The Park Slope Gastronome

Back in Park Slope.

Friday, June 30, 2006

I'm Going to Block Island!

So I won't be able to really write about any of the food I'm eating until I get back on Wednesday. Just quickly though, I want to mention that yesterday was filled with deliciousness and subsequently some serious acid reflux. Let's just say I had pork three times:

Bacon for breakfast from Stir Cafe (Broadway, right across from the Bull)
Pernil for lunch from Sophie's Cuban Cuisine (New Street between Beaver and Exchange)
Crab and Pork Soup Dumplings and Braised Pork Shoulder for dinner at Joe's Shanghai (Pell Street between Bowery and Doyers)

All were delicious, but may be limiting my time on this earth. Pork and cigs will be the death of me!



Thursday, June 29, 2006

Tag Team Media's 5th Anniversary Party @ The Hook

Last night felt like a wedding mixed with summer camp mixed with the last day of school. My friends' company Tag Team Media threw a party to celebrate their fifth anniversary and we couldn't have been more honored and excited to attend. The location was a bar/performance space in Red Hook called the Hook. Look for the giant red hooks on the exterior of the building. So while Pedro was off getting rocked at Fenway, writers, hipsters, music geeks, label folk, musicians and other people who encompass you know, the industry, were getting stuffed and plastered!

Upon arrival, we were greeted with trays of mini pulled pork sandwiches. The pork, which was smoked in-house by the owner, was placed upon these fluffy rusticy looking rolls. The bread was a light beige color with white flour accents. The meat was topped with cole slaw and pickles, which provided acidity and crunch contrast. There was also a nice platter of cheeses, including bleu and brie, as well as assorted olives.

Then the passing started. Sometimes I feel I'm a marked woman. Meaning when food is passed, there's a big mark on my face that says, "Oh, don't mind me at all. I didn't want it anyway." That is certainly not the case. Ever. The servers at the Hook were awesome. Not only was the food plentiful, but they even climbed up the bleachers to bring us trays of cut-up grilled hot dogs, chicken skewers, and zuchinni and cherry tomato kebobs. We made a hot dog assembly line. Jim was closest to the waitress, so he passed a skewered piece to Alex who passed it to Anne who passed it to me who passed it to the China Latina Chowhound, who then passed it to Mary!

I love grilled hot dogs. At Shea Stadium, I never get a dog from a vendor. Instead, I like to get the dogs that have been cooking on those metal rollers so that it gets all shriveled up. That really isn't grilling, but it's the closest thing to a grilled dog you'll get at Shea. The dogs were cut up into one inch thick coins and skewered with toothpicks. It reminded me of my childhood and I got super excited and a dance spontaneously came out of me. I believe I yelled out, "Hot dogs make me dance!" and started jigging or whathaveyou. There was also a veggie option of not dogs wrapped in a tortilla, but why bother with the fake, when you can have the real?

Outside in the patio, I was able to also sample a hamburger meatball, which may have been served with a special ketchup, but I can't confirm for sure. And then there was corn! Oh grilled corn, slathered with butter, each kernal bursting with warm, roasted sweetness. It was all so simple yet so comforting.

It was around this point that one of the nice security guards made the announcement that there was an ice cream truck. I looked to my left and there he was, THE Ice Cream Man. I don't exactly know who underwrites him (Guitar Center & Fox News (huh?) were two companies bantied about), but basically he rides around in an ice cream truck giving out free ice cream. I went with a strawberry shortcake novelty bar but I could have also had the classic sandwich bar or the more modern Spongebob Squarepants variety.

On the way out I ran into my friend Ben, who came up with the brilliant idea of getting a pulled pork sandwich for the road. Unfortunately the food had already been cleared, but he did come back with two pieces of corn.

Congrats Tag Team!

Tuesday's Dinner: Vive la France!

In honor of the Frenchie victory over Spain, I invited Newell and Sus to join me for dinner at Les Enfants Terribles (Canal and Ludlow, LES/C-Town, NYC). This was my second visit to LET this week as one of my favorite summertime activities is sitting outdoors and drinking pastis. I love the cloudy anise-y goodness of a nice cold glass of pastis. I'd be hard pressed to find another drink that's more refreshing, or that causes me to sit around, daydreaming about living in Provence with my young Frenchie-Tunisian wife, who dutifully refreshes my pastis as I sit on the deck contemplating how wonderfully my life has turned out. And I'm not even a gay!

After ordering three Ricards, we decided to start with the Trois Senteurs Salad, which was three flavored goat cheese toasts served with frisee. The goat cheese was creamy and delicious and had nice thin slices of cucumber framing it. Very refreshing and perfect for the season. The frisee was saturated with some sort of overly sweet dressing, so I avoided it altogether. For dinner I had the Korhogofefemougou, which was simply grilled steak in a marinade of special spices from Cote d'Ivoire (bar none the best team in the World Cup to not advance to the Round of 16), served with fried kasava and salad. Instead of the fried kasava I opted to have french fries. The french fries at LET are divine. Sus got some yummy fish dish called Bozo-Bozo! Newell rocked the Casbah with some leg of lamb.

