New York in Spring 2017 Day 3: Broadway, Best Cheesecake, Carlo’s Bakery

 Times Square, New York

Day 3 of our New York trip!

April 29, 2017:  Day 3 of our New York trip began with a long-awaited desire to watch a musical on Broadway!  We hopped on the subway in the early morning around 9:30 and dashed towards Times Square where the home of Broadway was.  Seeing Times Square and the surrounding big box stores, lights, and billboards was a surreal moment after having only seen it in movies or photos before.  It was every bit as exciting as I imagined it to be.

Two friends had told me about the discounted musical tickets available at TKTS.  This ticket merchant sold heavily discounted prices for the musicals that were playing that day.  We found the line-up and queued ourselves up.  It was a nice day and we were in the midst of one of the most busy public spaces in the world.

 New York subway in the morning

New York subway in the morning

 Times Square streets

Very first look at the big box stores in the Times Square area!

 Times Square costume characters

These guys, upon seeing us with cameras, knew we were tourists and RUSHED towards us! LOL

 Cartoon characters in Times Square

Ahhh! LOL

 Cartoon characters in Times Square

You can see more of them in the distance. I didn’t want to approach because I didn’t want them harassing me for photos

Cartoon characters/street performers in Times Square is actually an interesting topic.  I found an article that talks about it here.

 Times Square in New York

Hello, Times Square!

 Billboards in New York

Look at all those billboards for so many musicals!

Although I had a desire to watch Charlie and the Chocolate Factory the musical, when we were preparing for this trip, I realized that the tickets were quite expensive and not something that I wanted to spend on for this trip.  Thus, we decided to watch Phantom of the Opera which was also one of the musicals discounted at TKTS.  It was actually 50% off the regular price!  What a deal!  We got really good seats too; in the orchestra right about five or six rows from the stage. 😀  Although the line-up was a little long, it was so worth it!  It ended up to be the perfect musical to see because ever since I knew that Broadway was the place where musicals were born (kinda?), I had always wanted to watch this classic musical here.  And so, it happened! 🙂

View of Times Square

View of Times Square when lining up for TKTS tickets

TKTS tickets booth

TKTS tickets booth

TKTS tickets booth

Yay! Getting closer in line

With our tickets in hand, we set upon places to eat for brunch before our matinée show in the afternoon.  First, we stopped by a Starbucks for the babe to get his morning coffee.  I liked the look of this Starbucks.

Phantom of the Opera tickets

Our Phantom of the Opera matinée tickets 🙂

 Starbucks iced coffee

Iced coffee from Starbucks

There were a lot of restaurants all around Times Square.  We set upon Bubba Gump to try their famous shrimp dishes.  (I had previously been to the one in Miami.)  They opened their doors at 11 a.m. and we were one of the first ones to dine in.

 cartoon characters in New York

Here they come again lol

One Times Square

Yay! One Times Square. I had been in New York 20 years ago and this time returned back with this guy 🙂

I really liked the decor at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. (1501 Broadway, New York).  They really put a lot of effort into making the place resemble a fishing boat with ties to the movie Forrest Gump.  The host placed us at one of the farther tables near the end of the restaurant facing Times Square.  It was a really nice street view!

Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. Times Square

First look of Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. Times Square location

Bubba Gump signs

Put this sign out if you don’t need the attention of the server. When you do, flip the sign to the other sign!

Shrimper's Heaven

Shrimper’s Heaven. $25.49 USD
-Hand Breaded Coconut Shrimp, Grilled Shrimp, Crisp Golden Shrimp, Tempura Shrimp with Fries.  Homemade dipping sauces: Tangy Asian, Cajun Marmalade, Zesty Cocktail

We ordered the “Shrimper’s Heaven”, a presentation of four types of shrimp: Hand Breaded Coconut Shrimp, Grilled Shrimp, Crisp Golden Shrimp, and Tempura Shrimp with Fries.  It had three homemade dipping sauces: Tangy Asian, Cajun Marmalade, and Zesty Cocktail.

The Shrimper’s Heaven arrived in good time and we enjoyed snacking on the four types of shrimp to compare which one we liked most.  All of them were quite good.  I was particularly impressed with the coconut shrimp; enjoyed the freshness and firmness of the grilled shrimp; and the Tempura Shrimp.  The fries were pretty good too.

