Friday, March 18, 2016

Good Eats: Hummus Place, NYC


Hummus Place  305 Amsterdam Ave./74th, (212) 799-3335.  L-D daily.  Delicious Israeli food is served up in this tiny subterranean spot and it includes even the famous attitude.



Several different kinds of hummus are on the menu—if you are indecisive you can order a sampling of them—but Masabacha, made with whole chick peas remains my favorite.  Fava Hummus, made with fava beans and topped with a hard-boiled egg is probably the most unusual.  All are served with really good plump housemade pitas.  

A falafel sandwich topped with fries and za’atar pizza are also options, 

and side dishes are especially good, among them a beet salad, stuffed grape leaves, Labane cheese, roasted eggplant, and olives and pickles. 


Housemade lemonade, mint ice tea, and fresh veggie juice are available along with beer.  Turkish coffee is on hand to revive you and mint tea to refresh you, but sadly, the baklava can be soggy.  It is useful to know that tasty and nutritious hummus satisfies your appetite without spiking your blood glucose levels, and it is also low in calories.  Most items on the menu are vegan, and many are gluten-free.  
Hummus Place Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
 


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images ©2016 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Sights to See and Good Eats: Time Warner Center/The Shops at Columbus Circle and Bouchon Bakery, NYC


Time Warner Center/The Shops at Columbus Circle  10 Columbus Circle, (212) 823-6300.  Shopping here is primo, there is a gigantic Whole Foods in the basement, and you can spend the night at the swanky Mandarin Oriental hotel.  And let’s not overlook the opportunity to browse the larger-than-life plump "Adam" and "Eve" bronze sculptures by artist Fernando Botero.

looking out at NYC skyline from The Shops at Columbus Circle

Whole Foods at The Shops at Columbus Circle in NYC
 
"Adam" bronze sculpture by artist Fernando Botero
"Adam" bronze sculpture by artist Fernando Botero

"Eve" bronze sculpture by artist Fernando Botero
"Eve" bronze sculpture by artist Fernando Botero

But my main reason to come here is to eat at:
Bouchon Bakery  (212) 823-9366.  M-Sat 8am-9pm, Sun 8am-7pm.  I’m familiar with this exceptional bakery from a visit to the original in the tiny town of Yountville in California’s Wine Country, where celebrity chef Thomas Keller has his original restaurant, The French Laundry.  Here I enjoyed a really good almond croissant (if you love almond croissants you probably know how many places don’t get it right).  It was made even tastier by the view of Columbus Circle I snagged from my chair at a high table overlooking the scene. 


Bouchon Bakery at The Shops at Columbus Circle in NYC
Bouchon Bakery & Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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images ©2016 Carole Terwilliger Meyers


Monday, March 14, 2016

Great Sleeps: Vasanti Seminyak Resort Bali, Bali, Indonesia


Vasanti Seminyak Resort Bali  Jl Petitenget Gg Cendrawasih No. 99 DS, North Kuta, Badung, Bali 80361, +62 361 8466 966.  121 rooms; 4 stories.  Pool; fitness room; full-service spa.  Breakfast buffet included; restaurant; 2 bars.  Free shuttle service via open-air buggy to shopping, restaurants, and clubs in nearby Seminyak area, as well as to Batu Belig Beach and beach club.  Newly built in 2012 and located just 45 minutes from the airport and a few minutes from shopping and restaurants, this clean-lined, contemporary hotel features a Balinese style.  It sits in a quiet neighborhood amid what formerly was a rice field, and the remaining field around the exterior is still farmed--giving the hotel a pleasant rural feel.  Guests often return to the spacious open-air lobby with a musician playing traditional music from Bali or Borneo, and a gaggle of bellboys are anxious to assist and eager to speak in English.  An expansive breakfast buffet with particularly tasty pastries, fruit, and local noodles is complimentary to all guests and served in the open-air Devali Restaurant, which also serves lunch and dinner.  Beautiful intricately-woven silk panels line the guest room wall acting as a headboard, and comfortable king-size beds are made up with two light duvets (one for each side) and white cotton linens.  Marble-tiled bathrooms have a glassed-in shower separate from the bathtub and feature a large glass window with a view into the bedroom and beyond to the view outside; a pull-down shade permits privacy.  All rooms have a balcony.  




exterior of Vasanti Seminyak Resort Bali


guest room bed at Vasanti Seminyak Resort Bali


guest room bath at Vasanti Seminyak Resort Bali


breakfast buffet plate at Vasanti Seminyak Resort Bali


spa at Vasanti Seminyak Resort Bali


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images ©2016 Carole Terwilliger Meyers  


Friday, March 11, 2016

Things to Do: Argosy Book Store, NYC


Argosy Book Store  116 East 59th St., 212-753-4455.  M-F 10am-6pm, and except in summer Sat 10am-5pm.  It seems like this cozy old-time bookstore has been around forever.  Indeed, it was founded in 1925 and is in its third generation of ownership by the same family.  On a rainy day, or in fact any day, it’s six floors  provide a divine browse through used books, signed and first editions, vintage prints, and antique maps.  And when you are done, Bloomingdale’s and its new Magnolia Bakery outlet is just across the street, where last time I visited I spotted Nicole Kidman waiting in line for a cupcake!  No KIDding!


entrance to Argosy Book Store in NYC


vintage books at Argosy Book Store in NYC


used books at Argosy Book Store in NYC


vintage prints at Argosy Book Store in NYC


vintage book covers at Argosy Book Store in NYC


old book covers at Argosy Book Store in NYC


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images ©2016 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Good Eats: Sweetleaf Coffee, NYC--Queens--Long Island City


Sweetleaf Coffee  10-93 Jackson Ave.  Looking and feeling like it could be in the Village, this cozy coffeehouse is actually in Queens.  Pick a pastry—perhaps a savory pepper-pear scone or an oversize cookie—to enjoy with your drink.  Everything is prepared in an onsite kitchen that you can observe through windows.  I sipped a thick and dark hot chocolate, while my companion enjoyed a sweet and creamy Vietnamese-style iced Voodoo Child coffee.  Music featured the Talking Heads and edgy tunes from the ‘60s.  Opened only in 2008, this tiny spot is the original Sweetleaf cafe—there are now three—and it has actually tripled in size since opening.  Situated with an atmospheric 19th-century building, it features original walls and a tin ceiling.  Though small, seating areas include overstuffed chairs by the sunny front windows, a designated laptop room, and a record room in the back where you can man a turntable and choose from several hundred old-time records.


order counter at Sweetleaf Coffee In Long Island City, Queens, NY

bakery kitchen at Sweetleaf Coffee In Long Island City, Queens, NY


coffee and at Sweetleaf Coffee In Long Island City, Queens, NY

contented customer at Sweetleaf Coffee In Long Island City, Queens, NY

decorations at Sweetleaf Coffee In Long Island City, Queens, NY
Sweetleaf Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

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images ©2016 Carole Terwilliger Meyers