Monday, April 21, 2008

Office Food, Sin Sin, and Baked Goods

This past week has been a busy one, so while I have a moment at work I'll recap what little food-and-drink-related news went down recently.

1) Work food: A lot of my work involves meetings, at which there is always (ALWAYS) food. Sometimes this leads to a self-control crisis and an accompanying stomachache. When there's catering from Mangia on the table, that "sometimes" turns into "always." I am a huge sucker for their fruit-and-cheese boxes, and this past week one of my meetings had both a fruit-and-cheese platter and an antipasto platter. Man, I could have not eaten for weeks after that. I'm about to head into a meeting with catering from Champignon (I ordered it, in fact, and much as I love Mangia I didn't want to have the temptation...), so we'll see how that goes.

2) Bar scene: On Friday night I dropped into Sin Sin/Leopard Lounge with a group of friends for a coworker's birthday. We were downstairs, where there was a DJ and a packed dance "floor" (i.e., there were lots of people there, and they were dancing). I can't comment on the drinks, as I didn't imbibe while I was there, but they looked like the standard NYC-bar-type fare. The music was pretty good and there was no cover, a huge plus; it wasn't the greatest place I've ever been to, but I'd go back. How's that for a lukewarm review?

3) Cake: The past week has been FILLED with baked goods, primarily from Billy's Bakery. Now, I must volunteer a caveat: one of the managers at my workplace is part owner of Billy's Bakery. So even if I didn't like their stuff, I'd probably eat a lot of it, for the simple reason that almost any festive occasion at work has Billy's. Fortunately, I do really like their cupcakes and cake. In fact, I've been on an unofficial quest to eat at all the cupcakeries in Manhattan (ideally I'll post about that more in the future...), and in my extensive travels so far Billy's has some of the best. In fact, I will go out on a limb and say that Billy's banana cake may be one of the best baked goods on the island. "Banana cake??" you may be thinking. Yes, banana cake, and I don't particularly like bananas or banana-flavored things. I would never have even thought of trying this stuff if I hadn't accidentally eaten it at a work event. But take my word for it-- it is heavenly. Overall, Billy's frosting is really top-quality and the kind I like (sugary, not waxy/buttery... that's a personal preference thing and I know a lot of people who would disagree with me there), so I end up liking most of what they make there. Stop by for a cupcake or a piece of banana cake and give it a try.

One of my friends was in Boston last week and brought me back a cupcake from Appleton's Bakery (per my plaintive request). Now, many months ago, I had the misery of having a tiny, tiny, TINY taste of an Appleton's chocolate cupcake with white frosting, and ever since then I have been CRAVING one. The last time I was in Boston I trekked all the way there and the baker was ON VACATION. I am not kidding. So my lovely friend was kind enough to bring me back a tiny little present, which I ate last night, and I do declare that I think it's the best chocolate cupcake with white frosting in the world. Moist and fluffy cake with delicious, sweet, and slightly tangy frosting-- and mind you, by the time I ate this baby, it was 3 days old. Impressive.

Sadly, that's pretty much the food roundup for the week-- lots of office catering and baked goods. Although when you look at it like that, I guess it's not too bad, really...

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