Sunday’s for most people are designed to be a day to just relax and enjoy the warm weather without the stress of having to do too much. Stress can even happen when you are staying at a hotel and have to check out so early that it might just ruin your day. Well, W Union Square has something totally different and awesome that gets rid of that concept, lets you sleep in to your hearts content, and enjoy the day at your own leisure. [Read more…] about W Union Square Wants You to Have The Ultimate Lazy Sunday
Indulge in The Best Of Valentine’s Day Sweets & Treats!
Can’t get enough of our Valentine’s Day mania here at Manhattan Digest? Good, because we are still going strong with what I think is the best part of the day (or any day, quite frankly)- the sweets! And what better place to find sweets than in the best city in the world. So for all you cheapos out there that are going to run to your local drug store and pick up chocolate that has likely been sitting there for quite sometime- think again! We have found some fun and innovative places and ideas for you to show your honey how much you love them in the calorie and sweet department. Check out what we think will melt your loved one’s heart.
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Manhattan Digest’s Best of Food For 2016
Boy, has 2015 been quite a year for Manhattan Digest! We passed our millionth view mark in November, got to interview some huge stars and of course we reviewed what is the best of the best in Manhattan! This is about digesting Manhattan, isn’t it? So after a stellar year, and some pretty stellar places that we have sampled and enjoyed, we here at Manhattan Digest are giving you the best of the best from what we ate in 2015. Devour, check in, and be amazed by where you should stop into for the 2016 calendar year and beyond.
[Read more…] about Manhattan Digest’s Best of Food For 2016
Magnolia Bakery Opens Up New Shop In Penn Station
As someone who frequently commutes back and forth from Long Island to New York City, I was thrilled to see that one of my favorite cupcake places had opened up right inside Penn Station- Magnolia Bakery! Magnolia has been a favorite of ours at Manhattan Digest, and we have done a couple of features on them before. Check out one of them here. Here is some more information about the opening below, including a signature cupcake that is exclusive for this location!
Located on the lower level, near the A,C,E subway station, the new store will serve their wide variety of freshly baked desserts, including cupcakes, cakes, pies, muffins, scones, banana pudding, cheesecakes, cookies and brownies, as well as a range of coffee beverages and tea.
In addition to their classic desserts, they’ve introduced a signature Penn Station Cupcake in celebration of the new location. The chocolate cupcake is topped with an all new white chocolate buttercream and chocolate disc depicting the 34th Street subway station. The cupcake will be available every day exclusively at their Penn Station store for $4.00.
Perfect timing now that the holidays are in full swing and Penn Station is busier than ever! They also open early and close late so you can’t miss your chance to try out what they have to offer (Banana Pudding at the top of my list!) Go see what all the fuss is about and check out the Penn Station location today! Trust me, you won’t be disappointed.
Valentine’s Day- Best Places For The Best Treats
Ah Valentine’s Day. The day of love. The day to tell that special someone in your life that you love them in more than just words. We are talking cake, cupcakes, flowers and so much more! Even single people have an excuse to get in on it just to enjoy more and more delicious sweets! When it comes to all of these amazing treats, you can’t get better than the bakeries here in New York City. Lucky for all my readers, four of my favorite ones, H Bake Shop, Magnolia Bakery, Schmackary’s and Treat House have some great deals going on for you and your special one to enjoy and devour! Take a look.
H Bake Shop- 601 West 57th Street- (212) 265-2399
I recently discovered this amazing bake shop through a good friend of mine and was introduced the the founder of it, Huascar Aquino! Huascar won The Food Network’s Cupcake Wars so clearly he knows what he is doing when it comes to cupcakes and so much more! Check out what he has going on for Valentine’s Day and visit his amazing site!
The Golden Heart: A chocolate fudge cake, filled with home made wild blueberry jam and frosted with blueberry icing and decorated with 24K gold sugar heart.
