Where I want to eat (and drink) in 2013

The new year means trying out new restaurants, and now that the effects of drinking too much “iced tea” on NYE have left my body, this girl is ready to eat. I’m typing this, fork in hand, to share where I intend to stuff my face in 2013, and to prove that I’m a woman who doesn’t need all ten fingers to use a keyboard.


205 Chrystie Street (LES)

It might be a little soon to talk cocktails, but these cocktails are blended with fresh fruit, so I think it’s okay. Organic Avenue meets the TGI Fridays app menu at this Lower East Side bar/restaurant, and I couldn’t be more intrigued. According to the restaurant’s website, they offer spiked juices and smoothies, and street food-inspired fare, all in the sunny upstairs cafe situation or their underground bar. I’m counting the minutes until I get to go to Cocktail Bodega, and not just because they have a Birthday Cake Smoothie… I swear.


94 Avenue C (Alphabet City)

If I had a time machine, I’d go back and eat at all the old school diners and cafes which, in this situation, wouldn’t be old school cause I’d be eating at them in real time. But luckily I don’t have to wait on Biff and McFly to get their act together, and can just go to Bob White’s instead. Apparently, back in the day a lot of these small restaurants existed that offered seasonal food at an affordable price point, and that’s what they’re trying to replicate. Catfish, Black Eye Peas, Banana Pudding, and more populate Bob White’s menu along with other classics that are making me go deep into food fantasy mode. The best part is I could get all of the above for under $20. I think I’m in love.


1259 Park Avenue (UES)

Beer and cheese, lots and lots of cheese, is what I hope to find after taking the trip to Earl’s on the Upper (Upper) East Side. Despite being decorated to look like a hunter’s wilderness heaven, the food on Earl’s menu is far from what the camo-clad set would usually expect. The grilled cheese comes with pork belly, the tomato soup is made with sriracha, and the tacos are wrapped in scallion pancakes. I plan to set aside a whole day’s worth of hours (and calories) to indulge here and can’t wait to see their top hat wearing pig in person.


121 W 19th Street (Chelsea)

My grandparents yelled “Gezunte” every time somebody in the family would sneeze or burp, so growing up, I heard this phrase a lot. That has nothing to do with this restaurant other than giving me the feeling that it holds some sense of home. Described as an “upscale kosher cafe” I’ve heard their bagels, cream cheeses, and Jewish food is some of the best around.  Whether you go with the aforementioned treats, a pastry, coffee, salad, or soup, Gezunte Bagels provides tons of books to sit and enjoy while you’re sitting and enjoying your food.


154 Orchard Street (LES)

I never made it out to this go to spot in 2012 and refuse to rest until I get my tushy to Mission Chinese. So much has been written about New York’s newest best restaurant, so I’ll refer you to Adam Platt’s opinion, until I can write a post-meal review of my own.

Cake Shop’s in Danger

Too many times to count, I would pick up my phone long after prime time hours, and exchange the words “peanut butter pie” with my bestie Jen. We would hustle down (or in her case over) to the Cake Shop and late night snacking and catching up would ensue. I’ve had countless quality hangouts over delicious treats and beverages while sinking deep into their comfy furniture that looks like it was swiped from the sidewalk. You never know what you’re going to get at the Cake Shop. It could be a quiet afternoon coffee session or a random night where they play the same three Vivian Girls songs on repeat. The one guarantee is  you’ll feel good and have fun. That is unavoidable.

It saddens me maybe a little too much that the Cake Shop chapter of my life might soon be coming to a close. According to NY Mag, if Cake Shop doesn’t raise $50,000 by June 20th, it will be forced to close it’s doors. The recent Lower East Side security crack down has made it financially tricky for them to stay in business and according to co-owner Nick Bodor they’ve made it so “you have to be 21 to buy a piece of cake.”

Now, I’m all for the city trying to be a safer place for residents and tourists, but this seems a little ridiculous. The article states that because of legislation, Cake Shop would now need a rope and a bouncer as where before anyone could go in  and enjoy the bakery. They say there’s no way to prove every single person is carded at the bar when they buy a drink. It all seems a little silly. If an Applebee’s opened up on the LES (which at this point isn’t out of the realm of possibility) would they need a bouncer too? They also offer alcohol in addition to their food…

I think in areas where there’s a high frequency of drinking, it’s important to have a place underage people can hang out also. That way, instead of them having to scam and lie as a result of being excluded, they have options that don’t involve using their sister’s old drivers license…. Which I totally didn’t do when I first moved here. I travelled to Martha’s Vineyard this summer and visited Back Door Donuts, which is a perfect example of what I’m talking about.

Like most bakeries, Back Door does all it’s baking at night, and being that it’s located in the center of MV’s going out district, the smell of sweet donut goodness attracted a lot of visitors after hours. In order to capitalize on this, they started selling their donuts and fritters and cinnamon rolls to customers right out of the oven. The line stretches down the block every night at Back Door and as you can imagine, it attracts a lot of kids who have nowhere else to go at those hours. The city tried to close it all down, but there was an outpouring of parents and residents who objected saying that it was a safe, legal option for their kids and they’d prefer to know that that’s where they were all hanging out. Luckily Back Door still runs it’s back door business uninterrupted cause let me tell you, those are some GOOD donuts.

Suffice to say, Cake Shop should probably stay open. It’s a mecca for good desserts, good drinks, and awesome music. It’s a great place to go in the LES when getting wasted isn’t at the top of your priority list and you want to spend your time with like-minded people. Also, to lose their peanut butter pie would just be a travesty.

In order to raise the money, Cake Shop is looking for a financial backer, however even if you don’t have 50 grand, you can still help by emailing cakeshopusa@gmail.com. I know I’m going to. And in the meantime, go to Cake Shop. At least until June 20th it’s still one of the best ways you can fill up free time.