Top 5: Best Desserts in New York City

Let me begin by re-stating what I said here: Dessert makes my world go round. I have a sweet tooth of epic proportions. It has become the stuff of legends. And lucky enough for me, I live in New York City, a place never short on dessert establishments. Here is my five favorite desserts in New York City.

5. Led Zeppole: 328 E. 14th Street (between First Ave. and Second Ave.), NY, New York

Led Zeppole’s Fried Oreos

The same owners who have successfully established and upheld the reputation of Artichoke Basille’s Pizza and Brewery are also responsible for the fabulous dessert spot, Led Zeppole.  As you can gather from the name, their specialties are zeppoles, which are balls of fried dough smothered in white, powdery confection sugar.  The other desserts on their menu include fried Oreos, cream puffs, fried Twinkies, fried peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, funnel cake, cannolis, Italian ices, soft-serve ice cream, and waffle ice cream sandwiches.  My personal favorite is the fried Oreos.  There is nothing as novel as America’s favorite cookie, deep fried, and coated with powdered sugar.  This may not be an everyday type spot, due to the richness of such a treat, but it sure is good when you’re in the mood for that special something to satisfy your pallet.

4. Momofuku Milk Bar: Locations

Milk Bar’s Crack Pie

This next dessert location is rather unique.  Momofuku Milk Bar is owned by accredited chef David Chang, who has lucratively launched many restaurants including, Momofuku Noodle Bar, Ssäm Bar, Ko, Pêche, Seiōbo, and of course Milk Bar.  Here, they offer a variety of unique “pies,” cookies, cake truffles, shakes, soft serve ice cream, croissants and bread.  The pies are served by the slice, although full pies are available for purchase, and come in an assortment of original flavors; the Crack Pie, which is my favorite, comes in a crumbled oatmeal cookie and brown sugar crust, with a rich creamy filling consisting of brown sugar, egg, butter, vanilla and heavy cream to hold it all together.  The taste is incomparable, as is everything at Momofuku.  My other favorite item here is the birthday cake truffles.  The little spherical shaped truffles hold immense flavor that overpower your taste buds with sweetness as the colored sprinkles evoke a jovial feeling as you bite into these delicious dessert specialties.  It is so difficult to explain just how great Momofuku’s creations are because of the uniqueness of their offerings, so you must go try for yourself.

3. Molly’s Cupcakes: 228 Bleecker Street (between Sixth Ave. and Seventh Ave.) NY, New York:

Molly’s Cupcakes

Molly’s Cupcakes captures you from the beginning, as its pretty and quaint yellow paneled façade catches your eye and allures you inside, where you’ll find a country styled seating area with marble topped tables and chairs, and wooden counters atop the bakery showcases.  What I love about Molly’s is the freshness in their products.  Their specialty, obviously being cupcakes, although they do have assorted other bakery goods, is baked homemade on premise everyday, which becomes obvious after taking a single bite out of a Molly’s creation.  There are so many flavors available here that you will never see anywhere else – my favorites being the crème brulee and the happy birthday (which is a level above any other bakery’s attempt at this style of cupcake).  Each flavor tastes exactly as the name describes.  The happy birthday is filled with a delicious filling that tastes and has the consistency of raw cake batter.  The crème brulee fittingly has a custard filling, and the top of the cupcake has that torched sugar taste like actual crème brulee.  The best part of Molly’s is the little counter area where they have fun shaped sprinkles that you can add to your cupcake or carry out on the side.  I love giving my business to such an amazing little local bakery. It may not have the level of corporate branding as chain cupcake bakeries do, but the homemade atmosphere from décor to baked goods makes you feel at home, which has gotten me to come back time after time.

2. Wafels and Dinges: Food Cart- locations vary

Liege Waffle

I sought out the waffles from this cart one day to appease a hankering I had for a good old Belgian waffle.  I had seen this cart around the city, and had to act on my craving, which brought me here for the first time.  The Brussels waffle was my first endeavor and I chose to top it with strawberries and whipped cream.  This waffle looks and tastes like a classic waffle you make in a waffle maker.  It was delicious, but did not compare to the second waffle I ordered and have been ordering every since.  The liege waffle is a thinner and sweeter waffle.  When topped with speckuloos, which is one of their signature toppings, this waffle sends you soaring through an unfathomable dessert dream.  They heat up the waffles before they top them, which makes this creation even more delicious.  This is a sweet and filling dessert and ever since the first time I tried it I have been hooked.

1. Lula’s Sweet Apothecary: 516 E. 6th Street (between Ave. A and Ave. B) NY, New York

Cake Batter Soft-Serve at Lula’s

Lula’s reminds you of the tiny little country store you would see on the Andy Griffith Show.  Lula’s welcomes you with a black and white checkered tile floor, and a wood counter topped with penny candies.  The front freezer holds the homemade ice cream flavors, and in back is the soft serve machine where the most incredible cake batter soft serve ice cream is dispensed.  I have come here in the rain, the snow, and the sunshine just to get some of their cake batter soft serve.  When you take your first spoonful, you don’t exactly know what hit you, nor are you able to fully make sense of the grandness of the flavor. It tastes so similar to actual cake batter that if you closed your eyes you would think that you are really eating a piece of cake (except for the coldness of the ice cream).  When I finish my Lula’s I am always left wanting more.  I never tire of this flavor, and do not foresee that happening in the future.  It is one of my absolute favorite desserts in the city, and if you live in the area I highly encourage you to try it one day.       

