“The secret to staying young is to live honestly, EAT slowly, and lie about your age” ~Lucille Ball
Another year older, another excuse to eat cake! As we prepared to celebrate the “N”th anniversary of Brian’s 25th birthday, I threw ideas back and forth for a month. Should I cook him an extravagant 20 course meal? Should I table my experiments and finally follow directions to bake a cake? Finally I decided that birthdays should also be about giving back. So in the spirit of stimulating the economy, I planned an adventurous foodie day traipsing around NYC.
Feel the Zen Brunch at Five Points
One of my favorite brunch destinations, Five points has an amazingly relaxing ambiance, complete with a babbling brook & an airy skylight above the open kitchen. The menu changes seasonally, but always with creative and flavorful selections.
Usually I am wary of Huevos Rancheros because a heavy breakfast of black beans + excessive cheese + salsa + guacamole makes me feel compelled to run to the gym afterwards, but at Five Points, it comes out fresh from the wood oven – crispy on top, and then delicately scrumptuous on the inside with mouthwatering Mexican flavors done just right. Brian had the Pork Fennel Benedict and though I could not judge the quality of the meat, the holladaise sauce was supremely created – creamy with the right balance of acidity and spice.
But the real highlight of every trip to Five Points is really their Churro in Mexican Hot Chocolate. Let me just start off by saying, I never really liked Churros. Growing up, the only time I’d eat them was when I’d go to Costco and sample the oversweetened, soggy microwaved ones. But the Five Points Churros were MmmmMM! Crispy, not oversweet, and with just a hint of cinnamon. The Mexican chocolate with a blend of bitter cocoa, cinnamon flavor, and nutty aroma, is one worthy of the Inca gods. It’s a must-have if you ever go!
Ooh Baby Babycakes!
After an adventurous guided tour of the Lower East Side Tenement Museum (highly recommended – it’s amazing “How the Other Half Lived”!) we worked up an appetite and I decided it was time for a birthday cupcake. I was first introduced to Babycakes Bakery when my best friend’s Ayurvedic nutritionist claimed that she was soy, gluten, and dairy intolerent. It turned out, her upset stomach episodes were just due to stress, but we’re both glad it led us to this amazing, cozy bakery with its vintage girly but also funky atmosphere. Everything is organic, and most of the goodies are made without wheat, gluten, sugar, and eggs?! At first I couldn’t believe it, but after my first bite into that heavenly carrot cupcake, I was hooked and have been in love ever since!
Trust Me, I’m a Ninja!
The secretive Ninja castle (located in Tribeca – ha now everyone knows) impresses its visiters with an experiential dining affair, visually stunning presentation, and to my pleasant surprise, quality of food! As you descend into the subterranean space, you enter the mysterious world of ninjas, with danger lurking at every corner. But for us, the greatest danger was directed to our waistline, with the 5 course meal that left us wanting to unbuttoning our pants. Here are some highlights:
And last but not least, A Rock is not a Rock unless it’s TOP OF THE ROCK as the final surprise for Brian to top off the gluttonous night. This has nothing to do with food, but the views are just so stunning!
And so concludes an eventful and (hopefully) unforgettable day for Brian. We’re hard at work cutting back on the calories this week, but thankfully goodness food comes in all forms – even low-cal incarnations!