In a city that is notorious for it’s Pizza, I think I’ve finally found my very favorite slice in town. Though popular among born and bred Brooklynites and authentic Italians (at least that’s what my two very Italian friends tell me), I think this place is fairly unknown. L&B Spumoni Gardens is quite a trek but it is SO worth it. There are two ways to get there a) drive, though parking can be tricky or b) take the subway (N to 86th street or D to 25th Ave).


There is often quite a wait and you won’t have much luck sweet-talking the old school grumpy Italian hostess, but your patience will pay off. I’ve only been here twice so my suggestions are limited but I would suggest getting the Caprese salad which is a fresh and healthy start to what is sure to be a not-so-healthy meal. The rice balls look amazing. I didn’t have them as they aren’t vegetarian, but I did have the melted cheese and marinara sauce which comes on top of them and it was delicious. We got a carafe of the house red which is decent enough when you’re paying a pittance though I would just as soon get an ice cold Peroni to pair with my carbs. The obvious must-have is the Sicilian Pizza. This pizza… I “can’t even”. I mean I “literally can’t”. It feels like you’re biting into a cloud of dough. The marinara sauce has a delicious sweetness to it and there is the perfect ratio of sauce to cheese. If you are lucky enough to get a corner slice, you’ll really be in heaven. I’ve committed a Spumoni crime twice now in that I’ve never actually ordered any Spumoni. I am usually too full at that point and I tend to be more of a savory gal so you know where my priorities lie. I’ve heard the Spumoni is pretty darn good though.



As a side note, if you happen to drive to L&B Spumoni Garden in the month of December, you should also drive by Dyker Heights to see the famous Christmas Lights. They are over-the-top but beautiful.

We spent our Saturday evening at Spumoni Gardens in an effort to carb load for Roman’s half-marathon on Sunday. It seemed to have been a successful mission because he ran a great race. After not having run farther than four miles in months, Roman ran the half marathon on Sunday under two hours. I got to cheer him on in Times Square and then meet him at the finish. After his race, we went for Brunch at one of my favorites, The Smile. I had a quinoa, lentil, egg concoction which was great and he had lox and lemon caper cream cheese on a Black Seed Bagel. I’m not a lox person but I tasted his food and it was SO good.




Post-brunch, Roman and I walked around the village to different antique stores looking for furniture for our new apartment which we are moving into in the next few weeks. We found a million things we wanted and yet nothing we could afford. We also found some great mural walls to pose in front of.




After walking around for a bit, I went downtown to the Glossier pop-up shop. If you don’t know Glossier, you should. I don’t mind ordering it online but going to the pop-up is so fun, I can’t resist. It smells like roses (due to the Soothing Face mist which contains Rosewater) and is a pink wonderland. I spent way too much money on various new products I wanted to try but so far it’s worth it because I’m loving everything. If you want to try out some of their products you can get 20% off with this Link.




After a pretty good nap, Roman and I went to dinner at a friend’s place in Brooklyn. It was a fabulous night of wine, tuna steak (my first time having it, it was great!) and a very addicting game called Spyfall. 

Overall it was a perfect weekend. How was yours? Let me know!


When writing my first of the “24 hours” series, I had a difficult time picking where to suggest that one should go to breakfast. The lovely problem about New York City is there’s probably 20 amazing restaurants within a 5 block radius of where you are at any given moment. So, if I were to give you my top 10 breakfast joints, this is what they would be in no particular order (and as soon as I type this I’ll think of 10 more that I forgot):

1) Floridita- This place is not charming by any means. It is big, brightly lit and kind of sterile, and the waitresses take some time to warm up to you. In fact, we often try to figure out whether our usual waitress is joyously telling her Spanish speaking colleagues that we are back or talking about how much she hates us. All of this plus Cuban music and smells wafting from Dinosaur BBQ is what gives Floridita it’s charm. First, you HAVE to get a “cafe con leche”. You will probably need more than one of these because it’s basically liquid gold. I would follow that with a breakfast sandwich and a side of Mangu (mashed plantains). Be sure to get the pickled onions with the Mangu. It’s a perfect balance of savory, sweet and sour. This place is a schlep to get to for anyone who doesn’t live in West Harlem, but it is worth it for the coffee alone and you can walk or bike down the Hudson river after and work of those Cuban calories!

