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!
I tried a lot of key lime pie in South Florida. From slices dipped in chocolate and placed on sticks to small key lime tarts, but nothing compares to Joe’s. The famous Joe’s Stone Crab in Miami is mainly known for its stone crabs. But, their key lime pie is truly mouth-watering amazing. Unlike any other of the key lime pies I tasted, the key lime at Joe’s is not too sour. It has a delicious tang and a really great, crumbly graham cracker crust. The pie comes refreshingly cold and is served with whipped cream on top. To me, the perfect key lime pie has a pudding-like consistency. Joe’s key lime pie has exactly the right consistency, not too thin and jelly-like and not too thick and lumpy. If the weather alone isn’t reason enough to head South to Miami, Joe’s key lime pie is well worth the trip.
I checked out the new Upper East side bakery called Petite Shell, where I ordered the chocolate croissant. They take a regular croissant and cut it in half. Then, they add a warm, smooth chocolate spread, creating a croissant chocolate sandwich. They bring the chocolate croissant out in a cone, which is very hot. The croissant is very soft, flaky and has a buttery flavor. With the sweet, rich chocolatey spread, the snack is delectable. I also tried the mini blue cheese and pear croissant which was also very tasty, warm and soft.
Overall, Petite Shell is a great find.
The Petite Shell
1269 Lexington Ave (at 85th Street)
New York, NY 10028
No phone or website
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.
269 Columbus Ave
NY, NY 10023
For 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.
Harold’s New York Deli Restaurant
3050 Woodbridge Ave
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.
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
Delicious 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.
7906 Pines Blvd, Pembroke Pines, FL 33024, United States
Phone: (954) 983-6631
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.