Okay, so yeah, I have written about visiting NYC maaaaaany many times. Maybe you even got your barf bag ready, cause here Caroline goes again. But whateva, cause the place is just so beyond fabulous, dollies. I will never get sick of it, I will never stop going, and I’ll never stop writing about it. It is a constantly evolving city, and there are always new and wonderful things to eat, see, explore, and do. Still, I’m going to be easy on you and just share the highlights.

Pancakes. As per usual, I gorged myself on all manner of goodies, from my Levain cookies, to Grom gelato,  to the deservedly infamous lobster roll at Pearl Oyster Bar, and I finally managed to try the incredible pineapple linzer cookies at Te Company. But what completely blew my mind (or belly) into the cosmos was two delicious types of pancakes I discovered for the first time.

  • Exhibit A: The blubbery calfoutis at Le Coucou. Le Coucou is a very fancy French restaurant in the downtown area. I’d love to have dinner there but I’d feel a little self conscious going on my own for a larger meal — I’ll get over that, but CrazyKat, we have a date, okay? That, and Lobster Rumble,  girlie. The restaurant itself is stunning and sumptuous. It requires you to get a bit dressed up (but I imagine breakfast is more casual than dinner, and also you don’t have to make a reservation then). I sat my fat ass down on a velvet tuffet as the most beautiful pancake ever was set before my beady little eyes.  Oh, and do you know dollies, it was just as delicious as it looked. I loved the added touches of the cream quenelle dusted in lime zest.

Screen Shot 2018-05-13 at 12.45.14 PM

  • Exhibit B: The pancakes at Chez Ma Tante were completely the opposite. The didn’t win the pancake beauty contest like the one at Le Coucou, as they were much more rustic looking, but ooooooooh. And oooooooooooh. Okay so these had the most incredible texture for a pancake that I have yet to encounter (and yes, I did try the ones at Cinton Street Baking Company… good, but meh in comparison). These were crunchy on the outsides, fluffy on the inside, with the faintest hint of lemon, covered in maple syrup and a healthy pat of buttah (it’s good for the skin dont’cha know). And it happened to be just DEVINE. Yep, totally freaking swoon-worthy. Okay, so I should mention that technically these are in Williamsburg, not NYC, but go. Gooooooooooooo!

chez-ma-tante-6.w710.h473

Seeing an artist at work. As you know I love street art. I happened to be in Williamsburg while the Moniker Art Fair was in progress (which I went to). In conjunction with the fair, a very famous street artist known as D*Face was finishing up a piece, and I happened to see him action, which was very special for me.

IMG_3677

IMG_3679

Speaking of art, another highlight of my trip was taking part in an exhibit by Candy Chang. I am a huge fan of hers, I have been ever since I saw her Ted Talk. I always wanted to write on one of her “Before I Die” walls, but I have never encountered one in my travels thus far. This, however, was just as cool, if not cooler. The exhibit was at a lesser known NYC museum, The Rubin Museum of Art. The exhibit was called “A Monument for the Anxious and Hopeful.” There were two walls. On one wall people were invited to write  one of their hopes and include it with the other contributors. On the other wall, visitors wrote their anxieties. What people wrote ran the gamut from funny to very deep and real. It struck a very personal cord with me. I loved being able to share my own and be a tiny part of this beautiful collective.

IMG_3756

IMG_3754
I love knowing that somewhere in this picture, is one of my own.

Treating myself. Well, the truth is, all of my vacations are about indulgence in some way. Food, art, and sometimes (but not always) there are goodies involved. I’m not really one to collect souvenirs, but I did see something quite special at Bergdorf Goodman that I could not resist. It was a bit of an extravagance, but you only live once. I am a great believer in treating oneself to the finer things, when and if it is possible, because we are the only one we can truly count on at the end of the day.  My mom always says, “I buy myself flowers, because if I have to wait for a man to do it, I might grow a beard.” Yeah well, I bought myself the moon, and strung it along my neck. I have always wanted a pretty moon necklace. I’m a Cancer, so it’s my sign. The moon is also supposed to be a representation of feminine energy/power. Who would have guessed? Me, Caroline, that’s who.

Untitled.jpg

In what seems likes another lifetime, Moi was a food blogger. I wrote about cool restaurants, recipes, and some highly glamorous adventures whose main goal was procuring sensational eats. Food was my life. Looking back, I think I turned to food for the love that I wasn’t getting. It is a wonder I didn’t turn into a contender for My 600 Pound Life. Food is still a great passion of mine, but it is not the full blown obsession it was back in my food blogging days.

