NYC and DC: 20 desserts later

by Sarah

in Eats Around Town, Travel

The Spork and I spent an amazing week in NYC and DC and between the two of us consumed 20 desserts. This is of course not counting the salted chocolate chip cookies I made and packed for the trip just incase we didn’t encounter enough dessert. I am happy to report we ate those as well as the 20 new desserts and visited every vegan bakery in Manhattan. It was one of the most fun trips we’ve taken, and also one of the yummiest. A recap of the highlights below – and if you want any recommendations on vegan bakeries in NYC – let me know!

Rockefeller Center 2

Rockefeller Center 1First stop, the lovely Rockefeller Center! On our way to watch Phantom of the Opera, we stopped by Rockefeller Center to admire the colorful flags and window shop in the giant Lego store. Did you know they had a Lego dragon that is so large it encircles the entire store? It was a kid’s paradise.

Mega Ramen at Toto RamenNext stop, the Spork’s favorite meal of the entire trip: Toto Ramen. A hole-in-the-wall ramen joint in the theater district, with a long line and just a few seats. I was skeptical at first, but a few slurps into the ramen, and I knew why it was so popular. The broth was delicious, paired with the fresh vegetables and fillings inside. I got the spicy ramen and the Spork opted for the “Mega ramen” pictured here which has 2x the fillings and noodles of the regular ramen. He ate it ALL and part of mine (the Spork is quite the eating machine).

Laudree

Laudree 2

Laudree 3The next day we visited Laudree and enjoyed sorbet/ice cream with macaroon shells in Central Park. It was the most perfect weather, the sun making the lake water sparkle. Kids raced speedboats in the lake (maybe it’s a pool?) and the Spork and I visited the Belvedere Castle and walked through the park admiring it. We finished off the afternoon with visiting Lady M Cake Boutique and Vegan Divas for more dessert. The green tea crepe at Lady M was okay, but the cheesecake at Vegan Divas was very good. We made a detour at Neue Gallery to look at Gustav Klimt’s famous painting Woman in Gold. Ever since the movie about the tumultuous history and lawsuit behind the painting (involved suing the Austria government itself!), we were excited to see it in person in New York.

Lady M cakeOur last day in New York, we visited every vegan bakery in manhattan. We tried a few desserts at each bakery, and the general consensus is that while we were not that impressed with the vegan cupcakes we had, we were very impressed with the vegan cheesecake options. I have yet to make a vegan cheesecake, and after this trip I know I must work on a recipe. The Spork especially enjoyed the vegan cheesecakes, and was the first time he ever had cheesecake. Interestingly, we found the vegan cupcakes at non-vegan bakeries with vegan options to be better than the ones from exclusively vegan bakeries. In particular we enjoy the vegan red velvet cupcake from sprinkles and the vegan apple cinnamon cupcake from Georgetown cupcakes the most. The vegan red velvet cupcake from Blossom bakery in NYC was also very good, on par with sprinkles with a orange zest twist to the red velvet cupcake.

babycakes

Dominique AnselIn D.C, we especially enjoyed kayaking on the Potomac, and strolling around the Georgetown waterfront admiring the river and beautiful townhouses bordering the river. Downtown georgetown also had a beautiful array of small shops for window shopping, and delicious cupcakes at Georgetown cupcake.

Georgetown waterfront

Georgetown waterfront water

Georgetown waterfront homesPictured below is the vegan cinnamon apple cupcake the Spork had (this was his favorite cupcake on the trip), and the strawberry cupcake I had.

Georgetown cupcakesFounding Farmer BeignetsWe also had a yummy brunch with beignets in the downtown D.C area. I particularly liked how crispy the beignets were, and the three dipping sauces (raspberry, chocolate, caramel) went excellent. It’s the first time I had a beignet, and they are definitely on my “to-make” list now. Unfortunately beignets contain dairy, so I will experiment to see if I can make them dairy-free for the Spork.

Fried ChickenOn our last night in DC we were there it was pouring like crazy. We ordered delivery from Jumbo Jumbo in Rockville, Maryland after hearing rave reviews on yelp about their Taiwan fried basil chicken. When we opened the package to find the crunchy crispy chicken with just the right dose of seasoning, we knew Yelp did not let us down. This was one of our favorite fried chicken dishes, the seasoning was the best part.

