A Healthy Version of Southern Cuisine? …It’s Here! – Review of Bobwhite Lunch & Supper Counter

BY STEPHANIE AMY COLLAZO

94 Avenue C
Alphabet City / Lower East Side
212-228-2972 / bobwhitecounter.com/

Counter seating area

            Opening their doors January 4 of this year, Bobwhite Lunch & Supper Counter has already gained popularity with the locals providing affordable Southern foods in LES. Located on Avenue C, the new lunch and dinner spot has added a healthy twist to the southern food craze of 2011. While it’s difficult for diners to accept the concept of a healthy Southern-style meal, Bobwhite is serving up crispy chicken, homemade mac and cheese and buttery biscuits that are sure to change your view of healthy eating.

Pressure fried chicken dinner plate.

            The chicken and pork come from the owner’s farm in Hudson Valley while the vegetables are bought from local farmers. Side dish options, all priced at $3.50, change regularly based upon the season and availability but so far grits seem to be a staple item on the menu.

            The chicken is soaked in sweet brine and fried in a pressurized fryer, which keeps the meat from drying out and knocks off some of the calories. When ordering the chicken you have a choice of white or dark meat, both equally delicious. Rather then coming with a heavy side like mac and cheese your chicken comes with a biscuit and side salad. The biscuits are light and, fluffy and when topped with the cayenne honey prepared in house they are pretty irresistible. We would also suggest adding some of the cayenne honey to your chicken you wont regret it.

 

Pork chop Sandwich.

            A dish that has been popular with walk in customers is the pork chop sandwich ($8.50). The pork chop sandwich is topped chow chow, a southern relish recipe that comes from the owner’s grandmother, and served on a bun with salad.

            During our visit some of the sides on the menu were cheese grits, mac and cheese and roasted vegetables. The mac and cheese was creamy and they didn’t skimp on the cheese, much like the cheese grits that are cooked in milk and loaded with cheddar, not like we’re complaining. Though I love cheese just as much as the next guy my absolute favorite side had to be the roasted vegetables. Onions, carrots and melt in your mouth garlic cloves cooked up with minimal seasoning allowed for the vegetables natural sweetness to shine.

 

Banana cream pie parfait

            To close the meal we sampled two traditional Southern desserts made on site ($4.00 each). The red velvet cupcake was moist and the cream cheese frosting wasn’t too sweet. The second dessert sample was a banana cream pie parfait made with vanilla wafers, vanilla pudding, freshly made whipped cream and bananas, all made with organic whole milk. 

            If you are in LES and looking for somewhere to go for a quick, and affordable, bite we strongly suggest you check this place out. They also deliver from E 14 Street to Houston, First Avenue to Avenue D.

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Delicatessen Summer In Soho Tasting Event – Review of Delicatessen

BY STEPHANIE AMY COLLAZO

Delicatessen
54 Prince St
Soho
212-226-0211 / delicatessennyc.com

Downstairs seating area. Photo provided by Delicatessen.

            Delicatessen is known for being a NYC eater’s favorite stop for their lobster mac and cheese, but unknown to the general public if you slink your way through the crowd and down the stairs hidden in plain view you will find yourself in an entirely different atmosphere. 

            Entering the downstairs dining area of Delicatessen you find yourself surrounded by bright lights and a green seating area.  Looking for a taste of their signature cocktail of the night, I made my way to the mini bar tucked away down a short hallway near the bathroom area.  Once inside the dimly lit bar I admired the dark décor featuring black walls lined with a variety of glass bottles. 

Minibar. Photo provided by Delicatessen.

            While waiting for the bartender to make me a “Tilly,” fresh strawberries and lime muddled together with pomegranate and Satisfaction vodka, a line quickly developed behind me and didn’t dissipate until the end of the night.  This cocktail was amazing to say the least, you could barely taste the alcohol, which makes it dangerous for the careless drinker.  The flavors of the mint, strawberry and pomegranate meshed well making for the perfect summer cocktail.

Flash Fried Tuna Avocado Roll. Photo provided by Delicatessen.

            I decided to take a seat in the mini bar area, which could hold up to 20 seated guests.  Soon after I was joined by a fellow food blogger and the waiters began to bring out the long awaited sampling menu.  We first sampled the Flash Fried Tuna Avocado Roll ($14) which came with a creamy sambal chili sauce.  My acquaintance, who is not a fan of tuna, loved this dish.  We had to have about three pieces each, it was so good.

