New York City Weekend, Spring 2013: Day 3

Here’s the last of my NYC recaps. . . from a trip I took nearly a month ago!  Enjoy!

We only had a few precious hours on Monday in the city before we had to hit the road and head back home. Our morning started just like it did on Sunday– with some Bouchon Bakery!

I enjoyed a plain croissant (again). . .

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and a vanilla bean scone (again). . .

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oh, and some coffee as well!

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Just a sidenote– my husband is always amazed at how much I know about famous or celebrity foodie spots in NYC (not that I am an expert or anything– I am just a tourist who’s done a little research!). So, he was extra impressed this past week when he opened our local paper on Wednesday only to discover Bouchon Bakery featured on the front page of the food section! When he saw that, he immediately called me and gave me even more props for knowing my way around NYC bakeries!

Anyway, after we were fueled up, we set out on one last (dessert) mission. See, I am a devoted reader of the wonderful blog Ali On The Run, and Ali, who lives in NYC, mentions a certain cookie on her blog quite often. Her love for Levain Bakery cookies convinced me that I too must track them down. When I googled around, I discovered Levain is often touted as having one of the best chocolate chip cookies in the entire country. In fact, Food and Wine Magazine gave Levain a shout out for having one of the top ten cookies in the U.S. My husband and I therefore set out on a thirty minute walk from our hotel to find these famous cookies.

Once again, because Levain is tiny, we almost missed it! We had to consult out phones a few times before finally locating it!

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As you can see from this picture of the outside taken from inside the bakery, Levain is a tiny spot down a flight of stairs.  This is the view from the bakery itself, looking up on the sidewalk.

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The display case was awe-inspiring– not only do they have cookies, but they have baguettes with butter and jam, scones, muffins and more!

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So here’s why Levain’s cookies are so famous– they are known not only for being enormous (like 6 ounces enormous!), but reports indicate they are crisp on the outside and melt in your mouth on the inside.  I also read many reviews in which the cookies come to you hot off the rack!

We ordered one of their well-known chocolate chip walnut cookies and one of their chocolate peanut butter chip cookies.  I did something I normally never do– once we had the bag in hand, we stepped out onto the street and immediately dove in for tastes of both (though we just had breakfast!).  My husband insisted we had to so we could experience the cookies in their ideal condition, i.e. fresh off the rack.

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Umm. . . HOLY COOKIES!  Anyone who claims Levain Bakery offers of the best cookies in America is not exaggerating at all!  Hands down– these were the best cookies I have ever had in my life, no joke.  The chocolate chip walnut was epic– words can’t even describe how ooey-gooey the insides were.  In fact, the chocolate chips were still a bit melted!  The outside consisted of the perfect chewy cookie crust.  As far as the chocolate peanut butter chip, it didn’t taste at all like a brownie, like I expected.  I was worried the cookie would be too chocolately and fudgy, but I had no need to fret.  The chocolate flavor was mild and the peanut butter flavor really shined.  In fact, if I was eating the cookie in a blind taste test, I might not even identify the chocolate cookie as chocolate, but rather a traditional chocolate chip cookie with peanut butter chips.  That, my friends, is a good thing!  No one wants a brownie when they are expecting to eat a cookie!

We ended up having a few bites of each and saving the rest for dessert later that night.  I ended up devouring both cookies all on my own!

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Mark my words– I am always and forever visiting Levain Bakery when I go to NYC.  In fact, next time, I want to bring home a whole bag of cookies to share with my family back here in RI.  Oh, who am I kidding– I want to bring home a big bag of cookies all or myself!

By the way, the next time I throw a party, I am ordering Levain Cookies online to be delivered here because, yes, they do have an online store.  In fact,  I may throw a party just to be able to order those cookies!

Our visit to Levain was the ultimate ending to our New York City weekend.  I already miss the city and can’t wait to return in the summer!

Who sells the best chocolate cookie you have ever had?

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