Find Heaven in Hell’s Kitchen
I was lucky enough to enjoy a dessert tour through midtown a la Sugartooth Tours this past weekend! I’m going to be honest and say that as a New Yorker, the idea of walking through Times Square and midtown did not excite me whatsoever, but I was pleasantly surprised. Sarah Rolleston, co-owner/founder of Sugartooth Tours (and fellow performer), was our lovely guide. The guides through the company are certified New York tour guides. This means we got a lot of cool history about Hell’s Kitchen. We went to four interesting sweet spots, and I’ll start by telling you about my favorite, Poseidon Greek Bakery. This family owned bakery has been around since 1923, when 9th Avenue used to be the mecca for fresh carts of food from the 1800’s to 1930 (cool historical fact). The recipes have NEVER changed. We tried the Baklava, a sweet pastry made of filo dough and filled with crushed nuts and syrup or honey. WOW. I definitely can’t taste Baklava the same anywhere else since my standards are now off the charts. It was so fresh and sweet with light flakes crumbling in my mouth. I’m so glad we went in there because I’ve passed by it quite a lot and have always wanted to go in. This is the place to go for Baklava….it’s that simple.
My second favorite was Kyotofu. This Japanese dessert bar takes the soybean to a whole new level. I had their Valrhona Miso Chocolate Brownie. I became one happy Brownie. The thick and creamy texture was rich and decadent. It reminded me of a better version of a chocolate souffle. AND it is gluten-free! They have four Gluten-free and Vegan desserts on their menu. The overall quality was outstanding.
Our first stop on the journey was this off-the-“really”-beaten-path chocolate shop. Kee’s Chocolates was first established in 2002 when owner, Kee Ling Tong, left her corporate job to open a Flower and Chocolate shop. When her chocolates outshown the flowers, she decided to focus soley on cocoa. This West 39th Street location just opened this past October, and I’m so glad it did since the Garment District needs some upscale dessert spots! I had Kee’s favorite, Passion Fruit as well as the Black Sesame Truffle. The flavor in the passion fruit popped and was completely refreshing. Almost like a palate cleanser. The Black Sesame was delectable with a chocolate covered pretzel feel…but gourmet. I love the bread + sweet taste. The truffle’s center was creamy and divine.
We could’t leave midtown without going to the new and popular Schmackery’s. This cookie shop has taken creativity to a whole new level. Voted by Time Out as the best cookie in NYC, they definitely have a hopping atmosphere. I chose the Cookies & Cream and Coconut Chip. My favorite ice cream is Cookies & Cream so I thought I might try it in cookie form. It definitely tasted the part and was filled with white chocolate chips and covered with vanilla buttercream frosting. The middle was extra gooey with a crisp outside. The coconut chip had coconut, chocolate chips, walnuts, and sea salt. I liked the salty addition to this sweet cookie. The coconut wasn’t too overwhelming either. With a milk shot on the side to wash them down, this place will definitely put a smile on your face.
Thanks Sugartooth tours for an eye opening, afternoon adventure in an iconic area of NYC. Be sure to check out their upcoming tours to find the dessert journey you’re looking for. I highly recommend spending the day with sweet Sarah and her finds!