Tempura Mozzarella and Tomato Salad. Photo provided by Delicatessen.

            Next we had the Tempura Mozzarella and Tomato Salad.  The tempura mozzarella added a different texture element that was unexpected, but greatly appreciated.  After about four samplings of the mozzarella and tomato, we received the Pork Mole Tacos ($11).  The pork in the tacos was so juicy that I needed two napkins, but I am not complaining.

Sweet Sesame Chicken Lettuce Wraps. Photo provided by Delicatessen.

            While we didn’t get to try the Smoked Chicken Tacos ($11) that we had read about in the sample menu, we did receive a sample of the Sweet Sesame Chicken Lettuce Wraps ($10).  I found these a bit difficult to eat as they were tiny and the juice from the chicken dripped everywhere.  The chicken was sweet with a hint of spice, I would have liked them a bit more if they were bigger and less messy, but I have no complaints about the flavor. 

            Next we got a chance to sample three desserts off of the new menu.  First we tried the Cheesecake Lollipop, which is included in their “Hostess” Dessert Plate ($9).  The Cheesecake Lollipop was coated in white chocolate and the cheesecake filling was smooth and a bit lemony.  Following the cheesecake was the Chocolate Layer Cake ($10), this was your basic chocolate cake layered with chocolate ganache, very rich and dense.  Last but certainly not least was the Maple Bacon Beignet ($9).  I had been waiting for this since I arrived and I was not disappointed.  This dessert combined two of my favorite things bacon and crème anglaise.  The beignet was kind of like a bacon donut and the bourbon crème anglaise that they served on the side for dipping was the perfect glaze for that donut. 

            Though this was my first time visiting Delicatessen it certainly will not be my last.

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Funky cocktail and tapas venue with a view – Review of Four

BY STEPHANIE AMY COLLAZO

FOUR at Yotel
570 10th Avenue @ 42nd St.
Car: Parking Lot located under YOTEL, entrance on 41st Street
Midtown West
646-449-7700 / yotel.com

Entrance to Yotel hotel. Photo taken from the yotel website.

The simple yet modern décor of Yotel sparked my interest long before I knew I would be making a visit to its restaurant.  Having passed by the hotel a few times the neon purple sign reading “YOTEL” and the luggage robot quickly caught my attention.

When entering Yotel, you are approached by a group of men in grey jackets who ask whether you are checking in or going upstairs, once I told them I was going to FOUR one of the men pressed the button for the elevator and told me that when I got to the fourth floor I would be there, hence the restaurant’s name.

Exiting the elevator I noticed that the staff and the hotel followed the same color scheme of plum, grey and white.  At first I thought it was a bit odd but when I realized that the staff didn’t have a uniform and were only required to wear within the color scheme I was amazed at how many different outfits they had put together using those three colors.

Strawberry lychee mojito. Photo By Stephanie Amy Collazo.

We were seated at the bar for cocktails while we waited for the tables to be set.  The first cocktail we tried was the strawberry lychee mojito ($13) off of their signature cocktail list.  The description said that the mojito consisted of rum, strawberry, lychee, mint and citrus, but all I was getting was strawberry and tequila.  Now I am not saying that they put tequila in the mojito, which is not typically in a mojito, but the drink was pretty strong and tasted like tequila.  I was a bit disappointed since I was looking forward to tasting the lychee and strawberry.

Dohyo seating at FOUR. Photo taken from the yotel website.

Shortly after finishing our cocktails we were asked where we wanted to be seated.  We had a choice between booth and Dohyo seating.  Though the Dohyo seating looked comfortable and would have enhanced the experience we opted for the booth seating since we were both in dresses and didn’t want to accidentally flash the restaurant.

Mango ginger martini. Photo By Stephanie Amy Collazo.

The waiter quickly approached us to take our orders. He suggested the mango-ginger martini ($13), and I went for it. My guest decided not to get her next drink just yet.  The mango-ginger martini consisted of vodka, mango, ginger liqueur and St Germain liqueur.  It was delicious! The ginger flavor really stood out and there wasn’t a terrible vodka sting at the end.

Chili dusted tuna. Photo By Stephanie Amy Collazo.

