Lee Lee's Baked Goods

Stopped by this small, old-fashioned bakery after brunch at Vinateria.  

Apparently the bake shop is known for its Rugelach, a traditional Jewish pastry. The story is (I googled this after I got home), the owner/baker, Mr Alvin Lee Smalls first came across a rugelach recipe on a newspaper over four decades ago. After making the rugelach per the recipe, he decided he didn't like the recipe. He then tinkered with the recipe for about six month and created his own version of the traditional Jewish treat!  How cool is that?!

I have to say, his version tastes amazing!  I got the traditional ones to go because I was simply too stuffed from brunch. But... when I realized that the rugelachs were still warm, I magically found room in my stomach. Nothing like freshly baked treats! I loved the touch of cinnamon and raisins in this "traditional" version.  Now that I know how amazing Mr. Lee's rugelach are, I will go back and try the other flavors.  

Rugelach  

Rugelach  

These round treats covered in a dusting of white powdered sugar are Sandies. At this shop, they are affectionately called Sandie Tots by the owner. One of the patrons called them Mexican Wedding Cookies. Whatever you want to call them, they are absolutely delicious!  I'm usually not a fan of these types of densely packed cookies. These Sandie Tots somehow managed to be crunchy, but light, with a slight nutty flavor. I can easily inhale a couple of these. 

Sandie Tots

Sandie Tots

I am never one to pass up on cinnamon rolls, especially since I have such a hard time finding good ones these days.  This cinnamon rolls are a bit thinner than most cinnamon rolls.  I was worried that they would be a bit dry, since I didn't get a chance to eat them on the day I bought them.  To my surprise, these cinnamon rolls were perfectly yummy when I had them for breakfast the next day. 

Cinnamon Rolls  

Cinnamon Rolls  

Verdict: AA+; This unassuming bakery is a great find. It is definitely worth trekking uptown for these special treats.  

Lee Lee's Baked Goods
283 West 118th Street (Between St. Nicholas & Frederick Douglas Blvd.), Harlem
http://leeleesrugelach.com

Best cookies ever! Levain Bakery

This tiny little bakery on the Upper West Side has the reputation of turning out one of the best cookies in New York City.  Even on a late Sunday afternoon, half an hour before closing, there was a long line out its door!  Thankfully the line moved quickly. The minute I stepped into the bakery, I was overwhelmed (in a good way) by the aroma of the freshly baked cookies.  

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Even though I had the good intention of just getting 1 cookie, somehow I walked out of the store with two =P.  The cookies are absolutely divine!! It's shaped more like a mount than a flat disk.  A mount of warm, gooey, goodness!  My photos don't do the cookies justice at all. 

Chocolate Chocolate Chip

Chocolate Chocolate Chip

The saltiness of the peanut butter chip really balanced out the sweetness of the chocolate nicely.  That said, I really love the chocolate chocolate chip cookie as well.  

Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip

Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip

The only thing missing was a tall glass of milk! 

Verdict: AAA.  Live up to the hype. It's possibility the best cookies that I have ever had…or at least in recent memory.  

Levain Bakery
167 West 74th Street (@Columbus Street)
http://www.levainbakery.com

Happy National Ice-cream Day! (@Oddfellows)

I love "made-up" holidays that give me an excuse to indulge! 

For this special day, I decided to give the Williamsburg import, Oddfellows Ice-cream Co. a try. These homemade ice-cream are made from scratch in Williamsburg. Based on its website, this ice creamery has offered 120+ flavors since it opened a year go!  

The recently opened East Village location has 8 flavors on rotation on any given day. 

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After taste-testing pretty much all the flavors, I settled on Peanut Butter & Jelly ice-cream in a home-made waffle cone. There's just something very nastagic about PB&J. The crunchy waffle cone went perfectly with the ice-cream.  

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Oh, did I mention that I decided to "walk" to Oddfellows to counter the calories that I would then consume? So…that would be a 45 minute walk to Oddfellows...3 minutes to taste-test and decide on a flavor…1 minute to inhale the ice-cream...another 45 minute walk home. The things I do for ice-cream!

Oddfellows Ice Cream Co.
75 East 4th Street (Between Bowery & 2nd Ave.)
http://www.oddfellowsnyc.com

Morgenstern's Finest Ice Cream

Ice-cream is the perfect answer to a hot sunny summer's day! This recently opened ice-cream parlor uses natural ingredients to make small-batchs of uniquely flavored ice-cream.  In the short period of time that the store has been in business, it has already gained quite a following.  Many of the people in the queue were repeat customers. 

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I love the black/white interior with old school ice-cream parlor details.  

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After sampling a few different flavors, I settled on the Szechuan Peppercorn Chocolate and Banana Curry.  I love the subtle kick of peppercorn in the chocolate. This is probably my favorite flavor...of the ones that I tasted. The Banana Curry was very unique. It literally tasted like banana and curry. Both flavors were subtle and somehow worked well together. 

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Another friend got the Green Tea Pastachio and Cardamon Lemon Jam. These two flavors seem be the favorites amongst many of the repeat customers that we chatted with. 

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My lactose-intolerant friend got the Raspberry Aperol and Apricot sorbet. The Raspberry Aperol flavor was intense and refreshing. I also loved how cheerful and bright these sorbets looked.  

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I am already plotting which flavors to try on my return visit. I am thinking Burnt Honey Vanilla and Vietnam Coffee...or maybe Salted Pretzel Caramel...  

Verdict: A+. Great addition to the Lower East Side. 

Morgenstern's Finest Ice Cream
2 Rivington Street (Between Bowery a& Freeman Alley)
http://www.morgensternsnyc.com