Lily O'Brien hot chocolate and Zaiya cinnabon

Lily O'Brien hot chocolate and Zaiya cinnabon

Sometimes people see me take a picture of their food or their store, and they ask me, “Yo, what you be doing?” Usually I just tell them it’s for personal use (and it is) and that I just like to take pictures of my food (also true) and that seems to please them. When I took a picture of the Lily O’Brien Chocolate store that just opened up by Bryant Park, an employee asked me if I was a journalist taking pictures for a publication. Since this doesn’t count as a publication because you know, I’m just a blogger, I figured it’s all good. He said something about how they gave NYTimes the permission to do photos and they can’t let other publications do it first or whatever. Blah blah. See, when you’re a blog, you don’t have rules. I got myself a Lily O’Brien signature hot chocolate and went off to buy me a cinnabon from Zaiya because Zach said there wuz buns.

First let’s show you a boring exterior shot of the Lily O’Brien Chocolate store. And then a blurry interior shot. They serve up some drinks and hot chocolate, but they also have chocolatey stuff on sale. I didn’t inquire about them but they have candy bars and little round balls of chocolate goodness. The more sophisticated couple in front of me who just dropped $38 dollars on bags of chocolates and two cups of hot chocolate scored some free samples. I guess if you feigned interest at their store, you could get some free chocolates too. But if you’re socially awkward and don’t want to talk, you don’t get offered samples.

For a chocolate store located by the Bryant Park Hotel, you would figure they would charge more than $4.25 for a standard hot chocolate but they keep it real. I think it’s kind of sad that I’ve grown accustomed to a $4 dollar cup of hot chocolate. It’s like the standard price these days. Haute chocolate drinks probably don’t suffer during a world economic downturn.

Lily O’Brien’s signature hot chocolate is thick and chocolatey. It’s not as thick as those at City Bakery. And it’s quite a bit more sweet than ones at Amai. I really like the hot chocolate at Amai, so the Lily O’Brien version was a tad too sweet. Certain days though, I could see myself really enamored with a sweeter drink like Lily O’Brien’s. Just not today, because my stomach was empty and I wanted real food for lunch.

Real food would wait though, because I had a nice cinnamon bun from Zaiya. These things are $1.75 and pretty much is a steal. A classic cinnabon will set you back $3+. Another Midtown cinnamon bun is the brioche bun I wrote about on Midtown Lunch. That one was $2.71. Compared to those two, Zaiya is offering a tremendous deal on the cinnamon bun.

For something this cheap, I really don’t have much complaints. The only downside was that it wasn’t warm, since I was outside. If you really want to take advantage of the possible flavors, you should stay inside Zaiya, and use their microwave. Nuke that baby for 30 seconds or something and it’ll warm right up. Cinnamon buns are meant to be eaten WARM. This would increase the gooey factor for the frosting and make the cinnamony taste more prominent. You also get to escape the 40 degree weather outside. In retrospect, what I should have done was gone outside to take the picture, and then went back inside to microwave the cinnamon bun.

If you’re still in the mood for desserts, I recommend checking out some waffles over at Bionic Bites, or Girl Scouts cookies with Blondie and Brownie, or if you can read French, try some passion fruit chocolate cake.

Posted by Danny on March 6, 2009 at 7:13 am

(I invite you to follow me on Twitter so you can get more updates.)

After two months of being a parent, I can say that it doesn’t get any easier! The food blogging pretty much has stopped but it’s nice to take… [more]

April 1, 2016 at 2:26 am

I am a dad now! It’s only been about a month, and it’s as surreal to write that now was it was when my son first came into the world. Being… [more]

February 29, 2016 at 2:27 am

For the food loving couple that’s hobbled by the exclamation of, “I’m getting too old for this,” there’s some usefulness in food courts…. [more]

January 10, 2016 at 1:12 am

When the semester cycles to an end, my brain basically cannot fit everything all in, and that’s why the blog has really suffered. My plan for the… [more]

December 31, 2015 at 8:39 pm 23135170770_ca7ffb2f62_m-3695299

The other day wifey and I woke up at 3 am and took the train into the city. Weather had not yet turned cold. It wasn’t the kind of wind that would… [more]

November 30, 2015 at 9:54 pm