Eating in NYC: #3

Welcome to my third installment of my 'Eating in NYC' series. I had a lot of fun discovering new restaurants and forming opinions on them, sure. But I also had even more fun eating. I hope you enjoyed the journey, and I hope that maybe if you are ever near NYC, this post will help you.

Big Daddy's: The aesthetic of this place is a good enough reason to eat here. The walls are filled with nostalgia: lunch boxes, posters, license plates, photos, etc. The music is a mix of 1950's soothing ballads, to 70's rock, to 90's pop jams. I went around Christmas time so the music was festive. No matter the music, it's sure to get you in the mood. Yet the food isn't bad either! Who can go wrong with options such as cookie dough pancakes, bottled root beer and a coffee shop grilled cheese? Their menu is full of sweet treats, all day breakfast and quality american food. Big Daddy's has three locations in NYC and each and every one of them is worth going to.

Burrito Box: Burrito Box is better than Chipotle. There, I said it. The food is actually authentic but doesn't loose the quality or variety. It's worth the the trip. No matter what your order is, they include a small side of chips and a BUNCH of sauces. (which is awesome because my favorite part about Mexican food is the sauce.) Their guacamole is beyond words...just like their burritos. You get to customize your order without dealing with the same old burrito every time. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

Cafe Gigante: Known for their avocado toast, I had to see what all the hype was about. As an avocado toast activist (haha), I wasn't impressed. They put an excessive amount of olive oil on the avocado mash which made the toast way too soggy. Plus it's located on the corner of the lower west side inside of a hotel, so it's quite a trip. There's not a lot of options and the service is terrible. Save yourself a Sunday afternoon and go make your own avocado toast.

The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf: Most coffee shops flavor their drinks using syrups. And syrups are prone to just sit at the bottom of the cup, even if you mix it around. (I've been a barista, I know this well.) At The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, they use powder and a whisk to flavor their coffee and it tastes beyond decadent. Each latte is made with talent and I've never had a latte that turned out anything less than delicious. The staff has always been friendly and they offer a much wider variety of coffees and teas than your average place. Forget Starbucks, let's go here instead.

Crumbs Bake Shop: Any shop with a variety of cupcakes never truly fails, however, business for Crumbs Bake Shop hasn't been too sweet. The cupcakes aren't bad. I mean, really, they aren't. If you put a Crumbs in a midwestern suburb? Business would be amazing. There's just so many shops that specialize in cupcakes in NYC. Magnolia Bakery, Sprinkles, Georgetown Cupcake, etc. Then you have even more "sweet treat" shops such as Laduree and Baked by Melissa. Basically, they're everywhere. But this doesn't mean you should pass up Crumbs. They have a variety of cupcakes with super gooey centers. Plus, you'll never have to worry about waiting in line.

Ess-A-Bagel: If you want a "signature NYC bagel," this is the place. With a variety of authentic bagels and cream cheeses in a fast paced environment, this couldn't be more New York. You choose your bagel and then they put a months worth of your choice of cream cheese on it. While the environment is very "grab and go," they have plenty of seating available. It's located in the center of Midtown Manhattan, so you can't miss it.

Gigi's Cafe: Gigi's Cafe is THE place for business men and women who are in a rush for an affordable breakfast before work. The employees are really friendly and make everything (omelettes, sandwiches, etc) right on the spot. Usually, when you ask for an egg-based breakfast item, it takes quite some time for the employees to make. HOWEVER, that is not the case at Gigi's. That's why it's great for those in a rush. Gigi's is delicious and one of my favorite on-the-go breakfast spots.

Just Salad: Some people like salads, some people don't. Yet at Just Salad, you can really take salad to a whole new level. You get to choose and it has SO many possibilities. My favorite part is the variety of dressing! I love Just Salad because you can eat healthy without sacrificing flavor. You'll never have to deal with a basic salad ever again. You're lucky if you live close by to one, because they deliver, too!

Pershing Square: Located right by Grand Central, Pershing Square is full of classiness and New York charm. Known for their brunch, this place will not fail you. The menus change frequently, yet the setting of the place is so cozy. I love going to Pershing Square on a Sunday afternoon for brunch - that's when it feels extra homey.

Potatopia: This place is everything I want in life. Endless forms of potatoes with your choice of sauce, cheese, veggies, protein, etc! Too good for words. I got the baked potato (which was the size of my head) and Andrew got shoestring fries. They have a sauce there called chipotle ketchup which I might just get an entire bottle of. If you're like me, you love potatoes, in every shape and form. One day, I hope Potatopia expands to more places...because I want there to be one where ever I go.

Ramen Burger: Was this hyped up or what? When I first saw pictures of the ramen burger, I instantly thought, "What a good idea." But the moment I tasted it at the Brooklyn Flea, I thought "What a terrible idea." In theory it sounds great, but the spices and sauces added to it made it taste less like a burger with ramen noodles used as the bun, and more as an exotic dish full of soy sauce. Not to mention, I got the veggie burger. On their website, it's described as a "tofu patty." On the menu, it was described as a "seasonal veggie patty." was LITERALLY just mushrooms. Not kidding. There was no patty. I don't even like mushrooms! My experience with Ramen Burger wasn't the best...but can you blame me? It was 10 dollars for mushrooms on ramen noodles.

Terri Restaurant: Terri Restaurant is the ideal restaurant for the vegan/vegetarian that doesn't like to settle for raw vegetables and kale smoothies. (Although Terri Restaurant does offer that.) It's almost like a fast food restaurant in the sense you don't have to sit down and wait 20 minutes for you food. You don't have to tip 20% of the bill. There's nothing over the top or fancy about it. Except it's REALLY good for you, vegan/vegetarian and delicious! I love their meatball sub for lunch. At the moment, they're offering a vegan hot chocolate and a vegan dessert of your choice for 5 dollars. Love this place, and it's perfect for any vegan wandering around Chelsea or the Financial district.

Wafels and Dinges: There are a lot of food trucks in New York City. And a waffle food truck doesn't seem like it would be the best...but it is. I'll admit it: I'm not a huge waffle fan. More of a pancake girl. However, Wafels and Dinges is delicious. Waffles with melted nutella, powdered sugar, whipped cream, bananas, yes...yes indeed. Wafels and Dinges is the perfect place for when you're having a random craving at night for something sweet.