So anyway, I'm hoping for a Germany vs. France final on July 9th - June 6th style. Blesse mon coeur d'une langueur monotone...


Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Monday Night's Dinners

Jeallado (East 4th between 1st and 2nd, East Ville, NYC) with Abbey.

I was planning on going to Pioneer Bar-BQ in Red Hook for Kaci's birthday (Happy Birthday Kaci!), but logistically it just wasn't working out. Plus, my friend Abbey is in town from the land of the hanging chads and she wanted to take me out for a belated birthday dinner. Even though this place reminds us of a barn and has horrendous service, we decided to go there because for some unknown reason, I absolutely love it. Wait, I know why I love it. I love it because they have these special rolls with delicious crabmeat filling in the middle. AND the sashimi is really fresh and tasty and has never once worked me over, it just takes FOREVER to show up at my table. Per usual when patronizing this establishment, I ate the following:

Sashimi Combo A - Tuna, yellowtail, salmon and white fish served with miso soup, sunomono app. and rice.
Lily Special Roll - Tuna and whitefish over some yummy real crabmeat filling.
Sara Special Roll - Salmon and yellowtail over the same yummy real crabmeat filling.

En route to dinner, I got an SMS from Papper indicating that he would be having tapas at Xunta (1st Avenue between 10th and 11th, East Ville, NYC). So, after I was done with sushi, I decided to stroll over to Xunta for some sangria and maybe a little snackie. When I got there, I decided that I was not in the mood to drink at all, but did want to have some tapas, despite having just come from dinner. I told Papper et al that I was going to order something, but then Papper, with a great sense of urgency, told me that the kitchen was closing and that I should order a bunch of stuff for the table, so here's what I got:

Tortilla Galega - Galician omelette with Spanish sausage (a true tapas staple)
Patacas Bravas - Spicy potatoes (crispy and delicious)
Camarones a Plancha con Bacon - Grilled shrimp wrapped in bacon (this is my dream)

As it turned out, no one else was really hungry for a second round of tapas, so I ended up having to eat the three aforementioned dishes all by lonesome, save for one shrimp eaten by Zach and three crispy potatoes eaten by Papper! Suffice it to say, I felt really gross and stuffed, which seems to be the status quo.


Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Today's Lunch: The Shake Shack

Usually right after I recover from having stomach issues, I want to eat something that will probably cause me to have even more problems. Today was no exception and I was having a wicked burger craving. I think these cravings are partially due to the fact that I get it in my head that I've been starving myself for the past 24 hours. Sure, I've been taking it easy on the belly, but I definitely you know, had something to eat for dinner last night. In my mind, I've been suffering for weeks and thus need some sort of greasy bomb to make up for lost time. I also missed out on some bbq last night to compound the self-pitying.

So there I am walking north on Broadway headed to Eisenberg's Sandwich shop. But then I realize it's probably later enough in the day that the line at the Shake Shack can't be too long. It was a worthwhile gamble, because the time of day and the skulking humidity made for a totally manageable line.

I did it up Shake Burger (cheese, l/t, secret shack sauce) and Cheese Fries style. I am normally not the biggest fan of the Shake Shack's fries, but I will admit they hold up very well. I've never gotten them cheesed before and I think I'd rather get a side of hot dog instead. My lunch was probably not the best way to ring in a feeling healthier day but I'm eating very slowly (been working on it for the past 40 minutes and just finished the burger. still have a handful of fries left). I was tempted to geta Chicago dog in homage to Listmaker who is currently in the Windy City. Ok, I'm going to stop eating the fries. I need more self-discipline. I totally blame my parents who taught me to clean my plate. Ok, I just threw away the remaining 8-9 fries that were covered in cheese. I feel very full and hopefully that's all I'll feel.


Sunday, June 25, 2006

Tonight's Dinner: Bar Toto

Met up with a co-worker and her friend at this mid-Slope restaurant/bar which I had never been to, much less heard of before Friday. Not much to say about Bar Toto except it was "eh." The menu presented so many tasty-sounding options, we made the waitress come back twice to take our orders. There were panini combinations involving ingredients like sopressata, garlic mayo and smoked mozzarella; braised short ribs; homey pastas. In the end spaghetti and meatballs won out. It didn't hurt that my eyes just happened to wander towards someone else's plate of pasketti and meatbulbs when I first walked in.

Pasta with meat usually always wins out for a carbo-carnoholic like myself. I shoulda gone with the panini or the panini burger which came with a mound of shoestring fries. The meatballs were pretty heavy and the pasta way oversauced and too salty for my tastes. The pasta thankfully was not overcooked (definitely not al dente perfection, but also not mushy at all). Hey, where was the bread? Oh, never mind, it was probably a good thing there was no bread since I would have eaten the entire basket. The prices were pretty reasonable (pasta and a glass of white wine for $20 with tax and tip) and the interior reminded me of Cafe Steinhof a few blocks south, so I would probably find myself back here again to try some other menu items.

No photo because I seem to have misplaced the charger for the camera.



