Orchard Street is so named because in the 1700s the Lower East Side of Manhattan was home to an apple orchard (apparently named by a farmer named Delancey). This past Sunday saw the annual celebration of NYC Apple Day, in which a block of Orchard St was closed off to traffic to make way for a stage, some arts & crafts, and (more important to me) local restaurants. I sampled lots of apple-flavored items, almost to the point of palate exhaustion.
First up was a giant hunk of apple cake from Cafe Katja. It was dense, and moist, with huge chunks of cooked apple, and topped with a crunchy-crumbly mess. Oh, and it was really delicious.
Next up was an apple danish from the Roasting Plant. They were really pushing their chocolate chip cookies, which were recently voted best chocolate chip cookie in NYC by SE:NY, but I was there for apple-y goodness. I got one of their apple danishes, which was ok. A bit too sweet, as though it was chock full of canned apple pie filling. I should go back one of these days and try one of those cookies…
After a bit of wandering around to let my palate take a breather, I stopped by the Baby Cakes table. Baby Cakes specializes in baked goods that are vegan, gluten-free, often sugar-free, etc. I got myself an apple ball, a tiny but potent blast of dense apple flavor.
For my final apple snack of the day i stopped by the Bunny Chow table. They were offering lots of savory apple-laden foods, but the only vegetarian option was apple bread pudding, which was my favorite food of the day. It was not too sweet, and tasted as if it had some kind of liquor cooked into the custard base.
There was plenty more, that I didn’t have the opportunity (or desire) to eat. I was not brave enough to try the deep fried apple pie from Melt Bakery, and I was too tired of apples to buy some actual apples from Red Jacket Orchards. In the end I got to enjoy what was truly a unique New York experience, and I was excited to learn that International Pickle Day is just around the corner.