These days I spend most of my life on a diet, but when I travel? F that sh*t! Eating decadent, crazy treats is kind of like my crack. It thrills me.  Food is most definitely my drug of choice, and when I am on vacation, I indulge. I indulge like a Martha Falker!

Shall we go on a little cookie adventure my lovelies? Get out those elastic waist pants. You are going to need them! You see, I know how most women are always so worried about their weight. So as a public service to the sisterhood, I taste tested five different ubercookies. This way, you don’t have to waste calories on the crap. You can go straight to the good stuff. Yes, I know, I should win the Nobel Prize or something.  I am like a very beautiful Cookie Monster. Nom Nom Nom.

Jacques Torres, $3, Score: 8/10

IMG_8096

The first chocolate chip cookie I ate was from Jacques Torres at Rockefeller Center. It is served nice and warm, but not necessarily fresh. They have cookies that are sitting on a warming plate, and for all I know, they could have been sitting there a very long time. It does have some excellent quality chocolate and a good mix of crispy and soft textures; but, when I lifted my cookie from it’s plate, it started to fall apart. I was not amused. That being said, it did have some truly excellent caramel-y flavors. The melty chocolate was quite divine (not to mention messy, but that’s totally okay by me). If this cookie was actually fresh, it would have been fabulous. I’d describe it very good but not extraordinary. I give it an 8. I have to score tough daaaahlings, this is NYC you know, and competition here is fiercer than me when I’m in a Dr ManWhore induced rage.

Petrossian Chocolate and Pecan Cookie $3.75, Score 9/10

IMG_8251

This cookie is a colossus that could quiet the most fearsome Cookie Monster. It used to be my absolute favorite cookie in the city.  It is not warm like the one from Jacques Torres, but its freshness is undeniable. It is nice and crispy on the outside with a bit of give in the middle. Of all the cookies I reviewed, this one is the most chock full of goodies. In fact, I’d say there was a higher goodie to cookie ratio… yes, that is scientific terminology okay?! Go sit down.

Upon biting into the cookie, there are deep chocolate pools housed in the bottom. It makes for a most decadent and special cookie which I didn’t think I could be beat (until I found my 10/10 which blows absolutely everything out of the water). Nevertheless, it is a truly fantastic cookie with beautiful deep, rich flavors.  I adore it.

And by the way, the Petrossian building is a thing to behold. It is absolutely stunning!

Petrossian Building NYC

Really though, I could have done without the looks of abject horror on the faces of those
Really though, I could have done without the looks of abject horror on the faces of those “sweet” cherubs. Totally unnecessary!

Maman, $3.75 (or $13.75 if you count the taxi), 6.5/10

IMG_8435

According to my research Maman has NYC’s new “it” cookie. Quite honestly, I beg to differ. Maybe it is just my frustration talking, but tracking this cookie down was one hell of an unpleasant mission. I walked for ages to find it, got lost, then spent $10 on a taxi driver who drove me somewhere that was not Maman. I got lost again… ugh! By the time I got there I was in a real mood. For all the trouble I went through, this cookie needed to deliver an orgasm to make up for my troubles. It did not. Moi was not impressed at all. To be fair, it was a decent all around good cookie with good flavor. There were some great pieces of chocolate in there. There was a soft center, but no discernible crispy edges. It was fresh, but not warm. It was slightly salty, and completely unremarkable. It was, shall we say, an anticlimax. Total waste of calories.

The Salted Chocolate Chip Cookie from The Smile, $3, Score 7/10

IMG_8478Of all the cookies I ate, this one at The Smile wins the beauty contest. Look at those giant chocolate chips and the lovely flecks of sea salt (which were not unpleasant, just unusual). It was good, and they were certainly not cheap on the chocolate, there was lots inside. But it was not great, not in my opinion at least. Like the cookie at Maman, it was not terribly remarkable.

Levain Bakery’s Chocolate Chip and Walnut Cookie, $4, Score 10/10

I saved the best for last. The cookies from Levain Bakery, are without a doubt, the Holy Grail of cookies. If God baked, this is the one that he would make. This cookie is worth all the crazy hype it gets. Like all the cookies I tried, it was a big one, but this differed in that it was much more puffy. It looks something like a biscuit or a British scone. These are so freaking good, it will make you want to slap your sidekick…

o1j00

These are so good, that I am almost at a loss for words… almost. These cookies are served as fresh as can be. They are still warm, which allows for their trademark texture that makes them so extraordinary. The insides of these things are simply Heaven, slightly doughy, but not to the extent of being cloying or “raw” tasting. It just melts in your mouth. Do not leave NYC without a Levain cookie, you will die unfulfilled. I am so serious.

IMG_8225