Simit Sarayi

435 5th AveNew York, NY 10016 • (929) 374-3237 • simitsarayi.com

For all intensive purpose the name basically translates to Bagel Palace. And a palace it is not. In Turkey it is essentially a Panera, a local chain of decent baked goods and other dishes. And if I was in Turkey I’d probably only give this place 3 knives, but that’s in Turkey. To have this in New York City on my walk to work, it is a godsend!

About once a month I go butt-wild and buy a double Noah’s Ark- four of everything. The spinach rose borek might just be my favorite thing of all. Warm it up with a dollop of plain yogurt and sliced tomatoes on the side and you’ve got yourself one of the easiest, bestest meals you could wish for.

I also loves me some su boregi, which is sort of like a savory kugel or sauceless, meatless lasagna. It sounds awful the way I’m describing it, but I promise it’s delish. Granted it’s even better at Gulluoglu on the East Side, but since Gulluoglu isn’t on my walk to work, this one is plenty good enough.

Their dill and feta buns are terrific too, which are pseudo pogaça-like. For those of you who don’t find the poaça analogy helpful, it’s a small, savory pastry filled with herbs and cheese.

Ironically the top billing, the simit, can be a bit of a wild card. Sometimes it’s true to the motherland, thin and dense and seeded galore. Other times it tries to masquerade as a wannabe sesame bagel. I prefer the former.

On the sweet side, they also kick some serious ay çöreği, a crescent-shaped, semi-sweet dessert filled with ground hazelnuts that are so dense they almost taste like chocolate. Then, they top it off with sliced almonds.

All of the little cookies are money too. Perfect for çay sati (tea time). They have chocolate chip, Nutella filled, hazelnut and fig. You really can’t go wrong. And that’s what I love about this place. You could throw a dart anywhere in the joint and still be happy with what you got to eat, unless you hit the cashier, of course.

Sherry B Dessert Studio

65 King St. Chappaqua, NY 10514(914) 238-8300 sherryb.com

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Apart from their ridiculously inconvenient hours, this place is perfection. From coffee to chai lattes to brownies so good you’d swear they were laced, like the dulce de leche.

Even the decor is incredibly well done- something you’d expect to see in Manhattan. Sleek, with interesting touches like using muffin pans as a decorative element. Sounds weird, but looks great. And the staff, as well as Sherry, are always very friendly and equally skilled.

The only miss for me is the ice cream. It’s just okay. Wish it lived up to the rest, but that’s a pretty high bar.

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La Tulipe Desserts

455 Lexington Ave. Mount Kisco, NY 10549(914) 242-4555latulipedesserts.com

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I find it shocking that people can give this place 1 star on Yelp based on a myopic sampling of macaroons (hence why I left Yelp). I defy anyone to find any bakery on the planet that does EVERYTHING with perfection.

That said, La Tulipe does a lot VERY well. So let’s start with what rocks… First, they have the best almond croissant I’ve ever had in my life. And yes, I’ve been to Paris. Even their plain croissant is in my top 3. The chocolate croissant ain’t too shabby either. In fact, let’s just say they’ve got the entire croissant family covered.

But croissants are just the tip of this delicious iceberg. Most of their cakes are excellent too. For example, their chocolate bomb cake IS the bomb. Beautiful inside and out. Probably the best I’ve ever had as well.

Their gelato is excellent- I recommend pistachio and chocolate and skipping every other game in town if you want truly serious ice cream.

Most of their muffins are VERY good.

And as for their macaroons, I’ve had about 6 different flavors from them and I have to say only about 2 were great. The rest just “eh.” But 1 star? Seriously? I mean it’s not like Bouchon is batting 100o either. But as long as we are pointing out the nits, there are a couple of others. Skip the carrot cake- granted they don’t usually make it, but if you commission one for a party, think twice. It will look pretty, but the taste is just okay. Also, the staff is a bit hit and miss. Not particularly warm and not particularly good at remembering your order, unfortunately. Although, the chef himself is very nice.

So, to set the record straight, let’s just recalibrate La Tulipe in terms of their competition… They blow Lulu’s in Scarsdale out of the water and the only other bakery in Westchester that has anything as transcendent as their croissants would be Sherri B’s in Chappaqua, with brownies so good you’d swear they were laced with something other than butter.

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