Showing posts with label Nolita. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Nolita. Show all posts


Sundaes on Sunday with Sugartooth Tours

For many, summer is the time to don bikinis, travel to foreign places, and enjoy the extra hours of sunlight in the evening. While I'm not knocking any of that, summer--for me--is the time to gorge on ice cream (especially when it's 90 degrees out and NYC is so chock full of new "artisanal" creameries that I have tons of catching up to do!).

The most perfect way, I've found, to load up on sweets of any kind is through a Sugartooth Tours. I joined them for their first 2015 Ice Cream Summer Sundays Frozen Treats Tour last weekend. Even though my GI system has started rebelling against dairy in the ever-so-slightest way (TMI?), I grabbed a pack of Lactaid at Duane Reade and met up with the group at our first stop, Chloe's Soft Serve (25 E. 17th St.).

Our tour guide Alyson

Good news! I didn't even need the Lactaid here because all items only have 3 ingredients--fruit, ice, and cane sugar. We sampled frozen fruit pops (I had the pineapple), and it was so refreshing I can't even tell you. I also thought the pop was "creamy" in nature, even though there was nary a dairy bit in it! I'll definitely be back to sample their soft serve!

Pineapple Pop

Pineapple Pop
Next up was a place I definitely DID need my Lactaid for--Sundaes and Cones (95 e. 10th St.). This is an old school-style ice cream parlor. Our guide Alyson said it smells like waffle cones--and boy does it! She said she hopes that is what heaven smells like :) The storefront may be old school, but the flavors are NOT! We sampled avocado, red bean, taro, and sweet corn ice cream and all were as delicious as they were unique. But our sample here was the cookies and cream milkshake. Yummo!

Rachel and I enjoying Sundaes and Cones
The ice cream selection
Cookies and Cream Milkshake

Our third stop was a lesson in probiotics. Yogorino (657 Broadway) serves both gelato and frozen yogurt and we were able to sample a small size tart yogurt with 2 toppings--I chose dark chocolate and strawberries. I loved how the chocolate hardened on my frozen treat and I would highly recommend adding a fruit for some added natural flavor.

The awesome rotating gelato selection
My yogurt
Rice to Riches (37 Spring St.) is one of my all-time favorite places in NYC and somewhere that I always make sure out-of-town visitors experience. New Yorkers love their single ingredient-focused establishments, and this one takes the cake, or should I say the rice pudding? With several different flavors and toppings (try the french toast with "blessings"), Rice to Riches is also very tongue in cheek. "You MUST read all the signs on the wall," Alyson told our group. And yes, you must.

Rice to Riches
The flavor selection
My treat
This should be the new motto of this blog
Then we made our way down to Little Italy for a lesson in economics. If you can afford to only keep your storefront open for 5 months of the year, you will make your neighbors very jealous. M'O Il Gelato (178 Mulberry Street) does just that, and they make their gelato fresh every single morning. I sampled the coco flavor (coconut), and was super impressed by how creamy it was. We learned that gelato has a higher milk fat than ice cream (hence the creamier texture), but also that it melts faster than ice cream--which you would know if you've ever had a cone of stracciatella.

The selection at M'O Il Gelato
A small coco
The outside of M'O
Selfies in Little Italy!
Our last stop was probably the one I was most looking forward to. The Original Chinatown Ice Cream Factory (65 Bayard St.) is a legend among New Yorkers. I first visited there after a trip to Thailand when I was craving some tropical flavors. Their selection includes black sesame, red bean, green tea, and much, much more. On the super hot Sunday we visited, the line was out the door and practically around the block. Thankfully we didn't have to wait in it as Alyson went in and grabbed us each a small green tea mixed with mango. It was the final dessert in a meal of desserts and it was well worth it.

Line out the door
Rachel and I with our ice cream
Green Tea and Mango ice cream
Once again the folks at Sugartooth have not failed to impress me with not only their knowledge of NYC and dessert (in this case ice cream) culture, but they have given me a heck of a good time and a lot of yummy eats. To close, I'll leave you with something I recently heard that cracks me up every time:

I scream. You scream. The police come. It's awkward.


Color Me (Locally) Caffeinated

Strolling through Nolita, you might find several of your average bodegas, a one-off pizza place and other quotidien storefronts, but then you wander down Mott Street and something slightly new and different catches your eye. Nolita Mart & Espresso Bar, just about six weeks new, is the brainchild of the super passionate James Wong and his effervescent wife Selina Ho.

Not your average market, you enter and are warmly greeted by a beautiful coffee bar made from reclaimed wood out of an old barn from Albany, artfully decorated for the holidays with the most elaborate and professional looking paper snowflakes you have ever seen. You walk past the display case filled with delectable croissants and pastries from Colson Patisserie and discover a bounty of gourmet and local food finds in the market section at the back of the store. With everything from McClure’s Pickles, Feather Ridge Farm eggs, Anarchy in a Jar jams, Rao's pastas and sauces and Ciao Bella gelatos, this store is a haven for local foodies.

Now, there's something I've left out but really I just wanted to save the best for last. Nolita Mart & Espresso Bar is one of few vendors in the city, and the only one in Nolita, that sells Stumptown Coffee and employs Stumptown-trained baristas. These people take their beans seriously. With coffee as a New Yorker's life-sustaining elixir, it's no wonder that Stumptown, the Portland-based roaster, has risen to the top of the pack as one of NYCs most cherished coffee producers. I was invited to Nolita Mart to try a latte, made with super creamy milk from Battenkill Valley Creamery (a brand also sold in the back of the store), and I must say that I'm converted. Easily the most awesome latte I've ever had in my life - no joke. It even had what looked like a fern drawn into the foam on top.

Next time you develop a taste for awesome coffee, which let's face it is always since you live in the city, I'd highly recommend a trip over to Nolita Mart & Espresso Bar for a nice cup of joe and buttery croissant. While you're there tell James and Selina I say hello!