Number of strips: Oh my god I ate the whole thing (12 or so strips)
Type/brand: Applegate Farms Organic Uncured Sunday Bacon
Consistency: The strips were cooked by me and I think I make awesome bacon.
Comments: I bought of a package of this hardwood somked bacon a couple weeks ago and wound up freezing it. Yesterday, I defrosted it and cooked it all up and figured throughout the weekend and beyond, I'd make good use of it. I hadn't had bacon in practically 2 weeks. Oh wait, that is the biggest lie, because at some point last week I had an egg white and bacon sandwich, which had 3 strips of bacon. I'm over 50 pieces now and the idea of that is kind of weirding me out I may have to take a bacon sabbatical. Anyway, I had some for lunch yesterday and then another piece of so as a late evening snack. And this morning I reheated the remaining pieces for a homemade egg mcmuffin, sans the cheese.
Total count from April 26, 2006: 52.25


Saturday, June 24, 2006

Misc. Eating from Wednesday, June 7th - en route to and in LA! (Part 2)

Dodger Stadium with Youthlarge, Chris and Julie (aka Mr. and Mrs. Dickshack).

We already had plans to go to the Raconteurs show at the Henry Fonda that night at 10P (thanks Youthlarge!), but we still wanted to squeeze in a few innings of the Mets / Dodgers game beforehand (Mets won 9-7). I got to see the smolderingly hot Michael Vartan (of Alias fame) on the jumbotron. He was sporting a Mets cap and looking quite delightful in it. I ate an all beef Dodger dog with some cheese from Youthlarge's nachos and a Miller Lite. I thought turning my Dodger dog into a cheese dog was a stroke of pure genius, but as usual, the reality fell short of my expectations. The cheese whiz type product had some sort of fake jalapeno flavoring in it, which made it taste like burnt microwaved plastic to me, or rather, what I imagine burnt microwaved plastic would taste like as I haven't actually ever tried eating it. Blech.

On the way to Youthlarge's hotel from the Raconteurs show, where we saw a very bloated Val Kilmer and his tartlette du jour, we decided to go through the drive-thru of an In-N-Out Burger. This place had been seriously talked up to me by a bunch of Angelinos, so suffice it to say, I was pretty psyched to finally try the famed In-N-Out Burger. I ordered the cheeseburger 'Animal Style', which means the burger is fried in mustard and served on a bun with pickles, lettuce, tomatoes, extra spread and grilled onions (this is according to Wikipedia, I actually thought the onions were fried though). I found the burger to be pretty tasty, but was disappointed by the small size of the patty and started to feel nostalgic for the Fat Burger I had consumed earlier that day. I should have listened to my friend Cram and gotten the Double-Double. No, actually, next time I'm getting the 4 x 3, which according to the m (meat) x c (cheese) formula, would be 4 meat patties with 3 slices of cheese. I don't know if I buy it, but apparently In-N-Out once made a 100 x 100! To be honest, I'm not sure if I love the idea of a 100 x 100 SO much that I want to marry it, or if I just want to barf.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

French Dips from Philipe, Tacos from Loteria! Grill

I was psyched to be able to eat at Philipe during my recent trip to Los Angeles. It was on the to-hit list last summer, but the overwhelming deliciousness that exists in this city made it impossible to make a trip. The place has been around for about 98 years and their specialty all that time has been the french dip. The restaurant is located practically in Chinatown. There's ample parking for customers. There's sawdust on the floors. There's an air of bizarro-ness at the counter. I asked for a beef french dip, only to be told there wasn't. Then I asked for pork, but then the lady at the counter told me there was beef and no pork. I don't know if this is a schtick or the way things work there. I forgot to ask for double dipped, when they submerge your the french bread upon which your sandwich is built, twice in the jus. The sandwich still rocked, as the crusty roll was able to withstand the jus without disintergrating into a wheaty mess. The CLC and I wound up swapping halves as she got the pork sandwich somehow, despite only ordering like 16 seconds after me. Bizarro I say! Along with my french dip I got a side of macaroni salad. I know among my friends and in my household that I'm in the minority when it comes to stuff like macaroni salad. But mix up anything with mayo and I'll pretty much stuff it in my face. Philipe's macaroni is made with ditalini pasta, which is a small tube or ring-shaped pasta, which made it more appealing to me. There was a nice tang and zip to the mayo-base and I gobbled up the entire portion.

The very next day, we ventured to the Farmers Market on 3rd Street. I knew where I wanted to eat - Loteria! Grill. Again, this was a place that I hoped we would get to last summer, but of course didn't make it to. The LA Farmers Market is a series of open air stalls and stores. Well the stalls are covered, but the pathways between are not. You can get everything at the Farmers Market, as evidenced by our table. The CLC got clam chowda, Chris got tacos not from Loteria! and Julie got pizza and a donut. Those three also shared a pitcher of hefeweizen to wash it down. There was a boureki place that looked super tantalizing, but I wanted one thing and one thing only.

