The Grand Plaza Hotel Food Hall

Sadly, my camera broke and I am left with my old phone to take pictures for now. Hopefully, my pictures will still do justice!

Last Friday, summer vacation officially launched! I began my summer adventures with row boating in Central Park (for just $15!) and a visit to the Hotel Plaza Food Hall. This hotel has been a hot spot ever since it became famous from being featured in the movie, Home Alone 2, but surprisingly, not many know about the upscale tummy-filling, mouth-drooling hall down below.

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Greeting you as you enter the main hall are display cases of luxury souvenir items and Eloise dolls. As you head downstairs to the food hall, you’re greeted by high-end vendors that are so worth paying for just to try, whether you are interested in dessert, savory bites, or an entire meal. Try a sample of detox green tea at Kusmi Tea, grab a slice of the green tea mille crepe at Lady M, or select some chocolates for a special someone from La Maison du Chocolat. You may want to stop by the ATM first. 🙂 

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24-Hour Cupcake ATM Opens On Upper East Side – CBS New York

24-Hour Cupcake ATM Opens On Upper East Side – CBS New York

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A Taste of “the City of Love”

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The other day, a friend of mine drove me through Soho and my eyes WIDENED when I saw Ladurée.  I thought I imagined it, but after looking it up, I found that it had its opening for its 2nd NYC location just last week on February 4th (Miami folks – it’s opening there in 3 weeks!) If you are a big fan of the macaroon pastries, this is a must go-to spot. Though upscale and quite fancy, its desserts are all that it claims to be and more. Macaroons are incredibly hard to make, requiring specific temperature and a detailed process that few can master. It can easily become too sweet, breakable, or hard!  

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Not the same old “fishy” town

I remember years ago, I used to hate Chinatown, NYC because it was crowded and smelled like fish. I don’t think that has changed much, but it has definitely increased in modernity and improved in cleanliness. You can now see new restaurants popping up, including those of different cuisines such as Bassanova, a famous ramen chain from Japan, and Aux Epices, an intimate fusion Malaysian and French restaurant.  Despite the rise in new eateries, I actually began discovering incredible and old hole-in-the-walls that have every reason to be as famous as they are. Two classics in this cultural neighborhood?

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The Kam Hing Coffee Shop has some serious die-hard sponge cakes to be tried! Apparently I had it more than 10 years ago according to my mom but where have I been these last 10 years?!?  Their $1 sponge cakes are small but melt in your mouth after every bite. They’re incredibly fresh and soft to eat, even after buying a couple extra for your snack or breakfast.  They now have flavored sponge cakes, including green tea, cinnamon chocolate, chocolate chip, and strawberry. I still think the original is the best, but nothing beats trying out flavorful sponge cakes that no one else makes!

image(Photo: Falkowtz, Max.  Sugar Rush)

Then there’s the old Mei Li Wah Bakery right on Bayard Street, the street famous for Chinatown Ice Cream Factory and  Great NY Noodle Town.  If you’re a fan of roast pork buns, this is the place to go!  Although fatty in many ways, it is flavorful with an abundant amount of meat inside a sweet and freshly baked bun. They also have a plain sweet bun that is also less than $1 and completely satisfying. When you go inside, it’s almost like you went back in time with the elder servers and the classic seating and walls!  The best part is, you can buy an entire box for less than $15 and enjoy a feast with your buddies. 🙂

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