 Bubba Gump Shrimper's Heaven

Shrimp four ways!

Bubba Gump Times Square interior

Fun restaurant to take photos in

After this quick meal, we walked around Times Square and stopped at Junior’s Bakery where they served a large assortment of desserts and cake including cheesecakes.  It was on my list to be able to try a piece of New York Cheesecake and because Junior’s boasted “The world’s most fabulous cheesecake”, I decided to try a slice.

 street performers in Times Square

The Statue of Liberty was beckoning for me to come take a photo XD

 Junior's Bakery storefront

Their bakery was next to the restaurant of the same name

 Junior's Bakery desserts

So many cakes in whole or slices!

 Plain Cheesecake

Plain Cheesecake, yay!

We also bought a bag of nuts from one of the food vendors on the street.  We found an empty spot in the middle of Times Square to sit and enjoy our food.  The pink recliner chairs were available for 20 minutes to anyone who wanted to sit in them.  It was a really nice spot to enjoy our food while people watching in the middle of Times Square. 🙂

 Hulk street performers

The Hulk waiting for the next victim XD

 Elmo street performers

Look at Elmo LOL

Mmm, the cheesecake from Junior’s Bakery was amazing!  I was so impressed!  The cheesecake was perfect!!  It was cheesy yet moist and definitely tasted like the best cheesecake I had ever had.  I was so happy with it!

Plain Cheesecake

Plain Cheesecake. $7.50 USD

Nuts 4 Nuts

A package of nuts from Nuts 4 Nuts 🙂

 Times Square pink seats

The area was slowly filling up with tourists as the day went by. We were lucky to get a seat in those pink recliners!

We finished the cheesecake in time to walk to Majestic Theater where we lined up for our 2 p.m. matinée show for the Phantom of the Opera.  I was so, so excited!  I love watching musicals and finally was able to watch a musical in the musical-city of the world — Broadway, New York! 😀  We took many selfies and I was so excited while waiting in the sun in the line-up. 😛

 Phantom of the Opera theater

Ahhh, approaching the theater!!

Majestic Theater line-up

Lined up in front of the Majestic Theater

We entered the theater once the line started moving and people were let in.  I took just as many photos when I was inside.  The theater was gorgeous!

Phantom of the Opera playbill

The Phantom of the Opera!

Phantom of the Opera stage

Classic theater

I’ve never seen The Phantom of the Opera live in theatre before.  I did see the 25th anniversary celebration of it in the movie theatre with Elizabeth many years ago but it doesn’t beat a live experience.  Yay, musicals! 😀

Phantom of the Opera theater

There was a 15-minute intermission where drinks and snacks were sold. Yay, musicals!

After the 2.5 hour-long musical — which was beautifully done –, we exited and found a place to eat.  We went to Havana Central Restaurant & Bar (151 W 46th St, New York) for some Cuban food.  We were hungry!  There was a line-up to get into the restaurant but we figured that at that time, anywhere we went would be packed full of people so we stayed in line.  The line moved at a good pace and we were seated at one of the tables in the upstairs dining area of the restaurant.

 Times Square food trucks

There were food trucks again

 Havana Central storefront

We found this place thanks to Yelp

 Havana Central storefront and business cards

Their entrance and business card

Sandwich Cubano Clásico

Sandwich Cubano Clásico. $12.95 USD
-a classic Cuban sandwich: smoked ham, roast pork, Swiss cheese, pickles, mustard.  With plantain chips

We ordered the Sandwich Cubano Clásico, a classic Cuban sandwich that had smoked ham, roast pork, Swiss cheese, pickles, and mustard.  It came with a choice of sweet potato fries, potato wedges, plantain chips, side salad, or a choice of red or black beans and yellow or white rice.  I chose the plantain chips.

The sandwich arrived quickly.  There were actually a lot of people dining all around us; the tables were fairly close to each other so we could see what our neighbours were eating very easily.

We shared the Cuban sandwich and we thought it was just mediocre.

 Cuban sandwich and plantain chips

The plantain chips were long and fun to play with 😀

After finishing the sandwich, we departed and walked around Times Square a bit more.  We visited a souvenir shop, found our names on New York licence plates, and played with magnetic stuffed monkeys. 😀

Times Square

The Times Square area was so much more crowded now!

