Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Everyman Espresso

136 East 13th Street, New York, NY 10003-5306
(212) 533-0524

Of course, once you have had cup cakes, you need coffee. The coffee shop that I wanted to try was close by to the cup cake place called Everyman Espresso. It is located on 13th street between 3rd and 4th avenue in East Village. From their advertising it seems like they are in the pursuit of perfecting the art of making coffee, and I thought why not try them out also.

I ordered a latte, and one look at it when it arrived made me understand why they are in the business. Everyman takes pride in each cup they make even though they have a minimal staff and one barista only. Artfully done and with no fuss the crema came out perfect. The taste was exqusite and full bodied. This place takes coffee seriously. They source their coffee from the Counter Culture company - that specializes in artisanal and handcrafted coffee sourced from the farmers themselves. My latte was made from coffee sourced from guatemala and for sure it was one of the best cups I have had.

I did not try other things on their menu, but I am sure they will be made in the same diligent way. Interestingly, the coffee shop is attached to a theater and gets all the theater goers coming in as I was told. Must remember not order my latte at that time, as there is definite pleasure in a cup that is made with time and care.  Like almost every other new yorker, I have had coffee at several places in the city and have always kept an eye out for places to go back to. This place makes the cut.

Tu Lu's Bakery

338 East 11th Street, New York, NY 10003
(212) 777-2227

I had heard about gluten free baking but had yet to try. So when I did find out about tu-lu's bakery on 11th street, I made it a must stop on a weekend. It turned out to be a good surprise. Located between 1st and 2nd avenue, it is a bright yet soothing shop with room to sit on barstools. The cup cakes looked nice and almost like regular cupcakes except that they are made of rice flour, tapioca flour and potato starch.

I bought a sampler of about six cupcakes and a brownie. Tasting first the brownie, I hardly realized that it was gluten free. Soft and fresh, and with good chocolate flavor, it tasted just right. Sadly, it did not make to the pictures since it was over before I could get out the camera. Also three other cupcakes were taken over by my Husband and my sons. So those too are not in the picture.

The three here featured are the chocolate on vanilla cake, coffee / mocha on chocolate cake and blueberry icing on chocolate cake. They all tasted mild on flavor and just right. Not much use of color in the icing made them more appealing. Gluten free does make the taste a bit drier than regular cupcakes but that somehow I did not miss that. These versions did not take away from much from the taste or the texture of a regular cake.

There are mini cupcakes also in case you want to try more flavors at a time.
They are priced at $3.15 for regular size and $1.75 for a mini cupcake. Also more samplers of cookies and muffins, which I will try next time.

I did like the art work with the owl in the tree and the branding on the packages. The use of the traditional pink and brown (strawberry and chocolate) colors and the green of pistachio in the images and the branding is soothing to the eyes. A really nice place to pick up treats for people who cannot have regular cupcakes and of course for people who can and want a change.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Cilantro Chutney

This chutney is a staple in north India and is served with lunch, dinner and snacks. It goes very well with biryanis, kebabs, tikkis, pakoras, stuffed paranthas and main dishes. It tastes very well with papads before any meal.

3 cups - Cilantro Leaves
1 ½ tsp - Cumin Seeds
1 tsp - Coriander Powder
1 tsp - Salt
½ tsp - Black salt (optional)
½ cup - Water
2 tbsp - Lemon Juice (or juice of one lemon)

In a blender, grind all of the above ingredients, except the lemon juice into a fine paste by adding very little water. Now add the lemon juice and stir well. Serve it at room temperature.
Lemon juice maintains it’s bright green color and gives tanginess to this chutney. It can be stored in an airtight plastic container for upto 5-6 days in a refrigerator.