My favorite food in the entire world is vanilla bean ice cream.
You might call that boring. I call it classy. 😉
I love vanilla bean ice cream even more than peanut butter, if you can believe it! (And peanut butter is a food, not a condiment, when it’s regularly eaten straight from the jar 😉 )
So I didn’t need to think about what my order would be when I finally found a Van Leeuwen ice cream truck on my last day in New York City.
And I say finally because it took me two hours to get my hands on that cone. (I actually asked for a cup, but my scooper saw my camera and told me a cone would make a better picture. I think I agree!) My trusty tour guide, Yelp, wasn’t so trusty when it came to tracking down the famous yellow trucks.
The double scoop of vanilla bean ice cream was everything I dreamed it would be. While Van Leeuwen may not offer crazy flavors like Chubby Hubby or Phish Food, they do offer the truest form of classic ice cream possible. . By true I mean, no artificial ingredients, no sprinkles—no Chunky Monkey nonsense! Their product is created using just three ingredients: locally-sourced hormone-free milk, cane sugar, and eggs.
An entire post could be devoted to Van Leeuwen ice cream, but there are 547385923 New York moments that deserve to be shared! I wish I could write an epic recap, but my word reserve needs to be saved for epic paper-writing today. Ewww.
So this is what NYC recap take 2 is going to look like: Few words. Lots of pictures. All foodie highlights.
(If you missed it, be sure to check out some of the delicious food I ate in recap 1 here)
Ready? Here we goooooo!
Tasting Tour at Chobani Soho
On Saturday, I met Amy, the Chobani rep, and my friend Gina at the Soho store for a tasting tour!
After Amy told us a bit about the company and the development of the store, we dug into five signature creations of yogurt.
Each creation was made with creamy 2% plain yogurt and topped with fresh ingredients. They were all amazing.
The yogurt masters were hard at work!
Every yogurt creation is served in a reusable glass bowl, which can be brought back for a discount. I love this concept.
Thanks for showing me around, Amy!
Mini Cupcakes at Baked By Melissa
Each cupcake was only 1-inch wide! Aren’t they cute?
Bite sized bliss. 😉 My favorite was the Chocolate Chip Pancake cupcake, but I’d love to go back and try Mint Chocolate Chip!
(Note: These cupcakes are not gluten free. I decided to take a chance and deal with the tummy upset later. Fortunately I handled them just fine!)
5-Hour Evening in Eataly
Saturday evening, I met my childhood friend, Stephie, in Eataly, which is a huge Italian market that houses nine restaurants and thousands of imported delicacies.
I discovered pasta half the size of my body. This would make a massive lasagna!
Fresh squid ink pasta.
More varieties of olive oil than I’ve ever seen in my life!
Cheese counter sampling. My favorite was blue cheese with saffron.
I enjoyed the most incredible grilled greens at Le Verdure!
Next, we moved to Il Pesce, where we ate perfectly seared cod served over roasted tomatoes and eggplant.
Ugly? Yep! Absolutely delicious? Oh yeah.
My dear friend and dining companion, Stephie!
We capped everything off with a cup of gelato.
Vanilla bean. Of course. 😉
Peanut Butter & Co.
I made sure to stop by the flagship store. This is where “gourmet peanut butter” craze began!
Inside is a peanut butter lover’s dream.
I stocked up on two of my favorite fancy peanut butters: Dark Chocolate Dreams and Cinnamon Raisin Swirl.
I really wanted to buy this lunch box but realized that advertising peanut butter obsessions isn’t as cute when you’re 26 as it is when you’re six.
I never ever imagined I’d be able to drop $80 on tea. I’m a coffee girl, after all.
But I did. David’s Tea has officially changed my tea is too stuffy mindset forever.
Of all the teas I sampled, the dessert-inspired ones were my favorites.
I wish my tea-loving sister had been in the store to help me navigate this wall of teas!
Banana Nut Bread, was the one that really captured my heart.
Banana Nut Bread is part of the Fall 2012 line, and is described this way: The taste of real banana slices blends perfectly with almonds and the sweetness of dates and currants. It’s fragrant, with all the warmth of a loaf hot from the oven. As deliciously comforting as mama’s special recipe, but without the calories.
I’m hoping Santa Claus will stuff my stocking with the other two Fall flavors, Pumpkin Chai and Red Velvet Cake. 😉 I’m also hoping that David’s Tea will open a store in DC very very soon.
Whole Foods East Village
I have access to Whole Foods in Washington, DC, but Whole Foods East Village was not a typical Whole Foods (at least as I know them!).
Full-service sushi bar with merry-go-round sushi.
My final meal in NYC was eaten out of a humble brown box.
After several days of regularly indulging in sweet treats and richer food than I’m typically used to, it felt wonderful to tuck into something simple, clean and healthy.
That said, I savored every minute and every bite in New York. It feels good to be able to truly enjoy—and I mean TRULY ENJOY—being out of my fitness and clean eating routine while on vacation. In the past, I’d feel guilty for indulging while I was away, but isn’t what vacation is for? Isn’t vacation meant to allow us the opportunity to let go and experience those things that we rarely get an opportunity—or take an opportunity—to enjoy?
I think so.
Thank you for all your NYC bucket list suggestions! I wish I’d had more time in the city to hit each and every one of them. I guess I’ll have to go back. Who wants to join me? 😉
My German “sister,” Kira arrives tomorrow and will be staying with me for a week, so I’m not sure I’ll have time to blog, since all of my free time will be spent showing her around DC! I’ll try to check in once, but if I don’t, I’ll be back at the end of the week!
What’s your “favorite food in the entire world?”
Are there any other vanilla bean ice cream devotees out there? 😉
Do you enjoy being out of your typical routine when you’re on vacation? Why or why not?
Are you a tea person or a coffee person? Are you willing to splurge on good tea or coffee?