nyculinaryfinds

Food treasures in New York City

DIY “NY Culinary Finds” Tour: Williamsburg

williamsburgmap

Williamsburg is an eclectic Brooklyn neighborhood bordering on Greenpoint to the north and Bed-Stuy to the south. It is both gentrified and industrial, and has a diverse population of Hasidim, Latinos, and hipsters. Not surprisingly, there are many culinary finds in this neighborhood. While you can eat at a wide range of great restaurants, including the newly re-opened Motorino’s Pizza, our tour focuses on other culinary options. The best way to get to Williamsburg is to take the L train to Bedford Avenue, the first stop in Brooklyn.

Inside Handsome Dan's

Inside Handsome Dan’s

When you get out of the subway, you’ll be on Driggs Avenue. Head Northwest towards Bedford Avenue and turn left on Bedford Avenue until you reach218 Bedford Avenue (near North 5th Street). Head inside the mini-mall and find Handsome Dan’s. Like Economy Candy on the lower east side, Handsome Dan’s is a trip down candy memory lane. While Handsome Dan’s doesn’t offer the variety that Economy Candy has, it does sell refreshing snocones with unusual flavors like thyme dream, earl grey cream, orange blossom ginger, rose pomegranate, and chili passion fruit.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

So buy a snocone and continue down Bedford Avenue towards North 4th Street. On the other side of the street, at 229, you’ll find The Bedford Cheese Shop. While not quite the size of Murray’s Cheese in the Village, The 10-year old Bedford Cheese shop “works directly with farms in order to select cheeses at their perfect peak.” They also sell other interesting products that you might like to have along with your cheese, including flavored mayonnaise, fresh made ravioli, and chocolate cubes to melt into hot chocolate.

Chocolate bars from Mast Brothers

Chocolate bars from Mast Brothers

For locally produced chocolate, continue heading North towards North 3rd Street and make a right. Walk down the street to Mast Brothers at 111 North 3rd.  You can watch the chocolate bars being made which start with locally roasted cacao beans. And you can sample some the products before buying them. You can choose from interesting flavored bars, like ones with chili peppers; or you can choose pure bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate.

Sketchbooks at the Brooklyn Art Library

Sketchbooks at the Brooklyn Art Library

If you have time, don’t miss the Brooklyn Art Library just a few doors down from Mast Brothers at 103A North 3rd. The Brooklyn Art Library is home to the Sketchbook Project, a global, crowd-sourced art project. At the library you can look at sketchbooks submitted to the project from amateurs and professionals; young and old; from nearby Brooklyn to China and Russia. It’s a rare opportunity to not only see an eclectic assortment of art but also to hold it in your hands.

From here, you have two options: If you like walking, you can walk to the Williamsburg Bridge (15 min from where you are) and over the bridge into Manhattan’s lower east side. Or you can head back to the subway station. Either way, you want to turn around and go back to Bedford Avenue.

To walk over the Williamsburg Bridge make a right on Bedford Avenue and keep walking until you reach South 6th Street where you’ll see an entrance to the bridge. When you get to the other side you’ll be on Delancy street. If you walk a few blocks on Delancy you’ll reach the F train or continue onto to Allen Street where you’ll find buses.

To return to the L train make a left on Bedford Avenue and head towards North 7th Street.

 

Advertisements

July 1, 2013 Posted by | culinary tours, Food, stores | | 2 Comments

Sweets For Shorty Awards Tweets

shortyOn April 8th, the fifth Annual Shorty Awards will honor the best in social media. This quintessentially New York event takes place at the Times Center and gives awards, among others, to: moms and dads who use social media to “Keep Good Going,” (presented by New York Life) and individuals who help others make healthy choices via social media (presented by Health.Join In).  Though tickets are available, the event is live streamed, watched around the world and tweeted about by the thousands.  I thought it would be a good idea to have a selection of sweets to munch on during the awards event. So I visited two candy stores that offer a selection of candies that will take you down memory lane.

Economy Candy

Economy Candy

Economy Candy, on Rivington Street, is known as “The Nosher’s Paradise of the Lower east Side.” It’s been around since 1937 and sells hundreds of kinds of chocolates, candies, nuts, dried fruits; including halvah and candy I remember from childhood.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

For a similar, but more intimate walk down memory lane, you can also visit Handsome Dan’s Snocone and Candy Stand. It’s located on Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg, inside the Mini-Mall.

Inside Handsome Dan's

Inside Handsome Dan’s

As the name suggest, Handome Dan’s sells snocones and candy. The snocones aren’t the plain flvaored ones you find on the street during the summer but come in exotic flavors like  thyme dream, earl grey cream, orange blossom ginger, rose pomegranate, and chili passion fruit. Like Economy Candy, Dan’s carries candies that will evoke your childhood,  no matter what your age.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

March 7, 2013 Posted by | event, stores, sweets | , , , , | 4 Comments

Chocolate From Near And Far

Chocolate is a very personal thing. There are those who prefer milk over dark and others who want it as bitter as possible. Some want nuts, others seek the bite of something savory added in.  Fortunately, there are many places to find the chocolate to suit your taste. There are two that caught my fancy recently.

Chocolate bars from Mast Brothers

Chocolate bars from Mast Brothers

The first is Mast Brothers Chocolate located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. They are one of the few producers in the country, and the only one in the city, according to the New York Times, to make chocolate by hand from cacao beans they’ve roasted in their ovens.

Chocolate making at Mast Brothers

Chocolate making at Mast Brothers

What’s great about visiting their shop is to be able to watch the chocolate being made and sample some of their varied and interesting flavors

Spicy chocolate if you like a  real "bite"

Spicy chocolate if you like a real “bite”

You can also order the chocolate bars online but you’ll really miss out on the total experience.  Mast Brothers has been around for about 2 years. But a new chocolate kid on the block is the Japanese chocolate-maker, Royce’, which recently opened a store on Madison and 53rd.

The Royce store on Madison Avenue

The Royce’ store on Madison Avenue

At the small but sleek shop you can buy moderately priced boxes of chocolate, truffles and chocolate bars.

Bittersweet chocolate squares from Royce make a nice gift

Bittersweet chocolate squares from Royce’ make a nice gift

You can also find Royce’s signature chocolate covered popcorn and potato chips.

Royce' chocolate covered chips

Royce’ chocolate covered chips

February 25, 2013 Posted by | Food, stores, sweets | , , | 2 Comments