You never truly appreciate what you had in Manhattan until you move deep into Queens.
I spent 4 years on the Upper East Side, in a time when my tastes were less sophisticated. More time was spent hopping on a subway downtown then exploring the neighborhood on foot. Now that I live way out on the E train, I find myself driving into the city every Saturday to revisit a old block – 85th and 2nd.
Long before cupcakes became the new fashion accessory, before it was elevated to “war” status on Food Network (I’m talking 1992 here, folks), two ladies started what was called Two Little Red Hens in Brooklyn. The success of the bakery prompted them to open a branch in Manhattan in 2001. Though the two parters have since amicably split, Two Little Red Hens is still churning out excellent cakes, and slightly oversized cupcakes.
With a tiny storefront, Two Little Red Hens has the unique, boutique type of feel that you no longer get at Magnolia. There’re only a few seats, so the throng of patrons are usually buying to go. I’ve yet to sample all of the cake flavors, but every single one I’ve sampled thus far have been excellent. I’m especially fond of the Red Velvet and the Carrot Cake, either in cupcake sized portions or full 8″ circles. A few more Saturdays and I’ll probably have tried them all.
While on the block, go a store uptown and visit Schaller and Weber, master German charcuterie. You’ll need to visit yourself to figure out all the wonderful snacks and goodies from the continent, but do pick-up a few slabs of the double smoked Canadian bacon. Slice it thick, throw it on a grill, and it’s as close to Lugers as its gets. Some internet sites speculate that Peter Lugers gets their bacon here, but I don’t think we’ll ever know.
For both these neighborhood classics:
What does this rating mean?
With the 2nd Ave subway construction these two years, the signage is a bit hard to see. The stores are on the East side of 2nd Ave, between 85th and 86th Street.
Two Little Red Hens
1652 2nd Ave
New York, NY 10028
Schaller and Weber
1654 2nd Avenue #1
New York, NY 10028