The first course at Chef Richard Sandoval’s new venture with Yotel was a sampling of the chili dusted tuna salad ($9).  The tuna salad was presented on top of purple potato with potato straws on top.  This course was one of my top three favorite dishes of the evening.  The light dusting of chili made it spicy and though I would have never thought to pair the two the raw tuna and purple potato tasted very good together.

Pozole miso soup. Photo By Stephanie Amy Collazo.

The second course was pozole miso soup ($6).  This was unlike any miso soup I had had before.  I am accustom to a much more simple version of the soup consisting solely of tofu, seaweed and miso.  The pozole miso soup consisted of tofu, chili guajillo, wakame seaweed and cilantro and was both visually pleasing and hearty.

Crunchy shrimp. Photo By Stephanie Amy Collazo.

Next was my absolute favorite dish of the night: the crunchy shrimp ($8).  The shrimp were the star attraction as far as my guest and myself were concerned.  We couldn’t stop raving about the its amazing flavor and crunch.  They were crunchy without a think layer of batter and had just the lightest hint of spice.

Halibut slider. Photo By Stephanie Amy Collazo

Our fourth course was a halibut slider ($9).  This dish was nice and light and the chili morita-remoulade sauce was quite flavorful. After the halibut, we had black cod with pickled artichoke ($14).  This was a sour and sweet combination that I didn’t see coming.  I enjoyed the pickled artichoke but the teriyaki-balsamic reduction made the cod too sweet for my taste.

 

Our sixth and seventh course came out at the same time.  First we tried the Chinese eggplant ($6), which consisted of miso, tomato, red chile and mint.  I am not a fan of eggplant to begin with so I was not a fan of this course.  Next we tried the Colorado lamb leg ($10).   The lamb had a cucumber-yogurt sauce and was served on top of potatoes.  The meat was very moist and I had to use my fork to eat it rather then the chopsticks we had been using to eat everything else.  My guest who is normally not a fan of lamb ate more than half of her serving.

Dessert sampler (from left to right) yuzu strawberry tart, hummingbird toffee cake and chocolate cheesecake. Photo By Stephanie Amy Collazo.

Our final course was the dessert course, which featured a sampling of the three desserts on the menu.  We first tried the yuzu strawberry tart ($7).  The lemongrass sorbet had a very strong lemon flavor, which tasted more like lemon zest, but not in a negative way.  Next we had the hummingbird toffee cake ($7).  The cake was moist and flavorful.  It was made of banana and pineapple and came with sweet anise ice cream.  The last dessert we tried was the chocolate cheesecake ($7).  The cheesecake was not too heavy and paired nicely with the blackberry sauce and chocolate crunch candies.

Due to weather constraints we couldn’t go out on the terrace but I am sure that it would be a great venue for cocktails with friends.

All in all, Yotel has something for everyone. Its drink list alone is enough to draw the young and trendy, while the menu and location will attract the older, possibly after theater, dinner crowd, and the offerings and view from the terrace will make them all stay.

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Everything you loved about college and more – Review of Beekman Beer Garden Beach Club

BY STEPHANIE AMY COLLAZO

Beekman Beer Garden Beach Club
89 South St.
South Street Seaport – New York, NY
(212) 896-4600
Beekmanbeergarden.com

View of the Brooklyn Bridge from the outdoor seating area. Photo By Stephanie Amy Collazo.

A post-grads dream, the Beekman Beer Garden Beach Club has everything you loved about college and more.  There is foosball, pool, ping-pong, great food, a light up lounge area and of course beer.

Entering from the street side of Pier 17 the first thing you see is the large black Beekman Beer Garden sign.  Making a left at the sign you are then face to face with the fun ping-pong and foosball tables and a tented seating area with a bar and a food trailer to your right.

Before finding seats we quickly surveyed the venue walking towards the back area, which featured white couches in what I have come to call the adult sandbox.

Glowing lounge area at the Beekman Beer Garden and Beach Club. Photo By Stephanie Amy Collazo.

Later in the night we learned that these couches lit up, and the view of the Brooklyn Bridge was even more beautiful than ever.

Drink of the night “Beach Ball.” Photo By Stephanie Amy Collazo.

Making our way back into the tent one of the waitresses offered us the drink of the night, which was called a Beach Ball.  When asking what was in the peach colored concoction the waitress said she was unsure but it was a mixture of rums.  The drink was very sweet, it tasted like it was made of peach schnapps and Malibu rum.

