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Table for Two #22: Milk Bar

Alexa of Alexa Loves Books and I have teamed up to bring you Table for Two, a collaboration that involves two of our favorite things - New York City and food. The two of us will be highlighting restaurants and dessert spots in New York City. You'll be hearing our personal opinions on the place and the food, as well as where you can go to try it out for yourself.

For this month's Table for Two, I'll be chatting about Milk Bar and Alexa is featuring Ruby's Cafe.

The first time I ever tried Milk Bar was about a year ago and I had gotten their cereal milk soft swerve which I loved. The second was when I had some downtime before dinner with friends and noticed one as I walking. I decided to stop in to read and try their cereal milk latte and cornflake chocolate chip marshmallow cookie. So when I needed to pick a dessert spot for today's post, I immediately thought of Milk Bar because I was craving everything. Which is why I bought all three things I mentioned, although I saved the cookie for the next day. Even though it all sounds super sweet, I personally find them to be just right. The soft swerve is pretty light but the cornflakes add a lot of flavor and crunch to it. I've tried the cereal milk latte as an iced drink and a hot one and both are great! I might slightly prefer it iced but you really can't go wrong with either (Alexa got the birthday cake latte as seen in the picture with the sprinkles!). And the cookie. If you like salty and sweet flavors, this is the cookie for you. When I have a cookie craving, I immediately think of this place (or Schmackary's). 

There's a bunch of locations in the city and for this recent visit, we went to Nolita. And even though the service was super quick (which was impressive with only one person handling it all!), there's no actual store to go into, although we did luck out with finding a free bench nearby. The midtown location has a store but again no seating. I think my favorite spot so far is at the West Village because there are (limited) benches inside at least. 

You can find Milk Bar at 7 different spots in NYC. Let us know if you check it out!

Project Ice Cream

Project Ice Cream is all about crossing off the places on my ever expanding list which means I rarely go to the same place twice. But since my last update in May, I’ve found myself revisiting ice cream spots because they’d offer really tasty and limited promos or simply because I’d been craving it (all good reasons). This update will be a little different in that I’ll be sharing the new places I’ve tried and ones I revisited, in case you need the extra motivation to check out old favorites!

1. 32 Below
I have to say, I’m a little disenchanted by the whole rolled ice cream thing. Maybe it’s cause I was spoiled by 10Below which was the first time I tried it and still remains to be the best. But either way, 32Below satisfied my ice cream craving but wasn’t particularly memorable.

2. Eggloo
I absolutely love the combination of warm egg waffles with ice cream. I’d been to Eggloo before but went with friends again because of the new offerings. I can’t remember what I got exactly but it was definitely just as good the second time around.

3. Sweet Moment
Bingsoo is a popular Korean shaved-ice dessert with that gets topped with items such as chopped fruit, condensed milk, matcha, crushed cookies, ice cream and more. Alexa and I tried multiple bingsoo desserts this summer with Sweet Moment being the first. Their matcha and black sesame was delicious!

4. Mochidoki
Alexa and I (in case you didn’t pick up on it yet, she’s with me on 99% of my ice cream adventures) accidentally stumbled upon the Turnstyle Underground Market at Columbus Circle right before a ballet. When we saw Mochidoki, we couldn’t resist picking up dessert. They had a variety of flavors and if I hadn’t eaten dinner already, I would’ve happily tried more. So good.

5. Magnum Ice Cream 
I’ve never seen such picturesque ice cream bars before! I loved their unique toppings and that I was able to create something custom. I got the vanilla bar with a white chocolate outer shell (you can choose between white, milk or dark), rose and chocolate pearl toppings with a dark chocolate drizzle. If you’re in the city, it’s worth trying at least once!

6. Creamistry
What’s cool about this place is that they make the ice cream right in front of you using liquid nitrogen. I chose Fruity Pebbles ice cream with Captain Crunch as the topping. Since it is made fresh, it can be a bit of a wait if there’s a lot of people there. And my other gripe was the portions being inconsistent. Alexa, Kristin and I all ordered the same size but my ice cream was significantly less.

