Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Buttery Cupcakes

Butter Lane cupcakes.

Butter Lane is not to be missed. I admit I had my doubts when I arrived at the cupcake shop around 7 p.m. and found out that the price for one of these sweet morsels was $3. I mean, Magnolia charges 3 bucks and - contrary to popular opinion - I don't think their red velvets are all that. But Butter Lane's long lines hinted at the potential of this cupcake hot spot.


Unfortunately, the banana with cream cheese frosting and vanilla with French frosting were sold out (my 1st and 2nd choices, respectively), but I took my friend's suggestion and gave the peanut butter frosting over chocolate cake a try. I'm glad I did. It was buttery, not too sweet and whipped to perfection. The moist cake and fluffy frosting rival Sugar Sweet Sunshine in quality. A true cupcake lover's delight.

He had the chocolate cupcake with raspberry frosting. It even came with a real raspberry on top!



I don't feel it's fair to give this bakery a rating yet since I haven't had their other distinctive flavors. But I do like what I taste so far. All the more reason to come in the future...

Butter Lane
123 East 7th St
New York, NY 10009

Chinatown Eats

Roti Canai.

New Malaysia Restaurant. The evening's meal started off nicely with some Roti Canai, an Indian pancake ($2.95). The sauce may look a little oily, but the paper-thin flatbread eagerly soaked up the the sauce's coconut-rich spiciness.

Pad Thai.

It's hard to mess up Pad Thai - so why did this one fall so flat? The first two bites were OK, but it slowly dawned on me that something was wrong with this picture. First off, no sweet chili sauce was served on the side. Without the play of sweet and spicy, sprinkling lime juice over this dish only made it sour and bland. Also, although the menu bills this one as a "spicy" dish, I couldn't detect even a hint of the kicker. It tasted like Chinese chow fun, heavy on the soy sauce and not much else.

Granted, this isn't a Thai restaurant and I probably should have ordered something more Malaysian (whoops). But still, the Pad Thai ($6.75) was sorely disappointing.

Fried Pearl Noodle.

My friend's Fried Pearl Noodle ($5.95) fared a little better. Still way too much soy sauce, but what do you expect from a Chinatown restaurant? The Roti Canai was the best of the three. The prices were cheap enough that I didn't complain all that much.

Chicken Sauteed Pea Shoots on Rice.

Late-night munchies at Yogee Noodle. Beef stew over flat noodles is this restaurant's specialty. I wish I had known that before I ordered the Chicken Sauteed Pea Shoots on Rice ($5), but it wasn't bad, especially since I split it with someone. Check out that mountain of rice!

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars. Not that impressed.

New Malaysia Restaurant
48 Bowery
New York, NY 10013

Yogee Noodle
85 Chrystie St
New York, NY 10002

Tastes Like Carrot

Carrot Bread.

Fresh carrot bread from Union Square's Farmers' Market. No preservatives or funky business. Just honest-to-goodness all natural ingredients: carrots, flour, vegetable oil, eggs, walnuts, salt, baking soda, cinnamon.

Windy Maples Farm.

The vendor, Windy Maples Farm, also sells banana bread, pumpkin bread and huge hunks of soft chocolate chip cookies. I did a thorough pat-down of the carrot bread before finally choosing it. Carrot bread isn't something I normally eat. My exposure to carrot pastries extends only to carrot cake, which is often too sweet. I can't get the memory of sticky frosting out of my head.

But this was divine. Good for breakfast or an afternoon snack. Not burnt and definitely not doughy. The walnuts added some nice texture. I shared some with the rest of the family, so the small loaf ($2.50) didn't last that long. Having approved this one, I'll happily upgrade for the regular size ($5).