Strong coffee. Pretty dishes, people-watching, chit-chats. Start your day. Take a break. Treat yourself.
>So I have done a LOT of eating in the last few weeks. I knocked off quite a few hot spots from my self-made restaurant list. There are still so many more places I have yet to eat in New York City, but, oh, I’ll be back. Oh, and I’ve done a smidge of cooking/baking too…Spicy Chili, Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies, Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies…
Ippudo is currently at the top of my list for dinner in New York City. Ramen. Pork buns–gorgeous pillows filled with perfectly cooked and seasoned pork. Cute furniture made for those dining in two’s. This place is busy its loud its soooooo good. They will tell you that you have to wait 2 hours on a Wednesday night, but just go around the corner for a beer and come back in 30 min. Stick it out, it won’t take a whole 2 hours. I got in after 40 minutes. And it is sooo worth the wait. Just don’t make the mistake of attempting to come here with 6 people. Stick to 2 people. Or come for lunch. But yes, Ippudo is my new favorite New York City dinner spot.
Let’s talk coffee. Stumptown Coffee Roasters. Inside the Ace Hotel. Very trendy, extremely good coffee. There is a lobby inside the hotel where a slew of trendy New Yorkers sip their coffee (or at night their cocktails) and type away at their laptops, stick their nose into a good book, or chat with an old friend. Stumptown is originally from Portland, Oregon. Who’s up for a road-trip to Portland?
Shake Shack. I have no photo because I gobbled this thing up. Yes I ate a burger, a fast-food burger, outside in the snow after a yoga class. Fast food and yoga. Oh yes, I did it. And there was hardly a line, which is a rare occurrence at any Shake Shack location. This burger was good but nothing to rave about. The bun was indeed soft and buttery (compared to the toasty crisper In-N-Out bun). They have yummy shakes, too. My friend ordered a cold shake in the cold weather. And then this friend ordered a hot chocolate from Stumptown right after he finished his chocolate shake. This boy knows how to live right.
Speaking of burgers, have you been to 5 Napkin Burger yet? 10 oz of burger. 10 freaking ounces! Caramelized onions. Gruyere cheese. Absolutely no lettuce, no tomato, no pickle. This is a good place to go after seeing a matinee showing of Memphis.
‘Wich Craft. Nice little spot for a sandwich. Grilled cheddar with smoked ham, pear, & mustard on cranberry-pecan bread.
Rue 57. I’m not crazy about Midtown/Times Square. It is too touristy, too crowded, and too corporate. But let’s say you have a brother who works as a lawyer in Midtown. You meet him for dinner. Rue 57 is a fine place to dine. It is kind of funny in that it has Parisian cuisine, American classics, and sushi, but somehow it works. Below you will see a few of the many menu options at Rue 57.
I will first let you read the little sum up of this tiny East Village espresso bar by the New York Times:
There are three things you need to know about the…cafe Abraço Espresso: it’s tiny, it brews excellent coffee, and the little food that it serves is way beyond coffee-shop caliber.
(Also, it’s named for the Gilberto Gil song “Aquele Abraço,” which means “that hug.” That helps to explain why it has a record player and a sheaf of ’70s jazz and Tropicalia on vinyl.)
The coffee duties are split between two of the partners: Jamie McCormick, who moved back to New York after a decade-plus trip to the San Francisco area spent mostly at the restaurant Oliveto and partly at Blue Bottle Coffee, and Amy Linton, a barista formerly at Ninth Street Espresso.
Both fashion espresso drinks that rank the shop among the city’s finest. More distinctive still is the drip coffee, ground and prepared in a Melitta filter to order ($2.50). The extra few minutes the process takes produce a full-bodied cup with a distinctly fruity character and refreshing acidity.
Oliveto restaurant? Blue Bottle Coffee? These Bay Area spots are all too familiar with my leisure and work lives back home. I have to go to this New York espresso bar to check it out.
I went. I ordered an Americano and it was indeed “full-bodied…distinctly fruity…and [had] refreshing acidity.” I stood at the tiny counter, sipping away whilst people-watching: Two young 20-something women, the artsy type, chatting away about books and bars all the while flirting with the barista. A man with his young daughter stop in for a mid-morning snack–pain perdu, a French-toast dolloped with pastry cream and chocolate spread, wrapped in paper to eat on-the-go. Couples, parents, friends, and soloists like myself all trickled in to Abraco for a little perk to their day.
86 East 7th Street (right around the corner from Yoga to the People at St. Mark’s Pl)
Post-caffeine, I headed around the corner to take a class at Yoga to the People. YTTP is a go-to yoga spot for me in the Bay Area. The original studio is right in the heart of New York City’s Lower East Side. I shan’t pass up the opportunity to attend a class and compare. Well folks, the New York class is exactly the same as the ones in the Bay Area, with a lot more people. Crowded. Get there early.
I like strong coffee. I like Americanos. But on a day when I need a little extra love and joy, I go for a cappuccino. Oh cappuccino, you have my heart.
2300 College Ave
(between Bancroft Way & Durant Ave)
Berkeley, CA 94704
A strong smooth Americano.
The simple enjoyment of eating.
It feels great to start the morning off on the right foot.
5008 Telegraph Ave
Oakland, CA 94609
Tel: (510) 652-4888