Dominique Ansel Bakery

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Well, by now, I’d imagine you’re well aware of the Cronut, and heard a lot about the Cookie Shot. If you haven’t, well…how is that possible? Dominique Ansel’s Cronut creation is almost 2 years old, and, I still haven’t tried one. Yeah, I know, I live in NYC, not that far from his SoHo bakery location, and I haven’t been until now. Well, I finally went, but, sorry, still didn’t get the Cronut or Cookie Shot. What’s wrong with me, you might ask? Well, Cronut lines start early in the morning (yes, there are still massive lines this long after it’s launch), selling out before 9:30am. That doesn’t work with my schedule. Then, Cookie Shots aren’t served until 3pm, and sell out not long after. Again, not in my schedule (perhaps at some point I’ll hire a TaskRabbit to wait in line and pick one up for me). But, there are plenty of other delicious, unique treats to be enjoyed, whatever time you’re able to make it there. 

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Inside the narrow bakery, you can pick up your items to-go, or, travel to the very back, past the glass windowed kitchen, where you can watch the masters at work, and take a seat at a cafe table in their indoor patio. Items vary from savory to sweet, including their Frozen S’Mores and Coco little cat pastry.

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I ordered one of the classic items, the DKA (“Dominique’s Kouign Amann” flaky, croissant-like dough with a caramelized crunchy crust). Shaped somewhere between a muffin meets a turnover, this pastry is really amazing. Now, I will say that it is pretty rich, with a creamy, buttery flavor. But the texture is dynamic, both tender and soft, and light and flaky, all at the same time. 

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It’s presented with the caramelized crunchy crust on the top, but if you flip the pastry over, you can also notice the lovely detail, topped with large granules of sugar.

The Shorts:
Name: Dominique Ansel Bakery
Location: 189 Spring Street, NYC
The Long and Short: Would I go back? For sure. Hell, I might even find some time one day to finally get a Cronut or Cookie Shot.
Would I recommend it? Yes, the items are delicious, whether you’re there for novelty or to enjoy a pastry or baked good, you won’t be disappointed.  

Jack’s Wife Freda

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When restaurants are first come first serve, I usually don’t have the patience to wait very long when there’s a massive line. However, after a few years of this mentality, and meaning to try Jack’s Wife Freda, I finally took the plunge, and waited for brunch at their SoHo location. Seating is limited, as it’s a smaller, cozy restaurant, but they recently opened a second location, so, I figured that might take away a bit of the wait. Nope. This American-Mediterranean restaurant must be doing something right.

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To drink, I ordered their Cantaloupe Mimosa. I dislike traditional mimosas, since, I’m not a big orange juice fan. But, when someone can offer a good alternative, I’m on board. Why hasn’t anyone been offering a cantaloupe mimosa anywhere else? I really loved it, and it tasted just how you’d imagine, like champagne and cantaloupe, which, is delicious. 

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For my meal, I had the Mediterranean Breakfast (2 eggs any style, chopped salad, labne, avocado and pita bread). I love a Mediterranean Breakfast, and really enjoyed this one. It’s a pretty simple dish, but everything was prepared really nicely, and I especially liked the chopped salad, which had a really nice, clean flavor with a hint of citrus to add a little zing. 

The Shorts:
Name: Jack’s Wife Freda
Location: 224 Lafayette Street, NYC
The Long and Short: Would I go back? Yes, but since I’ve already experienced the great wait, that is brunch, I’d love to go back to check out their dinner. 
Would I recommend it? If you’re going for brunch, like most places, unless you’re willing to wait 40mins-an hour, I’d show up on the earlier side or later side to avoid some of that waiting time. But, the vibe is really cozy, the service is great, and the food is really tasty.