taking a bite out of the big apple


Rachel, Rohini & Yang at Clinton St Bakery
{My friends Rachel, Rohini and me outside Clinton St. Bakery}

Hello! Happy Monday! Oh what a weekend I’ve had. I was in New York visiting with friends and it was mostly all good with the one exception of a several-hours delayed overnight train back to DC. I’m still hurting as a result of it, but am choosing to focus on the positive and the real reasons why I was there: dear friends and delicious food. When you think about it like that, it was quite a successful weekend.

So successful that I thought I’d share a sort-of food diary of all of the things I enjoyed and over-enjoyed with friends on Saturday. I hope it gives you some ideas for your next/first trip to the food capital of the U.S. 

Clinton Street Trio
{Clinton St. Baking Company Muffins and Potato Pancakes}

The day’s first meal started at 9:30a.m., but we didn’t actually eat until almost noon. Why? Clinton St. Baking Company‘s no reservations and 2-hour wait is why. Only in New York. 

Rachel, Rohini and I made the most of the long wait by catching up on many months’ of stories, and chasing the sun’s rays to keep us warm. Several eternities, cups of tea, coffee and a Pumpkin Spiced Muffin later, we were finally seated, served, and the food was When-Harry-Met-Sally groan-worthy good. The wait was well worth it.

Clinton Street Pancakes
{Clinton St.’s Wild Maine Blueberry Pancakes with Maple Butter}

Clinton St. is famous for its pancakes and these were to die for. 

Not pictured: the Southern Breakfast with two eggs, sugar-cured bacon, cheese grits, and fried green tomatoes. Incredible. 

Doughnut Plant Donuts
{Doughnut Plant}

My love for donuts is a well-documented one, and my love for fancy doughnuts with a “g’ and an “h” trump all. So you can imagine my excitement when I finally made the long overdue pilgrimage to the Doughnut Plant in the Lower East Side. Immediately after breakfast. 

Since we knew we had much more eating ahead of us, we limited ourselves to the Pumpkin, Blackout and two Crème Brûlée donuts. The Crème Brûlées were my favorite with their beautifully torched tops and cream filling. The Pumpkin and Blackout didn’t disappoint either. 

Doughtnut Plant Trio{The heavens shining down on the Doughnut Plant}

My one disappointment is not trying more. Next time, I’m not leaving Manhattan without tasting their Matcha Green Tea, Apple Cinnamon, and Tres Leches. I will get to them all. 

And how darling is my friend Rachel? And could we look any more excited to be holding a bag of donuts? 

El Paso Taqueria in Spanish Harlem{Flag football and El Paso Taqueria}

After donuts, Rohini and I ventured all the way uptown to Harlem to cheer on her students in a game of flag football. Unfortunately for the Wolfpack, they lost their home game 6 to 27. Losing is never fun, but after a compelling speech from their coach, the team’s spirits were restored, as was my appetite. 

Those of us over 12 then moved things over to El Paso Taqueria on East 116th Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenues. If you’re ever in the Spanish Harlem neighborhood, which is probably unlikely, you should definitely stop in for some authentic Mexican food. For me, the nachos, guacamole and enchiladas were real standouts, but ask Rohini and she’ll probably tell you it was the 12-dollar special for all-you-can drink mimosas.  


Later in the afternoon, we were joined by our beloved friend Megan. We did the usual shopping and in the evening, went to Republic in Union Square for dinner. It’s become Rohini’s go-to for out-of-town guests, and I was very happy to partake in her routine. I’d been a couple of times many moons ago when still a student at NYU, and remember liking it, but not being particularly blown away. Either they updated their recipes or I was wrong, or both, because I was especially impressed this last time around. Not having to wait for a table helped too. 

Republic - Bowen beef noodles and pad thai
{Republic’s Spicy Beef Broth Noodles and Vegetable Pad Thai}

My brother Bowen joined us for a free meal from his older sister, and in return let me steal several spoonfuls of his tasty Noodles in Spicy Beef Broth. Rohini, the regular, got the Vietnamese Vegetables Vermicelli, and Megan went with the Curry Vegetable Noodles. They were all delicious. I’m a little ashamed to say that of all the options, I ordered the Vegetable Pad Thai, but Republic’s version was up there with the best and I have absolutely no regrets. 

Republic trio

We started off the meal with Crispy Tofu that I must recreate for Frydays, and Steamed Vegetable Dumplings that you don’t want to miss. 

Saint's Alp Teahouse{My darling Megan at Saint’s Alp Teahouse}

Last, but not least, we ventured over to Saint’s Alp Teahouse in the East Village to top off our Asian dinner with some Asian treats. There are many reasons why Saint’s Alp is near and dear to me, the delicious bubble tea for instance, but the big one is its shared address with my sophomore-year NYU dorm. I regret not frequenting the place more often when it was right under my nose, but have since added it to my list of must-go New York places. I recommend Megan’s order of cold Taro Milk Tea, my warm Coconut Milk Tea and Rohini’s Gingerbread Milk Tea. Bowen inhaled his so quick that I don’t know what he ordered, which is a shame, because whatever it was must have been really good. 

Megan, Yang & Rohini{Up to no good in Union Square}

That does it for my first New York City food diary. If I did this right, you’ll want to try at least one of those places the next time you’re there. And in case it wasn’t clear – yes, all of that was indeed consumed in one day. I will be paying for it later, in the gym and the credit card bill, but it was very well worth it. 

Here’s to healthier eating and a few days of recuperation. 

Next up on the travel list: Indianapolis this weekend.

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2 Responses to taking a bite out of the big apple

  1. Teesa says:

    awww, i LOVE this! i have such pretty friends (including bowen ;)).
    looks like you had a blast and omggggggg, the food looks AAAAAMAZING. what was your favorite (if you had to pick)?

    • Yang says:

      Thanks, Teesa! We do have pretty friends. You included. The food was incredible. Hard to pick a favorite, but if I have to, I’d go with the donuts, because I’m such a big fan of donuts of all kinds. Breakfast and dinner were fantastic too though. The company was great.

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