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Travel to Italy, Cuba and France all in one day!

Day 3 in NYC. This day started out as a dream day in NYC with strong coffee and freshly-baked croissants from Silver Moon Bakery on Broadway. I’d attempted to try their stuff on my last visit, but alas, one can only eat so much! Anyhow, this place has been written up by the NY Times and The New Yorker, and has been called “The sweetest spot on the Upper West side.”

As opposed to table service on the patio, we trotted back to Angie’s apt to have brekkie on her terrace- restraining ourselves from tearing into the bag the whole way home!

While sis got a “plain” croissant- and I use the term plain loosely as it was an incredible bundle of buttery delight- I succumbed to a tempting almond croissant. Oh, if only the Internet provided for scratch ‘n’ sniff! The croissant had a crisp, flaky crust which disguised the melt-in-you-mouth pastry beneath. The almond filling inside was abundant and not too sweet, which played nicely with the dusting of powdered sugar. Of course, the crunchy almonds on top finished off this delightful creation!

Not so exquisite now! I took this photo while I paused to let the almond filling melt on my tongue, took a nice gulp of dark roast, and proceeded to devour the rest. This sucker didn’t stand a chance! Once breakfast had settled, we hoped on the subway and headed down to the West Village to take in some famous foodie sights. We were headed to Murray’s Cheese which, to put it into perspective for a foodie, is the Chrysler Building. I had a need for cheese and this spot – an institution for cheese lovin’ NYers -was the spot to go.

In addition to cheese, Murray’s also sells fresh bread, pasta, gelato, specialty chocolates and various antipasti items including cured meats, olives and nuts. Angie had to drag me away from the Cheese Straws. Again, Scratch ‘n’ Sniff…is there an app for that?!?

As an olive lover from an early age and a martini lover a little later, my eyes were bulging out of my sockets with visions of lemony olives, blue-cheese stuffed ones, Queen-size greens and succulent kalamatas.

And then, there was second breakfast. This was a snack to end all snacks! As soon as I walked through the door, I was hit with the heady aroma of freshly-baked bread, ripe cheese, fruity olive oil, spicy meat and charred tomatoes. It turned out that the source was right next to me in the form of Fresh Mozzarella & Sopressata flatbread. They’re clever marketers, those peeps at Murray’s, for conveniently placing these puppies right by the front door, making them the first scent that you encounter. $3.99 was pennies to spend on a delight such as this.

Here it is; warm flatbread with a crunchy crust and soft, fluffy top, smooth and sweet mozzarella, spicy sopressata and intensely flavored sundried tomatoes.

After our snack, we strolled over to Soho to get our shop on. After several hours of this rigorous exercise, I suggested to Angie that we take a quick repose in the form of mid-afternoon Margaritas at Cafe Habana, one of my all-time favorite NYC restos. This place is amazing! The line-up was pouring out the door with people chugging Coca-Cola from glass bottles, cool fruit smoothies and eating Cuban corn with the juice dribbling down their chins.

It’s also one of the tiniest restos you’ll ever take a seat in; no elbow room, no leg room and no personal conversation room- the two PR girls next to us shed significant light into the trials and tribulations of the Bradley Cooper – Renee Zellweger – Jennifer Aniston love triangle. I know, I know, YAWN- I’ll get to the food.

As per usual, we got two rocks-salt Margaritas at a whopping $7.95. I never pay a heed to this price however, as I’m usually tipsy after just one sip!

We started with an order of the Cuban corn; two cobs of peaches ‘n’ cream corn roasted on an open flame, sprinkled with salty cotija cheese and chili powder and served with a wedge of lime on the side. This stuff is the resto’s most popular dish. The sweet heat of the chili powder mixed with a shot of citrus really wakes up an otherwise plain dish.


Now, normally at “the Cuban” I order the same thing, Baja-Style Fish Tacos; beer battered catfish topped with a mix of crunchy red and green cabbage, shredded carrot and red salsa served yellow rice and black beans. On this visit however, we arrived during brunch service, and exhaulted the fact that we could try some Cuban-style eggs. We ordered the Huevos Divorchiados; two scrambled eggs with red and tomatillo salsas and creamy roasted potatoes. A s/o of black beans rounded out the meal quite nicely!

Now, I know that this may not look like the most appetizing dish in the world, but the spicy red and tart green salsas combined with the potatoes and earthy black beans created a fantastic flavour pairing. Not to mention the fact that our tangy Margaritas brought this entire meal together.
Haha. I took this photo for all ya’ll Tims fans out there. Newly introduced to the American market, Canada’s beloved Timmies has been re-named Tim Horton’s Coffee and Bake Shop. I’m sorry to say it, but I don’t know if it’s gonna last. Angie said that this Tim’s location replaced a Dunkin’ Doughnuts which always had line-ups our the door, but there wasn’t a soul inside… Moving on!
After a brief nap, a little primping and alot of priming, we were ready for our night on the town. We were headed to Flute Champagne Bar in Midtown to celebrate the Bday of one of Angie’s closest pals.

We ordered a flight of flutes for $20; Le Baron Magic Flute w/ a glass of Chateau Moncontour 2005, Blanquette de Limoux and a glass of the luscious, sinfully sweet Clairette de Die. This was a great gameplan as it allowed us to try a few types and determine our favorites. Several glasses of the exquisite apricot flavoured Clairette de Die were consumed in this mission.

The night was still young when we left the champagne bar and trotted to a party just past Lincoln Centre. I got a serious salsa lesson, splurged on a cab and fell into bead, as visions of champagne flutes danced in my head.

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