Dessert Tour NYC: Shake Shack Vanilla Milkshake


Shake Shack has established a reputation for itself in the realm of the best burger battle. But today we will be covering Shake Shack from a sweet tooth’s angle and set our focus on their Vanilla Shake. Made fresh daily from real sugar and organic milk, Shake Shack serves up their dense, rich and creamy Frozen Custard in Shake or Concrete form. You can also order their Frozen Custard Ice Cream in a cup or cone.

Shake Shack 
154 E 86th Street Location
New York, NY 10128
Upper East Side

Michelle: When you visit the East Coast, one of the staple places on your recommended “list of eats” is most likely Shake Shack. What is Shake Shack? With locations all over the East Coast (NYC, Boston) and the first location now open in Las Vegas, Nevada, as a visitor or resident, if you have not tried Shake Shack yet, most likely you may have passed by a location or two.

Some absolutely love it, some have a love/hate relationship, and some just say, “you just have to try it!” It’s said to be the “equivalent” to your West Coast “In-N-Out”, however, in my humble opinion, we may continue the west coast vs east coast battle because their prices may be around the same range, but their tasty burgers are not quite comparable. However, we’re not here for their burgers, the Dessert Tour gang is here for their Vanilla Shake!

Could you really eat a burger then drink a shake after? Yes! Especially on a warm day in NYC. The hefty-ness of the burger goes well when you drink the sweet milkshake – it’s nice and cold. Also, when you take a few extra sips, the straw doesn’t get clogged (like some milkshakes do) but you still get brain freeze! Definitely something to get even by itself.

Photos courtesy of Michelle Nicole Photography

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Dessert Tour OC: Hans’ Homemade Ice Cream in Anaheim


Naturally ice cream goes perfectly with pie so following our last two weeks’ posts on pies, we take you to Hans’ Homemade Ice Cream second location at the Anaheim Packing District on this Dessert Tour Friday. They have been serving up fresh dense goodness – made in their original Santa Ana shop from locally sourced cream – for generations of Orange County ice cream lovers since 1972. Classic as well as new flavors like Coffee OREO® are scooped out daily. Handmade Drumsticks, Ice Cream Sandwiches and hand-dipped frozen bananas are also available to delight your tastebuds.

Hans’ Homemade Ice Cream
Anaheim Packing District
440 S. Anaheim Blvd
Anaheim, CA 92805

James: Hans’ Ice Cream is neatly located inside the current hipster hub of Orange County, Anaheim Packing District. Hans’ ice cream are homemade in small batches and generally has a very creamy consistency. We opted for the Cookie Dough during this warm day outing and it did not disappoint, the wifey loved it. If a scoop or two does not satisfy your craving, Hans’ has other options to fulfill your needs from multiple sundae menus, to your favorite floats, shakes & malts.

Photos courtesy of James Lee of Mr & Mrs Creamery
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Mission Pie SF


For our first Dessert Tour post of 2015 we decided to continue with our pie coverage but swinging up to Mission Pie in San Francisco where they firmly believe that “Good pie is worth sharing.” Sourcing from local farms and produce distributors, Mission Pie creates delicious pies from the highest quality ingredients.

Mission Pie
2901 Mission Street at 25th
San Francisco, CA 94110

Michelle: The “Mission District” is an up-and-coming neighborhood in San Francisco that has a distinct culture of its own. Graffiti art, murals and drawings everywhere, every block and alleyway has its own little charm. Located in the heart of the Mission District, a corner pie shop named Mission Pie resides on Mission Street between 25th & 26th Street.

We ate the Banana Cream Pie, Pumpkin Pie, and Apple Blackberry. The Banana Cream Pie was a light pudding-like cream pie, and very refreshing. The Pumpkin Pie was not too creamy. The Apple Blackberry had granola on top, and included a good mix of fruits. But what we loved about Mission Pie is their crust. The crust was so flaky, really thin, and it really set their pies apart from your average pie. Our “fav” was the Banana Cream Pie – a definite must try.

Photos courtesy of Michelle Nicole Photography

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The Pie Hole LA


Happy Holidays from your Dessert Tour team. We hope your holidays have been filled with sweet time with loved ones as well as of course sweet treats. For this Friday’s post we felt pie would be the perfect post Holiday topic – so we take you to The Pie Hole in Los Angeles.

The Pie Hole’s mission is clearly and simply stated: happiness one slice at a time. And they achieve just that with their artisanal fresh baked pie by the slice served up in flavors such as Mom’s Apple Crumble, Moe’s Pumpkin and Mexican Chocolate. They also bake up individual savory pies: Breakfast Hand Pie, Chicken ‘n’ Cornbread and Angel City Steak ‘n’ Ale to name a few. To accompany all this the Pie Hole brews their own organic coffee program featuring their house blends roasted to precise deliciousness. In addition to their two locations, The Pie Hole is now serving up pie at LAX Terminal 2! We discovered this by chance and happily brought a Chicken ‘n’ Cornbread with us onto a flight.

The Pie Hole
714 Traction Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90013

James: Their first location which we visited is also their original location in DTLA Art District. We ordered the Earl Grey and Mexican Chocolate. Both were really good. The pies are a good balance of fillings, creme and most importantly with all pies: the crust and shell. The crust has a nice flaky crunch. Not super hard or tough as if it’s been a week old – but fresh! Their use of a good amount of butter gives it it’s nice flaky texture. The Earl Grey is subtle but noticeable and is complimented with chantilly creme (vanilla whip cream).

The Mexican Chocolate is the bolder flavor of the two. Baked into the goodness is the taste of spices such as cinnamon & nutmeg. The chocolate adds another layer of crunch.

