Elena Perez, ’15
’Tis the season to get chunky. Thanksgiving is right around the corner and Christmas is but a stone’s throw away, and you know you’ve got to start stretching out the walls of your stomach so you can indulge in all that turkey, pie and cookies later. So, between cramming for your tests and procrastinating on your essays take a stroll through the Lower East Side and treat yo’ self to all the seasonal deliciousness the neighborhood has to offer.
We’ll start with babka. If you haven’t had babka, it’s sort of like a marble cake and challah did the do, except it’s more buttery and beautiful. Even when babka’s bad, it’s still pretty good, so when you have good babka, it’s really good. Russ and Daughters on 179 East Houston is known for selling some of the best babka in New York. They’re hand rolled and layered with lavish quantities of chocolate or cinnamon. One loaf will cost you $10.98, but they feed about 6-8 people, so if you split it with your buddies it’s about $1.50 per person for a mouth full of heaven. As far as I’m concerned, that’s a pretty sweet deal.
Going forward, we’re moving far above Houston to the Momofuku Milk Bar at 251 East 31st street. The Momofuku Milk Bar’s cornflake marshmallow cookie is already a crowd pleaser, but for the holidays, in addition to the already surprisingly flawless combination of cornflake and marshmallow they’re adding mint hard candies. It’s so wrong but so right. At $2.00 per cookie, it’s quite a splurge, but when else are you going to see a cornflake, marshmallow, mint cookie and actually want to eat it because you know Momofuku can do absolutely no wrong? Never.
However, if these cookies are too crazy for you head on over to Balthazar’s at 80 Spring Street and indulge in some more classic holiday treats. Balthazar’s Dredsen Stollen, which is a type of fruit cake containing dried fruit, usually with marzipan and then covered with powdered sugar or icing, a classic German Holiday treat, is one of their specialty items that you can just grab and go. However, if you have a bit more time on your hands, you should consider some of their Thanksgiving specialty desserts, such as their maple pecan and sweet potato pie, or their chocolate bourbon pecan pie. Yum. However, be warned, this is a pretty pricey place. Pies cost about $37-40, but everyone deserves to treat themselves to some special deliciousness.
However, if you’re not in the mood for something super fancy and just want to indulge in some gorgeous greasy goodness, the Doughnut Plant on 379 Grand Street is definitely the place for you. The Doughnut Plant has been known to break doughnut barriers. Their yeast doughnuts are oh so light and fluffy, and the cake donuts taste a bit like deep-fried cake, simply exquisite. As if that weren’t enough they also have a variety of filled doughnuts. They can fill up their already flawless little treats with anything from chocolate pudding to dulce de leche. I mean these guys take the humble little donut to a whole other level. To get us all in the holiday mood, they’re bringing back their apple cinnamon and pumpkin donuts, which are both to die for, and now they are introducing a mole donut. Mole is a chocolate sauce typically used on Mexican savory dishes, so you should get your butt over there to see how they pull that one off. It’ll surely be delicious.
Alas, those are all the seasonal desserts I have to share, so loosen up those belts, because a turkey’s ass ain’t the only thing you’ll be stuffing this year!