People surrounding the server with the burgers. Photo By Stephanie Amy Collazo.

The wait staff was also passing around a number of hors d’oeuvres, which for the most part were delicious, but none went over as well as the burgers.  As soon as the wait staff would walk away from the kitchen area the crowd would mob them before they could make it three feet from the pick up table.

Oyster with salsa fresca. Photo By Stephanie Amy Collazo.

The first of many hors d’oeuvres we sampled were oysters on the half shell with a salsa fresca, which are regularly priced at six for $12 or 12 for $20.  The oyster tasted very fresh and the salsa fresca made for a great alternative to the usual cocktail sauce and lemon combo.

Next we had the coconut shrimp with orange marmalade.  This had to be some of the best coconut shrimp I’ve had at a bar to date, it’s only competition being the coconut shrimp from the lazy boy saloon in White Plains.  The batter was nicely browned and had a wonderful crunch.  Sadly the coconut shrimp has not yet made it on the menu but I am hoping it will in the near future.

Piece of a Chicken Quesadilla. Photo By Stephanie Amy Collazo

The chicken quesadilla ($8) fell a little short; it was simply grilled chicken and cheese in a tortilla.  This was something I felt I could make at home; it didn’t really stand out to me in comparison with the other hors d’oeuvres.

Bratwurst on a Pretzel Bun. Photo By Stephanie Amy Collazo.

Last but certainly not least was the bratwurst served on a pretzel bun ($6).  This was served with some deli mustard and paired nicely with my Ommegang Witte ale. The beer was a pale ale similar to a Belgian-white and went well with all of the food.  The after taste of the beer reminded me of the taste left in your mouth after smoking a djarum black clove cigarette, which may be seen as an odd comparison to some but those who have smoked the brand before will know exactly what I mean.

The night finished off with my new friends and myself sipping Malibu Bay Breezes barefoot in the adult sandbox, discussing how we soon planned to return to the Beekman Beer Garden Beach Club.

There are plans for the venue to host free indie rock concerts, as well as a few ticketed events, throughout the summer making the Beekman Beer Garden a definite hot spot this summer.

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2nd Floor on Clinton- “For Those Who Know”

BY STEPHANIE AMY COLLAZO
2nd Floor on Clinton
67 Clinton Street
Lower East Side, NYC, 10002
Enter through Barramundi

Thursday, Friday and Saturday
7 p.m. – 2 a.m. last seating at 1 a.m.

http://2ndflooronclinton.com

2nd Floor on Clinton Seating Area; Photo courtesy of picasaweb.google.com/powe.tony/2ndFloorOnClinton2010

2nd Floor on Clinton Seating Area; Photo courtesy of picasaweb.google.com/powe.tony/2ndFloorOnClinton2010

Unlike other speakeasy style bars there is no password involved in gaining entry to the 2nd Floor on Clinton, people just have to know where to go.

Upon entering Barramundi I was both nervous and excited, I had never been to a speakeasy style bar before and couldn’t tell if I was headed in the right direction or not.  I made my way to the back of the bar where through some glass tiles I could see a staircase.  I was sure those were the stairs to 2nd Floor on Clinton but just couldn’t figure out if the entrance was the door clearly marked Private or if there was some top secret hidden entrance behind the door clearly leading to the restrooms.

Entrance to Barramundi

Entrance to Barramundi

Luckily I had scheduled a meeting with Tony Powe, owner of both Barramundi and 2nd Floor on Clinton, because when I went to the bartender claiming to have no idea where I was going she told me he would be right up rather than playing a joke as Powe had explained she rather enjoyed doing to people looking for the secret bar.

“One time she told someone they had to go into the bathroom and flush the toilet three times and a secret door would open,” said Powe, as we made our way to the upstairs seating area.

The Topsy-Turvy; Photo courtesy of picasaweb.google.com/powe.tony/2ndFloorOnClinton2010

The Topsy-Turvy; Photo courtesy of picasaweb.google.com/powe.tony/2ndFloorOnClinton2010

Mixologist Ken Eberle, a 16-year veteran of the NYC bar scene, created the cocktail menu.  A few of the drinks on the menu had short stories explaining why they had their names.

The Topsy-Turvy, my drink of choice, was named for a donkey owned by Powe’s great grandfather.  Ginger infused Death’s Door Vodka, honey liqueur, fresh lime and club soda make up the Topsy-Turvy.  The drink was delicious; it was sweet and the ginger lightened up the sweetness of the honey.