The Pink Rose: Pink Champagne cake. filled with pistachio pastry cream, rose water buttercream decorate with a sugar dough pink rose.
Chocotella Cookies: Gianduja chocolate (hazelnut milk chocolate), toasted salted hazelnuts, dipped in bittersweet dark chocolate and sprinkle with more salted toasted hazelnuts & a little red heart.
Treat House- 452 Amsterdam Avenue- 212-799-7779
Inspired by a charitable school bake sale, Treat House, a gourmet crisped rice emporium, provides a wide range of classic and innovative flavors, includingBirthday Cake, Caramel Sea Salt, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Cookies & Creamand more. For Valentine’s Day, treat your loved one with a limited edition Treat Cake – a crisped rice heart shaped cake. Other sweet gift offerings include Valentine’s Day themed treats or heart marshmallows. Plus, treat yourself while treating others: ten cents of every treat purchased will be donated to the Food Bank for New York City. For Valentine’s Day, they have delicious Treat Cakes available for $20, and individual treats starting at $2. Don’t forget their amazing heart marshmallows for only $1.50 each! Check out their official site for more information.
Magnolia Bakery- Multiple Locations Throughout NYC
Magnolia Bakery has become quite the big thing over recent years, and I was lucky enough to profile them in late 2014 about their booming success. Naturally, they have some great things going on for Valentine’s Day! Here is just a couple of what they are offering for V Day-
Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cupcake – NEW – $3.50
A strawberry cupcake made with fresh strawberry puree and topped with a rich chocolate ganache.
Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cake – NEW – $6.00/slice
Strawberry cake made with fresh strawberry puree, layered with a light strawberry meringue buttercream and finished with a rich chocolate ganache.
Flourless Chocolate Cupcakes – $4.00
A dense, rich fudgy chocolate cupcake topped with light and fluffy pink vanilla bean meringue buttercream.
Red Velvet Whoopie Pies – $3.50
Vanilla buttercream sandwiched between two handmade mini red velvet cakes.
Valentine’s Day Cupcakes – $3.50
Vanilla, chocolate or red velvet cupcakes with chocolate or vanilla buttercream, beautifully decorated with red and white hearts, Valentine picks and sprinkles.
Lil’ Bits of Love – $20.00
One dozen of our classic chocolate and vanilla mini cupcakes with pink and white vanilla buttercream, decorated with red, pink and white hearts.
Why Magnolia Bakery Is Worth The Hype & Deliciousness
The cupcake to the New Yorker is quintessential to a whiny woman in a Woody Allen film. It just makes everything that much better. Seeing as there is a bevy of locations in New York City where you can divulge in your favorite type of cupcake, there is one place that many locals and visitors deem as the creme de la creme of the cupcake shops here. This of course, is Magnolia Bakery which has several different locations throughout the New York City area.
I became aware of Magnolia Bakery years ago due to my love of the HBO hit show and two time movie “Sex And The City” in which Sarah Jessica Parker’s character Carrie visits the original Bleecker Street location in one of the episodes. I didn’t visit, however, until a friend of mine surprised me on my birthday five or six years back and took me to their location in the Upper West Side. The bakery itself had a warm and friendly vibe as well on top of the lovely people working there. Then of course, there was the taste of what they were preparing for everyone. All of it was delicious, from the decadent red velvet cupcakes to the world famous and insanely delicious Banana Pudding, Magnolia Bakery stepped up to the plate when it came to delicious treats designed for the masses.
I recently sat down with one of their fantastic and fabulous PR & Marketing Manager Riana Zimmerman to talk about Magnolia Bakery’s rise in the food world in general, from its one location to now internationally known brand. Take a look.
So how did the world famous Magnolia Bakery start?
