Weirdness of Thursday…(sort of) & Welcome to My New Home

Yesterday was kind of weird. My two problems were dinner and finding out that my former blog at Blogspot is preventing me from publishing because they label it as SPAM! Why?! Especially it’s been last September that I have been publishing. Since I don’t have much faith in waiting for a response on from Blogger, I’m hoping this place won’t give me problems…my last hope is actually going to Typepad and get meself an account there. To the new readers, welcome! To my loyal readers from Blogger, thank you for reading. I really appreciate it!

Ok, enough of my problems…I want to wallow myself in food. So here it goes.

Starting from yesterday morning, I went back to Caffe Falai.
Caffe Falai
It was about 8 AM, surprisingly there wasn’t much bustle as I would imagine for a cafe or bakery spot. I had a hankering for some chocolate croissant and that’s what I ordered ($2.50).

Italian Chocolate Croissant

Innards of the Chocolate Coronetti

I did take out, since it felt odd to just eat there alone and where there are no other diners eating there. It’s just the local residents who are just coming in for a cup of latte or a pastry to go. The croissant was not I was really expecting. I should have remembered that this place is meant to be Italian, not a French patisserie. So, I was surprised by the chocolate pudding/custard filling. The croissant or to be more exact, a coronetti, was still awesome though: it was über flaky, crisp, light and slightly buttery. Probably I’ll go for their chocolate pear croissant next time…

Moving toward the afternoon/lunch hour, I went back to campus to put in the finishing touches on my philosophy paper and wanted to take another dessert. So, I just walked out to the Time Warner Building and went up to Bouchon Bakery on the 3rd floor. I can’t help the fact that around my campus there’s only one bakery that has never failed me yet and this is it. I don’t really want to walk out to Hell’s Kitchen (the area around 9th Avenue and the 40-50s Streets) to get some baked good to get my blood sugar going. Anyways, since it is the starting or the middle of lunch hour, (depending if you view 1 PM is lunch or past it), there was a line at Bouchon. Thankfully, their service tends to be fast and good. I ended up ordering a Chocolate Tart ($6.75) and a small coffee. Yep, I have a crazy addiction to sugar and chocolate that it sometimes scares me if my cholesterol levels are shooting up waay up there and that I will have diabetes too. Eh…Bouchon Bakery's Chocolate Tart

Innards of Chocolate Tart

The chocolate tart is delicious! It’s a chocoholic dream tart. The chocolate shortbread-like crust is crisp and chocolatey, faintly sweet. It is then layered with a hazelnut praline to emphasize the dark, earthiness of chocolate, which is topped with a silky, smooth 72% Valhrona (as been told and tasted) chocolate ganache. The decorations are basically a 60% chocolate quenelle with a artistically pretty, twirl of chocolate resting on top, and a toasted hazelnut resting nearby. I’m in a temporary state of chocolate bliss. Unfortunately, it’s short lived since I have to go to class. At least I was looking forward to see my friends afterwards for dinner.

Around 5 PM, I practically ran out of class and to the subway since I have to go crosstown from the west side to the east side of Manhattan. I really don’t like rush hour…honestly, who does? Two things that was I didn’t know it was going to happen was that I wanted to go to a Juilliard concert that was supposed to play was canceled (which I knew practically last minute before I went to bed on Wednesday and had a panic attack) and the other thing was that my friend, Giulia totally forgotten about having dinner with me and Kim. But Giulia had a test for Friday, so it’s not a big deal. We can always make it up in the near future.

So, since Kim and I were starving we went back to the crowded, underground trains to the East Village. There wasn’t a set idea of where we wanted to go but we ended up in Kenka. I remember a summer ago, she used to tell me that this place had really good, cheap food and that we’ll go there someday. Well, today’s the day.

Kenka's sign


Back room

Front/Kitchen Area

The photos look like there’s no one just because we were there at opening time (at 6 PM). The decor is really funky and laid back: weird Japanese movie posters, paper lanterns, and the tables and chairs are unusually low. The prices are inexpensive since most plates are mostly under $10 with the exception of their casseroles. Kim ended up ordering a Yakiniku, a beef stir fry with vegetables and it comes with a salad and miso soup, and I ordered a Unadon and mochi ice cream.

