Come June 15th, I will bid farewell to my current apartment and move into new digs downtown. While I can’t say I’m sorry to leave the Times Square area with its frenzied traffic, stifling crowds and random drunks screaming at the top of their lungs at 4 am, I’ve definitely not been hungry and have even cultivated certain favorites that I would undoubtedly miss.

Amy’s Bread: Part of a mini-chain, I claim this outlet my own. In general, I find their bread better than the pastries, but that doesn’t stop me from purchasing the thick slabs of almond-crusted brioche. Dawn’s the most fervent Amy Bread loyalist amongst my friends and family. Amy’s is her first stop whenever she visits as she walks from the train station on-route to my apartment, and amongst her last stop before she leaves, so that she can procure a few of her favorite dense, dark, mildly sweet applesauce donuts. One for the road and another for good measure. As for me, I can’t make up my mind between the toothsome raisin and fennel semolina roll and the explosion of chocolate in the sourdough chocolate twist. I guess I’ll just have to try them both more this week to find out which is my true love.

Chili Thai: There must be at least a dozen Thai restaurants within the 3 block radius of my apartment, but I’m partial to the home-cooked quality at Chili Thai as well as the sweet and accommodating service. The ladies to run the place have a sense of humor too. I won’t forget the time they say Uncle Sam resembled a more mature Roger Federer during last year’s US Open. Ruoying got me hooked on the stir fried Pad Woon Sen that’s fragrant and mercifully not too sweet. The Khao Soi is authentic and my next favorite thing to order.

Afghan Kebab House: The lighting at this hole-in-the-wall middle eastern eatery is comically dark, so much so that it is sometimes hard to tell what I am eating. Regardless, the barbecued meats are always well spiced and tender, and even better are the flavorful rice and addictive yogurt sauce that I douse liberally on the meats. So the bread could be fluffier and the service less nonchalant, but I wouldn’t change a thing.

Amy’s Bread

672 9th Ave (Between 46th & 47th Sts)

Chili Thai

712 9th Ave (Between 48th & 49th Sts)

Afghan Kebab House 

764 9th Ave (Between 51st & 52nd Sts)


Its been a rough week at work, and I’d been seeking solace in snacks. And I found this funny little thing called Happy Hippo at the food world deli on Thursday that completely made my day. Its made by Kinder, the maker of Kinder surprise and kinder bueno, and is shaped like a pea pod with the facial features of a hippotamus down to a pair of dopey looking eyes and flaring nostrils. Each of the three segments made a mouthful, so this is definitely smaller and less sinful that eating an entire bag of m&ms (Wednesday’s poison.) The body is made of a crisp and crunchy wafer, and the insides are filled with 2 different creams, a dark chocolate hazelnut spread and a light milk flavored cream that were thick and creamy without being cloyingly sweet. Sprinkles decorate the edges of the hungry hippo to prevent the two halfs from splitting and provide added texture if not taste. Definitely one of the more fun candy I’ve had in a long time!