The Park Slope Gastronome

Back in Park Slope.

Monday, May 22, 2006

And somehow I managed to keep it all down

I did way too much eating this weekend, particularly on Saturday when I was faced with the predicament of a birthday lunch for my mom at Peter Luger's and then a Schnack-catered wedding in the evening. It was the first time at Peter Luger's for both Dan and I so while we didn't want to stuff our faces to the point of food coma, we did want to take advantage of a delicious lunch opportunity. We were both sated and under control until dessert, when Dan became a chocolate fiend.

To begin with, we had their world famous off-menu bacon: half inch slabs of pork belly glistening with fat and crusted with char.

How does that affect the Bacon-O-Meter? Clearly, it was one piece, but the equivalent of at least 4-5 strips. It was superb, although I probably wouldn't have minded a couple extra seconds in the broiler for my piece. The edges were cooked to my liking, but some of the streaks of fat in the middle were a little undercooked. My mother cut little pieces of bacon and slices of onion roll to make mini bacon sarnis for herself and little Ashlyn. I'm glad to see my little niece is already enjoying porcine perfection, but where was mine, Linda? We also shared a couple orders of shrimp cocktail, making sure to add extra horseradish to the cocktail sauce we were dipping the plumpers into. Two orders of "steak for two" were shared amongst the 6 adults and 2 little ones. For sides we got creamed spinach, German potatos (hash browns) and french fries. I think the little Buddha mostly ate cheerios and a cherry tomato. Maybe a piece of muffin as well. Ashlyn was content with french fries and some creamed spinach. She knew what awaited her - dessert! She also told me that not only was she the peanut, but that the little Buddha was the peanut as well!

While I immensely enjoyed the steak, the sides were really the stars of the meal for me. The steak didn't really knock me off my feet like I was expecting it to. The creamed spinach was so tasty and so rich. I had to eat tiny little bites as to not overwhem myself. I don't know what the french fries were fried in, but it made for an unbelieveably perfect fry - crisp on the outside, warm and soft on the inside. Dan took a liking to the super crispy ones that crunched like potato chips.

For dessert, we had a Holy Cow hot fudge sundae with birthday candle. Chocolate coins were tossed onto the table and the birthday song was sung. I abstained from dessert, save for a few bites of chocolate and whipped cream (or I guess schlag they might call it here). I had a roast pig to save room for!

So about two and a half hours later, I was nibbling on some pate (I thought it was smoked pork of some sort) and goat cheese and downing a Pacifico prior at the wedding of Alex and Anne. The consuming really didn't let up for another 5 or 6 hours. The pre-ceremony snacks consisted of the aforementioned slab of pate and plate of assorted cheeses with crackers. There was also a big bowl of shrimp cocktail but I skipped, having already eaten 2 pieces of shrimp with lunch. Trays of mini-schnack burgers and potato-codcakes were passed around, but I didn't get Schnacktified until post-ceremony, when I got Schancktified twice! I also got to try the elusive fries with pork gravy. The gravy was a little cold but I really didn't care because it was so savory and magical. This was my second time at a Schnack-catered event and what I want to know is where these fries with pork gravy were at the first one!

At this point, I had had a couple Pacificos and a margarita - recipe for disaster! During dinner, I switched to club soda and I think that was one of the smartest things I've ever done, because it really saved me from visiting Ralph. Dinner was served buffet style, with the following presented:

• macaroni and cheese
• french fries with more pork gravy (this time all warm and silky from the chafing dish)
• poached salmon with chipotle sauce
• garlic greens (this was probably my favorite side, aside from pork gravy)
• asparagus spears
• bbq chicken (this was my favorite protein)
• roast pork
• salad
• spicy cole slaw (yowza, you ain't kidding!)
• parker house rolls

Am I missing anything? After dinner, shots of Makers appeared (thanks Erik and Dani!), glasses of beer milkshakes, the vanilla ones of which were transformed into boilermaker shakes (thanks Hot Tub!). How in the world did I make it through the night? Also served for dessert were sundaes (make your own, from which I abstained) and wedding cake, which was super fantastico. It was chocolate with what I think was mocha frosting. There were pieces of crushed peppermint patties either in the cake batter or the chocolate ganache between layers.