I opted for a couple tacos. The first was albondigas en chipotle (the first of tastes of albondigas to be had that day), which translates to meatballs in a chipotle/tomato sauce. The second was the champinones con epazote - mushrooms with something called bean herb that the woman likened to cilantro. Both were served on delightful homemade tortillas, but frankly they were a little smaller than I thought. After I polished off the albondigas, I went back to get a carna deshebrada which ultimately turned out to be my favorite of the three I sampled. It was a delicious stewed shredded beef that was bursting with flavor, served with fresh guacamole, chipotle salsa and finely chopped onion and cilantro. The third taco totally put me over the top but it was such a satisfying place to be. Oh the reason I didn't partake in beer was that I knew Loteria! would have a wonderful selection of agua frescas and such. I'm a big fan of watermelon agua frescas but they were out so instead I ordered a horchata, which is a refreshing rice-milk drink accented with lots of cinnamon. In fact, the last time I had a horchata was at the Santa Monica farmer's market last summer! I remember we also bought some brittle or bark that was mighty tasty. Viva Los Angeles!

Man, I am totally getting sports emotions right now watching the last seconds of the Heat/Mavs game and I wasn't even rooting for the Heat!


Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Misc. Eating from Wednesday, June 7th - en route to and in LA! (Part 1)

So Wednesday morning I woke up wicked hung-over from the previous evening's open bar fundraiser. I slept through my alarm, of course, so then had to run out to the laundry mat to pick up my laundry, then to the diner to pick up an egg white, turkey and Swiss sandwich, and THEN back home so I could pack. While I was waiting for the A to JFK at Jay Street - Borough Hall, I purchased and subsequently slammed a fruit punch flavored Gatorade. En route to LAX, Delta was nice enough to give me two snacks (some sort of fakey spreadable smoked Gouda and crackers and then a bag of Ruffles potato chips), a gingerale and two bottles of water, which I desperately needed as I was quite dehydrated from the night before. During and between in-flight snacks, I was lucky enough to catch Mussina's near perfect game against the Red Sux from September 2, 2001, and a Don Shula bio on ESPN Classic. Both gave me sport emotions.

Upon arrival at LAX, I went to the ladies room and noticed that I had a SERIOUS fruit punch mustache. Cool. I went through security at JFK, sat on a plane for 5 hours and talked to like 3 flight attendants, all the while with a freaking fruit punch mustache! After I washed off my bright red mustache, I realized that I was absolutely starving, so on my way from LAX to Mr. and Mrs. Dickshack's house, I stopped at the local Fat Burger (corner of Vermont Ave. and Hollywood Blvd., LA) for a Fat Burger with everything (tomatoes, lettuce, onions, pickles, relish, mayo, mustard and cheese) with Fat fries, as opposed to "Skinny" fries, and a Coca-Cola. Fat Burger was AWESOME. In my next entry I will do a compare and contrast with the famed In-N-Out Burger!

Now I'm off for some more World Cup fever. Down with the Swedes and GO TRINNIES!

Monday, June 19, 2006

I am AWOL due to World Cup Fever

But I am definitely still out there eating up a storm. Suffice it to say, I am incredibly behind on my eating posts, possibly irreparably so. I still have to write about all of the delicious food I ate in LA, plus all of the amazing food I've eaten since my return to my favorite city in the entire world - NYC! Since I've been back I've already eaten at Joe's Shanghai AND had a glorious birthday BBQ with lots of meat and old timey! Two highly postable meals. I'll get to work after the Spain vs. Tunisia match.



Friday, June 16, 2006

Breakfast 06/09/06

I may have already stated this (in fact maybe in the previous post), but I love room service breakfast. After the bacon-a-thon of the previous morning, I opted to go a bit healthier and ordered up steel-cut oatmeal with caramelized bananas. Unfortunately, the bananas were the furthest thing from ripe and pretty inedible. The butter and brown sugar coating did provide a nice touch of sweetness that you need with oatmeal, so I swirled in the bananas to spread the caramel sauce around and then fished them out. For lunch later that day, I got a vegetable plate and of course my dinner time I was hankering for some meat!

Oatmealy bananas up-close.

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Monday, June 12, 2006


Number of strips: 7.5
Type/brand: smoked applewood (5), Farmer John's maple-flavored (2.5)
Consistency: perfect/perfect, well the Farm John's strips may have been a tad overcooked (by me) but I perfer that to being undercooked.
Comments: The smoked applewood bacon was part of my room service breakfast a the Sunset Tower Hotel in West Hollywood. It was some of the best bacon I've ever tasted and an incredible bargain to boot ($4 for 6 thick cut slices). That's right, there were 6 slices to the order and by slice 4 I was getting delirious. I felt really bad leaving that single piece of bacon, but I just could not do it. I could barely make a dent in the granola and fruit I ordered with it.

The Farmer John's bacon was part of our World Cup brunch at Julie and Chris' place in Los Feliz. I love dipping breakfast meats in maple syrup, so I enjoyed this a lot. The slices were wider than your average bacon and looked more like a rasher. Scrambled eggs, tater tots and coffee accompanied.