As we continued strolling, we saw a pizza shop called Little Italy Pizza (696 9th Ave, New York) and because New York pizza was another item on our eat-list, we ordered the Margherita pizza there.  It was a hot and stuffy place so we relocated to a nearby park (Ramon Aponte Park).  I thought that we were really lucky to have chanced upon a park in the middle of the concrete jungle — seriously, there were buildings upon buildings all around us.

Little Italy Pizza

Pizzas at Little Italy Pizza

 Margherita pizza

Margherita pizza — New York style! 😀 😀

We played on the swings after our pizza snack. 😀

 Ramon Aponte Park

This was a really nice small playground and park in the middle of the city

Next, while walking, we got a green smoothie at Juice Generation (644 9th Ave #1, New York).  I liked watching the staff make the smoothies by inserting the fresh vegetables and fruits into the juicer.  He selected the veggies from a tall tower of carefully stacked produce.  It was neat!

Juice Generation

Tower of produce at Juice Generation

The green smoothie was refreshing on a hot spring day. :9

 Green smoothie

Green smoothie

We continued walking and headed towards the direction of where Carlo’s Bakery was.  Along the way, we passed by The New York Times building.  I took a photo of it at the time not realizing that we would be there again involuntarily a few days later (dun dun dun…).

 night view of Times Square streets

Night fell and New York looked so much better

The New York Times building

The New York Times building — its lettering was so faint we could barely see it at first

Everyone knows about Carlo’s Bakery from the TV show, Cake Boss.  While this Carlo’s Bakery (625 8th Ave, New York) was not the original one that is featured in the show, it was still really neat to be there in person.  Before we lined up to try the sweets, we actually watched a cake being decorated in the window.  It was a neat and tedious process. 😀

Carlo's Bakery live cake decoration

Intently watching this cake get decorated

We ordered the infamous cannoli and the lobster tail.  It was my first time having a lobster tail!  There were only a few tables with chairs for dine-in at Carlo’s Bakery.  They also had a standing counter though which was where we enjoyed our sweets.

Carlo's Bakery line-up

There was a constant line-up!

Carlo's Bakery menu and prices

They have breakfast items too

Carlo's Bakery menu and prices

Baked goods

Carlo's Bakery cakes

Lots of small cakes and cupcakes

Carlo's Bakery cannoli and lobster tails

Cannoli and lobster tails!!

We did a short video too of us trying to eat the cannolis together at the same time. XP  I really enjoyed the lobster tail!  The French cream was soooo delicious! ^_^

Carlo's Bakery goods

Hello Carlo!

 cannoli and lobster tail

Traditional Cannoli. $3.95 USD
Lobster Tail. $5.50
-original French cream

Carlo's Bakery goods

Lots of pictures at Carlo’s Bakery

Carlo's Bakery storefront

So is it Carlo’s Bake Shop or Carlo’s Bakery?

With that, we concluded our Day 3 in New York.  Keep coming back to read about Day 4! 😛

 Times Square night time streets

Good night, the city that never sleeps

 MetroCard in New York subway

This was our weekly subway pass that we used for our entire duration of the trip

To view the blog posts for the other days of our trip, click here:  Day 1, Day 2, Day 4, and Day 5 & 6.

About stenoodie

I'm a stenographer, foodie, avid traveller, and new mom who loves to share her experiences with the world.
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6 Responses to New York in Spring 2017 Day 3: Broadway, Best Cheesecake, Carlo’s Bakery

  1. Pingback: New York in Spring 2017 Day 4: Central Park, Halal Guys, Lombardi’s | stenoodie

  2. Pingback: New York in Spring 2017 Day 5 and 6: Flushing and the Long Journey home | stenoodie

  3. gchan7127 says:

    I LOVEEEEEE Phantom of the Opera!! It’s my favourite musical. I know most of the songs. I even read the book and watched the movie. lol

  4. Pingback: My First Time at Vinnie Zucchini’s Italian Buffet! | stenoodie

  5. Pingback: New York in Spring 2017 Day 2: Shake Shack Burgers, Greenwich, Rice to Riches | stenoodie

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