Tuesday, August 5, 2008

BCD Takes NYC: Part Two – Cupcakes and Shack Shakes

By Erin and Xani

After our fabulous first meal in the Big Apple, we went home to Lauren’s house in Brooklyn and rested up for our first full day in the city. We started Saturday by going into the city and getting on a big boat and touring the latest multi-million dollar public art exhibit: The New York City Waterfalls. Although the weather wasn’t exactly perfect (i.e., it looked like the Apocalypse was headed our way), the waterfalls were very interesting and we had a grand ol’ time on the "high seas."


Xani and Lauren take to the high seas!

After our boat ride we headed to Sugar Sweet Sunshine, a cupcake shop on the Lower East Side, to grab a sweet treat. Sugar Sweet Sunshine is a cozy, retro-looking space with a handful of flavors of cupcakes, plus other non-cupcake sweets and a coffee bar. The torrential downpour had begun on our way to the shop so when we got inside, we were definitely in need of some sugar and sunshine. So, we got coffees and then did a cupcake tasting! We ordered three flavors of cupcakes: Bob (yellow cake with chocolate almond buttercream), Sexy Red Velvet (red velvet cake with "the moose" frosting (satin buttercream)), and Lemon Yummy (lemon cake with lemon buttercream).

Bob and Lemon Yummy

Then, we divided each cupcake into thirds and did our tasting. The results? Sweet and sunshine-y. The clear winner was the Lemon Yummy, as the cake was moist and lemony, and the icing was sweet (but not too sweet) and bright with lemon goodness. Next in line was Bob, who had equally moist cake and prefect-textured frosting, but the almond extract in the frosting sort of overwhelmed the whole thing, unfortunately. Last was the Sexy Red Velvet (not to be confused with the Sassy Red Velvet, which has red velvet cake and chocolate icing), which had decent cake but lacked the traditional cream cheese frosting (best frosting ever!), instead using the satin buttercream, which was too thin (both in texture and in flavor) for our tastes. The coffee was good though!

One of the best things about Sugar Sweet Sunshine (other than giving us yummy treats and keeping us out of the rain), was that the best dog ever (um, except Gellie, of course!) was sitting outside with his owner. We named him Winston (not sure why) and he was so cute we could barely contain ourselves.

Winston! (Any idea what kind of dog he is?)

After getting our sugar fix, we walked a few blocks to the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, a museum dedicated to teaching about the immigrant and migrant experiences of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. We went on a very interesting tour of two recreated tenements, one from the 1870s and one from the 1930s, and learned about the families that lived (and died) there. Crazy to think 8 people could live in a home the size of EP's living room!

After the tour we had certainly worked up an appetite for our next meal in the big city: Shake Shack! As you loyal readers my recall, we love us some burgers, and Shake Shack is one of NYC's most popular burger joints. The Shack is one of restauranteur Danny Meyer's restaurants (in addition to Gramercy Tavern, Blue Smoke, and Union Square Cafe, to name a few), and it is located in Madison Square Park. There is only outdoor seating, and luckily, the sun came out and dried up all the rain, which made for a lovely afternoon for burgers and fries in the park. Another great thing about the Shack is that it is environmentally conscious, using wind energy and other environmentally-friendly technologies to function. Green is the new black!!

Cousins Ann and Steven joined us for a late lunch and after a 30 minute wait in line (apparently this is a brief wait for Shake Shack!), it was time to eat! We each got a Shackburger, consisting of a burger with American cheese, lettuce, tomato, and "shack sauce," and fries (trans-fat free!). The burgers were well-cooked and delicious, and Xani gave them a score of 7.5 burgers out of 10 on her BCD Burger Scale.

Tray o' deliciousness

Lauren got the 'Shroom Burger, which was described as a "crisp-fried portobello filled with melted muenster and cheddar cheese, topped with lettuce, tomato, and shack sauce." It would be an understatement to say that this mushroom burger outshines all others! Most mushroom burgers are just a 'bella on a bun. Eff that! This was totally amazing and better than any of us expected, to say the least.


Now that's a happy girl

Ann and Steven also got burgers, and ordered some cheese fries for the table. The cheese sauce was really tasty (how many times have you said THAT phrase?) on the crispy krinkle-cut fries.

In addition to all these glorious savory treats, we also got a Black and White Shake to share amongst us, and this too was fantastic. It was rich and creamy and had lots of great chocolate flavor, though it did lead us to discuss whether it was chocolate plus vanilla ice cream, or just vanilla with chocolate syrup? It's a question for the ages, no doubt.

We had considered getting a concrete (frozen custard mixed with homemade mix-ins) a la EP's St. Louis favorite, Ted Drewes, but we were too full for anymore treats (at that moment). Ah well - next time! After lunch we walked around (a lame attempt to walk off lunch) and shopped, and later caught the train back to Brooklyn, where we collapsed for several hours. What a great first day in the City! Stay tuned for more great times and great eats in the Big Apple!

Happy times in NYC,

E & X


  1. Looks like you guys are having a terrific time; can't wait to see what's next. Happy Birthday, Erin!

  2. You picked two of my favorite places!

    The only cupcakes I'll eat in NYC are SSS (the pumpkin and pistachio are the best ones there) and the hands down best veggie burger in NYC is the shroom burger at Shake Shack.

    Hope you guys are having fun in my hometown!!! If you need any recs let me know. :)

  3. Yum yum yum. Definitely have to hit that shake shack the next time i'm there...

  4. Biggie is personally insulted.

    And now he wants a cupcake.

  5. I think Winston is a French bulldog. He certainly is adorable.

  6. Sugar Sweet Sunshine are my favorite cupcakes ever!

  7. those cupcakes look so YUM!!


Blog Archive