“One belongs to New York instantly, one belongs to it as much in five minutes as in five years”

Thomas Wolfe

My cousin Cruise and his friends decided to go to a concert at Irving Plaza in NYC this week and in order to actually make it there safe and on time, I decided to drop them off and then spend the evening with my Aunt. The boys were hungry so we started at Gray’s Papaya (402 6th Avenue). I couldn’t imagine a cheap meal tasting any better. Just ask for “The Special” and you get two hot dogs and a drink for $4.95, tax included. Gray’s Papaya is obviously known for their papaya juice and I recommend that be your drink choice! You have the option of putting onions or sauerkraut on your hot dogs if you wish.

After we dropped off the boys, my Aunt and I went to Whole Foods (4 Union Square South, New York) where I purchased some things that I’ve been missing here in the 518 such as Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies, Pomegranate Vanilla Granola and Garlic Naan that I’d been craving recently. After that, we made our way to the Strand (828 Broadway @ 12th St). Those of you who don’t know about the Strand should take a stroll to the East Village and check it out. Outside are shelves of books that only cost $1.00-.48 and I’ve found many good books in that area, you just have to take the time to look.

After, we went for a stroll to 16 Handles (153 2nd Avenue). I’ve already written a blog entry on 16 Handles and how wonderful I find their ice cream to be if you want to check it out. 16 Handles refers to the 16 handles of ice cream that you can get yourself and then add whatever toppings you’d like. This past time that I went, I had the biggest blackberries that I’d ever seen but make sure you realize that the price of your ice cream depends on the weight!

Since we had some time to kill, we then went to the movies (Regal Cinema, 850 Broadway) to see Inception. The theater was packed and luckily we bought the tickets before our ice cream or we wouldn’t have been in. If the downstairs looks packed, don’t forget the balcony! Many people don’t realize they have the option, so it gives you some time to find a seat that’s not in the very front.

After the movie, the only choice we had was to go to Max Brenner for a small dinner and a chocolate treat. I also have another blog entry on Max Brenner so feel free to check that out as well. We ordered the large serving of the Mediterranean Trio & Crispy Spice Dusted Pita Chips that comes with creamy hummus, Spanish eggplant dip & classic babaganoosh. The Spanish eggplant dip was a little spicy but still very good, the babaganoosh didn’t have any flavor and I wasn’t very impressed but the hummus was fantastic, I wish we had more pita to finish it off. We were just gonna walk out with that but just the smell of chocolate all around you makes you want to have some. My Aunt and I ordered the Bananas Foster which can best be described as tater tots filled with banana sprinkled in powdered sugar. We were given toffee sauce and milk chocolate sauce to dip them in. The toffee sauce tasted just like a Heath bar but was a little strange with the banana flavor. The milk chocolate was probably the smoothest melted chocolate I’ve ever had. It’s reminiscent of a Hershey’s Symphony bar, that smooth flavor that you could eat with a spoon. Luckily they didn’t give us one or I would have had that whole dish. *Sorry for the dark pictures but Max Brenner like to keep his restaurant dark, I did the best I could