Total count from April 26, 2006: 34.25


Friday, June 09, 2006

Misc. Eating from Tuesday: All Ubuntu, All the Time

It's true, we're in LA, but I just wanted to write about Tuesday's eating while I wait for the Poland vs. Ecuador game to start. Lots of LA food to talk about later.

Tuesday was an amazing day for Ubuntu Education Fund, so by extension, for me as well. They hosted their largest ever fundraiser at the Puck Building, which was emceed by Kevin Bacon and featured the Archbishop Desmond Tutu as the keynote speaker (Sus and I got our picture taken with him!).

I was asked the previous evening to take Archbishop Tutu's special assistant, the Reverend Keith de Vos, on a tour of NYC on Tuesday. Suffice it to say, I felt honored and accepted, but I was a little nervous that my true spazzy nature would sneak out to say 'hello' to him. I picked him up at his hotel at 10:00A on Tuesday morning where I also made the acquaintance of His Grace, the Archbishop Tutu! For maybe the second or third time in my life, I was nearly speechless, but managed to squeak out what an honor it was to meet him.

The Rev. and I didn't actually have that much time, so we were only able to hit the top of the Empire State Building and the Staten Island Ferry, stopping for a quick lunch in-between. En route from the subway to the ferry, I made us stop at one of those awesome financial district food trucks for a real New Yorky experience, plus we were in a huge hurry. The truck had P.S. Chicken & Rice written on the side. I think it was at the intersection of Pearl and Whitehall, but I can't be certain. Regardless, I LOVED this truck. It was delicious. I had super crispy and non-greasy chicken fingers with french fries and the Rev. had a cheeseburger with french fries and a Coca-Cola. AND we ate it on the ferry! Scarfing NYC street food with a true humanitarian and man of the cloth on the goddamn Staten Island Ferry will go down as one of my favorite memories ever. EVER.

Later that evening was the main event - the fundraiser. I was especially looking forward to it because it was catered by Blue Ribbon, plus I knew that Iman was going to be there (she looked gorgeous by the way, though unfortunately, sans Mr. Bowie). During cocktail hour, in addition to several Bombay & Tonics, I had 6 oysters from the raw bar (from Nova Scotia, did not catch the exact variety), 5 pieces of shrimp cocktail, 1 spinach pie type puff, 2 bites of biltong and 2 cubes of some mellow white cheese (not sure what kind though). I saw some sort of beef skewer circulating, but much to my dismay, I found the servers of them to be utterly elusive. After cocktail hour we moved into the Grand Ballroom for a lovely seated dinner. The first course was a nice mixed green salad with pignoli nuts and dried cranberries. For the main course they served leg of lamb, salmon, a nice selection of mixed vegetables (great zucchini and squash) and some sort of rice, which I of course passed on. Between the salad and dinner service we heard from Archbishop Tutu and I can assure you, there wasn't a dry eye in the house. Oh, and the Bacon was great too. Funny and charming. I know, not quite the type of bacon you were looking for - sorry...

Afterward, we went across the street to Puck Fair for some more drinks and then I passed out, feeling rather fortunate that all I had to do the next day was sit on a plane to LAX for five hours. Next entry - Misc. Eating from Wednesday in LA!

Another Misc. Memorial Day Weekend Eating Pt. 3C

Fuck! I was nearly complete with this entry when Firefox crapped out on me. Why does that always happen? Now I have to try to recreate the entry and I know it won't be as good as the original.

So I figure it's time to wrap up this baby, seeing as how it's June 9th already. Shoot, I'm really totally defeated right now. I hate losing entries! Anyway, apparently all the crab rolls we stuffed our faces with at the wedding didn't sate our crustacean fix, so we decided to make our last meal in Bar Harbor a lobster dinner. Former groom-to-be, henceforth known as Mr. Jessie or Ye Ol' Ball and Chain (just kidding Weasel, luv ya!) suggested a place on the water near the boats that take you whale and puffin watching. Somehow we missed the signs and thus wound up at a bi-level joint called Stewmans.

It was still pretty nice out when we sat down on the upper patio level, but soon after, the sun began to set and the winds picked up and it was super cold. I spotted a couple of heating lamps but Stewie never turned them on, instead leaving patrons shivering at the picnic tables. My napkin was blowing all over the place, as was my lobster bib. Beth, Bowles and I all opted for the Ultimate Lobster Experience, which came with a lobster, duh and potatoes, corn, steamers, a cup of chowda and a slice of blueberry pie to top it all off. DMR opted for the lobster roll since he does not like to eat food that requires work (ie, cracking, shucking, peeling, hammering, slurping, etc...). My funny husband told me he didn't like lobster prior to our trip to Maine last summer. But of course, once he had one of the infamous lobster rolls from Red's in Wiscasset, where no cracking is required, where the meat is picked out and overflowing from a toasted top split bun, it was determined he really doesn't mind lobsters at all. I'm sure he'll chime in about this in the comments section. The verdict is still out on steamers. I love my cherrystones and littlenecks, but sometimes I found that little extended portion of a steamer really off-putting.

