Thursday, May 24, 2012

Pip's Place

The other day my friend Alison sent me an e-mail about the opening of Pip's Place on New York's Upper East Side.  I was going to run the Brooklyn Half Marathon the following day so I decided to go uptown and grab some carbs to prepare for the race.  I hopped on the uptown select service bus with my trusted Kindle and, in a snap, was exiting at the 86th Street stop. 

As I walked up to Pip's Place I was struck by the neighborhood it is in; there are a lot of coffee shops and restaurants nearby.  I'm very infrequently that far up in Manhattan and, when I am, seem to be on the west side more often than the east.  Anyway, I walked into Pip's place and was instantly greeted by employees behind the counter.  The shop also immediately greeted my eyes with visions of beautifully presented gluten free treats with everything from cupcakes to the bakery's own "Heath bars."  I went a little wild and ordered a brownie, a chocolate chip cookie, and a Heath bar... but hey, I was doing a half marathon the next day so I deserved it, right?

I sat down with my treats at the small bar/counter that is opposite the cashier and dug right in.  My first stop was the chocolate chip cookie.  I normally wouldn't order a chocolate chip cookie as I think it is a bit boring, but I decided to go for it to have a wide sampling of Pip's baking.  The chocolate chip cookie was soft and tasted as if it had just come out of the oven.  It was definitely better than a lot of other gluten free chocolate cookies I have had which are often too crunchy and end up tasting stale.  My next treat was the "Heath bar," a layered bar with mashed up Heath bar on top.  This was amazingly delicious; as a huge fan of Heath Bar candy I loved how Pip's replicated the flavor of the Heath Bar while amping it up with a creamy chocolate underneath the crunchy top.

When I arrived home I tore into the fudgey brownie alongside a glass of Trader Joe's almond milk.  The brownie was delicious, filled with great flavor and it was perfectly chewy.  Just as importantly, it didn't crumble upon first bite as so many gluten free baked goods do. 

I loved all of the treats I picked up from Pip's and will definitely be visting again to try out some new snacks.  The location is small but offers an open kitchen so you can see exactly what is being baked.  I have my eyes on the Chocolate Cake for my next visit...

And, on a personal note, the race went well!  I did a 1:36 time which is 8 minutes faster than my time in the last half I did in Pasadena.  The course was great, looping 15,000 runners through Prospect Park and then onto a large boulevard which dead ended at Coney Island.  It was a beautiful Saturday morning and there was nowhere better to be ending than at the beach.

Do you love it or do you love it?
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Pip's Place
1729-31 First Avenue
New York, NY 10128 (Map)

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