Kim's Yakiniku

My Unadon

Kim’s yakiniku was decent to say the most. Her beef was really fatty and it was overcooked. I felt like I was chewing gum that tasted vaguely like beef. My unadon (it’s grilled eel over rice) was good but the portion was meager. The eel tasted a bit more fishier tasting than what I’d like. After eating my unadon, I was really peeved with my food and I had a really bad feeling that the mochi ice cream that I ordered earlier will not make me a happy camper. By the time Kim finished her food, our waitress asked if I was ready for dessert, I stated nicely that I would like to change my mind and not have it. She took it well and we asked for a check, which came out to almost $15 (not including tip). Since we were still hungry and I wanted dessert just because that’s the only thing that would make me happy, I thought of us going to Taralucci e Vino in the East Village.

Taralucci e Vino

The back seating room

Pastry Case #1

Pastry Case #2

The pastries look amazing. We thought of just buying a few pastries for ourselves to satiate our hunger and forget about the bad food we just ate. Kim bought a mini brownie and an Italian chocolate croissant. I ended up getting a vanilla panna cotta ($5).

Kim's bitten Italian chocolate croissant

Her croissant was good. The problem is that this croissant has been out of the oven for a good couple of hours that it’s somewhat stale but still edible. For some reason, when I ate a small end piece of her croissant, it had a citrusy-lemony flavor but no chocolate. It’s actually stored up in the middle, where it was gushing it’s chocolate gooeyness when Kim kept noshing on it. Looks good and she said it tastes good.

Kim's Brownie (whole)Kim’s brownie is adorable. It’s a small, dainty little brownie that looks deceptively innocent.

That little bugger actually made her happy. Since it’s too small to share nor did I had the urge to eat more chocolate, I did not taste it. All she told me was that it was good, slightly fudgey and moist.

Kim's brownie (bitten)

Vanilla Panna Cotta

Innards of Vanilla Panna Cotta

My vanilla panna cotta (which means “cooked cream”) has a raspberry coulis (meaning sauce). Was really luscious; it was smooth, creamy, thick (almost pudding-like in texture but 5x thicker), with vanilla bean specks on top. The raspberry sauce was a nice accompaniment to bring some sharp, fruity flavor to the party. I’m content…

The bad food memories were banished from our brains and we are satisfied and stuffed with good desserts. Then we all went home as happy (stuffed) clams.


Caffe Falai
265 Lafayette Street
New York, NY

Bouchon Bakery
10 Columbus Circle, 3rd Floor
New York, NY

25 St. Mark’s Place
New York, NY

Taralucci e Vino
163 First Avenue
New York, NY


I shoot, eat, and drink. My full time job is a hospital administrator. Moonlighting as a freelance photographer and food and travel writer.

  1. Edyta says:

    that chocolate tart is amazing! beautiful! i love your new blog look and i have to say the site is running better than it was on blogspot.

  2. thewanderingeater says:

    Oh thanks! Since Blogspot drove me insane ever since last night, I pushed myself to move to this site and create almost everything from scratch.

    Yeah, Bouchon’s pastries and desserts are gorgeous.

  3. Kathy says:

    ooooh, congrats on your new move! blogger has been giving me some hard time with issues on posting and such…but bah, i am too lazy to move, heehee.
    the falai croissant looks crazy good! i’ve never had one filled with a chocolate based cream before. mmm, lush is the word! :)

  4. thewanderingeater says:

    Thank you, Kathy!
    Falai’s croissant was not exactly a pan au chocolat but it was awesome. :)

  5. Seungmi says:

    that half-cut brownie is blocking what you wrote, or is it just me and my bad internet connection? anyway, i read three of your most recent blogs and now i am getting hungry. i wonder if i have anything to eat T_T

  6. thewanderingeater says:

    HAHAHA! Oh you’re hilarious, Seungmi! I’m flattered. :)
    No, it’s not the Internet; the darn brownie photo skewed the words a little.

  7. thewanderingeater says:

    I like Caffe Falai’s food; don’t get me wrong. I didn’t anticipate the chocolate custard filing in my croissant, that it’s not the French version of the chocolate croissant.

  8. Kim says:

    darn it Tina, next time we go to Bouchon! that choclate tart looks really really good. And I like the new site, so far it holding up well, I’ll have to test it on my ancient OS 9 :)

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