To begin with, our table ordered something called the three cheese lobster fondue. I had a very clear image in my mind of what this would be - namely, little chunks of lobster to dip into piping hot melted cheese. Instead we got a paper cup filled with a cheese blend with barely discernible lobster flavor and fiesta chips to scoop it up. Not at all what I was expecting, but I still ate it.

As mentioned in the other entries of this series, this was the first busy day of the new season so service was a little erratic and the servers not really polished yet. We asked for some malt vinegar and got a confused stare back, along with a "balsamic?" But the next server we asked (who seemed more of a seasoned pro) knew what we were talking about and brought some over.

In my original draft of this, I remember typing something about how quickly Bowles inhaled his lobster, but can't remember the context. He was done before Beth and I had even started on our second claws (we both saved our tails for last, I noticed). Anyone know what all the white stuff is? I know the green stuff is the tomalley (or liver) and the red stuff is coral (or roe), but what is all the sorta foamy white stuff. It reminds me of shaving cream.

We're In Los Angeles

Which is why we haven't been posting.
We've been eating lots of deliciousness and will share in our eating outings once we're back next week.

Til then, I leave you with this nugget: I left bacon uneaten today.

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Monday, June 05, 2006

Tonight's Dinner

Burp! Tonight I had the best kind of take-out - the homemade kind! DMR and some colleagues went to visit Ms. Dee out in Bay Ridge after work. He came home with a big plate of rice, beans and chicken for me. There was also a now What a nice husband! I was literally ironing to prepare for my trip tomorrow for the past couple hours so this was a great treat for me 1) because I didn't have to think about where dinner was coming from and 2) it was delicious! The beans were of the kidney variety and cooked down with peppers, spices and smoked ham. The chicken was soft and falling off the bone (I had a drumstick and a piece of thigh - or was it a piece of breast, I can't remember). Now a meal like this is just begging for the hot sauce to come out and I complied with liberal shakes of Texas Pete. You can't have rice and beans without hot sauce. I love to not have to think about dinner. I love rice and beans. I love r&bs with tons of hot sauce. It must be so nice to have someone cook for you.

p.s. Hang in there Ms. Dee!


Saturday Brunch

Great Jones Cafe (Great Jones between Bowery and Lafayette, NYC) with Sus.

Great Jones Cafe is one of my favorite restaurants in NYC. It has deliciously comfy fare and is also home to one of my very favorite cocktails - the Shaggy! The Shaggy is a close relative of the Dark & Stormy. The main difference between the two is that the former uses spicy Blenheim Old #3 Ginger Ale, while the latter uses spicy ginger beer, which frankly, is just not as spicy. The Old #3 has a lot of great heat behind it, with just a little bit of a time delay from when it first hits your lips, which I love. The other great thing about ordering a Shaggy at Great Jones is that the chances of it being made by Mark Ibold are very high, as he tends bar there a few times a week. My close friend Dickshack makes a mean Shaggy. In fact, her husband thinks that hers are better than the ones at GJC. Listen, I love Dickshack like a sister (hey Dickie-S, I'll see you in LA on Wednesday!), but I think Mr. Dickshack's judgment has been clouded by love. No one makes a better Shaggy than Sparky Marky. Plus, I lost my mind when I was a wee lass and heard Slanted and Enchanted for the first time, so I guess my judgment is a bit clouded too.

Anyway, the brunch deal there is really good. You get to choose from a number of yummy egg dishes, which are all served with either cornbread or a biscuit, homefries or grits and coffee, tea or juice - all for just $10.75. I've had brunch at a lot of places in this town, and I have to say, that is a seriously great deal. Now, as some of you readers may recall from the Schiller's brunch debacle, I hate paying for my bloodies a la carte. However, at Great Jones I really didn't mind. First of all, it was served to me in a huge pint glass and the cost was $7, not the absurdly insulting $10 that Schiller's has the audacity to charge in the middle of the goddamn brunch rush. Also, it was one of the most perfectly seasoned, well-balanced bloodies I've ever had. In a word, perfection.

I ended up ordering the Andouille omelet (with mushrooms, green peppers (which I picked out), onions and cheddar), the fluffy and pleasantly sweet biscuit, homefries and a coffee. It was one of the tastiest and satisfying brunches I've ever had. I can't believe all of the GJC brunches I've missed out on through the years! I've literally been frequenting this establishment since 1996, but inexplicably, only at dinner time! I feel like such a ding dong. I'm going to get brunch there again really soon.


Another Misc. Memorial Day Weekend Eating Pt. 3B

Part 3B mostly takes place in a huge white tent, the site of Dan and Jessie's wedding. After the ceremony, we gathered in the tent and the first thing I spied were plates of crab rolls. Were we supposed to help ourselves? I wasn't sure so I stayed put. Then servers started walking around with plates of snacks. The funny thing about these servers were that they were like 8 years old and I know I scared them. I wasn't trying to be greedy mean adult, but they kept looping around without coming near our table so finally, I had to do the hand wave to get their attention and there was one little server girl I know I totally spooked out. The two hor d'oeuvres I enjoyed the most were the mini sliced steaks on polenta with horseradish cream and mushroom and asparagus wrapped in phyllo. Yum, I'm getting hungry just thinking out them. At this point I watched some other guests make their way to the various food stations so I ran up and grabbed some crab rolls for the table. We were then told that there were homemade ice cream sandwiches and these were the proper first course (whooda thunk?). I went for the vanilla ice cream between two brownie squares. DMR opted for chocolate ice cream sandwiched between chocolate chip cookies. There was also an option with ginger ice cream. That may have been paired up with an oatmeal cookie.

