Lobels of New York

Lobels mail order Wagyu BeefLobel’s butcher shop is an institution in New York City, and serves a devoted clientele of well-heeled upper East siders, and other deep-pocketed meat-loving folks in the know. There’s a good reason they have fans: Lobel’s offers dry-aged USDA high-prime and Wagyu beef, all-natural veal, lamb, and poultry, Kurobuta pork, heritage meats, and specialty products.

To ensure optimum flavor and freshness, each order is hand-cut, individually vacuum-sealed, securely packed, and delivered overnight—fresh from Lobels to your door.

Lobels offers USDA prime beef, which accounts for less than 2% of all beef. But within the prime beef category, Lobels takes only the finest cuts, paying up to a 10% premium to get the best. They then dry age the beef for four to six weeks, a process that can mean the difference between a good and a great tasting piece of meat. Steaks, filets and roasts from Lobel’s are unlike any others on the market, which prompted a Wall Street Journal writer to note of a Lobel’s steak, “It was so perfect—in looks, taste, and texture—that we were tempted to eat it raw. The buttery flavor was beyond comparison.”

Pricey? You betcha. But it’s a gift the giver will know is the best of the best.

Let’s Go Shopping

Gift Presentation: They offer “Black Tie” gift boxes so your gift will arrive in style

Pricing: Expect to spend $200+

Corporate Gifts: Yes

Gift Cards: Yes

Locations: New York City

Take me there! www.lobels.com or 212-737-1372 or Toll-free: 1-800-556-2357

Povitica

Povitica, Croatian Dessert Bread

Povitica, a traditional Croation, walnut-filled bread

Povitica (po-vuh-teet-sa) also known as Potica (po-teet-sa) is a traditional Croatian dessert bread, rolled into layers (think of a Babka–only richer) and traditionally filled with a paste of walnuts and honey–though there are many other fillings used as well.

If you already know that, chances are it’s because you are lucky enough to have a Povitica baker in the family, and if so, you are highly opinionated as to what it should look and taste like. Our family has been blessed with two excellent Povitica bakers who can be cajoled into making at least one at Christmas. But if a Povitica craving hits between major holidays, you can order from one of the following bakeries. It won’t be like what your grandmother or mom makes (nothing ever is!), but it’ll come near to hitting the spot.

Update 2018: Since writing this post, there are even fewer places to buy a povitica online. We once listed four options, now there are only two that we are aware of. You can still depend on Strawberry Hill Bakery, and now the Vermont Country Store sells povitica too.

Daisy Cakes

Daisy Cakes Carrot Cake

Daisy Cakes are 8″ round, 3″ high. Yum!

Daisy Cakes, created by Kim Nelson of Spartanburg, South Carolina, came to national attention when Kim appeared on the television show Shark Tank where entrepreneurs have the opportunity to pitch their fledgling businesses in an effort to entice the “sharks” to invest. Barbara Corcoran “bit” and invested in Kim’s vision for Daisy Cakes, and has since taken the bakery from sales in the 4 figures a month to sales of 6 figures per month. That’s a lot of cake (and happy customers)!

Kim bakes her cakes from recipes passed down to her from her great aunt Daisy and her grandmother who themselves were baking from recipes handed down for generations. Kim says her cakes are made from all-natural ingredients and lots of “Southern love.”

Current offerings include: Red Velvet, Chocolate, Lemon, Coconut, and their popular no-nuts-added Carrot Cake which is made with a pound of carrots. Daisy Cakes also offers a cake of the month and have branched out to offer biscuits and jam.

The cakes are 8 inches round and 4 inches high. They are said to serve 16 – 20 people. Uh, Ms. Daisy has never been to my house. This size cake may feed 16 genteel ladies at a baby shower, but in my house, I’d estimate it would top out at 6 servings due to the generous proportions that my family thinks is “normal.” Not me of course! Oh, just a sliver for me…and please don’t notice when my sliver is gone that my fork is headed to your plate.

Let’s Go Shopping

Pricing: $59.95+ Shipping

Shipping: Items are shipped frozen via FedEx.

Corporate orders: Yes

Location: Spartanburg, South Carolina

Take me there! Daisy Cakes via Goldbelly.