Ok, you made it down this far so you deserve the truth. On the way to Commonwealth after the wedding, we were stopped at at a red light right at our corner. I couldn't let this opportunity pass me up as I was fading, so I hopped out of the cab and hobbled to our door. When I was brushing my teeth and tongue, I gagged a little and a tiny bit of creamed spinach was freed. It was not from drinking at all though, but I wanted to come clean.

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Blogger Marc said...

That cake was the best wedding cake I've ever had. It was also maybe the best cake I've ever eaten in my life. And I like cake. I have no idea why I ate just one slice. What was wrong with me??? I was also too full to try the sundae bar. But that beer milkshake? Drinking one is how I would like 6 out of 7 mornings to start.

May 22, 2006 3:55 PM  
Blogger China-Latina Chowhound said...

I don't know where to start or even what to say for that matter. So much delicousness. Sounds glorious and treacherous all at once. I want some pork gravy.........

May 22, 2006 6:16 PM  
Blogger China-Latina Chowhound said...

PS - I bet they fry their potatoes either in bacon fat or schmaltz (chicken fat). There's a steakhouse I like in the Jerze that puts bacon in their creamed spinach.

May 22, 2006 6:24 PM  
Blogger youthlarge said...

i was going to guess bacon fat too.

May 22, 2006 6:25 PM  
Blogger Harry "Hey Chef" Hawk said...

So glad you enjoyed the Schnack catered event. Many props to Alex and Anne... Esp to Anne…. not every young women aspires one day to get married at a function that is serving Mac N Cheese and Slider Burgers… not to mention Pork & Onion Gravy…

The Pork & ONION gravy at Schnack is always Free (while it lasts). (Its one of things we did when we had to up the price of the regular menu.) It's a by-product of our Roasted Garlic Pork, which we make 1 or 2 x a week for use in our Cuban Sandwich and for use in our Pork Sliders.

For Alex and Anne we “sacrificed” 4 large pork shoulders and made 5 Gallons of gravy! The pork is currently being used in Pork Tacos!

Now, the idea for the “sauce onion” comes from my own misspent youth. As a lad of about 14 years I spent 5 weeks one long summer biking through the Canadian Maritimes. It was on the then treeless and wind swept Isle de la Madeleine ( that I first encountered a thin silky gravy of onion on fresh Pom Frits. The Schnack version is only an adultish echo of a youthful passion… Did I mention it’s free (when available!).

May 23, 2006 2:43 AM  
Blogger youthlarge said...

dear onion, i am so sorry i forgot to mention you. i did notice your savoriness in the gravy and i apologize for slighting you. love, the psg

May 23, 2006 11:17 AM  
Blogger Jack said...

Yay, more pictures please!

Also, Schnack is serviceable, but they need to come correct on the chili. Corn and lima beans in chili is not gonna work for me, especially on a dog. Also, the cheddar on a chili cheese dog should be completely melted and gooey, I'd even take that toxic orange crap out of a can....

I think I was eating AT Schnack when someone pulled up in front of the joint with many coolers, etc. (probably just got back from the catering action).

May 23, 2006 1:06 PM  
Blogger China-Latina Chowhound said...

The juxtaposition of the slab of bacon and the remants of your shrimp cocktail is making me crack up. A kosher person's NIGHTMARE!

May 23, 2006 5:08 PM  
Blogger China-Latina Chowhound said...

PS - I meant to say remnants, with an N, not remants.

May 23, 2006 5:39 PM  
Blogger df said...

Your didn't have a Double Date?

May 24, 2006 12:09 AM  
Blogger youthlarge said...

yep, i had one of those too.

May 24, 2006 8:30 AM  
Anonymous keri said...

i know i'm vegan and all, so this shouldn't come as that much of a surprise, but that block o' bacon is grody to the max. it looks like it might have a sort of jellied texture. cringe-o-rama.

May 25, 2006 3:32 PM  

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