The Latest Pines Picks — Updates and New Picks

I’m glad you have found my blog! The restaurant scene in New York City is always changing and I’ll be using this as a way to keep you up to date on the changes and share my new finds. I hope you’ll check back often or subscribe for updates through RSS feed or email so you can be kept up to date. After all, I don’t want you to have to wait until the next edition of Pines Picks to know about my discoveries!

Cuban Sandwich — A.G. Kitchen

The other day I stopped at A.G. Kitchen to try their claimed “NYC’s Best Cubano.” The sandwich came out in slices, and contained the normal, delicious ingredients of a Cuban sandwich: Pork, Ham, Swiss cheese, pickles and, mustard. The Cuban comes between two slices of perfectly golden brown, panini-like slices of bread. After I took my first bite, I too understood the greatness of this slightly buttered sandwich. The mix of the warm, melted swiss cheese, the delicious slices of roast pork, the sweetness from the pickles and the mustard created one of the most incredible Cuban sandwiches I have consumed. Although the sandwich, in total, is pretty big, I inhaled it. I am already looking forward to picking up another Cuban from A.G. Kitchen.

A.G. Kitchen
269 Columbus Ave
NY, NY 10023
(212) 873-9400

Biggest Portions Ever!

photo-1-Blog---HaroldsFor a one-of-a-kind dining experience, you have to go to Harold’s Deli in Edison, New Jersey. Even half of one of their triple decker sandwiches (I had pastrami, corned beef and turkey) requires its own platter! The deli meat was excellent, very lean and tasty. I also really liked the matzo ball soup, especially the football-sized matzo ball. Harold’s has a fun “pickle bar” with all kinds of pickles to choose from on it as well other items like rye bread and sauerkraut. Even the desserts are ginormous and fun – massive, tasty slices of fudge cake, and giant sundaes for the whole family to share. You have to check this place out!! It is not to be believed.


photo 5 Blog - HaroldsHarold’s New York Deli Restaurant
3050 Woodbridge Ave
Edison, N.J.
(732) 661-9100



Hard to believe it – but Crumbs is gone!  They apparently went out of business due to owing large debts and have had to close all of their cupcake shops.  This is definitely a bad day for cupcake-lovers.  I will particularly miss their giant cupcake, which was great for birthday celebrations.

Crispy Beef Surprise

For the first time, I got to try the crispy beef at Shun Lee Palace and was pleasantly surprised. I really enjoyed the sweet and sour dish. It stood out to me because opposed to the crispy beef dishes at other comparable restaurants, the beef dish at Shun Lee was less fried and less crispy – which made the beef much more tender overall. I loved the sauce on the beef, which contained a little spice. Overall a great crispy beef. Shun Lee is a fancy restaurant and the portions on many of the dishes (like the excellent dumplings) are small, but the crispy beef is a winner.

Shun Lee Palace
155 E. 55th Street (between Lexington and Third Avenues) New York, NY
(212) 371-8844


First ever cupcake ATM opened at Sprinkles bakery in NYC.


780 Lexington Avenue
New York, New York 10065
(212) 207-8375



Mojo Donuts

Mojo DonutsDelicious fresh donuts that are made at 6 am in the morning, and Mojo donuts closes directly after they run out of donuts. There are tons of flavors and the people there are super friendly and willing to recite the names of every single donut they have… ranging from plain to apple cobbler to blueberry cheesecake to crème brûlée.

My favorite was the apple cobbler which was a soft, sugar-covered plain donut covered with caramel and sweet vanilla cream. Also, the donut is filled with an apple filling that is sweet and contains tiny pieces of chopped up apple. Overall, this donut is better than any apple pie or cobbler that I’ve had; an all-in-one donut.

I would also highly recommend the s’mores donut, which was a moist chocolate cake donut covered with chocolate icing and sprinkled with roasted mini marshmallows and pieces of graham crackers. Mojo Donuts has a huge variety of cool and tasty donuts. If you are in Florida, you cannot miss it.

Mojo Donuts
7906 Pines Blvd, Pembroke Pines, FL 33024, United States
Phone: (954) 983-6631

2nd Edition NOW AVAILABLE!!!

9780984710829.main I’m very excited to announce that the Second Edition of Pines Picks: A Kid’s Guide to the Best Things To Eat and Drink in New York City is now available on Amazon.

I’ve been working hard to update the book with several new categories and have also named some new Pines Picks for categories that the previous winner has closed.  So visit Amazon and pick up a copy for the latest in the New York City restaurant scene from my perspective.

Sad to See Them Go

I kept hoping it wasn’t true, but it now looks like Rickshaw Dumpling Bar is gone for good. I especially loved their chocolate dessert dumplings. And I was also a big fan of Rickshaw’s unique edamame dumplings, their tasty Thai chicken and spicy kimchee dumplings. Not only have the stores closed, the trucks seem to be permanently gone too. If anyone from Rickshaw is reading this, please let me know if you still are willing to cater private events….you can’t just shut us off completely!

Another Great Bakery – This One in Nanuet, New York

I came across the most amazing bakery in Nanuet, New York, called Rockland Bakery. Apparently, it supplies tons of restaurants with baked goods. When you go there, you actually get to put on plastic gloves and choose your freshly baked bread right from the factory floor. The piping hot bialys were incredible, to say the least. They also have plenty of cakes, cookies and pastries to choose from and even a deli. You can smell this place from what seemed like miles away.

Worth a Trip to Arlington, Massachusetts

I had a great pleasure today after visiting Lakota Bakery in Arlington, Massachusetts. This is a cookie shop that’s main focus is on cookies. I tried many different cookies. “Wow,” is all I can say after tasting them. They had just come directly out of the oven and the cookies had a pleasing chewiness to them. I loved the M&M chocolate chip cookie, the toffee chip cookie and, my favorite was the delicious regular chocolate chunk that had lots of chocolate chips and was drizzled with sweet, smooth chocolate. These cookies have traveled all around the world and have even gone to the White House. They are unbelievably tasty and I highly recommend these cookies.