Wowfulls is Worth the Wait!

Today may have seemed like your typical rainy day in New York City, complete with unreasonable train delays and lost eyes due to commuters with umbrellas.

But today was no typical day, because today was the grand opening of Wowfulls first brick-and-mortar shop on the lower east side.

For those who don’t know, Wowfulls serves ice cream desserts revolving around egg waffles also known as Gai Dàn Jai, which originated in Hong Kong in the 1950s. Wowfulls began popping up in New York with stalls at the seasonal, Smorgasburg, a gathering of local food vendors (opening for the season, this weekend) as well as summer music festivals like GovBall.

Today, Wowfulls celebrated their grand opening with $1 Wowfulls for the first fifty guests, $5 for everyone else (a deal which will last all weekend), plus exclusive Wowfulls t-shirts and pins.

You may still be rolling your eyes, similar to some of my friends who were all..

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And to answer that question,

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If you’ve read my previous post on NYC Food Fads then you’ll know that there isn’t much that will stop me when it comes to popular new food joints. I won’t lie though, during the final ten minutes of waiting I was sure that I would lose all my toes or at least a couple of my fingers; and I did consider quitting. But I had come so close, and I was getting that t-shirt.

I’m going to save myself the embarrassment of stating exactly how long I waited, but Wowfulls only opened at 1PM and as I write this, it is only 4:15 and I am warm, dry, and sipping orange spice tea.

Wowfulls is a small shop, which I expected, so there were only so many people who were let in at a a time. As far as how they designed their small shop, I adore it.

 

From white-painted brick walls to wooden shelves of team Polaroid’s and mock-Wowfulls, you can tell that a lot of though went into the design. But at the same time, the whole place is so understated. A+ for decor, Wowfulls.

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Customers have the choice of three different waffles wowfulls.

  • The original Wowfull
  • The coconut Wowfull
  • The coffee Wowfull

I have heard that they also have an amazing green-tea Wowfull, so my guess is that the menu will eventually expand or at least rotate daily.

Then of course you have your choice of ice cream, toppings, and drizzle.

I went with an original Wowfull with captain crunch cookies & cream ice cream (because seriously, how epic is that combination?), and a condensed milk drizzle with white chocolate chips.

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I’m going to cut to the chase and say that Wowfulls gets a big 10/10 for me.

While the ice cream and toppings were mouthwatering, it really is the waffle that makes the snack. It’s soft, but still has the slightest crisp to it so that it holds it’s shape and texture. Not to mention, the staff is awesome! For a group of people who had already been making these awesome concoctions and dealing with customers for two hours straight, they were still bubbly, upbeat and super friendly.

You could tell that they are a team made up of people who are proud to have gotten this far, and are super excited to be a part of this.

Moral of the story: Go get a Wowfull.

In case you’re interested in saying “hi”, I’ll be there at least five more times this spring wearing my exclusive Wowfulls LES t-shirt.

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My 4 Favorite Spots in Central Park

Central Park has always been, for me, a sort of Narnia in the middle of the city. For years, it has been a place of comfort when I’m stressed and an escape from the best, but endless chaos of New York. It also helps that it lies between my two favorite museums: The Museum of Natural History and The Met.

Despite how many times I have walked from the east side of Central Park to the west and back again, there are still a few select spots that I make sure to stop for a minute each and every time I go.

And that is how a week ago despite, the freezing temperatures I ended up on a tour of Central Park that I had been on many times before.

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  1. Bethesda Terrace 

The detailing of the inside of Bethesda Terrace combined with the erosion and rust of certain areas give it that unique, worn-down-by-time feel, which I feel makes it that much more beautiful. While you’ll likely pass a multitude of people taking the cliché Bethesda stairs photo, I  always spend at least ten minutes just walking through the corridor.

“You can get the true essence of New Yorkers by just hanging out in Central Park.” – Andy Roddick

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2. The Hans Christian Andersen Statue

One version of “The Ugly Duckling” by Hans Christian Andersen opens with “It is a beautiful summer day. The sun shines warmly on an old house near a river.” I have always loved the location of this statue sits across the Conservatory Pond and Central Park skyline. It’s almost as if Hans, whose statue depicts him sitting beside a swan while reading “The Ugly Duckling” has stepped into his own story.

“The most wonderful fairy tale is life itself.” – Hans Christian Andersen

3. Strawberry Fields

While Strawberry Fields is a 2.5 acre of land dedicated to the memory of John Lennon, the most popular part of this memorial is the “Imagine” plaque. Growing up with a grandfather who is about the age that John Lennon would have been, the Beatles were one of bands I’ve always listened to. Despite the fact that I was a generation or so behind when they were at their prime, their music and the words of John Lennon are still inspiring to me.

Often, guitar players will play John Lennon and Beatles songs regardless of the weather. Nothing gets you in your feels more than that.

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“Imagine all the people, living life in peace.” – John Lennon

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4. The Lake surrounding the Loeb Boathouse

While the Loeb Boathouse is popular for visitors, my favorite shot is from the slightly elevated spot between Bethesda Terrace and the boathouse, where the trees perfectly frame the buildings in the back. You almost feel as if you’re somewhere else, but they give a small reminder that you’re still in this stunning city.

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“And the most unusual and surrealistic place in New York City, is Central Park.” – Christo

Best of the Best of Winter in Quebec

Little fact about me: If you ever searched my google history around the holiday season, you will most likely find that a majority of the searches fall into two categories, “seasonal drinks” and “Christmas towns”.  It’s a secret goal of mine to spend the holiday season in every popular holiday town from Darby Montana, to Strasbourg, France.

