Citizens of Chelsea

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Oh my god. What. Candace is back. Thanks for being MIA for the past year basically. Ahem. Apologies! This semester is finally over, and it has been a long semester at that. However, with summer around the corner, this means more time to brunch (although maybe not because I am working an unpaid internship this summer so the money must be saved, but we can try). The week after finals were over, my friend and I headed to Citizens of Chelsea in Chelsea (no shit, Candace). The interior was super sleek and the ratings and prices of Yelp drew me here. 1

I ordered the Smashing Avocado, as seen on the left in this photo, and my friend ordered the Brekky Sandwich. I need to stop ordering avocado dishes because I know that I am allergic to it, but I also feel like most breakfast options opt for avocado in some form or another. The dish was extremely aesthetically pleasing and the beet blend on the side was a nice touch. However, it seemed to be lacking something (probably the eggs for me) to make it a completely filling dish. I enjoyed it, but I do not think that I would spend another $11 on something that was just okay. My friend’s dish looked quite small and seemed like a standard breakfast sandwich at $9, which wasn’t bad, but I’m not sure if it was worth it. 3

As per usual, my review is that the place is very chill and has a nice atmosphere to just sit and talk in. Also, if you sit in the corner, you may have to get up to usher someone over because you can just go in and sit, and no one really comes up to you (although when sitting in the corner, this is probably normal). It is a pretty quiet area with not too much around, so if you want to walk around after to talk more, this may not be the place for you. Compared to many of the other brunch places I’ve visited recently, it certainly runs on the cheaper end. However, in terms of it actually being worth it, I would probably try to find somewhere else with a little more variety and more filling options (for my personal taste).

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Egg Shop – LES

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Oh hey, guess who’s trash and hasn’t posted in like a month again? I’m sorry! Anyways, I’m basically done with finals, so this weekend, I got to catch up with my friend and get that brunch life on. Egg Shop has been on my list for a little while, so I finally decided to go! The weather this particular Sunday was really bizarre, and rainy and kinda gross, so perhaps that was why not too many people were out? The line moved quite quickly at 10:30am, and we actually did not have to wait for a table, which was fabulous.

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We sat right by the door, which was not great, and the interior was a lot smaller than I had imagined. I also did not get great interior shots because although it was not busy in terms of waiting, it was packed inside. I ordered the Reformer, which had spinach, feta, egg, and tomatoes (which granted I probably could have made by myself) but let me tell you, the eggs were a perfect mix of fluffy and wonderful goodness. 10/10.

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I had heard their portions were not huge and people were still hungry, as I did end up spending $12 on this sandwich. I am not sure that it is completely worth $12 because it is so simple, but the portion was not little by any means – I was quite full afterwards. The ambiance and aesthetic of Egg Shop is so cute, and was completely decked out in Christmas lights, which I loved. The eggs definitely lived up to its name, I will give it that, but since I ordered something so standard, I am not sure if that particular dish was worth it. The prices in general are a bit expensive, but for a nice catch-up date every once in a while, I think it is worth a shot!

Coco & Cru -Bowery

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November is here! And I feel like I’m dying a little because there is so much to be done before the semester ends, but at least the weather is still beautiful (although it is questionable because what are we doing with our Earth – even though I recently discovered we are in an Ice Age period anyways but that is beside the point). However, Carolyn was ready to make me feel less like death with her recommendation of the New Museum, which was amazing (check out her post, it’s fab). After wandering around, looking for millions of food options and settling on none, we saw Coco & Cru. coco3The second you walk in – I quote Carolyn – the immediate reaction is “it smells healthy in here.” The leafy aroma hits pretty hard, and I started to get worried – I am not one for too healthy. However, I did end up getting the Portobello Mushroom Sandwich, which was fantastic. The French fries were the perfect mix of crispy and salty, so 10/10. When I originally saw my order, I thought the burger itself was a tad on the small side, but after scarfing down a good half of it, I felt like the food baby game was strong. Although, the $$ was an accurate depiction of the meal, I was pleasantly surprised with the food. You do get the quality and amount of food that would be worth $15, but it is not necessarily a steal for the student budget.