The spot in DTLA is a nice hole in the wall, fitting to its name. It’s one of the few places in town that is pie-centric. And by focusing on just making pies they definitely make things right. A few small tables and a couple of communal tables makes up their seating arrangements at this nice spot in DTLA. They have now expanded to the heart of old towne Pasadena and it’s great to see that they’re thriving well in the short amount of time since it’s original opening.

Michelle: Pie Hole is definitely one of the yummier pies I’ve had in a long time.  I don’t normally crave for pie, but this is a must go to!

I love the Earl Grey because you would not necessarily think that a tea flavor would transpose so well to a pie. It was very light, and the mixture of the pie filling and crust was an amazing balance. The Earl Grey Tea flavor was refreshing. The Mexican Chocolate is great for the chocolate lovers. It’s bolder. I really like the communal picnic table they have in the middle – makes The Pie Hole a great spot for sharing pie and socializing. And on this particular Dessert Tour adventure, we ran into a certain renown DJ at the spot scroll below to see if you recognize who.

Photos courtesy of Michelle Nicole Photography

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Mr. and Mrs. Miscellaneous SF


In the spirit of the holiday countdown to Christmas, our Dessert Tour team takes you to Mr. and Mrs. Miscellaneous in San Francisco for their “Peppermint Stix” ice cream – among other tasty handcrafted ice cream flavors. Behind the spacious black and white shop stocked deliciously with a homemade goodies like peanut and almond brittle just to name one, and an ice cream counter hosting such flavors as “White Sesame”, “Candied Violet” and “Honeywine” (made of Ethiopian honey mead), is a husband and wife duo. Both were formerly pastry chefs that hailed from the Los Angeles Four Seasons Hotel. They were working with the Wolfgang Puck Group, in particular with Sherry Yard. They moved back up to their native home, San Francisco to start the creamery and haven’t looked back since.

Mr. and Mrs. Miscellaneous
699 22nd Street
San Francisco, CA 94107

James & Michelle: Ovaltine was malty, nostalgically reminiscent of movie theatre chocolate “Whoopers,” while their “Peppermint Stix” was perfect for the holidays. Michelle particularly liked the “Peppermint Stix” because of the candy cane chunks, and the minty taste. It’s almost like mint ice cream but better and more festive! Like a bite of Christmas in your mouth every single time. Michelle and James also tried the: “Pink Guava,” “Cardomom,” and “Rose.”

Mr. and Mrs. Miscellaneous handcraft a wide array of unique flavors and they nail all the flavors. The ice cream is good, creamy, flavorful, and refreshing. Their menu changes daily and is focused on seasonal products and themes.

Photos courtesy of Michelle Nicole Photography

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dream.believe.inspire.MNN & JL
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Levain Bakery NYC


Levain Bakery has established itself as the neighborhood bakery of the New York City’s Upper West Side, attracting both a following of regulars as well as tourists – all lined up to partake of their renown baked treats. Their mix of rustic breads as well as their world famous six ounce chocolate chip walnut cookie, are all baked fresh each day on-site  with only the finest ingredients. Michelle of Dessert Tour details below highlights from her visit to the bakery.

Levain Bakery, Upper West Side
167 W 74th Street
New York NY 10023

Michelle: We ordered all four of the cookies: Chocolate Chip Walnut, Oatmeal Raisin Cookie, Dark Chocolate Chocolate Chip and the Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip.

We were walking through Central Park and took a wrong turn to walk towards the Upper West Side. During rush hour, we spent 45 minutes hailing a taxi down – just to go to Levain Bakery. Eventually, we made it there. The bakery was tucked away under ground.  

From a block away, you could smell the cookies. Right as we walked up to the bakery, we waited in line that began on the sidewalk and entered into the bakery downstairs. The cookies were not your ordinary sized cookies, they were big.

The thing I loved about these cookies was that they were both chewy and crunchy at the same time. The outside was crunchy, but the inside, because they were so big (and tall), the inside was extremely chewy and some of the chocolate was still gooey.
My favorite was the Chocolate Chip Walnut and the Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip – the Dark Chocolate Chocolate Chip was a bit too chocolatey for my personal preference. 

All in all, the cookies were delicious, but too big for one serving for me! However, perfect for sharing with your friends! 

Photos courtesy of Michelle Nicole Photography
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Gelateria Uli


Gelateria Uli makes their gelato and sorbet fresh daily. Founded by Uli Nasibova, this downtown gem is tucked away in the heart of Los Angeles’ historic neighborhood. Their delicious array of gelato may be accompanied by the fine drip coffee and expresso drinks they serve, and if you so wish – you may also choose from a fine selection of fresh pastries. Our Dessert Tour colleague James, share below his experience when we visited Gelateria Uli.

Gelateria Uli
Spring Arcade Building
541 South Spring Street, Suite 104
Los Angeles, CA 90013

James: The old downtown Spring Arcade Building houses one of the best gelato shop in Los Angeles. All the gelato are made in house with premium ingredients. Their Pistachio was smooth and buttery with a great contrast of rich nuttiness to it. I believe they used Sicilian pistachio nuts. The Strawberry Sorbet was clean and refreshing. This particular flavor is definitely something perfect to have after a heavy meal, almost as a palette cleanser.

Gelato is similar but different from ice cream in that it has both less fat and air – whipped into its final product. Because of this it is typically served at a slightly warmer temperature. This also make Gelato more palette-able on the tongue, less shocking. It will melt and dissolve in your mouth.

In an area of downtown Los Angeles that is being revitalized, Gelateria Uli is a great addition to draw the crowds. Their premium gelato is executed with great attention and care, I would definitely come back for more.

Photos courtesy of Michelle Nicole Photography
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