Oct

11

The Rest of “the Best of”: Apple Cider

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Clear sunny days like today make it easy to appreciate fall, a cruel and unpredictable season. Unfortunately days this lovely are few and far between and many of us end up, somewhat unfairly, associating the season with the end of summer blues, midterms, and other decidedly unpleasant things.  But Bwog is here to make sure you appreciate the month of October in all its blazing autumnal glory. So today on Rest of the Best Of, we’re exploring one of the season’s delicacies: hot cider.



Hungarian Pastry Shop

It takes the Hungarian employees behind the counter a moment to register that they do indeed serve cider, and it takes them longer than usual to prepare your order.  But Hungarian’s cider does exist, and it’s worth the extra wait.

The cider is served in a hefty ceramic mug which on a drizzly fall night is just the right size temperature and texture to wrap your hands around. The actual brew within the mug is too hot to imbibe only for a moment.  As you gaze longingly into your steaming mug, take a moment to appreciate the cinnamony scent and rich ocher color of the cider.  And whatever you do, don’t sip to soon.  Singed taste buds is a surefire way to ruin the cider experience.


Initially, the cider is warm, spicy and delicious.  But after the cider cools, its consistency is too thin to be satisfying. Although the warmth of the cider wanes quickly, the robust apple flavor lingers with an aftertaste of ginger, almost like homemade applesauce.  The cooled cider goes down easily, almost too easily, and all too soon you’ll find that you’ve finished your mug. It’s only two dollars a mug, so load up on refills.

Starbucks

If Hungarian is too dim and dreary for your studying and snacking habits, you might prefer the safe, prefab appeal of Starbucks. It probably takes almost as long to place an order as it does to snag a seat, but if you’ve got some extra time between classes and are in the mood for an seasonal snack, Starbucks is the most consistent and convenient of the neighborhood’s cider options.

The drink, of course, is served in Starbucks’ classic white and green disposable cups, complete with words of wisdom from Steve Martin and Michael Phelps among other savants.  Regardless philosophy emblazoned on these cups, they are not appropriate for cider — their ubiquity ruin the fun and festivity of ordering the drink.

As for the cider itself, the apple flavor is far too strong, suggesting the presence of artificial flavoring. Whip cream, buttery caramel sauce and cider syrup are all additional options, but Bwog does not recommend them, given the already rather rich consistency of Starbucks’ cider. At $3.50 for a grande (that’s Starbucks-speak for a medium) Bwog recommends the Apple Cinnamon Spice cider only in a pinch.



The Farmers Market on 114th and Broadway


The farmers market is the ideal place to get your cider fix.  Your best bet is to head past all the produce and barrels of apples to the table closest to the corner of 114th and Broadway, upon which you’ll find an array of goodies ripe for fall noshing. 

The cider is served very hot, so Bwog recommends biding your time with apple cider donut.  The crunch of the cinnamon sugar and the crispy exterior of donut are the perfect complement to the thick and thirst-quenching cider.

Tomorrow is the first day of the season the farmers farket will be selling its hot apple cider.  Make sure you specify you would like hot cider when you order, otherwise you might end up with the chilled version. This cider’s only drawback is that it’s only available fresh on Sundays and Thursdays. On the other five days of the week, head to the Hungarian — or Starbucks, if you must.

In conclusion: winner is the farmers market, silver to Hungarian and honorable mention to Starbucks.

— MEQ

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28 Comments

  1. anonymous  

    Stupid first year question: where is the hungarian?

  2. ...

    community does cider too i think...

  3. proclamation:  

    community's mulled apple cider is a gift from the gods

    • fuck community  

      they can take their $100 entrees and shove them up their asses. To think that they replaced NACHO'S with that shit.

      • you're wrong  

        nacho's was crap, even worse than the mexican restaurant that preceded it. community is one of the best restaurants in the neighbohood, and one of only a couple worth traveling to from elsewhere in manhattan, although probably not a great value. just because you can't afford it doesn't make it bad.