The Topsy-Turvy; Photo courtesy of picasaweb.google.com/powe.tony/2ndFloorOnClinton2010

The Maidens Prayer cocktail

I also tried the Maiden’s Prayer cocktail which was made of Castarede Armagnac “Selection,” Rhum JM VSOP, Cointreau, vanilla extract, sweet cream and nutmeg.  This drink was a little strong for my taste but it had a lovely after taste.

Patrons of the bar can also order from a selection of handmade truffles (3 for $9) supplied by local chocolatier Roni-Sue’s.  2nd Floor on Clinton carries six different truffles from Roni Sue’s cocktail collection including Absinthe, Margarita, Manhattan and Dark & Stormy.

The Tauster and Topsy-Turvy cocktails with a selection of chocolates

The Tauster and Topsy-Turvy cocktails with a selection of chocolates

The Absinthe truffle had a nice licorice undertone that one would normally get from absinthe, and considering I am not a fan of dark chocolate,  the pairing makes it more than bearable.

The Dark & Stormy, my least favorite of the truffles, featured Gosling’s rum, fresh ginger and lime zest.  I didn’t quite get the lime zest flavor, and though  the sugared ginger placed on top of the truffle added a bit of sweetness I found it’s flavor to be over powered by the dark chocolate.

Finally there was the Margarita truffle, which had to be my favorite of the three truffles I sampled while visiting 2nd Floor.  Once you bite into the Margarita truffle you get a burst of citrus flavor from the creamy center and the sea salt sprinkled on top completes the margarita experience.

Bookcase and seating area 2nd Floor on Clinton; Photo courtesy of picasaweb.google.com/powe.tony/2ndFloorOnClinton2010

Bookcase and seating area 2nd Floor on Clinton; Photo courtesy of picasaweb.google.com/powe.tony/2ndFloorOnClinton2010

2nd Floor on Clinton has a very relaxing atmosphere.  They do not permit groups larger than four and only allow a limited number of guests to enter at a time.

Table service ensures that guests will pace their drinking while the calm music and small groups encourage speaking in hushed tones.

This place is the perfect place to start your night.  If you’re not sure if you are up for a night of drinking start at the 2nd Floor on Clinton, if you decide you want to get your booze on you can always head on down to Barramundi for contemporary music and typical bar drinks.

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Sweets on the go – Review of Dessert Truck Works

BY STEPHANIE AMY COLLAZO

DessertTruck Works
6 Clinton St.
Lower East Side
& various locations along 3rd. Ave., Manhattan
dt-works.net/

Dessert Truck

Dessert Truck

One night after a long walk through the city a friend and myself stumbled upon the Dessert Truck parked on 3rd and St. Marks Pl.  After a quick glance at the menu we decided it was imperative we order at least two tasty treats off of the inventive menu.

The dessert list of alluring sugary concoctions included goat cheese cheesecake, pavlova and warm chocolate cake.  I made up my mind after learning their chocolate bread pudding with bacon crème anglaise was a winner on Throw down with Bobby Flay.  While our second dessert choice was the vanilla crème brûlée.

Chocolate bread pudding with bacon crème anglaise and whipped cream

Vanilla crème brûlée

The chocolate bread pudding can be ordered with either vanilla or bacon crème anglaise.  The bread pudding was both warm and gooey.  The bacon crème was smooth and added the perfect hint of porky goodness to the bread pudding.  I could have done with out the whipped cream, though it was tasty, and the decorative burnt piece of bread (or at least that’s what it looked and tasted like) besides that this was my favorite of the two desserts.

Vanilla crème brûlée

Chocolate bread pudding with bacon crème anglaise and whipped cream

A freshly burnt sugar crust topped the vanilla crème brûlée.  The crackling sound that came from cutting through the beautifully browned sugar crust made my mouth water at the mere thought of what was to follow.  The crème brûlée was made with Madagascan vanilla beans and had a delightfully rich flavor and texture.

Most of the desserts on the menu were reasonably priced at $6 each and if my stop at the dessert truck was any indication of what should be expected, the other desserts on the menu are guaranteed to be amazing.

