If you are planning a trip to the New York City this Springtime and you find yourself near Union Square do yourself a favor....stop by The Stand (not to be confused with The Strand Books, though equally worth your time and incidentally just around the corner). They have the most fantastically delectable toasted marshmallow milkshakes.
This shake entirely re-calibrated my idea of what a milk shake can be. I was addicted when I lived in Brooklyn. I would even move back just to have easy access to this nectar of the dairy and sugar gods. In theory, one could easily recreate this at home, but I haven't gotten up the courage.
The Stand (24 East 12th St, betwixt University Avenue and 5th Avenue)
In keeping with the subject of dessert drink addiction, I must confess my adoration for Hui Lau Shan. How this chain of dessert restaurants from Hong Kong hasn't become Asia's gift to the West baffles me. I mean come on, we gave them Hong Kong Disneyland, and soon to be Shanghai Disneyland, it would be a fair trade.
While living in Shanghai, my brother, sis-in-law and I (unable to decipher Chinese characters) called Hui Lau Shan simply Mango Mango. It was our obsession, a melange of fresh fruit served every way imaginable. Shanghai summers are out of this world HOT, and the perfect antidote was a cool mango coconut drink and chilled mango glutinous rice cakes (I swear more delic than they sound). If you are ever in China, get yourself to a Hui Lau Shan!!!!!! Apparently someone opened a pseudo version of HLS in NYC's Chinatown, I gave it a go but it wasn't the same.