Monday, September 6, 2010


Today concludes the New Student Orientation Program (NSOP) at Columbia. Because I transferred here I was required to go to only a few meetings and events, which left me with a ton of free time to go explore New York City. I set a limit of two Metro Card swipes a day (one to go downtown, one to return to Columbia), which often led to walking a hundred or more blocks a day. Oh, and I learned that walking from Sunset Park, Brooklyn to Williamsburg, Brooklyn is a lot farther than it looks on an iPhone map. I also tried to keep every food purchase under $5. I ate very few real meals this week, but was able taste food from many places I'd read about. A recap is below.

Kumquat Cupcakery: mini cupcakes sold for $1 at the Brooklyn Flea (I tried the Coffee Caramel Bourbon cupcake, which was moist, flavorful, and had a perfect cake/icing ratio).

People's Pops: homemade popsicles also sold at the Brooklyn Flea for $3 (the Peach Camomile popsicle was great and had giant chunks of fresh peaches).

The Good Batch: one of the few purveyors of stroopwafels (Dutch spiced waffle cookies with a caramel filling) in New York City (I didn't fall in love with this cookie, but for it's large size and $1.50 price tag it's hard to complain).

Momofuku Milk Bar Cake Truffles: a vanilla cake crumbled, mixed with frosting and Funfett, shaped into truffles, dipped in white chocolate, and rolled in cake crumbs (surprisingly, they weren't too sweet, and they are a pretty good deal at 3 for $3).

Mast Brothers Chocolate: supposedly some of the best small batch bean to bar chocolate making in the county (I tried the 72% Madagascar dark chocolate bar with almonds, sea salt and olive oil, which was crazy good).

Nunu Chocolates: I bought a box of four assorted chocolate caramels (the chocolate covered caramel sprinkled with Fleur de Sel was amazing, the dark chocolate caramel with peanut ganache was the best interpretation of a Reese's I've ever had, but both the cashew caramel and soft caramel butterfly were "eh").

Liddabit Sweets: I tried The King, a candy bar homage to Elvis that layers a brown sugar/brown butter cookie, peanut butter nougat, and banana ganache, all dipped in milk chocolate (you'll never want to go back to conventional candy bars again).

Early Bird Granola: small batch, homemade granola (I bought a bag of the 'jubilee' blend, which combines oats, pepitas, coconut, pistachios, maple syrup, dried sour cherries, brown sugar, olive oil and salt, which is the best granola I've ever had, period).

Shake Shack: I had to try a shack burger, since I'd heard that the burgers in NYC are better than those made at the Miami outpost (I don't know if it was any better or worse than Miami, but it was still a damn good burger, and at $4.75, a great deal).

Eataly: Mario Batali's 50,000 square foot Italian food emporium (I tried the stracciatella and banana gelato, which was flavorful and not too sweet, but way too icy/grainy).

I ingested a ridiculous amount of sugar this week, but the copious amounts of walking, frequent visits to Columbia's gym, and limited intake of actual food made this extended binge entirely possible without any weight gain.

Now, I'm off to go running.

Then, some Early Bird Granola for breakfast :-)

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