Month: May 2014

The Island Market

I am lucky enough to have a second family that lives on a little strip of paradise in Maine called Islesboro. I am also lucky enough that these amazing people own The Island Market, a specialty grocery store open all year round that caters to both the locals and summer vacationites. This store has everything from the freshest fish and shellfish to the most mouth-watering prepared foods and desserts. The two behind this gem are David and Linda Mahan (better known as Shake and Loony); chefs, butcher, grill master, baker, hostess, inn keeper…they do it all! As is expected and anticipated every year, they serve the most delicious food, and as a special house guest (a title I earned by spending many a hot summer day stocking shelves) I have access to the plethora of fresh ingredients in their fridge and cupboard. Some of those goodies include fresh eggs from Loony’s chickens, homemade broccoli-cauliflower hummus, fresh greens grown right there on the island, and much more.

Shake and Loony also previously owned a restaurant together on the same island so their cooking game is out of this world! One can anticipate the most phenomenal variety of meats from Shake such as a pork tenderloin cooked to perfection, addiction-inducing chicken wings, a killer piece of steak, or THE ORIGINAL bacon wrapped hot dog (his specialty). Loony’s specialities (seen below) include pies with minimal ingredients and maximum flavor, cakes with buttercream frosting that carries you away on a cloud, and recently added gluten free options. She also makes a kick-ass platter so appealing to the eye (and stomach) you’ll ask no questions and want to eat everything on it!

 

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Asiago Bagel (Scratch Bakery, Portland, ME) topped w/ Broccoli Hummus, Avocado, Tomatoes, and a Farm Fresh Egg

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Charcuterie & Broccoli Hummus Platters

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Pork Tenderloin w/ Mushroom Sauce, Baked Rosemary Sweet Potatoes, Walnut Brussel Sprout Slaw, and Steam Green beans

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Vanilla Cake w/ Marscapone Filling & Orange Buttercream Frosting

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Blueberry Pie w/ Blueberries, Cinnamon, Lemon Zest & a Handmade Crust

If you are ever looking for a get away that will completely remove you from reality I highly suggest a vacation to this special little island. A quick 20-minute ferry ride across the Penobscot Bay will transport you to another world full of lush scenery, delectable fresh & local foods, and amazing people!

**All of this delicious produce, meat, and recipes can be found at the fabulous Island Market!!**

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Birdbath Bakery

Birdbath Bakery is the eco-friendly, green little sister of City Bakery, and has locations throughout the city. I visited the location tucked into an antique bakery shop awning on Prince Street in SoHo. There is no Birdbath signage so its easy to miss but can be identified by the drool-inducing towers of cookies in the windows. Open at 8am, the shop is filled with delectable sweet and savory pastries, breads, and baked goods, and by lunch time also has some gourmet salads and sandwiches added to their repertoire. I stopped in around 3:30pm and was still greeted by both freshly baked pastries and savory salads and sandwiches. I was so overwhelmed by the amazing variety of selections that I asked the gent behind the counter what he thought best to try for my 1st visit to Birdbath. He suggested the Baker’s Muffin (their signature pastry), and I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. This delectable little muffin is any thing but little, or a muffin really. It is a pull apart pastry baked into a muffin tin. The layers, nooks, crannies, and crevices are smothered in cinnamon and sugar and have raisins, baked apples, and bountiful walnuts tucked into the folds. It comes out of the oven with a candy crusted shell and is ever-so-delicately dusted with powerderd sugar. Now I must warn you, this is not a pastry for the faint of heart. It’s quite a decent size and is pretty good at convincing your tummy it has just eaten a full meal…A full meal of pure joy!! The Baker’s Muffin is truly one of the most unique pastries I have had in a long time and is perfect to share with a friend, or keep all for yourself (no judgment here). Birdbath Bakery has definitely gained a new customer and I will be back soon to try some of their savory options very soon. Put this on your list of go-to spots if your tummy ever gets a little rumbly while strolling through SoHo!

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Inside the Bakers Muffin

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Birdbath’s Signature Pastry

Madison Square Eats

It’s back!!! As an avid lover of the Brooklyn food festival Smorgasburg, I literally cannot put into words how excited I was when Midtown Manhattan’s own little food festival came back for its bi-annual stint in Worth Square at Madison Square Park! Not having to travel all the way to Brooklyn (trust me if you live in Chelsea it’s a little bit of a haul) and still being able to chow down on some seriously delish cheap food and booze is definitely something to get excited about. Needless to say I have been itching get over to Madison Square Eats since it opened just about 2 weeks ago, and I finally made it there this past gloriously beautiful Sunday. I wanted to try a little bit of everything, but I paced myself because I’m sure I’ll be back again. My go-to spots right off the bat were Seoul Lee Korean BBQ for their Bibimbap bowl which has been sweeping food blogs and Instagrams with rave reviews. I also had to get in on some Momofuku Milk Bar action, because despite living in New York City for almost 2 years I still haven’t gotten my butt over to any of the numerous Milk Bar locations so when I heard they would be at Mad.Sq.Eats they went straight to the top of my list. I also couldn’t resist a little Melt Bakery, another sweet spot I have been wanting to sink my teeth into. I picked up a piece of Crack Bar pie from the Milk Bar (like a little slice of love) and tried Melt’s Special sandwich which was mango lassi ice cream snuggled between 2 cardamom cookies.

I highly suggest getting making your food decisions first, then doubling back for your drinks because there’s also an impressive bevy of deliciously enticing craft beers, wines, and boozes to compliment all your delicious food!

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Bulgogi Bibimbap with Fried Egg

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Crack Pie

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Need I Say More?

Cardamon Cookie with Mango Lassi Ice Cream

Everything I tried was SO mouthwateringly scrumptious! I’m already planning my next chance to go back for more. So happy and excited that UrbanSpace gives all of these food vendors such an amazing platform to share their food with the people!

 

Juice Press – SoHo

I just completed a 10-day smoothies cleanse and I wouldn’t have been able to stick to like I did without the help of the always amazing and satisfying Juice Press! As a college student constantly on the go, running from my class to internship to my part time job, it’s not super easy or ideal to be lugging around jugs  of smoothie. Enter Juice Press to save me! They have 16 locations all over the city (and 2 more opening soon!) and offer the widest variety of freshly made juices, smoothies, waters, and raw foods. Their price points aren’t too shabby either (ranging from $6-$15!) For someone on a college budget I found it very affordable and accessible. I frequented the store on Prince Street in SoHo, because of the proximity of both my job and internship. Every morning I was greeted by the friendly faces, always happy to offer their suggestions and encouraging me to try their “shot of the day”.

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Juice Press is not just for the cleansers and health fad-dies, whether you want a powerful, nutrient-packed detox smoothie, or a sweet, fresh pressed juice and some raw cheesecake, you’ll be happily satisfied. Their juice flavors range from sweet and citrusy to hearty and spicy! The same can be said for their smoothies! I would highly recommend checking out their online menu before heading in just to help you narrow down your choices from the 10+ smoothie options they offer!

So far I’ve tried…

Juices

Almond Latte juice

Doctor Green Juice

Glo juice

Little Green Monster

Smoothies

Harvey Wallbanger with the works!

D-tox!

Formula 12

Cell Rejuvenator

Raw Foods

 Avocado Toast

Hummus Lettuce Wrap

**Shout out to all my runners! Juice Press also has a running club that meets every Saturday at 9am at 6 of their locations (3 uptown & 3 downtown) for a 4-6 mile run. What a way to start the weekend!**