I hate chocolate chip cookies. Those small chunks of chocolate embedded in the cookie are essentially the turn-off for me, and I find myself looking for oatmeal raisin cookies instead. So every time I am offered a chocolate chip cookie my response is usually a semi-exaggerated "Yuk!" Well, that was until a few days ago. It so happens that once in a while, in order to get to my home in Brooklyn, I have to take the 2 or the 3 train running on the Broadway line. That means walking one block east along 74th Street towards Amsterdam. Now about two buildings before you reach Amsterdam there is a small, nondescript bakery on the north side of 74th. A small sign about 8 x 8 inches hangs just over the entrance to the bakery. One has to walk down about six steps from the street level through a narrow doorway in order to enter it. On almost every occasion that I have passed by that bakery there would be a line of customers on the sidewalk waiting to get in. I noticed a strange thing recently; the line of customers just seems to be getting longer and longer and longer. What was the draw, I wondered.
So, if you ever happen to be in Manhattan and you are desirous of some out-of-this-world chocolate chip cookies, check out Levain Bakery at the corner of W 74th Street and Amsterdam Avenue. They certainly make the best chocolate chip cookies.
[photo art by Ric Couchman]