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Republic – affordable Asian fusion cuisine on Union Sq

BY STEPHANIE AMY COLLAZO

Republic
37 Union Square West
Flatiron District / Union Square –  East Village
(212) 627-7172 / http://www.thinknoodles.com/index.html

Spicy coconut chicken broth noodles

Spicy coconut chicken broth noodles

Republic is an Asian fusion late night hot spot where both hipsters and businessmen can be found devouring quality eats at an affordable price.

After months of hearing rave reviews about the food at Republic I had to go see what all the fuss was about.  When approaching the restaurant I thought we were in for a long wait, considering the flood of people I saw entering the establishment, but I quickly learned that the restaurant was much larger than it looked from the outside, and we were seated within minutes of our arrival. [Read more...]

Van Leewen Artisan Ice Cream- the gourmet ice cream truckPH

BY STEPHANIE AMY COLLAZO

Van Leewen Artisan Ice Cream
Various
Locations in Manhattan:

8am- 6pm 5th Ave @ 15th Street
Panda:      8am-10am 6th Ave @ 22nd St
10am- 4pm 23rd @ 5th Ave
4pm-6pm 5th ave @ 22nd St

8am- 6pm 5th Ave @ 15th Street
8am-10am 6th Ave @ 22nd St
10am- 4pm 23rd @ 5th Ave
4pm-6pm 5th ave @ 22nd St

718 701-1630 / vanleeuwenicecream.com/

* New store now open in Greenpoint, Brooklyn: 632 Manhattan Ave.

Close up of the Van Leewen Artisan Ice Cream Truck

Close up of the Van Leewen Artisan Ice Cream Truck

We’ve all had our love affair with Mr. Softee, spending summers running up to the truck ordering soft serve ice cream covered in rainbow sprinkles, but now that we are older and no longer transform into rabid beasts over the sound of an ice cream truck approaching, Van Leeuwen’s Artisan Ice Cream Truck is supplying us ex-Softee lovers with a more adult appropriate menu.

[Truck photo: Van Leewen Artisan Ice Cream Truck]

The buttercup yellow Van Leeuwan truck’s can be found at various locations throughout the day, serving up their frozen treats made from locally sourced organic milk, cream and eggs.

Van Leewen Truck menu

Van Leewen Truck menu

The menu includes gourmet flavors like red current, ginger hazelnut and giandujia as well as old favorites like vanilla, chocolate and pistachio.  But this isn’t your run of the mill vanilla ice cream, Van Leeuwen’s Tahitian vanilla ice cream is chock full of fresh vanilla bean flavor.

Medium giandujia ice cream

Medium giandujia ice cream

While on my way home I passed by one of the Van Leeuwen trucks and decided to see what all the fuss was about.  Since it was late in the day, they had already sold out of a few of their more popular flavors, like hazelnut, but there was still quite a  selection available considering it was well after 8 p.m. On my visit I decided to order a medium giandujia ($5.75) to split with a friend.  The giandujia is a blend of their Michel Cluizel chocolate with rich Piedmont Hazelnuts.

The ice cream was light and creamy.  Neither of the flavors were too strong, comparable to the flavor of nutella.  Although some reviews I have read have complained about the portion size to price ratio I found that a medium was a large enough portion for two.

While the ice cream is a little expensive, the quality of the ingredients makes it well worth the price.


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Just Sweet’s not so sweet opening

BY STEPHANIE AMY COLLAZO

Review of Just Sweet Dessert House
83 Third Avenue, (Corner of 3rd Ave and 12th Street)
East Village – NYC
212-388-1380 http://justsweetnyc.com

Just Sweet had its grand opening July 16th, and as one of the 50+ dining options on Third Avenue it is sticking out for all the wrong reasons.

A few weeks prior to the grand opening of Just Sweet I passed by the store and quickly wrote down the name and location, positive that only something good can come of a place with such a name.  After a friend notified me of his visit to the dessert only restaurant I quickly made plans to go there a week after the opening.

Bubble Tea at Just Sweet

Bubble Tea at Just Sweet

When you arrive to the restaurant you can’t help but become excited by the bright colors and promising menu rife with numerous Asian-inspired desserts.

There are crepes with green tea ice cream, shaved ice topped with fruit, ice cream sundaes, tong shui (a sweet soup), bubble tea, sweet sticky rice and an array of special dessert drinks.

Mango Sticky Rice

Mango Sticky Rice

On my visit I ordered the mango sticky rice ($5), toast with condensed milk ($3) and taro milk tea with lychee jelly ($4).  While my companions ordered the chocolate castle sundae ($7) and strawberry delight shaved ice ($5.50).

