Saturday, January 22, 2011

NYC trip, pre-Christmas (yes...I know I'm behind)

     The Christmas holidays are finally over, so I feel like now I can relax and blog a bit. Before we went to Minnesota for a couple weeks of Christmas celebration, Karl and I  spent a couple days in NYC since our flight was out of laGuardia. One of the things we like to do is eat at places that we have seen on tv shows like "The best thing I ever ate" and "Throwdown" with Bobby Flay. This time we made it to 2 places- Levain's bakery for their dark chocolate chocolate chip cookies and J.G. Melon's for their hamburgers. Both places were featured on "The Best Thing I Ever Ate" on the food network. The first place we went was to Levain's. This little bakery is easy to pass by if you're not looking for it (which we did) (and we were looking for it). It basically consists of a small small kitchen filled with industrial sized appliances. There is a counter with a cash register, but that's about it. Oh there's also two stools and a counter facing the street.

When we spotted Levain's there was a line out the door. We peeked in any spied a sheet of the famous cookies being put in the oven. Each plop of cookie dough was the size of a baseball. I kid you not.

But it's not only because they're large that they're popular. Levain imports their chocolate for both their dough and their chips. Each cookie is moist, chewy, and of course decadently chocolately. Karl said it was "the most intense cookie experience I have ever had."
 In fact, he had to take breaks eating it! Despite it's $4.00 price tag the cookie was worth every penny, he says. Also their coffee is good and it's only $1.25! They different varieties of cookies that can be found on their website: Oh and they also ship so you don't have to make a long or expensive trip to New York.
 Our second and final food place was to J.G. Melons, famous for their  handmade burgers. Situated on a busy corner, this restaurant reminds me of a little town bar in England. Not that I've ever been in one, but I have seen "The Holiday" a dozen times and this is quintessential of what it looked like in the movie. The quarters are cozy and the lighting is romantical. When we went around dinner time, it was pretty crowded both at the bar and in the restaurant portion. The waiter told me it would be at least 40 minutes. Right then a couple got up to leave and I asked if we could sit there. Ha, you're so lucky, he told me. Apparently, if you have a large party ( meaning 3 or more) it's pretty difficult to get a table without waiting for a substantial amount of time.

Ok, so back to the food. Burgers (plain, no cheese or bacon) are $8.95 and their cottage fries are $4.75. They have a limited but interesting menu, mostly burgers/sandwhiches, salads, entrees, and desserts. The back side of the menu card is drinks- wine, champagne ( including Dom Perignon for $175), beers, and soda for $2.75 a glass, no refills. I'll cut to the chase.

 I was a little disappointed  with both the burger and the fries. The burger was a little too dense, thick, and had a lack of flavor. Besides the cool shape of the fries, they were fine. Potatoes can taste better. In my opinion, if you want a good burger and fries, go to Shake Shack. And get a Concrete Mixer.

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