Tag Archives: Summer

NYC’s Coolest Treat: Imperial Woodpecker Sno-Balls

30 Jun

Forget snowball fighting; this summer’s all about sno-ball loving – thanks to the new West Village (7th Ave South @ Charles St) hotspot, Imperial Woodpecker Sno-Balls. The name’s quite a mouthful and it’s only fitting – these icy treats are a mouthful of deliciousness.  This Nawlins import is a unique treat that puts its all-too-average italian ice and snow-cone cousins to shame.

The sno-ball is essentially shaved ice packed into a Chinese takeout container and doused with the syrup of your choosing. Imperial’s owner Neesa Peterson made authenticity a priority and succeeded brilliantly – these desserts are served exactly how they’re made down in the Big Easy – and she didn’t stop there. Serving up some very strong chicory infused Toddy Iced Coffee ($3) and New Orleans’ own Zapp’s Potato Chips ($2), Peterson’s scratching the itch of homesick Nawlins natives craving a taste of home.

There are a ton of flavor combos to fill your 8, 12, or 16 oz cup ($4/$5/$7, respectively) but if you’re in the know, you’ll go for the more exotic flavors made famous down south. Orchid Cream Vanilla and Mardi Gras King Cake are 2 of my absolute faves. If you want to get a little crazy, have em drizzle a little condensed milk on top and you’re good to go.

When you’re feeling a sunstroke meltdown may be imminent this summer, head to the West Village and grab a sno-ball – they’re the perfect treat to cool you down and won’t hurt your wallet or waistline. Remember: these sno-balls are for lovers, not fighters!

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The Master Summer List

3 Jun

Once summer comes, all bets on your usual favorite spots are off; the restos and watering holes that are warm-weather friendly become the hottest commodity there is.  However, rather than completely disregard some of the spots I’ve recommended to you all, I’ve decided to let you know which ones to hit as we continue towards the imminent summer solstice.

Where the Sidewalk Ends (and Dinner Begins!):

Matilda – (E. Ville: E 11th St btwn Aves B/C) – Whether you opt for sidewalk seating or perch in the windowsill, you’ll get the outdoor experience along with a healthy serving of bold Tusc-Mex flavors.  Go Tuesday night for Ladies night!

Mercadito Grove – (W. Ville: 7th Ave South @ Grove St) – The mix of location, upscale Mexican and a diverse list of tacos makes this place a fan favorite.  The corner location provides prime sidewalk real estate for people watching.

Philip Marie – (W. Ville: Hudson St @ W 11th St) – Though the outdoor tables are few, I think braving the wait is always worth it.  Especially when you take the unlimited bloodies + mimosas into consideration!

Poco – (E. Ville: Ave B @ 3rd St) – Since it tends to be particularly loud inside this resto, the seats outside are a best bet.  With a kickass brunch and different nightly specials like $15 bottles of wine, all you can eat mussels, and unlimited sangria, any time’s a good time to head over to Poco.

A Good Backyard is Hard to Find:

Ninth Ward – (E. Ville: 2nd Ave btwn 11th/12th Sts) – While the front sidewalk space is always a great option, the large backyard is a much better space to hang with your crew.  Grab one of their many interesting cocktail options (or a beer) and hang Nawlins style.

Pure Food & Wine – (Gramercy: Irving Pl btwn 17th/18th) – What could be better than eating a delicious and healthy vegan meal?  Eating it in a beautiful, large backyard patio, of course!  You’ll be surrounded by nature while feasting on nature’s bounty; it just works.

Sunburnt Cow – (E. Ville: Ave C btwn 8th/9th Sts) – An excellent brunch deal and attractive staff/patrons are two things that can only get better with a retractable “sun roof”.  You’ll appreciate the nice breeze too; you may need some cooling down.

Fair Game:

Hester Street Fair – (LES: Hester St @ Essex) – Forget stinky halal meat and generic kettle corn stands; this street fair is the real deal.  Open every Saturday through the end of October, this gourmet fest rotates in some of the best and most celebrated foodie faves of NYC.  Bring a blanket and pop a squat on the lawn with a Luke’s Lobster Roll or Shaved Ice Shop creation for a fabulous outdoor (and out of the box) day.

And finally, for the days when you want a sunny space, without being directly IN the sun:

Flea Market Café – Their front paneled doors open to the street, transforming the space into an open air café.  The Tuesday night all you can eat moules frites special is out of this world – get there.

Macondo – If you’re lucky enough to grab a stool at the front of this place, you can bask in the sunlight while sipping your drink of choice (I recommend you go for brunch and grab a vanilla bean mimosa)!

Consider yourself schooled in my recommended spots you should hit up this summer.  Need some fashion tips to make sure your summer style is lookin so flossy?  Check out Poor Little It Girl; she’ll see to it you’re well-dressed for all your outdoor drinking + dining endeavors.  Now break out the wayfarers and tank tops (no, not you boys) and get yourselves outside!

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