As I mentioned on Thursday, my best friend, Emily, from Nebraska, was in town for a work trip. Believe it or not, I showed her more in NYC than just 16 Handles and PB & J Overnight Oats in a Jar. Although she was in town for only 3 days, we packed a lot into those three days. Here’s a recap:
Two Years Without Frozen Hot Chocolate
I’ve been in NYC for two years (plus a four month internship back in college), and I am ashamed to say I’ve never tried the infamous Serendipity frozen hot chocolate! It’s right around the corner from one of my favorite places in NYC, Dylan’s Candy Bar, but I’ve never gone inside because there is always a long wait. Well, Emily’s first night in NYC provided the perfect opportunity to sample this delectable goody!
By the time we met up at my gym, it was already 9:00, and although I wanted to take her to 16 Handles on her first night, Serendipity was the perfect halfway point between her hotel and my apartment.
Plus, something told me the line might be shorter late at night on a Tuesday. AND I was right! We were seated right away! So to anyone visiting NYC, if you want to go to Serendipity, go late at night.
The inside of the restaurant was so adorable, warm and inviting. It was exactly what I pictured from seeing Kate Beckinsale and John Cusack eat there in the movie, Serendipity.
Once seated, we were immediately overwhelmed by the gigantic menu.
Luckily our eyes were immediately drawn to the restaurant’s trademark frozen hot chocolate. We also ordered a frozen yogurt sundae topped with fresh fruit and raspberry sauce. We figured the fruit would balance out the sinful frozen hot chocolate.
After only about 10 minutes, these beauties arrived at our table. And we dug in with reckless abandonment.
Surprisingly, we both agreed that that the frozen yogurt sundae was the better of the two desserts. We loved the frozen hot chocolate, but perhaps because of all the hype, it just wasn’t as good as we had hoped…that doesn’t mean we didn’t enjoy it, but we DEMOLISHED the frozen yogurt sundae.
Before we left, we snapped a couple of pictures in the restaurant and in front of the trademark sign.
Even though the frozen hot chocolate wasn’t the “best thing we ever ate,” it still hit the spot, and I’d definitely go back to Serendipity.
From Overnight Oats in a Jar (OOIAJ) to Rockefeller
On Wednesday night, after her work dinner, Emily came over to my apartment for a sleepover, which I detailed in yesterday’s post. After a successful fro yo adventure and a failed attempt to convert her into an OOIAJ fan, we decided to head to Rockefeller to catch the tail end of the Today show filming.
First we ran through Central Park AND did tricep dips on benches along the way.
Sadly, by the time we got there, filming had just ended
So we made lemons out of lemonade and played in the NBC Experience store for a bit. And what fun we had! It was a pleasant surprise to see that the store contained items representing all of NBC’s hit shows, even the old ones.
Finally, we hit up Magnolia Bakery for a little bit of their delicious banana pudding. Emily was very hungry after only two bites of OOIAJ and a packet of instant oatmeal.
For those who don’t know, Magnolia Bakery is one of NYC’s classic cupcake bakeries, but they are also known for their banana pudding. It’s a creamy combo of pudding, bananas and wafers.
The pudding made us smile!
A Relaxing Afternoon
After our exciting morning, we headed back to my apartment for a relaxing afternoon. Emily has been to NYC before, so we didn’t feel the need to go to town on the touristy stuff.
First, we ate at a classic NYC deli around the corner from my apartment…I asked for little mozarella on top of my frittata, and I think they might have misheard me.
That’s okay because the sweet potato fries made up for the cheese overload.
Em enjoyed a giant Greek wrap.
Then, we decided to get some manicures. Because an afternoon of female bonding would not be complete without a mani!
And finally, we hit the couch for a bit of relaxing before an evening out on the town. What a day!
Italian Mexican Cuisine in the West Village
For our last night in NYC, I wanted to take Emily to one of the city’s trendiest neighborhoods, so we trekked all the way across town to the West Village, my old stomping grounds. Emily was in the mood for a martini so her one request was that we select a restaurant with a big martini list. I selected Mercadito Grove, an Italian restaurant…or so I thought
Once we sat down, we quickly realized that I had indeed made a gigantic error: Mercadito Grove is a MEXICAN restaurant…which meant no martinis. OOOOOOOPS. Luckily, Emily recovered quickly and ordered a delicious, tequila drink.
I took a sip, and it certainly was strong. I think I felt a little tipsy after just one sip! If the strong tequila drink didn’t make up for my oversight, the food certainly did. We had the best guacamole I’ve ever had in my life!
It was a platter of three guacamoles: mango, traditional and grenada. The mango guacamole was the most creamy, delicious guac I’ve ever eaten. If you’re coming to NYC, head to West Village and get this guacamole. You’ll thank me later!
The restaurant was tapas style, so we also shared some tacos, quesadillas and enchiladas. One of Emily’s friends from college joined us, but this was still quite a lot of food. Needless to say, we were not hungry for desert! (Side note: In the budget diet, I allowed myself exceptions for group/tapas dinners – this was an exception!)
We did save a little time to stop by my favorite bar in the city, Village Tavern. My older brother lived above this laid-back bar when he lived in NYC, and the bartender is from Nebraska. Thus, whenever I go, it kind of feels like home :-). It’s like Cheers, where everybody knows your name. We enjoyed a couple of beers and headed home for the evening, since Emily had an early plane to catch, and I had to head to work the next day.
I was VERY sad as I put Emily in the cab the next morning, but being the optimist that she is, she still had a huge smile on her face.
Good Friends, Good Times
Having Emily in town reminded me how fun it is to have my friends from Nebraska visit me here in NYC. I truly love this city, and I enjoy the opportunity to show the special parts to my friends. A couple months ago, my friend Jamie and her boyfriend stayed with me. From brunch at the Plaza to day drinking and shopping at Bloomies, we had a great time!
And last year, my best friend Becca came to visit NYC on a work trip. Becca is quite the shopper, so she schooled me in power shopping.
But we also took advantage of the city with great dinners and of course, a visit to Magnolia Bakery.
I felt EXTRA SPECIAL to have Becca as a visitor, because Becca is a very busy little lady. Along with her job, she is the mother to an adorable 1-year-old boy, Brody.
Yes, he is the most precious baby in the world. But I might just a little biased ;-). Anyway, Becca doesn’t have a lot of free time, so I really treasured the time that we spent together in NYC. I must also give a shout-out to her wonderful husband, Rory, who is one of the most loyal readers of my blog. I may even be able to get him to try those Oats in a Jar next time I visit Nebraska….
Thanks to you both for taking the time out of your busy days to read my little blog. I miss you and Brody very much and can’t wait to see you in a couple months!
Ready to Run!
Well, I’m just finishing off my smoothie in a jar (I will put anything in a PB jar!) before I head off for a long run. This post took FOREVER so I’m ready to get runnin’
It’s a hot one today, and I’m looking forward to a good sweat. I think I’m going to run by the East River, rather than Central Park so that I can enjoy the sunshine without all the trees!
Enjoy your Saturday!
What’s your favorite place to take company when you have visitors?