Summer is officially here, and that means we’re halfway through the year! So I thought I’d take this time to recap some of the most memorable foods I’ve eaten so far this year. Spoiler: a lot of them are from the trip to New York City that I took back in February. I’ve enjoyed a lot of the foods I’ve eaten this year, but these are my favorites thus far.
Black & White Cookie from Ess-a-Bagel in NYC
I never understood the hype about black & white cookies until I ate this cookie. It’s like a yellow cake cookie with just the right amount of icing. And the best part is that the chocolate icing isn’t cloyingly sweet, but it’s this beautiful, deep chocolate-y flavor. I absolutely get the hype now.
Eggs Benedict Raviolo from Sardella in St. Louis
Eggs Benedict is my favorite brunch dish. It’s a classic, but honestly, I was not expecting Sardella’s take on it. And truly, it might be my favorite iteration of it that I’ve ever tried. This dish takes Eggs Benedict and turns it on its head by put the yolk inside of a ravioli and topping it with a brown butter hollandaise. That hollandaise was so delicious, it was begging to have the crispy roasted potatoes that come with the dish swim around in it. And I happily obliged.
Breakfast Sandwich from Rex in NYC
A breakfast sandwich is a hard thing to be impressed by because it’s hard to mess up eggs and cheese on bread. But the build-your-own breakfast sandwich at the corner coffee shop Rex in New York City is the best I’ve yet to have. Why? I hear you ask. 1) Because you can choose from a bunch of great toppings and 2) because I made the perfect combination, thank you very much. To my egg sandwich, I added this amazing, ooey gooey white cheese and this zesty, zippy salsa verde to it. The salsa verde really made it, in my opinion because it cuts right through the beautiful creamy egg with the melty cheese. It’s just the perfect pairing done so, so right.
Strawberry Crunch Churro from Coffeed & Sweet Churros in Times Square
This might shock you, but before February, I’d never had a churro. That’s right, 22 years of churro-less existence. But not anymore. I got myself to this cute little red kiosk in the heart of Times Square that sells churros. And let me tell you, I couldn’t get enough of it. I got the strawberry crunch churro, which is a regular (though cinnamon-less) churro dipped in white chocolate with strawberry crunchies on the outside. You know the strawberry éclair ice cream pops that we used to devour as kids? That’s what the crunchies tasted like, only a add little more strawberry flavor to that. It was so good I asked my friend if we could come back before our flight left the next day. We didn’t do it, sadly, but that’s because we got sidetracked by…
Literally all of the food in the Turnstyle Underground Market in NYC (especially the arepas from Arepa Factory and the torta from Bolivian Llama Party)
This marketplace is essentially a mini-mall (complete with a food court) parked in the most immaculate subway station in Manhattan. There was so much great food there, but my favorites were the Del Corral arepas (which had shredded chicken, avocado and shredded white cheese in it) from Arepa Factory and the brisket chola (a Bolivian sandwich with brisket, garlic aioli, pickled veggies, along with some other toppings I can’t fully remember) from Bolivian Llama Party. Rest assured, if you’re looking for food that won’t break the bank in New York, try the subway station.
Prosciutto Pizza from MidiCi in Columbia, MO
To be totally honest, when I got this pizza, I was a little salty because MidiCi had messed up my order. It was supposed to be a Prisoner’s Pizza with prosciutto on it (aka there was supposed to be ricotta stuffed into the crust). But that didn’t happen, which was sad because I was so excited for it. At any rate, the pizza I ended up with was still great. It was essentially a Neapolitan-style pizza (think traditional Italian-looking pizza) with prosciutto lovingly draped over melty mozzarella. The pizza is good without prosciutto, but the salty, uncured Italian ham just takes it to a whole new level. Ugh, I’m so hungry right now.
Brownie from Bailey’s Chocolate Bar in St. Louis
It’s only fitting that we finish with something sweet, and actually this is the most recent thing I’ve eaten on this list. Just last week, my cousin and I went to grab drinks and dessert at this cute little spot in Lafayette Square called Bailey’s Chocolate Bar. I got a rocky road martini, which was a tasty chocolate ice cream martini with its little toasted marshmallow topper. And then my cousin made a grand decision to order the brownie off of the dessert menu. Listen, brownies are almost always good, but in my experience, are rarely memorable. So I wasn’t immediately excited by the brownie decision, but then it arrived, and I took a bite. This is easily the best brownie I’ve ever had. It was crunchy on the outside and fudgy and gooey in the middle with just the right amount of sweetness. Plus, it was warm and had a delightful Bailey’s ice cream melting blissfully alongside it. AND, there was a salted caramel sauce. I’m telling you, this is what every brownie should aspire to be.
Yay to six months of foodie goodness! Now I want to know, what’re some of the best foods you’ve eaten so far this year? Who knows, maybe I’ll just go try them…