Check out our list of Best Cookies to Order Online.

World Spice Merchants

World Spice Merchant Smoke Out Smokey Spice Blend

World Spice Merchant Smoke Out Smokey Spice Blend

World Spice Merchants, located in Washington state adjacent to Seattle’s Pike Place Market, has a wide selection of spices and herbs from all over the world. The product photos are terrific–so much so that you may imagine you can actually smell the spices.

Sourced in whole form whenever possible, they grind their spices only after your order is placed within 24 hours of shipment. The only way to get more flavor is to grind them at home.

Though you can choose your salt, herbs or spices individually, the website also features terrific gift spice selections that will take the guess-work out of what to send–BBQ Regional Rubs, Curry Classics, Global Pepper Packs, Sea Salt Sampler–just to name a few.

If you are craving the authentic taste of international fare, you can also choose gift sets from 11 different geographic regions including Africa, India, Carribean, The Middle East and Europe.

You can order spices in a range of sizes in either bags or airtight glass jars so you can order just the right amount.

Let’s Go Shopping!

Prices: Depending on the spice prices start under $5 for 2oz, but plan around $30+ for a nice gift selection.

Gift Cards: Yes

Locations: Seattle, Washington

Take me there! World Spice Merchants

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream

jenis-ice-creamFirst the good news: you can learn the secrets of Jeni Britton Bauer’s ice cream making by picking up her New York Times best-selling book, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home. The cookbook was dubbed the “homemade-ice cream-making Bible” by The Wall Street Journal and earned Jeni a James Beard Award, America’s most coveted honor for those writing about food and the culinary arts.

Now here’s better news: Skip the DIY route and just have some pints of ice cream, sorbet or frozen yogurt delivered right to your door. Jeni opened Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams in 2002 in Columbus, Ohio’s North Market. Her ice creams have been praised by Time (“America’s best”), Cooking Light (“deadly delicious”), and Saveur (“revolutionary”), while Food & Wine stated, “No one makes ice cream like Jeni Britton Bauer.”

Jeni and her kitchen team make every ice cream, sorbet, and frozen yogurt with grass-grazed Ohio cream, local produce, and carefully sourced ingredients including rare, fair-trade vanilla and bean-to-bar chocolate. Signature flavors include Wildberry Lavendar, Whiskey and Pecans, Salty Caramel, or how about Goat Cheese with Red Cherries. Tempted? Me too!

Let’s Go Shopping!

Pricing: $12 a pint, and now flat-rate shipping starts as low as $13.

Corporate Gifts: Yes

Take me there! Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream or 614-488-3224

Locations: Columbus, Ohio; Nashville, Tennessee; Atlanta, Georgia; Chicago, Illinois

Manhattan Fruitier

Best online mail order fruit

A gorgeous basket of fruit from Manhattan Fruitier

Sending a gift of fruit can be. . . well . . . “iffy.” How exciting can it be for the receiver to open a gift of fruit that they could have just as well purchased fresher at their local market.

But a gift from Manhattan Fruitier is another experience altogether. They create an exquisite fresh fruit basket with great attention to detail, freshness and presentation. Maybe it’s their New York location that gives them access to the most succulent fruit available–but whatever their secret, their upscale fruit arrangements have been wowing customers for over 25 years. Imagine receiving hand-chosen seasonal fruit accented with lemon leaves and seasonal flowers. The presentation is so beautiful, we’re on a mission to encourage people to skip sending flowers, and instead send a gift that is beautiful and indulgent while still being healthy. Receiving one of these fruit baskets turns fruit into a luxury gift.

Baskets can also be paired with gourmet gifts–I know–the word “gourmet” is so abused by the gift food industry–but in this case, they truly offer gourmet accompaniments, including L.A. Burdick Chocolates that we’ve written about here too.

Let’s Go Shopping!

Gift Presentation: Elegant, Beautiful, Sophisticated

Pricing: From $20, but you’ll probably start at $70+ (with shipping costs) to send a gift with a nice fruit selection

Corporate Gifts: Yes

Take me there: Manhattan Fruitier or 800.841.5718 Locations: New York