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2) Cafe Cluny- This place is the tiniest bit snooty and overpriced, but still oh so wonderful. It’s an adorable little french bistro with perfect bright morning light that makes you feel like you want to sit and read the New York Times while sipping a coffee. You are pretty safe ordering anything on the menu though my favorites are the avocado toast with a poached egg and the grapefruit brûlée.


3) The Smile- If I were a restaurant, this is the restaurant I would be. Is that a thing? This hole-in-the-wall breakfast spot is somewhat inconspicuously located on Bond street between Lafayette and Bowery. I can’t mention The Smile without saying that my friend Cristina introduced me to it. She’d kill me otherwise (not literally but almost). The Smile has the perfect mix of rustic charm and hipster ruggedness. The wait staff is generally clad in some sort of vintage mom jeans or not-too-cool culottes with baby bangs and circle frame glasses that you get the feeling didn’t come from Warby Parker. I haven’t had anything on the menu that wasn’t good, but my most recent favorite was the scrambled eggs with sourdough toast and extra cheese and avocado.

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4) Absolute Bagels- Absolute Bagels is absolutely my favorite bagel place in New York City (see what I did there?). It isn’t fancy or chic and you won’t find a million variations on cream cheese, but it’s flipping good. All you need is a cinnamon raisin bagel toasted with butter which will be perfectly melted onto your bagel. There’s not a lot of room to sit and eat, and even if there were, you wouldn’t want to. Take your bagel across the street to the little park between avenues or walk to Riverside park.

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5) Veselka- I had never been here until I met my boo who lives two blocks from Veselka and is also a loud and proud Ukrainian (Dobri den Ro Ro. See? I’m practicing!). It has the charm and grit of a New York diner with an Eastern European twist. Get some potato pancakes, and pierogies with apple sauce and sour cream and you’ll be living on a carb cloud of happiness. If you ask me though, you can add dill to anything and it’ll be tasty, so they really can’t go wrong.

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6) Jack’s Wife Freda- Disclaimer: don’t try to go here during normal brunch hours. Either get there early on the weekend or during the week if you are able, otherwise, you’ll be waiting forever and when you do sit down you’ll be very squished at a tiny table. I prefer the Lafayette location but both are wonderful. All the food is great but my favorite things are grapefruit and yogurt with the toasted baguette on the side. I’ve also heard a lot about the rosewater waffles, and really what could be bad about something that has rosewater in it.


7) Juliette- I love this restaurant because I feel like I’m eating in a greenhouse, but also because the food is good. The Eggs Forestiere is one thing that I like a lot. I am also dying to try the banana stuffed french toast. The other great thing about Juliette is it has a rooftop area which is quaint and quiet due to it’s super hip Brooklyn location (is Williamsburg hip anymore?)

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8) Iris Cafe- This is sort of like the Brooklyn Heights version of The Smile. It is a tiny place on a quiet street with a homegrown vibe. I haven’t been here in a few years (that’s what happens when you break up with someone who lives in a different neighborhood), but I still dream of the avocado toast with poached eggs on top.

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9) Irving Farm- This is more of a coffee shop than a breakfast place but they do have really great food in addition to their coffee. I’m going to sound like a gross caricature when I say that the almond milk latte is pure heaven in a paper cup. The scrambled eggs with avocado and slow roasted tomatoes on a bagel are also delish. If you go in the warmer months you might be able to snag a seat on the front patio and watch all the crazy Upper West Siders.

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10) The Flame- it’s nearly impossible for me to pick a favorite diner in a city of amazing diners. Like you like your mother’s cooking, I like The Flame because it basically WAS my mother’s cooking. It’s diner food so you can’t expect a gourmet meal, but it never changes in a world where the only constant is change. As a kid, I would tell my mom I wanted “eggies in a bowl”, which she would translate into adult-speak for Pedro the waiter. One time I went to the flame with family friends who were babysitting me and I asked for “eggies in a bowl”. They didn’t know what that was and neither did Pedro as he had only ever heard my moms translated version of the order. It was a very distressing time for me but I’ve moved past it. The moral of the story is, don’t try to order “eggies in a bowl”. They are called poached eggs.

