By David Hernandez
This month for Munkey Munchiez goes out to all my sweet tooth’s, carb lovers, and most importantly the cookie fanatics out there! For the month of July, I decided to shine a spotlight on an Upper West Side NYC staple, Levain Bakery. Going to high school on the Upper West Side I have countless memories of heading to Levain for a quick cookie fix! And as I have gotten older, my fondness has only gotten stronger! On a regular week, you can catch me there at least once stopping in to meet a friend, grabbing a cookie to cheer a homie up, or just score a well-deserved pastry to satisfy the insane munchiez I get from the solventless hash rosin I’ve been smoking on!
On a scorching July day, I loaded up my Puffco and got a solid sesh in, then hit the road to Levain on a Citi Bike. Cruising through the UWS I make it to 77th street and Amsterdam location, which has become my favorite since they opened about 18-months ago. The original Levain Bakery is a few blocks south on 72nd street and is easily half the size of their newer location. This really makes a huge difference when you are trying to avoid lines and even worse trying to avoid them selling out! Over the years I have tried all of Levain’s cookies, as well as most of their baked goods, and one thing I never get used to is Levain selling out!
When you walk into Levain the first thing you notice is the smell of freshly baked bread and cookies cooling on stainless steel bakery racks behind the counter. Then your eyes soon pick up on the simple blue and white color scheme that dawns all their merch, individual cookie bags, and store decals. As you walk up to the counter to get served you see the glass case with all available pastries ready to be selected! Fighting off my mouth watering I order the newest addition to their menu, the “Two Chip Cookie”. This can best be described as a traditional chocolate chip cookie’s more delectable and gooier sibling! Unlike their famous chocolate walnut cookie, the “Two chip” contains nuts making it an easy fan favorite for all!
I highly recommend adventuring beyond just grabbing a cookie. Believe it or not, while Levain gets most of its fame for its cookies, my #1 favorite on their menu is actually their “Baguette with Butter and Jam”. It’s a classic combo that levels up once generously smeared on a warm, house-baked baguette. Simple yes, but don’t sleep on this light and airy, yet crisp and filling creation! All in all, I hope this spotlight on Levain Bakery helped y’all build up an appetite and an idea for your next Munchiez excursion! Until next time Happy Munkey Fam!