So we started in 1996 at the Bleecker Street location in the West Village. It was a local bakery known for cupcakes and a bunch of other yummy desserts. And then “Sex And The City” mentioned it on one of their episodes and Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) ate one of our vanilla cupcakes with pink frosting. After that happened, it brought an insane amount of crazy lines to the Bleecker Street location and started the whole “cupcake craze”. Steve Abrams, who is our current CEO, bought the brand in 2007 and expanded it further in New York City while opening up locations in Chicago & Los Angeles and now we are franchising internationally. So the supposed “Cupcake Craze” that Magnolia Bakery started is taking over the world.
I, just like a lot of people, became knowledgeable of Magnolia Bakery through “Sex And The City”. What was the process in getting a huge show and star like Sarah Jessica Parker to visit and film at the original location?
I’m not entirely sure! This was just a local bakery that may have been on the show’s radar, or maybe it was on someone’s recommendation list. I just know that it completely changed the Magnolia Bakery brand once the episode aired.
To the people that live in the New York City area, they view Magnolia Bakery as licorice. Meaning you either love it or hate it, but the haters don’t hate the actual products but see it more as a tourist trap. What would you say to those people in order for them to overlook the droves of people and just enjoy what Magnolia has to offer?
Everybody has their own personal taste of course, but I don’t think it is a tourist trap. We are at the Upper West Side location right now, very local to the neighborhood and as you can tell it has a pretty normal crowd as does the Bleecker street location. I think the one that they are referring to is the one in Rockefeller Center, however I don’t think it’s a tourist trap. The fuss is for a reason, and I think we have great cupcakes and a full menu of 100 other desserts and customizable cakes and whatnot.
Now I have my personal favorite at Magnolia Bakery (Red Velvet Of Course!), but what would some of yours be?
I personally love our Banana cupcake with chocolate frosting. The icing is so rich and delicious that it really works well with the cupcake itself.
There was a lot of hoopla over the summer about the supposed “Cupcake Craze” being over as a big cupcake chain filed for bankruptcy. What are your thoughts on the craze in general?
I think there are places that do specialize in one off products like cupcakes. Luckily for us we are known for our cupcakes but we also have a ton of other desserts. Our Magnolia Bakery customers do buy a lot of cupcakes however they do also purchase a ton of our other products so it really is the best of both world when you come here. A cupcake is a perfect size portion for a snack during lunch or after you finish your dinner with friends, as opposed to a large slice of cake. It really has shown by how well all of our stores are doing with all of our products, so I don’t agree with it being a craze.
What big celebrities have you seen come into any of your locations?
So I actually saw Donatella Versace at our Bleecker Street location which was very exciting. Zoe Saldana was at our Los Angeles store which has been all over the news as she is pregnant and has visited us a couple of times due to her craving of cupcakes. Michelle Obama actually sent some of her secret service agents for our cupcakes while she was visiting in New York even!
The location size of Magnolia Bakery is growing each year, however do you think you’ll open up anymore in its hometown of New York City?
We aren’t focused on expanding domestically right now as we are focused on expanding internationally however down the line we are looking into opening up other locations.
What would you recommend for a first timer at Magnolia Bakery in trying?
Maybe you are going to think I have a love affair with chocolate but it’s OK if you do because it’s true and it’s real. A chocolate piece of cake with chocolate icing is so good. Of course, the world famous banana pudding. To top it off I would recommend our pumpkin cheesecake & pumpkin spice whoopie pies is essential to now as it is available throughout the fall.
Does Magnolia Bakery do deliveries?
We do! We have an online store which delivers all throughout the United States with the exception of Alaska and Hawaii. You can order anything from cupcakes, cookies and bars so I definitely recommend if you aren’t local to a Magnolia Bakery you check out the online store to try something out!
What are you ultimately hopeful for the Magnolia Bakery brand and beyond?
We would love to see our international franchises succeed of course! We are excited about our growth, in fact we had a meeting recently to discuss 2015 and see what new items we can bring to you, your readers and the masses! Stay tuned!
Want to know more about Magnolia Bakery? Log on to their official website for locations, product information and more!