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LA (AND BEYOND): CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL (AND BELLY)

By Nora Zelevansky / September 14th, 2010

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In September, for a while
I will ride a crocodile
Down the chicken soup-y Nile
Paddle once, paddle twice
Paddle chicken soup with rice

Sorry.  I'm sick.  And I always sing when I'm sick.

No.  I don't.  But I have chicken soup on the brain and my brain is a little mushy at present.

When I'm sick at my sister's place in NYC, I LOVE Bergen Bagels' chicken soup.  For me, it's a no-brainer.  It's salty, flavorful and has those good skinny noodles.  Plus, the chicken isn't too REAL, if you know what I mean?

Here, I'm a little more stumped.  I used to eat my mother's chicken soup, but she lives across the country now and it's not the same when I make it.  Mostly because I have to make it.

So far, I guess my favorite in LA is Toast's chicken noodle because, again, it's not overly intense or hardcore.  It's also conveniently located around the corner.

But maybe you guys have other suggestions?  I was in Hollywood yesterday, so I grabbed some serious deli chicken soup from Victor's, but it has a real fatal flaw: It's a little greasy, which can be just fine, but it also has no noodles.  No noodles?  No me.  (BTW–if you haven't been to Victor's, you should still check it out for the meatballs, Greek salad and ambiance alone–serious diner sitch.)

Anyway, anyone have any other suggestions?  With love and sniffles …

xo – N.

BROOKLYN (PARK SLOPE): THE BEST 5TH AVENUE BOUTIQUE (THAT’S ACTUALLY OFF 5TH, BUT ON THE WAY TO BERGEN BAGELS)

By Nora Zelevansky / March 18th, 2010

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On my never ending quest for the perfect leather bomber jacket earlier this year, I happened upon Eponymy in Brooklyn.

You all know I'm a huge Park Slope fan, but I do sometimes feel there are gaps in the 5th Avenue shopping situation by comparison to Smith Street and Atlantic Avenues.  (Of course, the street makes up for it with great food.)

It's cute and all, but a lot of the stores are sort of adorable, but a little … off?  I'm just saying, ain't no Consignment/Butter or Dear Fieldbinder.

But now Eponymy opened.  The store is super cute and the lines are legit (ranging from established to pretty indie).  And the salespeople are really nice and helpful.

Plus, it's only a half a block away from Bergen Bagels.  Salt bagel, salad and black & white cookie bliss. Sounds like a perfect combo to me.

You know what's not funny?  This post.  Somedays you got it.  Somedays you don't.

xo – N.

BROOKLYN: THE BEST CREAM CHEESE SELECTION

By Nora Zelevansky / April 13th, 2009

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Throughout the ages, poets and soap opera actors alike have wondered: Is it possible to love two entities at once?  Well, folks, I'm here to tell you that, yes, it is.  See, growing up on Manhattan's Upper West Side, I have endless happy memories of marching into H & H bagels, demanding whatever was hot (ideally an everything, salt or raisin bagel) and then watching the doughy heaven steam against the cold air, as I devoured it under the brown awning outside.

In recent years, though, I've spent a lot of time nesting at my sister's abode in Park Slope and, now, I'm in love with another as well: Bergen Bagels.  I mean (I know this is not surprising cause I'm obviously beyond food obsessed), but literally hitting BB is one of my major first priorities upon arrival to NYC.

Here's why: first of all, though LA has a rep for being all woo-woo and health conscious and all that jazz (must be the plethora of nutritious Botox), for some reason the Cali bagel places almost never carry tofu cream cheese.  Now, I'm sure that sounds pukey anyway to some of you purists, but–for us lactards and vegans too–it's a necessary evil like goat milk ice cream or I dunno–other stuff.  Tofu scallion cream cheese happens to rock and BB carries that along with about 5 billion other types of cream cheese.  Seriously, doesn't the above look like gelato?  It's their selection of CREAM CHEESE!

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Second of all, their black and white cookie is unreal, they carry Dr. Brown's soda, their chicken soup is the perfect blend of homemade and canned-style thin noodles (not TOO real, if you know what I'm saying) and their cranberry muffins are almost (ALMOST) as good as Fairway's version.

OH and their salad bar is like the cheapest best salad bar deal in the city.  So cheap and also fresh that I feel like I almost should keep it locals' little secret.  But I won't.  Cause this is Pocket Lint.  And this is just how we do.

xo – N.