonade. Check out the rest of the Power Lunch bowls here. As always Pret is a solid, quick lunch option and P.S., the Flatiron Pret a Manger is my favorite (two levels and plenty of seating).

Sliced grilled chicken, avocado, quinoa, and roasted corn salsa

pret a manger power lunch

* Pret a Manger sent me a gift card but the opinions are my own.

friends of hudson river park’s spring fling!

I get invited to a lot of random events because of the blog but The Spring Fling was the best event I’ve been to thus far. I’ve said it before but I love Brookfield Place. Last summer when I as studying for the bar I would pick a restaurant in Hudson Eats and study in the large cafeteria. Or when I got stir crazy, I would take my books outside and watch the yachts sail past. So swanky and relaxing. But back to the Spring Fling.

friends of hudson river park's spring fling It started with a red carpet where I saw a bunch of Ford models, Wendy Williams, and most importantly Uzo Aduba  who plays Crazy Eyes on Orange is the New Black! I wanted to ask her for a picture but no one else was bothering her so I resisted, boo.

friends of hudson river park's spring fling The Spring Fling was held in the Winter Garden of Brookfield Place and it was the first private event held in the space. I loved the giant flower center pieces and the palm trees.

friends of hudson river park's spring fling The bar was sponsored by Patron and they had  all types of signature drinks. The basil lemonade and a ginger beer tequila cocktail were my favorites.

friends of hudson river park's spring fling The food was sponsored by Le District and it was great. I didn’t get a chance to stroll around Le District but people describe it to me as Eataly for French food. My favorites were a caramelized onion flatbread and meatballs on top of meatballs.

friends of hudson river park's spring fling And then it was time for the main event, Janelle Monae! Her performance was so high energy  and I danced liked a crazy person to “Electric Lady,” “Tightrope”, “Dance Apocalyptic”, “Cold War”, and “I Want You Back.” If you ever get the opportunity to see Janelle Monae live, go. go. GO!

@janellemonae puts on a show! If you ever have the opportunity to see her live do it. #hrpspringfling

A video posted by Akua (@btwnbreakfast) on

Check the Hudson River Park website for more info on events throughout the year. I just checked on you can go fishing for free, and there’s a Blues BBQ in August. Thanks for the invite Friends of Hudson River Parks.

burger and lobster

Ramen season has ended and I’m ready to immerse myself in lobster season. Burger and Lobster sells only three things. A burger, a lobster roll, and a full lobster (grilled or steamed). And they are each only $20 including a salad and a side of french fries. I don’t think Red Lobster is that inexpensive. When you go, I suggest the grilled lobster with lemon garlic butter. I dipped absolutely everything in that butter, even the fries. Bonus: the restaurant is huge so don’t be afraid to bring everyone you know. Bonus number 2: it’s a couple hundred feet away from my favorite doughnut place in the city, Dough. burger and lobsterCheers to the beginning of lobster season and warm weather.

*Update* There’s a fourth menu item. On Sundays they serve lobster benedict.

Burger and Lobster on Urbanspoon

waffles and dinges

There are quite a few Waffles and Dinges carts sprinkled throughout the city. Offhand I can think of one in Central Park, one near City Hall, and another in the Flatiron District. But you’ll know you’ve found one when the heavenly smell of caramelized sugar and dough hits you from several yards away. There are a few signature waffles or you can pick from the list of toppings (dinges) and create your own dish. I opted for the latter and topped my waffle with strawberries and dulce de leche. Next time I want to do Spekuloos (cookie butter) and bananas. Check out the full Waffles and Dinges menu here and plan out a combo for when you happen upon a cart in the city. 

waffles and dinges

friends of hudson river park’s spring fling

Spring is here and to celebrate Brookfield Place and The Friends of Hudson River Park are holding a Spring Fling. I love Brookfield Place and I spent many Saturdays there while I was studying for the bar because there are so many good restaurants in the cafeteria. I wrote about it here.

hudson river park spring flingThe Spring Fling is being held in the Winter Garden and the ticket proceeds go towards the upkeep of the beautiful riverfront area. There are supposed to be lots of celebrities in attendance including Janelle Monae  who is performing!

JanelleMonae_PUB2_credit_Marc_Baptiste1Food will be provided by Brookfield Place newcomer, Le District, and there will be an open bar sponsored by Patrón Tequila (holla!).

Ticket information can be found here. I hope to see you there!

lilly for target

What a crazy experience. I arrived at my Tarjay at 8:20 A.M. and saw this:

Lilly for TargetCompletely cleared racks! So I headed to the dressing room to wait for cast offs and that’s where I scored.

Lilly for Target The Upstream Shift Dress. I was surprised by the quality of the fabric. It was super thick quilted stuff.

Lilly for TargetUpstream Pompom shorts. These are my fave. Though they’re kinda thin.

Lilly for TargetMy Fans beach towel.

I wish I could’ve scored some head wraps and the flask but I got a lot more than others. The people who bought just to resell on ebay are gross and the uproar on Twitter/Instagram is hilarious and sad. Keep checking the website and stores ladies. People only have 10 days to return things and a lot of people bought items without trying things on so there are bound to be some pop backs.

a cronut adventure

Your girl finally got to try a Cronut, and getting one was surprisingly easier than I thought it was going to be. I guess the hype has died down from last summer. Here are my thoughts about the experience.

cronut

6:45 A.M.- I arrived at the Dominique Ansel bakery and there was no  one outside. I was so confused. Every blog post I’ve read about getting cronuts said you need to be there before seven to ensure cronut ecstasy but on a weekday (Tuesday) it’s not true.

7:12 A.M.-  There are only 8 people in line including me.

7:29 A.M.- 14 people in line. Where are the hoards of people snaking through the sidewalk?

7:36 A.M. – It begins to rain and a Dominique Ansel worker passes out bright orange umbrellas, nice!

7:39 A.M.- A Dominique Ansel worker passes out madeline’s.

7:43 A.M.- I looked at the people in line and suspect a few of them might be cronut scalpers. Yes, it’s a thing.

7:53 A.M. – This is how long the line is. Not long at all! I started to regret waking up early.

cronut line8:00 A.M.- Release the cronuts! At 8 o’ clock they let ten people at a time into the bakery to buy up to two cronuts. If you want more you have to go outside to the back of the line.

CronutFirst thoughts: The cronut was heavy. Much heavier than a standard donut. The laminated dough is fried in grape seed oil, rolled in sugar, filled with ganache, and glazed. It’s supposed to be a donut- croissant hybrid by it tasted like a regular donut to me. This month’s flavor is strawberry rhubarb with thyme ganache and citrus sugar. The thyme ganache made it taste especially interesting. That said, I’m glad I only bought one. It’s too rich and sugary to eat more than that.

Strawberry rhubarb cronut8:13 A.M.- When I left the store there were plenty of cronuts left and only about 12 left in line. I would guess that on a weekday, a person could walk into the bakery at 9 o’ clock and still find cronuts for sale. Keep in mind that on the weekend that’s probably not the case and tourists are about to descend with the coming summer.

Would I do it again? Um no. The cronut is good, but I’ve had a DKA, a cookie shot, and a frozen s’more and I like all of those better than the cronut. I’ll leave the lines for the tourists.