New York City Affordable Places

Day trips to the outer borough must first and foremost start with brunch. Where to go?

6 May 2010

Day trips to outer borough must first and foremost start with brunch. Where to go and where to take your madre this Sunday (um, it’s mother’s day!)? Courtyards, mimosas, and cuteness are on the menu.

le petit cafe

My pick numero uno is Le Petite Cafe in Carroll Gardens. The ambiance in the courtyard (yes, it’s the place with the tree and water fountain) is beautiful, especially for mom. Their brunch menu isn’t anything particularly wonderful, so if mom is a food snob, you might want to choose something a bit more upscale. La Petit Cafe has great french toast and wonderful omelet selection. The service can be a bit slow, but you hardly notice as you’re focused on the atmosphere. Adorable.

Buttermilk Channel lends itself to food snobs. Also in Carroll Gardens, Buttermilk is known for warm sour cream donuts that taste similar to funnel cake, out of this work bloody marys – think rosemary-infused vodka – and short rib hash that makes my mouth water just thinking of it. The service is divine if you don’t mind feeling a teeny bit rushed out.  Buttermilk has a separate vegetarian menu if that’s your fancy and Court Street makes for a wonderful Sunday walk with mom.

For lingering atmosphere or upscale brunch, you can’t really go wrong with either Carroll Gardens spot. And both are reasonably priced so as not to break the bank on Mother’s Day.

Emma Dinzebach

Posted by Emma Dinzebach at 12:00 AM
Bargain Hunting , bargain news , Brooklyn , New York City Affordable Places , New York Survival Guide , Restaurants , STYLE/BEAUTY , TRENDS |

Ho hum to the tired New York cupcake scene and hello to the newest sweet on the cake scene: cake balls. That's right, balls.

16 April 2010

First it was Magnolia, then Crumbs, then some sort of revolt created Buttercup. Presently, we can’t keep track of the city’s sweet shops and trucks and such no matter how hard we try. And now we don’t have to because cake balls are the new cupcake. Well, almost.
Yeah, cake balls sounds kind of vulgar but they. are. delicious. My best friend brought me red velvet cake balls dipped in Ghirardelli chocolate last weekend. They were so moist, rich delicious and…homemade. That means, you can bake them on your own! But if your oven is full of shoes, you might want to order them. Nothing smells worse than burned Louboutins.

Sweet Jewels Cake BallsBrooklyn baker/ cool- maker, Julie Tran, sells similar cake balls on Etsy; and they taste scarily similar to my pastry-esque BFF’s. Cake balls are ping pong ball size and easily eaten in 2-3 bites. Sweet Jewels, Julie’s clever double entendre for the delicacies, are also red velvet cake mixed with cream cheese icing and dipped in chocolate. Julie’s are rolled in coconut. A newer, “Red Hot,” version includes spiced cinnamon and a candy red hot center.

When I Etsy-searched cake balls, tons of listing came up with lemon cake balls, pumpkin cake balls, sprinkled cake pops and more. Sugar Sweet Sunshine Bakery and City Bakery both have their own versions of cake balls, which were cleverly decorated as little chicks and bunnies for Easter. Other cupcakeries have yet to catch on, but with swimsuit season just around the corner, you can bet people will be yearning for smaller bites…er, balls.

Emma Dinzebach

Posted by Emma Dinzebach at 12:00 AM
Bargain Hunting , bargain news , New York City Affordable Places , New York City Avenues For Fun , Restaurants , STYLE/BEAUTY , TRENDS |

Even if I'm not in the market for vintage clothing, I might take the L train to Williamsburg just for Hotel Delmano's cocktails.

18 March 2010

On a rainy afternoon last week, I went on a Williamsburg adventure ending in a delicious drink at the apparently wildly popular (how was I supposed to know!) Hotel Delmano. Hotel Delmano is not a hotel. I know, tricky, right? The unassuming spot on Berry Street serves creative cocktails and small plates for regular prices. They have a real record player…and use it! The Tuesday afternoon I popped in, they played sing-songy jazz and chatted with patrons.

The menu looked so divine, I could hardly decide what to order, so I had the bartender pick his favorites. “Well, I also have my own creation – the Russian Riviera,” he said. The Russian Riviera is vodka, champagne, lime and maple syrup. I was weary of the maple syrup, but I’m a sucker for bubbly. The sweetness of the syrup was adequately muted by the alcohol, and the combination tasted divine. My brother tried the Three Amigos – Patron, Bloody Mary mix, and Tecate. You drink it in that order, which sounds unsophisticated, but tastes quite good. Hotel Delmano’s menu also includes a delicious elderflower vodka drink and more mixtures than I can write in three to four hundred words.

Our stop was the best way to end an afternoon of vintage clothes shopping and record browsing in the BK. And even if I’m not in the mood for vintage clothes again soon, I might take the L Train for a cocktail…if you can fathom.

Hotel Delmano   82 Berry St. between 8th & 9th Williamsburg, Brooklyn  718.387.1945

Emma Dinzebach

Posted by Emma Dinzebach at 12:00 AM
Bargain Hunting , bargain news , Brooklyn , New York City Affordable Places , New York City Avenues For Fun , New York Survival Guide , Restaurants , Shopping Trends , STYLE/BEAUTY , Tips Guides , TRENDS |

Don't be overwhelmed. There is a method to the madness.

5 October 2009

If there is only one reason to ever visit post-TRL Times Square, it’s to see Billy Elliot. But if you can brave it for a second go around, then get your beauty fix at Inglot. (Our theory, the Polish born beauty company inconveniently positioned their North American flagship store in Times Square to catch their most already devoted consumers – Europeans. See also: tourists.) But don’t let the tourists deter you from the Inglot experience.

The experience is a lot to take in, so read closely. Inglot offers both daily wear make up and stage make up with a philosophy of really getting to know their client. You may know Inglot from their revolutionary breathable nail polish launched on the heels of Fashion Week. Available in 46 colors, Inglot nail polish promotes nail health and smoothness by allowing for more oxygenation of the nail. Inglot also aims to promote skin care and most of their products contain Vitamin E.

Then there is “The Freedom System.” Any combination of powder, concealer, eye shadow, lip colors, bronzer can be specifically tailored to your taste using the freedom system. Choose your desired combination – rumor has it there are over 3 billion different combinations – and they go back in their special workshop then emerge about five minutes later with your personalized make up palate. Sizes range from clutch-friendly to all-inclusive, and Inglot prices are comparable to Sephora brand make up.

I bought the AMC Natural Illuminating and Glowing line of pressed powders and eey shadows, which have a shimmery hint and are a bit higher in pigment. For your brows, Inglot offers both cream and powder brow fillers, and friendly staff are happy to show you how to use either, where to fill in your brows depending on desired shape, and how to achieve different looks for day or evening. For your lips, try the lip duo (color and shine), which comes in candy colors and feels like butter.

Posted by Emma Dinzebach at 08:29 AM
bargain news , BEAUTY , New York City Affordable Places , STYLE/BEAUTY |

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