        • you're right  

          Nacho's was crap and just because you can't afford something doesn't make it bad. Like you say, Community is the best restaurant in the neighborhood. But what is it competing with? Nussbaum? Mil? Milano? Le Monde? M2M? Deluxe? Amir's? Simply because a restaurant is the best in its area does not make it good. And just because it's the most expensive, doesn't make it great. By your logic, Ricky's is now the best costume store in the UWS...surprising? It shouldn't be. I'm sure Symposium has the best Greek food in a 10-block radius of Columbia; I'd bet Supraliminal is the greatest rapper in Morningside Heights; and I'm certain Bollinger has the sweetest hair north of 96th and south of Harlem. But that's irrelevant! If you want actual good Greek food, slip Michael Psilakis an HJ; if you want actual great hip hop, head somewhere outside of an Ivy League institution; and if you want actual sweet hair...well... in that case, you should probably stick with Bollinger's shampoo and conditioner. The fact is, yeah, for $40/person, Community can probably give you the most expensive ingredients and arguably the best food at Columbia, but it's probably the most overrated and overpriced. I'd prefer M2M's basement-moldy quality to Community's farm-fresh products any day of the week.

    • Indeed  

      Community's apple cider is fantastic. Whatever price you have to pay, it is worth it. Community is really not particularly expensive, by the way. Maybe for us college kids it's a hefty price, but comparing its prices to those of other equivalent restaurants in Manhattan, Community is the norm.

  4. douche commenters  

    In the second sentence, don't you mean "Unfortuantely, [...]" !? BWOG YOU FORGOT THE COMMA WTFWTFWTF.

  5. you forgot  

    oren's daily roast on 113 and bway. I'd give it a silver after farmer's market, and it's only $2.50.

  6. Hungarian  

    is on Amsterdam basically right across from St. John the Divine (between 111 and 110, I think... if not, right around there somewhere; on same block as V&T's)

  7. there  

    are a lot of commas missing...

  8. tiiiiiired

    all these "best of" posts follow the same format -- first one is good but not great (gets second place), second is overrated and disappointing (gets third place), and third is the underdog that takes the prize because omg Bwog is so cool and doesn't do mainstream. Come on, mix it up a little!

  9. but

    Bollinger has the sweetest hair this side of the Mississippi.

  10. DHI  

    Yeah of course farmer's market rules that, farmers are the only people still drinking cider.

    That farmer's market is pretty good overall, it's pretty sweet that we have that right here.

  11. well  

    it replaced a bar that was part of Columbia lore with an unnecessarily expensive restaurant that you can only go to occasionally. Nacho's was crap, but it was a lot of fun. Community sucks balls.

  12. also  

    there's a difference between "ability to afford" and "willingness to pay". #6 might be willing to pay $800 for breakfast, but most people would prefer to pay $10 for a fun night out at a not-so-fancy bar.

  13. Disappointed  

    For a period last semester, it was possible to walk straight into Community and take out juice (and maybe some other drinks?), muffins, and what was probably the best matzoh ball soup in a very wide radius. I don't know why this didn't work out, but the restaurant became so much less appealing when they stopped their take-away.

  14. POSTCRYPT  

    postcrypt coffeehouse serves cider (hot and cold) from the farmers market!!!!

    come on downnnnnnn!!

    every friday and saturday from 9pm til midnight!

    http://www.postcrypt.org

  15. number 6  

    this is a gross exaggeration. last i checked, this is new york city and you have to pay a little more if you’re looking for a decent product. if you’re looking to have a nice meal that’s not a gyro platter and feta salad then community is not such a bad deal, just look around you. it’s not too much to ask to have a good new restaurant in the neighborhood, even if it’s in a higher price range that’s doesn’t allow me to eat there often. and judging by the business this place gets, “most people” are not boycotting community for its $800 breakfasts.

  16. number 6  

    previous post in reply to 19

  17. hmm  

    wtf why was there NO HOT CIDER at the farmer's market today?!

  18. postcrypt's  

    cider is soo good. and they have a hot bar manager. i want her to mull my cider...

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