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Otafuku x Medetai Red Bean Taiyaki: Otafuku x Medetai is a small Japanese to-go street food shop in the East Village specializing in okonomiyaki, takoyaki, and taiyaki. Taiyaki is a classic Japanese dessert with a fish-shaped waffle exterior and different fillings inside (traditionally red bean). They make all their taiyaki from scratch here, filling their detailed custom molds with batter and producing 6 fishies at a time, all of which you can watch. This was probably the freshest taiyaki I've had -- it came out pipping h... (read more) 4.5/5.0

4.5 taiyaki bean red otafukuxmedetai japanese nyc exceptional
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Bao Tea House Chocolate Milk Bao: This is a special at Bao Tea House in the West Village that will be added to the full menu soon (in that way, it’s more of a preview than a special). Ordered in sets of two, the chocolate baos are coated in melted milk chocolate and slices almonds, with chocolate chips and a cream filling. I’m not a very big chocolate fan, so this wasn’t really a dessert for me, but texturally I liked the combination of crunchy and soft. The cream filling was a bit overwhelming though; it felt more like calo... (read more) 3.0/5.0

3.0 bao milk chocolate baoteahouse sweets desserts nyc manhattan
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Trader Joe's Candy Corn Popcorn: Even though I don't particularly like candy (you may notice I review very little of it here), I still like Halloween because it's the only time of the year I can have Butterfingers. And I actually do like candy corn in small quantities, even though it essentially tastes of pure sugar. I bought this Candy Corn Popcorn on an impulse buy at Trader Joe's in Brooklyn, where the lines snake very intentionally around the snack aisles. The snack tastes like caramel popcorn, except instead of just... (read more) 2.0/5.0

2.0 popcorn corn candy traderjoes
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Morgenstern’s Cardamom Lemon Jam ice cream: There are many great ice cream shops in NYC, but Morgenstern’s has been my favorite for a long time. Over the years, I’ve found myself mostly purchasing their specials, but this time I ordered one of their regular menu flavors, and it did not disappoint. This cardamom lemon jam ice cream has a really wonderfully spiced cardamom flavor, with a creamy yet sharp acidic aftertaste. Texturally, it is perfectly smooth. It’s a fantastic flavor that shows off how consistently good Morgenstern’s can be. 4.5/5.0

4.5 cream ice jam lemon cardamom morgensterns manhattan icecream nyc exceptional
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Bar pa tea Roasted oolong milk tea with boba: Located near Soho, Bar Pa Tea bubble tea shop is a sister shop to Pa Tea, another shop I reviewed earlier this summer. The chronology of my reviews is off, though - I actually went to Bar Pa first, not knowing they were related. This milk tea was alright and just average, like bubble tea you can get from any ok tea shop in California. The boba was actually below average, though, as it was too soft. I did however sample their oolong soft serve and thought t was surprisingly good, which is why... (read more) 2.5/5.0

2.5 boba tea milk oolong roasted barpatea nyc drinks bubbletea
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Galil Roasted chestnuts: Part of a larger trend of packaging vegetables-as-snacks (e.g., fried snap peas, roasted seaweed, apple crisps), these roasted chestnuts have a slick coating that make you want to eat them with a utensil, ultimately taking away from the convenience of having it in a packable pouch. Otherwise, it’s largely not-messed-around-with. 3.0/5.0

3.0 chestnuts roasted galil vegetables organic