Tag Archives: Union Square

Max Brenner – A Chocoholic’s Utopia in New York City (And Beyond)

By Lakshmi:

Last week I had a business meeting in the city and since it was 2:00 pm, a time slot more conducive to a coffee break, the person I was with recommended we head to Max Brenner’s.  I have passed this place a zillion times on my numerous walks on Broadway and even had Siddhi give me a piping syringe filled with chocolate as a gift, but never had set foot here.

Given the weather and the holiday season, the place was packed.  To my right were two huge vats mixing molten white and regular chocolate and to my left was the bar area with a display case of assorted goodies and a woman making and stacking up crepes.  We seated ourselves on the bar stools and then started our oohing and aahing over the dessert menu.  Caramel milk shake or Mexican hot chocolate?  Eat something or simply have a drink?  We both decided on the Mexican hot chocolate.  Within a few minutes we were presented with the most beautiful serving cups (that looked more like gravy pourers – they are called hug mugs!) with a beautiful leaf like design made by the swirl of milk and chocolate on the top.  Our first question – how do you drink from these?  Our waitress told us to cup the utensil with both hands and just drink.  What happened next was not short of divine.  As the perfect blend of chocolate, milk, cinnamon and pepper coated our tongues, we both could not believe that the hot chocolate could be elevated to such a synergistic marriage of flavors.  “Oh my God, this is nothing like the Mexican hot chocolate we have had in other places….How do they do this…You feel the pepper kick without the spiciness…”  We delighted in every last drop, to the point that when the waiter came to take away my cup with a little bit left, I had to stop him.

After lounging here for a few hours, off I went to the Holiday Market at Union Square (featured in a separate post) and when I met up with Siddhi and her friend for dinner, we returned back here to try a meal.

This time, we sat in the dining area and ordered tacos, beer battered onion rings with a sauce that had chocolate, rosemary waffles encasing an arugula mozzarella sandwich and some pita with hummus.  The food was good, but in our opinion not as earth shattering as the chocolate that I had had earlier.  So, needless to say, dessert was a must do.

We decided to go for the fondue.  In a few minutes, we had a beautiful display showcasing a burner to roast marshmallows, three bowls set up over flames with milk chocolate, dark chocolate and caramel and finally strawberries, bananas, cookie and brownie bits.  We ate every morsel in front of us and even asked for spoons to finish the molten chocolate!

If you happen to be in New York City this winter, head over to Max Brenner’s located at 841 Broadway (between 13th and 14th Streets).  Any lover of chocolate will be hard pressed to leave without feeling satiated.

You can read up more on Max Brenner at


Union Square Holiday Market – A Treasure Trove For Unique Gifts

An aerial view of the market
Source: urbanspacenyc.com

By Lakshmi: 

Who?  Anyone who is in the New York City area and is looking to pick up an eclectic collection of gifts for the special ones in your life.  It is also a lovely place to spend a few hours drinking and eating foods from New York and around the world.

What?  The Union Square Holiday Market is a collection of 150 vendors who come together under a holiday themed set up to display, extol and sell their wares.

How?  The market is located at Union Square right above the subway and you really can’t miss it.  For those who have been to the Union Square Farmer’s market, this is at the same location.  The market is open through December 24th daily.

Why?  For many a person out there, shopping and eating in one of the most amazing cities in the world is a perfect excuse to make your way to this holiday market.  From custom-made french truffles (“do not bite, let it melt” was our tasting instruction) to Turkish lamps,  unique maritime and religious pieces (“My boyfriend’s father used to be in the navy in India, is this from there?” was a question heard) to lovely bags crafted out of a single long zipper, from hot ginger tea from China to the infamous cookies from Momofuku, from handmade beauty scrubs and lotions with salt from the dead sea (look at how soft your skin feels after this treatment!) to tights painted with Japanese flowers and umbrellas, the list of items is endless.  To grab any last-minute gifts, head out here before December 24th.

For more information on the market click here:


Union Square Farmer’s Market – A Foodie’s Fantasy

By Lakshmi:

Who?  Are you a foodie?  Do you like to cook? Does the sight and smell of fresh fruits and vegetables make you want to stuff an entire market into your shopping bags?  Do you start dreaming about all the things you could churn out in your kitchen?  Or are you just a photographer looking to delight in a feast for your lenses and your senses?

What? The Union Square Greenmarket also known as the Union Square Farmers Market is located in Union Square in New York City.

How? You can take the subway to Union Square or walk here from many points in the city.  This hard to miss square is transformed into an agora on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm and if you are in the vicinity of the area, your nose might just as well lead you here!

Why?  From its humble beginning in the mid-seventies, this market has now become a place for over 140 local farmers and bakers to sell the fruits of their labor.  It feels like a standing paradox to New York City life.  In a city where people are always rushing and engrossed in their own world, here you can see people lovingly gazing at the zucchini, marveling at the color mother nature has imparted to the peppers and chatting intently with fishermen and farmers about the best way to prepare their newly purchased bounty.  All of the well-known chefs from Food Network have shown an affinity to this market.  As you listen to a seller extol the virtues of his honey, you realize that life is lived in multiple bubbles.

My teenaged daughters think their mother is a bit crazy to spend time admiring the blush on a radish, the sun like hues on a beet and the way the reds, oranges and yellows paint the peaches in a personalized fashion.  This is why I ask them to sit in the park or walk around, while I dream, shop and sample to my heart’s content.  And this is one of those places that truly leaves me content!  And the smile on my face, my overstuffed bags and maybe a smidgen of a food crumb at the corner of my mouth bear testament to this state of mind.

To learn more about this market, click here: