Monday, February 7, 2011

City Bakery, New York

Well-informed readers will no doubt understand the amusement value of this truly outrageous picture (for the rest of you the link will help a bit). Even funnier considering who I was talking to about it most recently, the windows above show a ballet studio.

The only dancing at City Bakery is the ballet of butter and sugar pirouetting on your palate. [Do I secretly long to write nothing but crap like that?]  I was particularly directed to go here, and particularly directed to order a certain thing, and these particular directions I did follow. Verily.

This is 18th street, by the way, right near NYU. I was pretty proud of myself for walking from the Battery to the Bowery to here, but I see in retrospect that it wasn't much more than 4 miles.

I made a snipy comment about the place where I bought other desserts 30 minutes before City Bakery, something implying that the decor was industrial, reminiscent of a chain pizza place. You know, I was unhappy with the size and utilitarianity of this place too. But locals might well say it was quaint and charming. It's just frame of reference, isn't it? I'm too used to places with 10 seats whose decorating budget ran out 40 years ago (which, I shudder to note, was 1971.).

So enough foolishness - here's what I actually ate after all the walking around this afternoon.

They had a special on hot chocolate - a different flavor every day in February - and getting the flavor of the day, small size only, was my instruction. Unfortunately it was Earl Gray; I'm not typically a fan, but this was insane, so rich and smooth (they use a hand blender to tart it up before giving it to you), and the bergamot went better than I usually think it does with, for example, tea.

The thing on the right is a pretzel croissant; they only had a few left and I was eying mine coldly and sadly until a whole new tray came out hot and I asked for a trade-in. The butter level seems lower, making the whole thing tougher and dryer but no less airy, as befits something described as a cross between pretzel and croissant. Lovely, and of course the two together gives you the salty-sweet combination.

Back by the bathrooms is an old doctor's scale (I don't mean to be sexist - I actually think "nurse's office" when I see this scale, like the kind of thing they had at the Pitman Middle School back in the day. Oh crap, I just implied that doctors are men and nurses are women. Sheesh. Why don't we forget this digression ever happened?). Aside from being a nice little touch and a good decorative object, this let me see how much weight I had gained from the hot chocolate. And then I waddled off to get a cab back to the office.

I guess there's still time to get the special chocs. Oh wow, there's a calendar on the front page! Look at all those flavors! I really got a boring one by comparison.

1 comment:

  1. A croissant pretzel? An earl gray hot chocolate? Jem, this misfit food is truly outrageous! Truly, truly, truly outrageous!