Strawberry Delight Shaved Ice

Strawberry Delight Shaved Ice

Chocolate Castle Sundae

Chocolate Castle Sundae

The waitress was quick to take our order but the kitchen was slow to deliver.  It took over 10 minutes for the kitchen to produce my taro milk tea, it was delicious nonetheless, but a beverage shouldn’t take as long as the meal to be delivered.

Along side my long awaited bubble tea was the mango sticky rice.  Mango slices and a white sauce, which I’m unfamiliar with, topped the sticky rice.   The dish was beautifully presented in a clear square bowl.  As soon as I took my first bite my expectations plummeted, though it looked beautiful it was terribly bland, the only thing sweet about it was the slightly mushy mango.

Next was the toast with condensed milk, which I waited over twenty minutes for only to be notified that they were out of bread.

After being terribly disappointed with my own order I went ahead and tried my friend’s desserts.  The Strawberry delight, which was shaved iced, topped with strawberry syrup, strawberry slices, mixed jelly and a scoop of ice cream that cost a dollar extra, was actually really good.  The flavors and textures mixed really well making their shaved ice the perfect summer treat.

The chocolate sundae was nothing special, chocolate ice cream with chocolate syrup, crushed oreos, cornflakes, and banana.  It was good and the cornflakes added a nice crunch but for at $7 I’d say go to the super market buy all of the ingredients and make these at home.

Although the service was terrible I will probably return to Just Sweet for the shaved ice, in hopes of an improvement in service.

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Just Sweet's not so sweet opening

BY STEPHANIE AMY COLLAZO

Review of Just Sweet Dessert House
83 Third Avenue, (Corner of 3rd Ave and 12th Street)
East Village – NYC
212-388-1380 http://justsweetnyc.com

Just Sweet had its grand opening July 16th, and as one of the 50+ dining options on Third Avenue it is sticking out for all the wrong reasons.

A few weeks prior to the grand opening of Just Sweet I passed by the store and quickly wrote down the name and location, positive that only something good can come of a place with such a name.  After a friend notified me of his visit to the dessert only restaurant I quickly made plans to go there a week after the opening.

Bubble Tea at Just Sweet

Bubble Tea at Just Sweet

When you arrive to the restaurant you can’t help but become excited by the bright colors and promising menu rife with numerous Asian-inspired desserts.

There are crepes with green tea ice cream, shaved ice topped with fruit, ice cream sundaes, tong shui (a sweet soup), bubble tea, sweet sticky rice and an array of special dessert drinks.

Mango Sticky Rice

Mango Sticky Rice

On my visit I ordered the mango sticky rice ($5), toast with condensed milk ($3) and taro milk tea with lychee jelly ($4).  While my companions ordered the chocolate castle sundae ($7) and strawberry delight shaved ice ($5.50).

Strawberry Delight Shaved Ice

Strawberry Delight Shaved Ice

Chocolate Castle Sundae

Chocolate Castle Sundae

The waitress was quick to take our order but the kitchen was slow to deliver.  It took over 10 minutes for the kitchen to produce my taro milk tea, it was delicious nonetheless, but a beverage shouldn’t take as long as the meal to be delivered.

Along side my long awaited bubble tea was the mango sticky rice.  Mango slices and a white sauce, which I’m unfamiliar with, topped the sticky rice.   The dish was beautifully presented in a clear square bowl.  As soon as I took my first bite my expectations plummeted, though it looked beautiful it was terribly bland, the only thing sweet about it was the slightly mushy mango.

Next was the toast with condensed milk, which I waited over twenty minutes for only to be notified that they were out of bread.

After being terribly disappointed with my own order I went ahead and tried my friend’s desserts.  The Strawberry delight, which was shaved iced, topped with strawberry syrup, strawberry slices, mixed jelly and a scoop of ice cream that cost a dollar extra, was actually really good.  The flavors and textures mixed really well making their shaved ice the perfect summer treat.

The chocolate sundae was nothing special, chocolate ice cream with chocolate syrup, crushed oreos, cornflakes, and banana.  It was good and the cornflakes added a nice crunch but for at $7 I’d say go to the super market buy all of the ingredients and make these at home.

Although the service was terrible I will probably return to Just Sweet for the shaved ice, in hopes of an improvement in service.

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