I would wind up eating another crab roll before the day was over (and to tell you the truth, I probably could have had another couple). The rest of the food was an interesting mix of vegetarian and carnivore friendly fare. There were some Asiany snacks like vegetable maki rolls, veggie tofu skewers and inari stuffed with wakame salad. There was local fare like smoked trout, moose (just kidding!) and the crab rolls as well as overall crowd pleasers - like the chocolate fountain, into which you could dip fresh strawberries and profiteroles. As far as I know none of the kids stuck their finger into the fountain!

The beer selections were quite unusual. I saw a keg sitting around, but I never sampled its contents, because I was too busy trying two new-to-me beers: Black Sheep Ale and St. Peter's English Ale. The latter came in a gorgeous chartreuse flask bottle with a cute little crow on the label. Its unusual shape and color seemed more akin to a medicine bottle. One day I'd love to try their lemon and ginger beer. That sounds tasty.

The beautiful wedding cake was the last thing I'd eat - a delicious and moist carrot cake (with no raisins, hooray!) with cream cheese frosting. I took a small slice, but I wish I had taken a bigger one!


Friday, June 02, 2006

Another Misc. Memorial Day Weekend Eating Pt. 3A

Saturday morning, the Brooklyn convoy joined groom-to-be and some friends and relatives for a Bar Harbor breakfast at a cutesy, totally Stars Hollowy place called Cafe This Way. Everyone seemed to know each other and everyone had a baby - either in their belly or b/w the ages of 10 and 14 months.

I had the most awful time trying to figure out what to eat from the menu, which was one amazing sounding dish after another. The one thing I knew I didn't not want was one of the special scrambles of the day because it contained fiddleheads. Gross. I do not like fiddleheads at all. They have that same slimey ooze that okra do. Fiddleheads taste like boogers. I like a lot of strange root and mountain vegetables, like bracken root and burdock but do not make me eat fiddleheads please. Just the list of specials (minus the fiddleheads) was making my head spin. I wanted the special pomegranate mimosa. I wanted the strawberries with fresh cream. I wanted bacon! I wanted ham! In the end I opted for The Harney, which was corned beef hash, two poached eggs and hollandaise. Oh and some toast. It got the thumbs up from the locals and from me too! I loved the way the eggs were poached. Sometimes when you get poached eggs they can be gooey. I like mine soft and a little runny, but also a little firm. When I dip my toast into the yolk to break it open, I want it to run but not like an out of control volcano. I also got my holy breakfast drink trifecta of water, coffee and bloody mary which came in a pint glass (a steal at $5!) garnished with a pepperoncini and an olive. DMR did not like his very much, but I did and drank some of his. I bit open the pepper to release some of its heat. I also added liberal dashes of black pepper as I like my bloody M's super spicy. DMR took a slightly healthier route with his entree and went with the granola, which came with a unique and delicious cinammon yogurt, as well as ample blueberries and banana slices. But he also got a side of bacon (which turned out to be 2 strips, one of which I ate) and some toast.

If I lived in Bar Harbor, this would be my Luke's. Well, maybe. I should probably try some of the other breakfast joines before I go shoot my mouth off.

p.s. I just looked at their dinner menu online and they serve bibimbop!!!!

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Thursday, June 01, 2006

Belly Ache!

I needed an afternoon snack and meandered over to the City Bakery. I really just needed one of their little sanded vanilla sugar cookies, but instead I got a melted chocolate chip cookie. I feel really gross right now.


Misc. Eating from Yesterday: I declare war on myself!

Yesterday I was at the Ubuntu office at lunch time, so Newell and I decided to get take out from Sophie's Cuban Cuisine (New Street, between Beaver and Exchange, by the Bull, NYC). While I find Sophie's to be almost excessively delicious, it can do a number on one's stomach. Especially if the 'one' is in fact me, because I have one of the worst stomachs in the WORLD! But I just can't stay away from the evil temptresses that cause me to complain about my stomach feeling funny, acid reflux and temporarily wishing I had never been born. So yesterday I ordered a huge plate of juicy and tender pernil with red beans (true to form, I skipped the rice). Even without the rice, it took me almost two hours to eat the preposterously large dish of food. My favorite thing about Sophie's is that they serve this amazing creamy green sauce on the side (I think it's habanero based). It's super hot and compliments the succulent pernil perfectly.