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One minor complaint I had was that we ended up sitting on stools in a very tight fit, so it was difficult to hang up winter coats and find places to put our bags. However, I have no complaints about the food itself or the service, which was quicker than anticipated (apologies to the waitress that had to decrypt my total dollar amount because I cannot do math sometimes). Also for a Saturday lunch time, we managed to beat the rush around 1pm, which was great because we did not have to wait at all. Overall, it was a cute spot that has many healthy options if you are feeling more of a splurge one day.

Black Cat LES

bc1Unfortunately, the dim atmosphere of this cafe has made the quality of these photos go down tremendously so the quality looks especially grainy. Also, I really tried for the phone picture of the food but the lighting made the food look extremely unappetizing. I apologize! While I was looking at Yelp reviews for this place, it said that it would be that Friends coffee shop if it was actually filmed on the Lower East Side. And I can attest to this. bc2

The options for the cafe are quite limited in terms of food, so I ordered the “Cat’s Breakfast” which came with a two egg omelette with mushrooms and onions (I believe ham was also an option), a side salad and a toasted bagel with cream cheese (YAAS FOR CARBS). Altogether, that came out to $10.34 and I can say that I was definitely full by the end of it and powered through to finish it all.

bc3The ambience is very nice and calming, and more quiet than I had expected. Not many people went to hang out with their friends, they mostly went for work or to just chill by themselves (at least on the Friday brunch time that I went). There is a printer available there, and free wifi. The mismatching furniture and brick walls are wonderfully rustic and just the right amount of shabby chic. So overall, I would recommend this cafe if you are looking for a quiet corner to hang out in and if you do not mind your photos being a little dim.

51st Bakery & Cafe – LIC

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Long Island City is quite up-and-coming with their cute cafes, and since its not as busy as the cafes in lower Manhattan, it makes it seem much more like you are discovering something unknown, which is way more hipster than the hipsters of Manhattan because Manhattan is just so basic, right? (I’m just kidding, who am I to judge running a semi-basic blog).

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There’s another cute Parisian cafe in this area as well, but after scrolling through the menu, I realized that I was not up for spending $12 on the Monday before school started up again and when I would stop being paid. So, this place had four and half ratings on Yelp, and only ONE DOLLAR SIGN which meant a definite yes. I dragged my friend along and basically everything in this photo added up to around $12.50 (minus the glasses, the OJ and the fact that my frittata had onions and spinach instead of cheese.)  I could have easily eaten just the frittata, which was only $5.50, and a meal under $10 is always a plus.

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This cafe was super spacious compared to the previous cafes that I have reviewed, and really clean looking. I was not totally impressed by the breakfast items, I had really wanted some heartier brunch, but some of their lunch sandwiches looked pretty good, and they were $8 for a sandwich, which once again is not bad. I accidentally poured corn starch sweetener type thing, thinking it was water, but other than that, and having to awkwardly tell the lady at the counter that I was stupid, my experience here was quite pleasant.

Two Hands – Lower East Side

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If we’re going to be totally honest, I would not have ventured to this cafe unless my friend from out of town suggested it. I’m glad I stumbled upon it though because it’s pretty darn cute. When I looked up the website earlier, I was very impressed by how trendy it looked. Then I searched on Yelp, as one does, to see that it only had a 3.5 star rating. I barely ever go if the Yelp rating is below 4 stars, especially if it is two dollar signs, but I had already promised my friend.

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My friend ordered the Avo Toast, and I ordered my first Açai bowl ever. Unfortunately, my Açai bowl experience was not as good as I would have liked it to be. I was expecting more tart flavors, but the layers of coconut and chia seeds did not allow for that. The granola was not very crunchy, and I could not finish half of it because it just felt as if I was eating lumpy, sweet soup. My friend’s Avo Toast was more promising though. I am not sure if avocado toast is supposed to be warm, but ours was not and the bread was kind of hard. Yet again, I barely spend money on food, so I am not an avocado toast connoisseur and have no reference on how it should be texture wise.

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Overall, my half eaten Açai bowl ended up being around $11 and I can definitely say it was not worth it. It is a super cute place with decent service , but definitely not worth the amount of money you are spending.