Top 5: The Best Episodes of The Office

In my post entitled “Arrested Development and Party Down: Better off Dead?” I came off very harsh regarding The Office, and that is not a fair assessment of my true feelings towards the show. I love the early seasons of the show, finding them a perfect balance between comedy and light-drama and I believe season 2 and season 3 are the best back to back seasons of any comedy show ever. So without further ado, here are my 5 favorite episodes of The Office.

“You down with the Dundies?”

5. “The Dundies” (Season 2, Episode 1) While there were certainly high spots in season 1, such as “Diversity Day” and “Basketball”, to me it didn’t seem like the office truly found its footing until the premier of season 2, “The Dundies.” Drunk Pam was hilarious and a nice departure from her usual reserved, mild-mannered self. The Jim and Pam story line also takes an interesting twist when Pam kisses Jim after winning her Dundie. Michael was both hilarious and horrible as the host of The Dundies with his song parodies and it was the last time “Ping” has surfaced. It could be argued that this was the episode that saved the show as they needed a strong showing after rather lackluster ratings in Season 1

Memorable Quote:

Michael: So I, you know, an employee will go home, and he’ll tell his neighbor, “Hey, did you get an award?” And the neighbor will say, “No man. I mean I slave all day and nobody notices me.” Next thing you know, employee smells something terrible coming from the neighbor’s house. Neighbor’s hanged himself, due to lack of recognition.

“Michael and Jan seem to be playing their own separate game, and it’s called, “let’s see how uncomfortable we can make our guests.” And they’re both winning”

4. “Dinner Party” (Season 4, episode 13) Directed by Paul Feig who later directed Bridesmaids, this inside look at Michael’s home life is equal parts hilarity and awkwardness. At some parts, I didn’t know whether to burst out laughing or just squirm. Michael’s obsession with his plasma TV kills me and by being exposed to Jan’s crazy side, you feel a new sense of sympathy for Michael. This is a true classic episode of The Office, as it’s difficult to watch but you can’t not due its hilariousness.

Memorable Quote:

Michael: That is sort of an oaky afterbirth

“I just wanna lie on the beach and eat hotdogs. That’s all I’ve ever wanted.”

3. “Beach Games” (Season 3, Episode 23) “Beach Games” stands out to me because it’s so incredibly layered and has a little bit of everything. There is so many funny parts and at the same time, this episode takes a serious turn towards the end. Michael’s phone call with David Wallace, the bus ride, Toby’s disappointment, Andy floating away in his sumo suit and Michael’s frustrations due to the staff’s indifference are highlights of this episode. But no part stands out to me more than Pam’s coal walk and discovered confidence. Just like in the “The Dundies,” this represents a large contrast of Pam’s passive behavior and it was quite refreshing to see.

Memorable Quote:

Michael: If you don’t like it, Stanley, you can go to the back of the bus.

Stanley: Excuse me?

Michael: Or the front of the bus. Or drive the bus

“I burned my foot very badly on my Foreman Grill”

2. “The Injury” (Season 2, Episode 12) Penned by Mindy Kalin who also plays Kelly Kapoor, “The Injury” is the episode that truly turned me into a fan. Up until that point I had certainly enjoyed the show, but I was far from a diehard. After this episode I was hooked. The entire premise was great and I couldn’t figure out which sub-plot I liked more, Michael’s desire for special treatment or Dwight’s concussion symptoms. The scene on the way to the hospital where Jim is spraying both Dwight and Michael with a mister remains one of my favorites. A truly hysterical episode.

Memorable Quote:

Michael: Let me ask you something. How longs it take for you to do something simple, everyday, like, like brush your teeth in the morning.

Billy Merchant: I don’t know, like thirty seconds?

Michael: Oh my god. That’s three times as long as it takes me

“Two queens on casino night… I am going to drop a deuce on everybody”

1. “Casino Night” (Season 2, Episode 22)

Widely recognized as one of the best episodes of the series, the season 2 finale “Casino Night” was important because it represented the culmination (for now) and climax of the Jim and Pam story arc and much like other early episodes of The Office found a nice balance between comedy and drama. The first episode of the series to be written by Steve Carell, “Casino Night” further developed the minor characters Creed and Kevin and tied up almost all of the story lines from the first two seasons and did it brilliantly while also maintaining its humor as Michael tries to juggle two dates and Dwight comically tries to be his wing man. It also included one of my favorite moments in the series history when Michael asks Toby “Why are you the way that you are? Honestly, every time I try to do something fun or exciting, you make it not that way. I hate so much about the things that you choose to be.”

Memorable Quote:

Creed: Thanks, I’ve never owned a refrigerator before.

Honorable mention: “Gay Witch Hunt” (Season 3, Episode 1), “The Return” (Season 3, Episode 14), “Conflict Resolution” (Season 2, Episode 21), “Local Ad” (Season 4, Episode 9), “The Deposition” (Season 4, Episode 12), “Business School” (Season 3, Episode 17), “Niagara” (Season 6, Episode 4/5), “Goodbye Toby” (Season 4, Episode 18/19)  and “Product Recall” (Season 3, Episode 21)

Did I forget any? Please feel free to share your top 5 in the comment section.

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