Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Chai on Ice, Podunk, New York, NY

Today was filled with essay-writing and a class. I decided I wanted a nice lunch and some tea from one of my favorite spots in the city to mellow out, Podunk. To learn more about Podunk, please read my previous posts on this lovely getaway on east 5th st between Bowery and 2nd Ave!

I was greeted by Elspeth and I ordered an iced chai, perfect for the warm weather today has been offering. Elspeth's chai is maybe the best in the city. Your large mason jar (or you can get it in a pitcher for larger parties) comes filled with chai on ice, a plump red strawberry, two orange slices, a real cinnamon stick and a sprig of mint to top it all off. Milk and sugar is on the side, so you can control how milky and sweet you like your chai. I of course opt to have mine extra milky and extra sweet! The chai was decadent and long lasting. So delicious!

Beautiful Chai


Elspeth gave me a recommendation for my lunch, and I'm glad she did! It was superb. Her own homemade wheat bread topped with melted cheese and cherry tomatoes. On the side was a sweet yellow mustard and a cranberry dipping sauce that accentuated the already delicious open-faced sandwich and some stray blackberries, perfectly ripe and in-season!

I finished off with one of Elspeth's homemade scones. They were hot out of the oven and there is no way of avoiding a trip to Podunk without a scone! Simply the best way to break up the afternoon!

East 5th St btw Bowery and 2nd Ave
New York, NY

Monday, April 19, 2010

Milk Tea, TKettle, New York, NY

Milk tea is one of the most popular beverages in Taiwan, China and Hong Kong. The smooth flavor of strong tea blended with milk and sugar is a refreshing pick-me-up at any time of day. I'm a bit of a milk tea addict. I love a simple strong black tea on ice around 3 p.m. In the mornings, I always get it hot. You can get milk tea at almost any Chinese bakery for around one to two dollars. It is simple and refreshing. However, if you are willing to splurge a bit, and you go to a bubble tea cafe, for a few dollars more you will get a richer, more flavorful milk tea.

TKettle on St. Mark's Place in the East Village recently underwent renovation and is now reopen. They have an expanded menu with plenty of options for bubble tea, smoothies, and shakes (try the avocado shake, it's delicious!). This past week I went in for a relaxing milk tea. The taste was rich and frothy and perfect to wake me up. Remember to use a small straw and not a bubble straw when drinking milk tea sans tapioca pearls. This is the only way I can savour it!

Milk Tea at TKettle

St. Mark's btw 2nd and 3rd
New York, NY 10003

Thanks for reading!


Monday, April 12, 2010

Es Teh Manis, Satay Junction, New York, NY

In Indonesia, Coca-Cola is not the popular drink of choice. It is too expensive of an import for people to drink everyday. To quench one's thirst in the hot, tropical weather, Indonesians prefer sweet iced jasmine tea, es teh manis (es meaning ice, teh meaning tea, manis meaning sweet). This is my kind of place! I'll actually be heading to Indonesia in June for two months! I'll be sipping on this iced tea everyday to save me from dehydration! The most popular types of es teh in Indonesia are the ever popular companies Teh Botol Sosro and Teh Kotak. They taste very similar, with Teh Kotak being a bit sweeter of the two, in my opinion.

Anyway, NYC just recently was hit with a lovely sliver of a restaurant on my favorite street: Greenwich Avenue in the West Village (not far from Tea and Sympathy!) Satay Junction is serving up some delicious Indonesian street foods like Nasi Goreng (fried rice), Mie Goreng (fried noodles) and a wide assortment of Satays! I met up with fellow food blogger, the incomparable Dani of Romancing the Scone (www.romancingthescone.blogspot.com [she has the food report so go check it out!]) and we had a wonderful time chatting and laughing as the tiny space that holds only 16 diners at a time filled to capacity. It helps that Dani is Indonesian and knows what is good!

We both ordered Satay Junction's Es Teh Manis to cool down our palettes from the lovely, spicy food. Satay Junction's es teh is a lovely, fragrant cool jasmine tea with sugar settled at the bottom. You stir it up and enjoy. This version of es teh is not as sweet as Indonesians in central-eastern Java take it (the way I like it as well!), but it was still very refreshing! Go spice up your dining options and try a cuisine less indulged in by Americas. And drink es teh manis! As they say in Indonesia, Selamat Minum (Cheers)!

Es Teh Manis!
Thanks to Dani for the Picture!

Satay Junction
28 Greenwich Ave
New York, NY