Marie moves to town & the start of my NYC trip

Wow, it feels great to be back and I am looking forward to sharing my recent adventures with you. First off, my friend Marie (who went to college with me and was once my roomie) just moved to Baltimore to start a job at Hopkins. I was more than happy to take her to eat dinner at a place that holds a special space in my heart--Al Pacino Cafe (AKA Cafe Isis). This is an Egyptian/Middle Eastern restaurant and I worked here in high school and on-again-off-again in college. In fact my precious cat was found in the dumpster out back from this restaurant. This is always a sentimental dining experience for me and I was excited to bring her here.

We started with a Middle Eastern Combo Platter with some pita. Hummus, Foul (from fava beans), babaganoush, feta tomato salad, grape leaves and falafel.

Then we split the Aloha pizza which has feta, black olives, shrimp, sun dried tomatoes and pesto sauce.


I guess Marie liked because she texted me today that she had gone back to eat there again. That was Thursday night, just before I headed out really early for the bus to New York City. I had to start my day with a Dunkin Donuts egg and cheese bagel and a latte.

Just a few short hours later I was in NYC and ready for come shopping and good eats. We started with lunch at Candle 79 which is an exceptional vegetarian restaurant.
We had a great view as we ate upstairs by the window.
My aunt and I would have loved to try everything, but we decided on 2 entrees and split them both. This is the BBQ seitan sandwich with polenta fries.
It also had avocado and onions on it.
Then this was a black bean burger with pumpkin seeds, served with polenta fries.
It had an awesome texture.

These polenta fries were so good. Really addictive.
Next up the motherload of candy, the top of all candy stores, the I Have Died and Gone to Heaven...Dylan's Candy Bar .

This is the literal stairway to heaven.
Wow!
Holy Fudge!
Too funny!
What a display wall!
I bought these but I have not tried them yet.
I did not buy these, but they looked so funny. Gotta love Halloween time in a candy store.
This is my personal heaven. I LOVE jelly belly!
And my final candy purchase.
After that we headed around the corner for a favorite tradition of ours, a trip to Serendipity 3 . Yes, I felt guilty going without Ryan. See they just opened one in Vegas before we moved and I took Ryan here for dessert. Wanna see why he liked it so much...

I introduce to you a frozen peanut butter hot chocolate (minus the whipped cream and choc shavings for garnish). Heaven through a straw. This is to die for. I am even drooling now as I look at this picture.Note to self, there is a $8.50 per person charge, so I wound up with a piece of Chocolate Blackout cake that I took home and ate over the next few days.
After some rest and relaxation at my aunts place we were ready to meet up with my grandparents for dinner at Blue Fin .
Beware, low lighting in this restaurant and some pictures are not good. The food was really good though. As always, bread to start.
Wine with my grandpa!
I had a lovely piece of halibut over lemon gnochi with lump crab meat on the bottom.
Both my aunt and grandpa had the Branzini, which is a great fish. Of course, if it could have bones, don't state that it is boneless...
Since in that case you may have to give away some dessert. Not kidding. We only casually mentioned the boneless fish had some bones and within minutes we had these two desserts brought to the table. This is a pumpkin cheesecake and some ice cream.
This is a s'mores cake with vanilla ice cream.
It was a great day of seeing the city, shopping (I hit Bloomies, H&M and Levi's) and dining. But the night didn't end right there. Here are some shots right outside of the restaurant.

Lastly, my aunt tempted me with a trip to the Hershey's store. Here are my purchases...




I haven't tried any of these yet, but when I do I will let you know which I liked best. I think that Gina the Candid RD (hint, hint check out her blog) has tried the candy corn kisses before. As soon as I regain my appetite after these few days in New York, I plan to give these all a try.
So I am now back in Baltimore but tomorrow I am heading to Philadelphia to see some friends. I also have the rest of my NYC trip to share. Many more great meals and pictures to follow.
QUESTIONS: What is your favorite restaurant in New York City? If you have never been to NYC is there a restaurant you have heard of and would love to try? Any suggestions for places to go on my next visit?


8 comments:

Stareared Kid said...

Sorry our path's didn't cross. Next time. I have to say that you were in the area that we were in a lot. Candle 79 is by my parents apartment. Oh by the way, the cupcakes at Dylan's candy bar are from Crumbs. (The stand alone bakery is even better!)

I also did love the Hershey store. But then anything with candy appeals to me!

Your meal at Blue Fin looks delicious--we ate the once and even though the food was good, we weren't too impressed--most likely because we had to wait even with our reservation.

Angie said...

What a fabulous trip!!

I would love to go to Serendipity! Looks like a fabulous few days of eats!

The Candid RD said...

Thanks for the shout out!! Yes, I did try those candy corn hershey kisses, and in fact I finished my last one of the bag last night!! I think I see more in my future....
That Aloha pizza is SO amazing! Ok, I've never tried it, but all of those toppings are exactly what I would want on a pizza! And polenta fries?! YUM!
I've only been to NYC once, but Nick and I went to many memorable places to eat, starting with the Steak house that is really famous..the PAlm? SOmething like that.

Also Ritsy's or Ritz' cafe. Everything they make is UHGE HUGE HUGE and they have a whole case of homemade bakery goodies. Dylan's Candy Bar will have to be a stop for us the next time we go!! Thanks for sharing your fun adventures :)

Anonymous said...

All the food looks soooo amazing! I could eat the black bean burger and polenta fries right now (and it's 5 a.m.)!

I have never been to NYC but I've always wanted to go to Serendipity. Good to know that there is one in Vegas, it's a bit closer... ;)

Abby said...

I really enjoy your blog!! I have been dying to go to Candle 79. Next time I am up North.. it's a must stop!

Emily said...

So cool that your friend is working at Hopkins! They were actually one of my choices for the DI, but I chose peds/SLU instead. :-)

Your Middle Eastern food looks delish. Probably one of my fave types of ethnic cuisine.

I've always wanted to go to candle 79!! And frozen pb hot chocolate sounds amazing.

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Astra Libris said...

Such a wonderful, wonderful trip! Thank you for giving us the tour of your journey! All your meals look soooo scrumptious, and oh my goodness, the frozen peanut butter hot chocolate... Oh my, oh my...

It's been far too long since I've been to NYC! I'd love to try some of the raw vegan places I've heard about up there...

Looking forward to hearing about your continued travels!

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