Tag Archives: dessert

Big Gay Ice Cream Shop

5 May

I had heard only great things about the treats at the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck and I heard they swapped out the truck to build the brand with some brick and mortar stores in NYC and beyond. They are currently in the East Village, West Village, and Downtown LA.  So when searching for a place to grab a quick treat on Memorial Day, Big Gay Ice Cream Shop came up on the map and decided to finally try it.

The line was pretty long and it took us a solid 20 minutes to get to the front, but boy was it worth it.

They changed over to soft serve in conjunction with Ronnybrook Farms, but in my opinion, the ice cream plays second fiddle to the toppings (and the combination and presentation of them).  You can roll over all the flavors on this website to get the full menu.

I was excited about The Salty Pimp: Vanilla ice cream, dulce de leche, sea salt, and a chocolate dip.  But I also saw that there was a Nutella lined waffle cone on the menu, so I couldn’t resist. The woman behind the counter informed me that what I was asking for was more of a Monday Sundae, but that came with a chocolate vanilla twist ice cream and whipped cream, but no dip.  So I asked for that dipped and she obliged.

photo (31)

And it was amazing.  Too amazing.

Not only do they put Nutella into the cone before the ice cream, but they also add some ice cream to the bottom, then layer in more Nutella the more ice cream on top and then toppings.  The Nutella in the middle hardens just a bit to create a delicious bite in the texture.  It was heaven.  And the sea salt put it over the top.

This place is dangerous.



Bodega Negra NYC in the Dream Hotel

26 Mar

Another selection from Eater’s Heatmap brought a friend and me to Bodega Negra in the Dream Hotel on 16th Street between 8th and 9th Avenues. The NYC branch opened in February and there is also a location in London).

I was a bit nervous when I made the reservation, so I called back to explain my allergy (peppers the vegetable, aka, capsaicin) and ask if I was going to be SOL since it is Mexican food. They assured me that they make everything on the spot and I wouldn’t be able to have everything on the menu, but a good amount would be available to me.  Great!

We restated this to our waiter, and I made him nervous, but he assured me he would make sure I received no peppers.

The interior I would call… eclectic.  It was very dark when we walked in, and it kind of had a haunted house type feel somehow, with antique and semi-industrial artifacts hanging in every corner…





…including the ceilling.


We started with grilled corn with queso fresco and cilantro (it also had a chipotle aioli, which they kindly left off mine).  I’m a huge fan of grilled corn with cheese, and this did not disappoint.  Delicious charred corn with that salty, creamy cheese and fresh herbs.


We decided to split three different tacos, which were served in pairs.  We went with the peking duck mole negro (with sesame seeds and kumquat morita compote), pork belly carnitas (with salsa verde), and skirt steak (with grilled onions, salsa roja, guacamole verde, and queso fresco).  Our waiter checked with the kitchen and he informed us that I could eat each of them with a bit of modification, and he would serve the sauces on the side so my friend could enjoy.

But when he put them on the table he looked forlorn and told me I couldn’t have the steak NOR the peking duck.  Womp wooooomp.  But he came back a few minutes later to say that someone was messing with him and that the duck actually was okay.  Phew!  But the beef still was not.  Damn!

I so enjoyed the duck and the pork, however, that it didn’t matter that I couldn’t try them all (and my friend said the beef was also fantastic).  Really awesome with fresh, flavorful ingredients, even without the spice. Killer.


We got a side of fried plantains, which I was very pleased to find out was covered in delicious Mexican cheese.  I absolutely LOVED these.  Yum yum yum.


While we were eating, I saw someone across from us get a dessert that I just had to try.  Not only did it look delicious, but it looked like fun.  So the waiter came by and I asked what the sphere was that they melted on the spot… and he told me we just had to try the Don Huevo, which was described as dark chocolate molten cake, Negra Modelo caramel sauce. Had I not seen it at the other table, I would have never expected this to be what was delivered…


And then… the magic happened…


What was left after the decadent hot caramel pour was an incredible, phenomenal cake, with bits of crunchy white chocolate shell with some of the best caramel sauce I’ve ever tried. And the molten lava cake inside was perfectly cooked and perfectly sweet and bitter.  It was one of the best deserts I’ve ever had in my life. (And I pride myself on having had a whole lot of great desserts)


With a side of (chocolate) scorpion.



