Bodega Finds

Ah, Half Baked. One of my favorite movies of all time.

Ah, Half Baked. One of my favorite movies of all time.

Living in New York can be a pain in the ass and every one of us that lives here has a million things to bitch about, but if there’s one distinctly New York thing I’m actually thankful for it’s bodegas.

That’s right, bodegas. Convenience or corner stores for those of you that don’t live in this zoo.  You can find them on almost every block in every neighborhood in this city and if you’re ever in a pinch— be it for ice cream, dishwashing soap, condoms, or any other random thing— you can almost always just run down the street and they’ll have what you need.

Sometimes, they even surprise you with things you didn’t realize you needed but then wonder how you lived without them. That’s what’s happened to me anyway the last few times I’ve popped into one of the million bodegas in my neighborhood.

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I already love Ritters, and then they went and made a coconut macaroon type. Ah-mazing.

Take this Ritter Sport, coconut macaroon holiday edition, for example. I originally stopped in for coffee but walked out with a delicious chocolate bar that I hadn’t seen anywhere else and made my crappy, cold morning precisely a thousand times better.

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I gotta tell you, this cookie on cookie action works for me.

Then there was the time last week when I ran into a bodega to use the ATM and spotted these insane Oreos with chocolate chip cookie dough flavored creme. What?! How do you pass those? You don’t. You buy them and you take them home and you devour them with your roommate. Happiness ensues.

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I’ll admit it, I’m a sucker for gimmicky M&M’s.

And then there was the recent time when said roommate and I ran to the nearest bodega for bottles of water to squash our awful hangovers, when we spotted these at the register: birthday cake M&M’s. I mean, really, it’s like each one is filled with a core of chocolaty deliciousness, happiness and sunshine.

So thank you bodegas of New York. Sometimes you’re weird, sometimes your clerks are creepy, and sometimes I’m convinced you’re just fronts for God knows what kind of illegal activity. But most of the time you just have exactly what I need exactly when I don’t even know I need it. And for that, I thank you.

Break out the Kookies!

Fashion Week is over, you guys!

Ding dong the witch is dead, the witch is dead, the witch is dead! Ding dong the evil witch is dead!

Uhm, sorry, I don’t know what just happened there. Things got weird. I apologize. It’s just that Fashion Week’s always the busiest time of year at the hotel and everyone gets all crazy and needy and stressed out and I hate it. So yea, I’m glad it’s over. All you impossibly thin, painfully cool people that come out during Fashion Week, all of you can just see your way out.

Unlike Karlie, these cookies aren't really lookers but damn are they good anyway!

Unlike Karlie, these cookies aren’t really lookers but damn are they good anyway!

Except for one. Karlie Kloss. She can stay. Not because she’s a model, not because she looks super cool and down to earth, and certainly not because she has the body and proportions I would’ve been born with in a perfect world. Nope, Karlie can stay because she teamed up with Momofuku Milk Bar to make Karlie’s Kookies, an awesome line of delicious and not the-worst-possible-thing-you-could-put-in-your-body cookies.

There’s a couple different kinds but I recently had the 5Boro Kookie,  which despite being dairy free, gluten free, and having no added sugar, was actually pretty freakin’ fantastic.

Made with cocoa powder, almond flour, coconut purée, pineapple juice, chocolate chips, water, baking powder, cornstarch and salt, the 5Boro was dark and rich, with the slightest sweet tang and a moist, chocolateyness that made me want to eat ten more in rapid succession.

And if all of that wasn’t enough to convince you, a portion of the proceeds from Karlie’s Kookies goes to charity. Pssshh, as if I needed a single other reason to celebrate the end of Fashion Week.

Yes, this is about a salad

The makings of a damn fine salad.

The makings of a damn fine salad.

Folks, I’m happy to report that I’m alive and well. Not only because I survived going vegan for a month but also because I managed to not overdose on mountains of bacon and cheese on February 1st, my first day back to non-vegan eating. (Maybe I’m finally getting a hang of this whole self-control thing. Doubtful, though.)

Even though I’m back to the dairy wonderland that is my life, I’ll be keeping a few of the things I picked up during my brief stint as a vegan. Tofu cream cheese for, example, and veggie breakfast sausages are sticking around, as is hopefully the Spicy Sabzi from trendy salad chain, Sweetgreen.

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The Spicy Sabzi, mmm mmm mmm!

I know what you’re thinking. A salad? Really? Yes, really. The Spicy Sabzi, a colorful, delicious and actually filling beauty of baby spinach and kale with spicy quinoa, spicy broccoli, carrots, raw beets, basil, sprouts and roasted tofu, is no freakin’ joke. Dressed with a carrot chili vinaigrette and a squeeze of one of my favorites ever, sriracha sauce, this salad is something I’d gladly eat again and again. It’s chunky, spicy, zesty and full of great tasting and great-for-you ingredients. What’s not to love?

My one concern was that because Sweetgreen’s only New York location was in a part of town that I don’t typically find myself in often I probably wouldn’t be eating there that much, but then I read  that another Sweetgreen is on its way to Brooklyn, not far from me, so it looks like there are definitely more Spicy Sabzis in my future. Vegan or not, I’m looking forward to that.