Sunday, January 18, 2009

BCD in NYC Holiday Special: Part II

by Erin and Xani

After our first, fun-filled day and night in NYC, Lauren, Xani and I woke up to a snowy Brooklyn on our first morning in NYC. Thankfully the precipitation had ceased so we only had to worry about not falling on the ice and seriously injuring ourselves or others. We bundled up and headed into the City. First stop: The West Village and The Spotted Pig. You long-time readers might remember that I went there with Lauren during my Spring Break trip to NYC last March and we ran into some male models - so hilarious. More importantly, it was so delicious that we wanted to go back so Xani could have a Spotted Pig experience of her own!

On the choo choo to the West Village

Like last time, we had planned on a long wait for a table, but alas, we walked right in and got a table! We think the weather had deterred many from venturing out, but not us - we had a food itinerary to keep, come hell or high water!

We were seated in a cozy back room and got a cup of delicious (and more importantly, hot) coffee.

We once again ordered the Chicken Liver Toast since I had told Xani all about it after my first visit and we, as nice Jewish girls, love our chopped liver. It was wonderfully rich, savory, and sweet all at the same time. It was served on grilled bread which added a great contrast in texture.

Then we ordered our mains. Lauren got the Smoked Haddock Chowder with Homemade Crackers, Xani got the Beef Tongue Hash with Poached Eggs, and I got the Cubano Sandwich with Mixed Salad.

Chowdah with crackers

Rockin' out to beef tongue hash

Layers of cuban goodness

The chowder was really comforting and rich, but still had lots of flavor from the fish and the veggies. It was creamy but not like a giant bowl of cream. The beef tongue hash was also great - clearly we love offal! The cubano was good but not as traditional as it could have been (e.g., they used a crusty baguette for the bread, instead of a softer cuban bread that crisps up better when pressed). Still, it had all the notable flavors of a cuban sandwich: roasted pork, ham, cheese, mustard, and pickles. (That reminds me of one time when I was eating a cuban sandwich at Little Havana with a few friends and they asked me if I kept kosher, to which I responded, "there are two kinds of pork, plus cheese in this sandwich. I don't think so.")

We also ordered a batch of their famous Shoestring Fries. The fries were wonderful - so skinny! (One of the few times the words "fries" and "skinny" appear in the same sentence.) They were cooked with garlic and rosemary, which gave them an amazing aroma and taste. We devoured them - can you blame us??


After! It was like a Christmas tree with all that rosemary...

Instead of dessert at the Pig, we headed to The Doughnut Plant, a donut place that was featured on "Throwdown" on The Food Network, and recently on "Donut Paradise" on the Travel Channel, amongst other accolades. I was VERY excited to go here since I LOVE donuts and I had heard so much about this place. We caught a [cash] cab to the Lower East Side, where it was one of the few businesses open on Saturday. We scooted into the warm little space to order, and you could tell there was a major baking operation happening on the other side of the wall.

Specials of the day

We had decided to get a dozen donuts and bring them to Ann and Steven's place for a donut tasting (normal!). We got almost every flavor they had, including almost all of the specials. Flavors included: vanilla glazed (raised), vanilla glazed with homemade cranberry-orange jam filling, the same as the former but with a peanut butter glaze to make it a PB&J donut, blackout, tres leches (cake donut filled with cream), pomegranate, marzipan, creme brulee, gingerbread, raised with chocolate icing, coconut glaze with coconut cream, etc., etc.

We got to Ann and Steven's awesome loft just in time for Steven to arrive with coffee for our tasting! We arranged all the donuts and cut them up so everyone could have a try of each. The verdict? The donuts were spectacular! They tasted fresh-baked (a rarity these days) and you could also taste each of the flavors in each donut. For instance, in the donuts with the cranberry-orange jam, you could taste the donut itself, the glaze, the cranberry, and the orange! Really wonderful. Winners for me were the vanilla glazed with cranberry-jam filling, the coconut with coconut cream, raised with chocolate icing, and the creme brulee. The creme brulee donut we saved for last - it was so teeny and had a hard shell of burnt sugar on top, with a rich creamy filling. The whole thing was sweet but had a tint of "burned" flavor, just like the real deal.

Black coffee and donuts! Also note the SQUARE donuts!

Xani tapping the sugar shell on the creme brulee donut

Donuts as far as the eye could see

Check out that jam filling - soooo delicious

After we sat around in a sugar coma for a few hours, we got ready for another birthday-ish celebration we had all been SUPER excited about: we were going to a burlesque show!! We got all dolled up and headed to This is Burlesque, a burlesque revue that is sold out for almost every show!

The gals!

We had great seats, not more than 15 feet from the small stage. As we sipped on pink champagne and nibbled on some appetizers, the show began and the MC came on stage. The MC was a special surprise guest: Dave Attell! He's a pretty famous comedian who had a show on Comedy Central ("Insomniac") and Xani and I were pumped to see him. He is very crass and inappropriate, but still very funny. The show then began and it was really great - the girls were wonderful dancers and singers, and it wasn't sleazy at all. My favorite was the tap-dancing girl, but then again one of them did a routine en pointe which was pretty impressive. And then there was the tassel-twirling - hoo boy! She was very talented indeed.

The show was holiday-themed - can't you tell?

Dave Attell!

Overall, it was a great show and the champagne did flow. Also, Lauren and Ann bought a few little goodies (a bumper sticker and tassels, respectively), which provided us with hours of entertainment.


More toasting, and note Xani's fab hair clip with veil

What a wonderful day and night! Thankfully we got home in one piece and collapsed in BK to prepare for Day 3 - post coming up next!

Happy tassel twirling,

EP & X


  1. The Doughnut Plant is awesome! I'm jealous of your recent trip - I haven't been there in ages even though I work relatively nearby. Sigh.

    Hope all is well with you two!

  2. I saw that Throwdown!

    Given my new obsession with making hash, I can totally see how tongue with its moisture would make for a great hash.

  3. Some of us are waiting for part three! "Totes" disappointed...

  4. I love doughnut plant. Here's my post about our visit if you're interested in reading. Great post btw.


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