What a meal!  And that dessert alone… wow.  I cannot wait to go back… but especially for that dessert.  Run… do not walk… run to Bodega Negra and get the Don Huevo.  (And have a meal while you’re there)

Total Nom Points: 8.5 out of 10

nomscale- 08.5

Cake Tasting at Pomme Palais

4 Jan

A few weeks ago, I was invited to attend a Holiday Cake tasting at Pomme Palais, a new French gourmet cafe from Chef Michel Richard.  Pomme Palais is in The Palace Hotel at 30 East 51st Street (between Madison and Park Avenues).



The patisserie itself is brightly lit and spotlights the big, modern cases of various yummy treats.




The have some packaged goodies ready to go along with the individual items in the case.  (We actually went back and grabbed some candy bars when we were in the area a few days later)


I was only able to attend for a bit, but we were treated to some amazing pastries in the time I was there.

The patisserie was described as “whimsical” in the overview and that is a great way to explain it.

The Macaron Cake was an “almond vanilla sponge cake layered with chocolate mousse, coated with dark chocolate, and decorated with macarons for playful color and texture”



It was a beautiful and playful cake and was quite delicious.



Though it didn’t sing the way some of the others did.



The Opera Cake was “layered cake of coffee, chocolate, and almond flavors.”DSCF2828

I was a big fan of this one. I am not a huge cake fan, so I liked that this was layers of different textures without much traditional cake cake.


We also tried the Charlotte Cake “with fruit, apricot, raspberry, passion yogurt mousse and lady fingers.  This cake can have a mousse filling with any fruit the customer prefers.”  This was good but not on the top of my list.



The Orange Creme Brulee Cheesecake was something special.  It was described as “a creative twist on the classic cheesecake and flan.”  True to description, this was a perfect balance of cheesecake’s creamy denseness (but not too dense) with a flan like top.  And the orange added a nice flavor essence.


The Lemon Eggceptional Cake was a beauty.  It was described as “layers of sponge cake, lemon curd, French meringue, topped with white chocolate lemon eggceptionals.”


This was very nice and a light and fluffy cake, though lemon isn’t my favorite.



My second favorite cake of the day was the Tart au Pomme which was “puff pastry with thin slices of apple, pastry cream, topped with sugar.”


The apples on this just popped with flavor. A perfect texture and the perfect balance of tartness and sweet.


But my number one favorite of the tasting was the Chocolate Fleur d’Automne: “Chocolate flower on top of cake with almond meringue and chocolate mousse.”




What can I say? I’m a chocolate girl!  This was an exceptional balance of textures and richness with sweetness and a hint of crisp from the hard thin chocolate on top.  I absolutely loved this cake and even though my tummy was quite full by this time, I ate every last bite of this one.



Though, alas, I couldn’t finish the rest.  I felt awful wasting so much great dessert.


I had to leave just before the cut into the most adorable of the treats: Michel’s Snowman: “White meringue Snowman wrapped up with a sugar scarf and marzipan-chocolate hat… he carries a rosemary stalk ‘tree’ and includes raspberry sauce.”

You prepare this by rimming the plate with whipped cream and filling the hollow base of the snowman with ice cream.  Sounds like my kind of dessert! I absolutely love hard meringue. I was bummed I didn’t get a chance to try this one, and when we went back a few days later to get some candy, they were all sold out. I’ll just have to go back!

But seriously… how adorable is this guy?




Near the end of the tasting, a very jovial Chef Michel Richard came out to say hello.  He is quintessentially French, and while almost a little too friendly with the ladies, he was very happy to ham it up for the camera.  He was incredibly happy and seemed genuinely excited to be sharing his creations with us.


We were sent home with a lovely box of candy.




And each bite was better than the last.  I am very picky about my candies, and these were exceptional.


I have been to many patisseries in NYC (and around the world), baking is my first love, and I am a dessert person to the extreme.  I wasn’t expecting to like this place as much as I did, and the desserts were really fantastic and original.  The only other place I’ve had desserts as noteworthy is at Dominique Ansel. (Though Chef Ansel will always have my heart)

I would never have known to stop by Pomme Palais had I not been invited to try these cakes, so this was one perk in which I was more than happy to participate.  I was very thankful for the opportunity and can’t wait to go back (and try that snowman)!

Cakes range from $20 (for the snowman) to $42 (for most of the full cakes).  Quite expensive, but worth it to impress at a party. And the individual pastries are probably reasonably priced for a nice snack near Rockefeller Center or before a Radio City performance. (They also have some non-dessert foods that looked quite good). And the candy bars we got a few days later… awesome.

Highly recommend a stop!


Note: While I was privileged enough to do this tasting for free, all opinions expressed are my own.