Izzy (and Mama) Eat: The Gourmand Grows up...

Tales of Empty Nesting ...The Next Chapter

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Doughnuts and Carnival Kitsch: Doughnut Plant/Park Avenue Armory Carnival

How can I choose?

Starting at the Doughnut Plant, followed by several hours at The Park Avenue Armory and ending with pizza at Artichoke Basille, today we crammed in as much old school food and fun as we possibly could.

I had earmarked The Park Avenue Armory Carnival as the perfect outing for this three-day weekend.  Just the mention of a 50 foot Ferris wheel inside a building was enticement enough.  Never one to just go into the city without planning where to eat, I quickly hatched a plan to stop on the Lower East Side for doughnuts, before continuing on to our destination.

The Doughnut Plant has been on my radar ever since it opened so I was anxious to finally give it a try.
We arrived to find a line out the door of the tiny store front.  Izzy patiently awaited his turn, spending his time pondering the selection.  There were yeast doughnuts and cake doughnuts, glazed and more. With fillings such as blackberry jam,  creme brulee or chocolate pudding, it was a tough choice.  When it was finally our turn, we chose two creme brulee, one chocolate pudding and a vanilla glazed.  By the time we left the doughnut shop, it was already lunchtime and Izzy knew that we needed to eat before we had our treats so I tucked the doughnuts in a bag and we ventured off in search of lunch (which I hadn't exactly planned for since only doughnuts were on my mind).

As we were on the Lower East Side we weren't far from somewhere to decent to eat.  We meandered over to Clinton Street and had lunch at Cafe Pedlar.  There we lunched on "Lancaster County Eggs" to fortify us for the adventures ahead.   Lunch over, we hopped on the "F" train traveling uptown and made our way over to Park Avenue.

Stunned by mirrors and lights
The scene at the Park Avenue Armory was oddly alluring.  Crowds thronged the vast hall where there were but a few rides, the Ferris wheel played the starring role, backed up by an elephant ride, a large slide and the Trabant.  Yet the other features of the carnival more than compensated.  I had the sensation of being privy to a Coney Island sideshow in the middle of Manhattan.  The roving hula hoopers were quick to engage kids as they waited for the rides and as you can see, Izzy was always game to join.  Oh, and don't let me forget to mention that there were plenty of snacks to be found, including freshly made cotton-candy, popcorn sold in small white paper bags and Prosecco by the glass for the grown-ups.

Izzy hoops

After testing out all of the rides, Izzy led me to the show corner where we watched a contortionist and other circus-type performances. He was particularly entranced by the fellow below, who could not only balance on one chair but also managed to stack up several and do a handstand.  Talented as he was, so glad he is not my son, as the worry would be too great!

Please don't fall

When all was said and done, I was exhausted.  Izzy, however, wanted pizza.  In keeping with my desire to make every morsel count , we cabbed it back down to 14th street where I was able to cross off yet another "must" from my "where to eat" list, Artichoke and Basille.   Not surprisingly, we were met by throngs outside this oft-lauded store-front pizzeria with an extremely limited menu.  We ordered a slice of their signature artichoke pizza and one Marguerita, and had each cut in two, to share.  The artichoke slice was thick, filling and unlike any other pizza I have ever tasted.  The Marguerita, on the other hand, was fragrant with basil and somewhat akin to the pie at Di Fara.  We finished the former and merely tasted the latter.  Our bellies were full and we were happy.  We left the second slice in the box.  It was time to go home.


Anonymous said...

So glad that you are able to go out and about. I'm dying to try that Artichoke place, too.

Izzy's Mama said...

Anonymous: Good to be out and about. the pizza place is great. May have to go back and get a pie to take home and freeze. Nothing in my neighborhood comes even close.