That being said, Quebec City and Montreal easily became two of my favorite winter locations for a variety of reasons. Without further ado: my personal 2016 picks for the Best of the Best of Winter in Quebec.

  1. Best Historic Location or Attraction
    • Montreal Pick – Notre-Dame Basilica

The number one item on my must see list when I went to Paris was Notre Dame de Paris. Standing in front of the Notre-Dame Basilica in Montreal, while a bit smaller in dimensions (197′ compared to the 226’) felt as if I was reliving the moment when the cathedral first came into my eye sight during my walk along the Île de la Cité. But Notre-Dame in Montreal is beautiful in its own right, and similar to Paris, I just enjoyed being in it’s presence. Across the street from Notre-Dame is the Centaur Company Theater which at the time was decked out with star-shaped lanterns for the holiday season.

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  • Quebec City Pick – La Citadelle de Quebec

Being that I am a self-proclaimed history buff, the minute that I heard the words “museum”, “fortress” and “active military installation” in the same sentence, I knew I had to visit the Citadelle. Despite the fact that it was less than 20 degrees and we were told a large portion of the tour would be outdoors, we decided to brave it. I may have lost a few toes and shed some frozen tears, because WOW Canada can be a whole new type of cold, but I am so glad we didn’t miss out on this experience. FYI, if you’re from the United States, be prepared. The guides love cracking jokes at our expense, but the humor definitely added to the tour. The tour ends off with one of the most spectacular views of Quebec City, with a view of the Fairmont Le Château Frontenac.


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  1. Best Outdoor Location
    • Montreal Pick – Mount-Royal

I am a sucker for views, so you best believe I spent some time researching “the best view in Montreal”, but physically finding the exact location in photos I had seen was an adventure within itself. Once, we got through the traffic congested area surrounding Mount Royal we drove in a loop until we reached the local visitor center, located most of the way up the mountain. While we were able to find pretty cool birds-eye views of Montreal, we had more than a difficult time finding the exact observation deck I was looking for. Big props to my fellow travelers, because we were not leaving this mountain, despite the freezing temperatures until I found this view. This made for a pretty unexpected but worthwhile adventure, up frozen stairs on where we feared breaking our backs, down long trails of snow…before realizing, once we finally found the observation area, that there was actually a MUCH easier route there. Despite the unnecessary trek, totally worth it.

  • Quebec City Pick – Chute Montmorency

If ever in Quebec City, I recommend taking trip over to Chute Montmorency, about a 20 minute drive from Vieux Quebec. There is a bit of a short hike through the surrounding areas to the actual falls, but the walk was an easier hike. Considerinf the season we were also only one of three groups in the area at the time. The best view of the falls come via. bridge which allows you to walk right above the attraction.

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  1. Best Dining Location

We ended up at La Cartet for breakfast entirely due to a friend saying, “Well, this place looks nice” as we strolled around Montreal. ANd I have to say it was one of the best breakfast spots I have ever been to. Easily up there in the top three as far as waitstaff who made us feel more than welcome from the second we walked in. The menu provides a multitude of options from eggs to crepes to salmon bagels. Meanwhile I was just excited that a couple of their menu items had yogurt and granola as part of an entree as opposed to it’s own option, usually seen in most places. The food was delicious, fresh, and not one person in our party failed to clear their plates.

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As everyone knows, the only thing better than brunch is brunch with a spectacular view. ‘Ciel’ means ‘sky’ in French and it’s the perfect name for this spot located on the top floor of the Hôtel Le Concorde Québec. Not only does this restaurant provide each table with a beautiful view of the Grande-Allée, Le Concorde Québec but it actually moves! So slowly, of course, that you’re unable to feel the entire deck rotating, but by the end of the meal, you should have enjoyed a complete 360 view of the Quebec City skyline. Naturally, I assumed this spot had to be on the more expensive end. However, the most expensive brunch item is 24 Canadian dollars AND includes your appetizer, as well as your coffee, hot chocolate, or freshly squeezed juice. I cannot think of one reason why this spot shouldn’t be on everyone’s list when visiting.

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  1. Best Christmastime Activity
    • Montreal Pick – Centre de Commerce Mondial                                                            The Centre de Commerce Mondial is actually a shopping mall in Quebec, but during our short time in Montreal we still managed to enjoy a bit of Christmas magic here. Throughout the main level of the Centre de Commerce, during the Christmas season, you’ll find the eight different Santas figures, representing the various depictions of Santa Clause from different parts of the world.
      • Quebec City Pick – Marche de Noel allemande de Quebec

Of course the pièce de résistance was the Christmas markets of Quebec. As someone who roams both the Bryant Park Christmas Shops and Union Square shops a minimum of three times each every Christmas season, I naturally had pretty high expectations. The Quebec markets, fortunately, were just festive and fun, a large part due to the amazing Christmas-themed alcoholic beverages. Between the variety of shops and the close proximity to the beautifully decorated streets of Vieux Quebec and La Boutique de Noël de Québec, you can easily plan an entire day strolling the shops and streets in the area.

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It’s easy to see why Quebec has been called one of the most amazing Christmas cities, but I fell in love with Canada in itself. Easy to say, I’ll definitely plan a warmer trip back! As far as holiday towns ago, Quebec definitley recieves as 4/5.

 

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