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Whew, that was a lot of pressure but I think I accurately reflected most of my favorite New York City breakfast spots. Where are your favorite places to go? Let me know in the comments below, or in a Facebook message, or in a text message, or take me there this weekend!



There are so many ways that I would suggest spending 24 hours in New York City. As I mentioned in a previous post, the endless options give me a bit of commitment phobia. SO, Here’s the first post of a series that will detail what you COULD do with 24 hours in New York.


Let’s assume that:

1. You don’t want to do too many touristy, cliché things
2. It’s decent weather

3. You like to eat and drink as much as I do

Start by having a New York-centric breakfast. If you’re downtown get a bagel at Tompkins Square Bagels. Be prepared to wait in a long line of hungover youths, bring cash, and do NOT ask them to toast the bagel.

If you want more of a diner experience, go to City Diner on the Upper West Side or the aforementioned Flame diner in midtown (in case you missed it, you can read about The Flame here). If you do go to The Flame be sure to say hi to Pedro behind the counter. He’s really good at pouring a bowl of fruit loops. I know because I had this for breakfast for most of my childhood.

After breakfast get on the 2/3 to Clark Street or the A/C to High street and head to Brooklyn Heights. When you get to Brooklyn Heights you should probably get a second cup of coffee to walk around with because you’re on vacation and you’re indulging. There’s a good coffee shop on Clarke street between Henry and Hicks. Get a cup o’ joe (i’ve always wanted to say that) and walk to the promenade. The view from the promenade is probably my favorite view of the city. The perspective of the city from the park below the promenade is even more overwhelming.


After you’ve soaked up the view of the city, you’ll want to walk back up through Brooklyn Heights to the pedestrian entrance of the Brooklyn Bridge. Don’t go all the way to the start, enter by the stairs in Cadman Plaza Park. For your own safety stay out of the bike lane (stay to the left) while walking across the bridge and for the love of goodness don’t stop in the middle of the path to take tons of pictures. If you do, you’ll see the side of New Yorkers you’ve heard so much about.


I think by now you might be ready for lunch. It’ll be a bit of a walk (I hope you have stylish sneakers on) but head towards Chinatown. There’s a hole-in-the-wall, real authentic Chinese place called Deluxe Green Bo. It’s comical that it contains the word deluxe because it’s anything but.  You might feel like you’ll catch some kind of contagious disease just sitting in this place, but I’m telling you it’s worth it. The one thing you have to get is the scallion pancakes. Don’t eat too much cause there’s still a lot to be consumed in this 24 hours.

From there either walk off the pancakes or take the 1 from Franklin to Houston street. (Let me save you some embarrassment by telling you now that Houston is not pronounced like the city in Texas. New York decided it would defy the rules of the English language so it has its own pronunciation of the word.  You say it like house-tin.) ANYWAY, If you do decide to walk, it would be nice (though a bit longer) to go along the Hudson River. Once you get to Houston Street, make your way to Houston Hall. I’m obsessed with this place. At night it can get a bit too “broey” for me, but during the off hours it’s great. I regularly try to convince my boyfriend that we should get married here, however, we are not yet engaged so my campaign doesn’t seem to be going very well. If you’re still hungry, the fried pickles are great. Obviously the beer is a must as well, my favorite being the wheat beer.

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(Seriously though, how pretty is that!)

If I were you I’d probably be ready for a nap. I’d either go home or to Central Park to lie in the grass at the Great Lawn or Sheep’s Meadow. If you end up in the park, after relaxing for a bit find one of those ice cream carts. My favorite thing is the strawberry short cake popsicle. That oughta wake you up a bit.

After your day of consumption (which isn’t over yet) you might feel like something a bit lighter for dinner. Peacefood Cafe on the Upper West Side is one of my favorite places. The chick pea fries are amazing as is the asian greens salad. If you’re not that into vegan/vegetarian fare you can walk up the block to Jacob’s Pickles and be the carnivore you were meant to be.

After dinner my suggestion would be to head to the East Village to Anyway Cafe. From the Upper West Side you can take the B at 72nd and Central Park West to Rockefeller Center and switch to the F. Take that to 2nd Avenue and then walk up from there. Anyway Cafe has live music every night and the best infused vodkas. My favorites are the horseradish and the dill vodka. Hang there, soak it all in, and cry a little cause your wallet is a little thinner but your pants are a bit tighter.