This week’s piece is somewhat of a departure from the normal post about an ethnic restaurant but it’s about a no less unusual find. Baconery is an eatery located on Columbus Avenue between 104th and 105th street. As the shop’s name suggests this establishment is a bakery; what’s peculiar about it is that there is bacon in everything save for the drinks.
The menu features a strange but enticing selection of classic desserts including chocolates, caramel treats, pies, macaroons, cookies, and brownies, all of which include pieces of bacon. Perhaps it is needless to say that this eatery is probably not great for people who don’t or can’t eat bacon. And honestly, even though I consider myself quite the bacon lover, I was hesitant about the concept.
The atmosphere was very cozy with plush seating and abundant colorful decorations (mainly bacon-themed posters and memorabilia). The service was very polite, enthusiastic, and happy to talk about the theme of the bakery and make recommendations. After ordering at the counter we took a seat and were served very promptly. I had already had dinner before heading over to Baconery and had planned only on getting a dessert.
However, I was told that as part of a weekend special they were offering a mac and cheese dish which included four varieties of bacon. So I decided to try this as well as the dessert I had originally set out for. The mac and cheese was well portioned and very satisfying, even though I had already had dinner I was thoroughly enjoying it. I felt that the bacon was very complementary to the basic dish, and the four different varieties of bacon (some thin and crispy and others think and hearty) made every bite a little different. For dessert I felt compelled to keep it simple and rather than order a bacon cookie, pie, or brownie I choose the chocolate covered bacon strip. There were several varieties of this, in dark, milk, and white chocolate and with a variety of toppings (one of which was more bacon). I choose to keep it simple and order just the milk chocolate bacon strip. The combination of the sweet chocolate with the salty and savory bacon was wonderful; however, I found that after each bite I was left chewing a slab of bacon even after the chocolate had dissipated. That being said it was a fine dessert and well worth the $2.
Overall, Baconery is a very fun experience where they offer truly unique treats at fair prices in a comfortable atmosphere. And I definitely plan to go back some time to try some of their more exotic offerings.
Unlike most of my fellow students, I am an early riser. No matter what time I go to bed, my body loves to wake me up around 7:30 every morning, even on the weekends and even when I don’t have class until 10:10. I’ve tried to sleep past 7:30 and it simply does not work. So, I really hate it that the dining halls do not start serving brunch until 10:00 on the weekends. It kills me. I can’t wait that long to eat so usually I make do with some instant oatmeal and peanut butter that I have stashed in my room. Needless to say, this is not my favorite option, especially when my roommate sleeps in until noon and I have to tiptoe around the room with the lights off.
Leave it to Westside Market to come to my rescue. One of my good friends shares my habit of waking up early and also shares my frustration with the lack of viable, cheap breakfast options on the weekends. She told me of a magical product that has made my life much better. It’s called cold oatmeal. And it’s delicious.
If you walk into Westside and make your way to the cheese section, you’ll find a glorious array of various puddings, yogurt, and fruit, all packaged in house. You will also find several types of what Westside calls “Maria’s Homemade Cold Granola Oatmeal.” It’s exactly what it sounds like: home-cooked oatmeal but served cold. It comes in a myriad of flavors, all of which I have resolved to try while I am at school here. So far, I’ve had the pleasure of tasting raspberry and blueberry-raspberry and I have fallen in love. The oatmeal is made with soymilk, honey, fruit, and granola, so it’s easy on my lactose-intolerant stomach and incredibly filling. It’s not overly sweet and it is exceptionally creamy—what I would call the perfect breakfast.
I was boggled by the amount of flavors available. Since I’ve discovered it, I’ve observed cherry-vanilla-almond, blueberry, strawberry, pumpkin, gingerbread, peanut butter, cranberry, chocolate chip, etc. The options are endless. I’ve become so entranced by it that I’ve made it my Sunday routine to get up, grab some oatmeal, and sit down at Starbucks to write papers. I find I get a lot of good work done with a filling breakfast. I even took some on the bus with me when I went to visit my sister last weekend in Philadelphia. That’s how much I love it. And you should try it. Because you’ll love it too.
One of our new bloggers, Sarah gets down at our beloved 110th & Broadway, 24 hour grocery store loved for its salads by the ounce, cold oatmeal, and funky produce. Today, Sarah gives us the lowdown on kale.
For a food geek like me, Westside Market is heaven. Every nook and cranny of the store is crammed full of food and there are not enough eyes in my head to take it all in at once. Walking into the market for the first time, I felt a sense of complete excitement and anticipation. I think I ended up spending close to an hour in there because I just kept finding new things to stare at. My mind jumped around maniacally: Dried peaches? They squeeze their own juice? What an amazing salad bar! Cashew butter? Eventually, I walked out with some interesting additions to my dorm room food collection, among them: raw kale chips with vegan cheese.
Now, I’m not going to lie and say that eating vegan and raw foods really makes much sense to me. I can’t fathom an existence without ice cream and eating raw would basically eliminate the main portion of my diet. But lately there has been a major trend in following strict diets that “cleanse” your body by ridding it of all the nasty chemicals we feed it everyday. So, when I saw “Brad’s Raw Leafy Kale” sitting innocently next to the hummus (which I admit was my first priority), it intrigued me. I decided to give raw foods a try and took some of the “vampire killer” flavor home with me. I reasoned that if anything would make raw kale chips taste better it would be garlic. Continue reading Westside Watch: Adventures in the World of Veganism→
Tonight (10/15), we will be meeting in East Campus 1604 at 5 pm for food and discussion of our upcoming events. Anyone interested in the club (or just interested in food) is welcome to attend. If you are from JTS or Barnard, wait until 5 pm in the EC lobby, and Matt will come to sign you in.
The meeting will consist of finalizing the menu and grocery list for the Harry and the Potters event as well as a bit of recipe testing (such as Butterbeer and Pims). We will also quickly go over the logistics of this week’s field trip. After the meeting, we will take a stroll down Broadway to West Side Market. At West Side, we will buy all of the ingredients needed for the Harry and the Potters event and we will transport the groceries to Lerner.
Every once in a while, this elusive ingredient makes its appearance in West Side Market. Tamarind is a tree native to tropical Africa, but today it is grown in many parts of the world (such as Southeastern Asia, Mexico, South America, and the West Indies). In fact, prior to my research, I thought that tamarind was originally grown in Mexico, since I was first introduced to the flavor as a child drinking Tamarindo, a popular agua fresca, at my great-grandma’s house in Watts, Los Angeles. (This drink is similar to an iced tea, steeping water in tamarind and sugar for several hours until the fruit has rendered all of its flavor.) The fruit of the tamarind tree resembles a hard, brown pod and contains a reddish-brown pulp when ripe. (The unripe pulp is greener in color, and it is typically too sour to eat.) The flesh of the pod is sweet and sour when ripe—not at all what one would expect from the exterior.
The fruit is used in several different ways, ranging from juices, sauces, candies, and ice creams. It is a common ingredient in Worcestershire sauce (this is news to me). It is a perfect ingredient with which to experiment since it is so versatile. You can make a tamarind glaze for a steak, or try your hand at making tamarind popsicles. It makes a delicious BBQ sauce for burgers, but it also works in several Mexican dishes. And of course, it can also be enjoyed fresh from the pod.
Claire and I stumbled upon the rare ingredient at West Side just a couple days ago. It rested on a high shelf above the starfruit and dragonfruit next to the pre-packaged arugula. However, it can be found more often at the Met Grocery store on 124th and Amsterdam. (This grocery store caters to a community with a greater Latin background.)