7/8. Soft Swerve
I ended up going twice this summer! The first time was to check out their mermaid ice cream which super fun and yummy. The second time was to try their spin on Halo-Halo, a popular Filipino dessert. I give them points for trying but I thought it was way too sweet and just wasn’t the same without shaved ice. I’d stick with the original.

9. The Pint Shop
The Pint Shop is run by The Museum of Ice Cream and is an experience in itself. It’s so adorable and basically an Instagrammer’s dream. But on top of that, the ice cream is actually super good. I went with Alexa and her sister and we got two pints to share. We finished it all in one sitting! Just thinking about it makes me want to go back. My favorite was the piƱata flavor but the vanillionaire was also excellent.

10. Grace Street Cafe
More bingsoo! I love this surge of Asian-inspired desserts and cafes in NYC. If you crave anything ube, matcha, black sesame-flavored and milk teas, definitely come here.

11. Stax Ice Cream
As much as I love trying all the new popular stuff like shaved ice cream, soft serve, rolled ice cream, etc — what I still crave and love the most is traditional ice cream (with fun flavors) in a cone. Stax provides exactly that but with exotic flavors. I got the fruity pebbles and jasmine milk tea ice cream in a lavender cone and I think it’s probably my favorite from this whole past summer.

12. Milk and Cream Bar
This is another spot I’d been wanting to go back to and finally did a few weeks ago. I’m a big fan of the cereal and ice cream combo and they certainly do it right. When I try someplace new I tend to go with a signature combo but this time around, I made my own.

Have you guys been to any of these places?
Or better yet, do you have any ice cream recs for me?
I'd love to hear them!

Min-reviews: Muse of Nightmares + Marilla of Green Gables

Muse of Nightmares (Strange the Dreamer, #2) by Laini Taylor
pub 10/2/18 by Little, Brown Books
for Young Readers
Young Adult - Fantasy
Borrowed ARC from Alexa
Where do I even begin? Laini Taylor is one of those authors whose scope of imagination never fails amazes me. To come up with these vivid fantastical worlds and memorable characters — she really has a gift. With Strange the Dreamer, it was a slow burn and then suddenly I was 100% invested. I can’t even pinpoint when. But with Muse of Nightmares, I went in needing to know where the story would lead Lazlo, Sarai, their friends and the rest of the godspawn. I was basically hooked from page one. The plot took so many unexpected turns forward but also gave us a much needed glimpse of the past. Where did the gods come from and why? And more importantly, why happened to all the children born in the Citadel? A ton of questions were answered and in brilliants way I didn’t expect. But at the heart of it was the beautiful love story between Lazlo and Sarai and what family means to each of them plus the other godspawn (Minya, Sparrow, Ruby and Feral). It’s both moving and heartbreaking which describes practically everything Laini Taylor writes. I don’t know if she plans to do any more books in this world but regardless, I cannot wait to see what she comes up with next.

Do I recommend? Absolutely! Long-time fans will not be disappointed and if you haven’t read any of these author’s books yet, now is a good time to start!

pub 10/23/18 by William Morrow
Adult - Fiction
Received from pub via Edelweiss
Who didn’t wonder about Marilla’s story after she told Anne that “people called him [John Blythe] her beau”? I just never expected anyone to actually write it! Enter Sarah McCoy who tells Marilla’s story is such a satisfying and moving way. It’s admittedly a bit strange to start a book knowing where the main character’s life will end up but that didn’t make the journey getting there any less enjoyable or surprising to read about. We start off with Marilla as a young thirteen year old girl and it was funny and slightly exasperating (in a good way) to see just how Marilla she was even at a young age. Practical to the core, that one. We learn about her family beyond just Matthew and the experiences that ended up shaping her - namely the death of her mother. It was heartbreaking to read but also hopeful to see the seeds of what was to come as the author also writes about Marilla as an older teenager. We learn about the aunt who inspired her to look beyond her life in Avonlea, the friendship she finds in Rachel Lynde and the blossoming relationship with John Blythe. The story was even surprisingly historical and political but it made sense and gave depth to the time Marilla was living in. In so many ways it made me both understand and love her more.

Do I recommend? Absolutely! It’s a must-read for any Anne of Green Gables fan who wants to learn about Marilla.