Lakeland terriersAnd last but not least, this trip – the DC leg of it – was filled with much puppy love! We stayed at an AirBnB with two Lakeland terriers- Mable and Philson.  They are siblings and Philson is slightly older than Mable. Every day when we returned from a day out in DC, they would run up to us the minute we turn the key to the apartment and jump at us, bringing their toys so we can play. Mable is the younger, more mischievous sibling and frequently tried to get into the food that was left out. On one instance, she got her head stuck in paper bag with a cupcake inside, and the minute she saw us ran off dragging the paper bag, ripping it on the door so she had a paper bag “bib” pictured above. She’s so playful and fun, I don’t mind at all that she gets into things frequently. Staying at the AirBnB in DC with 2 dogs, helped me reaffirm my desire to adopt dogs someday when I have more time to take care of them. They are such fun loving, caring creatures – always excited when people are around to play and give them a good belly rub.

Our favorite eats on this trip are below, should you ever visit these 2 cities!

New York 

1. Cheesecake at Vegan Divas (Upper East Side)

2. Mega Ramen and Spicy Ramen at Toto Ramen (Theater District)

3. Liang Pi and Spicy Cumin Lamb Burger at Xian Famous Foods (a chain in NYC)

4. Sorbet (dairy-free) and ice cream at Laduree (Upper East Side)

5. Vegan Red Velvet Cupcake at Blossom Bakery (Chelsea)

Washington D.C

1. Taiwan basil fried chicken at Jumbo Jumbo  (Rockville Area)

2. Beignets and any brunch menu dish at Founding Farmer’s (downtown DC)

3. Strawberry Cupcake and Vegan cinnamon apple cupcake at Georgetown Cupcake (a chain on the East Coast that started in DC)

4. Strawberry creme cupcake and Nutella cookie at The Cake Room (Dupont area)

Leave a Comment

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Beeta @ Mon Petit Four August 10, 2015 at 3:59 pm

Those doggies are adorable!! *squeal* So so cute! And Georgetown looks lovely! So glad you guys had a great time in NYC. Did you get a chance to eat at Erin McKenna’s bakery? It used to be called BabyCakes and was super popular back when I was living in NY in 2011. I’m wondering if it’s still as good since the name change? Gorgeous photos, Sarah :)

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2 Sarah August 14, 2015 at 3:49 pm

Thanks Beeta! We did visit Erin McKenna’s bakery! It is still quite popular – the whole time we were there the line always went right up to the door. It’s still called Babycakes!

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3 Grace August 10, 2015 at 5:20 pm

What a food- and fun-filled trip you had on the East coast! Love all the beautiful pictures! I will definitely visit some of the bakeries and restaurants you mentioned the next time I find myself in NYC or DC.

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4 Sarah August 14, 2015 at 3:49 pm

Thanks Grace! 😀

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5 Joanne August 11, 2015 at 5:23 am

SO MUCH EATING!! I love it. I work pretty close to Laduree, and it is totally unacceptable that i haven’t had their macaron/ice cream combos!

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6 Sarah August 14, 2015 at 3:49 pm

Working close to Laduree must be amazing!

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7 amanda August 13, 2015 at 2:10 pm

Looks like a fun trip full of yummy treats!

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8 Sarah August 14, 2015 at 3:49 pm

Thanks!

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9 Marta August 13, 2015 at 8:13 pm

It was so wonderful seeing you in NYC Sarah! And I forgot about Founding Farmers – one of my favorite places in DC. Please come back in visit again in the next year! The salted chocolate chip cookies were the best thing I’VE eaten all year.

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10 Sarah August 14, 2015 at 3:49 pm

Thanks Marta! Glad you liked the cookies!

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11 connie August 14, 2015 at 8:22 am

Love these pictures!!! Your adventure in NYC and DC looks awesome and delicious! I’m so glad you had a wonderful trip; it’s too bad we didn’t get to see each other! When I was in NYC last week with my family, we also went to Toto Ramen!! I really liked it too! Loved my miso ramen and pork buns :p

OMG and those pups…too cute!!!

<3

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12 Sarah August 14, 2015 at 3:50 pm

Thanks Connie! Hope your family enjoyed NYC too. The miso ramen sounds so good – I almost got that flavor too!

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13 Natalie @ Obsessive Cooking August 16, 2015 at 2:41 pm

AHHH love the shots of you two – so cute :) I’ve never really flown w B – when we have time to make a trip , it’s just flying to see each other lol. Long distance probs.

Anyways, these desserts look amazing and I’m so jealous. And double jealous you saw Phantom of the Opera. Now I have to visit the east coast – maybe during interview season

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14 Sarah August 19, 2015 at 10:20 pm

It’s so sweet you and B fly to see each other frequently and have kept up a long distance relationship for so long. I’m sure there will be many many happy years together in one house for you two in the future!

The East coast is so much fun! Interviews are the perfect excuse to visit and enjoy the East – you can go a day early or stay a day late to enjoy the cities! And if you like it, you can even go there for residency :)

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