I took my four sons on #MancationNYC this past month. When I say MANCATION I mean that the shopping, warehouse sales, Broadway every night, braid bar, Bloomingdales, et al was not happening. I planned a streamlined, mannish, kid-teen centered vacation for my boys.. We had so many cool experiences, spent time as a family, and really soaked up the foodie culture of New York City.
Whenever I travel I spent time researching great treats, niche dining experiences, and can't-miss-this-eats. There are times for impromptu eating but I would hate to waste time, money, or calories on something second rate.
I have discovered after traveling with my family all these years that my boys will "try to have a good attitude but I can't " (direct quote), if I incentivize them through museums or cultural attractions with treats. I really is a payoff, but after walking 12 miles a day in the city and looking at ALL of Van Gogh's works at the MET, a doughnut seems reasonable to me.
Here are our favorite sweets and treats:
DOUGHNUT PLANT: Delicious doughnuts made from all natural ingredients and like no other doughnut you will ever taste. Try the Tres Leches, the Square Filled Doughnuts, the Valhrona Chocolate doughnuts, the housemade Cashew Milk, and the Fresh Blueberry and Cream Dough-Seed. Find out details of delivery here.
MOMOFUKU MILKBAR: Cereal Milk, Crack Pie, Compost Cookies, Cereal Milk Ice Cream. Birthday Cake, Klossies Breakfast Cookies. You will not have anything at Milkbar that you don't love. You will absolutely want to have more of whatever it is that you ate. You will want make it at home, and thankfully you can. They have their recipes online here or in their cookbooks.
100 g (2 3/4 cups) cornflakes
825 g (3 3/4 cups) cold milk
30 g (2 tbs tightly packed) light brown sugar
1 g (1/4 tsp) kosher salt
1. heat the oven to 300°f.
2. spread the cornflakes on a parchment-lined sheet pan. bake for 15 minutes, until lightly toasted. cool completely. toasting the cornflakes before steeping them deepens the flavor of the milk. taste your cereal milk™ after you make it. if you want it a little sweeter, don’t be shy; add a little more brown sugar. if you want a more mellow cereal milk™, add a splash of fresh milk and a pinch of salt.
3. transfer the cooled cornflakes to a large pitcher. pour the milk into the pitcher and stir vigorously. let steep for 20 minutes at room temperature.
4. strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve, collecting the milk in a medium bowl. the milk will drain off quickly at first, then become thicker and starchy toward the end of the straining process. using the back of a ladle (or your hand), wring the milk out of the cornflakes, but do not force the mushy cornflakes through the sieve.
5. whisk the brown sugar and salt into the milk until fully dissolved. store in a clean pitcher or glass milk jug, refrigerated, for up to 1 week.
MAGNOLIA BAKERY: If you haven't ever tried the cult favorite cupcakes, you should. I would also not miss the Devil's Food Cake, the Banana Pudding, or the Key Lime Cheesecake. They also have a cookbook if you don't make it to a store.
LEVAIN BAKERY: 6 oz cookies, chocolate or raspberry filled brioche, fruit tarts, and old world recipe breads. I can't pretend that I have ever had the break or the tart. We went to Levain more times this trip than I am going to admit. Don't miss the double chocolate chip cookies or the classic chocolate chip and walnut.
CHINATOWN ICE CREAM FACTORY: A Zagat rated ice cream shop that makes all of their deliciousness in-house. Think the regular flavors like vanilla or Oreo that are infinitesimally more incredible than a counterpart from other ice cream makers. Also imagine the possibilities of flavors like lychee, mango sorbet, or red bean.
BROOKLYN ICE CREAM FACTORY: Small batch ice cream prepared with only the finest natural ingredients. We loved the old school soda fountain feel of the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory on the pier at the base of the Brooklyn Bridge. Try the traditional flavors like chocolate, strawberry, or vanilla. They also make sundaes, shakes, and floats in the old fashioned way.
SHAKE SHACK: Hmmm... where to start with this. I am going to have to cover Shake Shake in a write-up when I talk about burgers or food-I-can't-belive. In the meanwhile, the ice cream treats. They have ice cream bowls, shakes, custard, and concretes. A concrete is a custard with mix-ins like toffee and chocolate chunks and caramel syrup. It is something so incredibly thick that a spoon will stand up straight in the middle. You will want to go to Shake Shake a lot while you are in NYC.
EATALY: The sprawling urban Italian marketplace and with eateries galore, including a Nutella Bar and Gelateria. You will have plenty of choices for a sweet after you enter is massive doors. My kids love the salted caramel gelato, the hazelnut gelato, and the cherry sorbet. They wanted to move along to the Nutella Bar after that for a crepe or a waffle smothered in the miracle hazelnut + cocoa combo but i had to draw the line. We moved onto pasta.
I have a long list of other eats, great activities, and places to stay that I will be sharing soon, feel free to contact me with any questions. I am always happy to talk about my family and the stuff we do as #Halestorm.