After I finished at Ubuntu, I went up to Bryant Park to meet Cram for a little Yankee baseball (Pinstripes in the Park, brought to you by the YES Network and Continental Airlines!). They were showing the Yankee / Tigers game on the big screen, had special ballpark-like concession stands and the requisite roving vendors. Unfortunately, the weather in Detroit was not as nice last evening as the weather in our great metrop, so there was an hour and a half rain delay, during which I ate a mediocre grilled chicken sandwich. Due to the late start, Cram and I decided to stay only for two innings before high-tailing it back to his place to watch the rest of the game.

Upon arrival, we decided to order from Atomic Wings (1st Avenue between 11th and 12th). But then Cram remembered that he had some quiche that he wanted to eat in the fridge, so then I ended up being the only one eating wings, which sucked! Luckily, Sean Murphy was there, so he helped me out with the buffalo wings (I ate 7, he ate 3) and the gravy fries I ordered. Being the generous girl that I am, I gave Sean unlimited access to the carrots and celery that accompanied my wings.

About an hour later, lasting until early this morning, my stomach and acid reflux felt MISERABLE. I mean, we're talking burning brick in the pit of your stomach type sensations. I should have known what I was getting myself into the moment my feet started heading toward Sophie's. The pernil was like a routine day at the base, but somehow, you just couldn't shake that ominous feeling you had in your gut. And then the wings were the effing attack on Pearl Harbor. Ouch. I hope I learn my lesson one of these days.

Another Misc. Memorial Day Weekend Eating Pt. 2

We wound up staying at a Holiday Inn Express outside of Worcester halfway through our ride up to Bar Harbor. As we were checking in, I noticed a sign for a free continental breakfast featuring cinnamon rolls the hotel was touting as possibly the best tasting cinnamon rolls ever. Quite a big claim by Holiday Inn and so it would have been really nice that there were even these amazing cinnamon rolls available when we mosied downstairs to start our day! Not a single roll in sight; I was very disappointed. Instead I had a hard boiled egg and an english muffin (cutting up the egg to eat on the muffin, something which I had never done and quite enjoyed). The coffee was unbelievably hot. Dan commented that his grandmother would definitely approve. I think Dan had the same breakfast, but also a bowl of Froot Loops, to make up for all those years when his mother wouldn't let him have sugared cereal.

The next time we ate was a bit of an embarrassment. We were so close to Bar Harbor, but were starving. We drove past a charming little diner on the way and maybe we should have turned around because the next 30 minutes of nothing seemed like forever. Do you Mainers not eat? We passed by every sort of store imaginable, except for one that served food! Subway and Denny's do not count. Finally we succumbed to our hunger pangs at pulled up at a Wendy's. I opted for the slightly healthier combo of chicken strips, baked potato and water. Who am I kidding, I'm sure that baked potato was deep friend before being served. And um, yeah, I did have some sour cream and "spread".

Of course you know what happens next. Not two minutes after we resume our ride, we come across the charming clam and lobster shacks of our dreams. Shack after shack after shack. I can't even think about it now. It was my worst nightmare.

For dinner, Dan and I were on our own, so we strolled from our little motel to McKay's Public House a few buildings down the street. It came highly recommended by the groom-to-be, himself a former Bar Harbor resident. While waiting for our table, we sample some local brews, me a Bar Harbor Real Ale and the husband a Bar Harbor Summer Ale. Dan claims he liked his beer better, but I'm not sure about that. Many a time I make him switch beers with me cause I can just tell he is not enjoying his, having misordered. He says it's cool but I think it's just one of those sacrifices you have to make as a couple in matrimony to keep things in line.

I really liked McKay's - they support local organic farmers and use locally caught seafood. We had a funny lady as our server, who was harried, but charming. It was, afterall, their first busy day of the season. We ordered an appetizer, a salad and two entrees - one from the pub menu. Somehow, I got duped and all 4 choices were Dan's! How did this happen? I didn't even realize it until after the funny lady walked away with our order. To start, we got HIS choice of appetizer (baked brie with strawberries and an aged balsamic reduction) and HIS choice of salad (McKay salad with Cashel blue cheese, toasted hazelnuts, and pears over local organic field greens dressed with Muscatel vinegar and white truffle oil). I enjoyed both (though the bake brie was really over the top), but my choices would have been pretty much anything else aside from the Duck Two-ways (I'm not much of a duck fan) like the crab cakes or warm spinach and artichoke dip (which I am always a fan of) to start with and the Farm Stand salad. For our entrees, we split the McKays burger. It comes with Sunset Acres bacon (gotta update that Bacon-O-Meter, I totally forgot about this taste of bacon!) and normally swiss cheese. But you know who doesn't like swiss, so we got some herbed goat cheese instead, which made for tangy bites. The burger was really juicy and cooked medium to our liking. Fries were tasty too. The other main we got was the ahi tuna special. This was probably the restaurant's only misstep. It sounded great - seared tuna over a bed of soba noodles and vegetables dressed with lime, chili and sesame oil. First, it was wildly overpriced at $24.95 (which was more than the other 3 items combined!). Secondly, we ordered the tuna rare and it was probably cooked to medium, which I don't mind so much in fish as I do in beef. Thirdly, it was just not seasoned well as all. The fish was bland, and the noodle and veggies also bland and overly oily. I couldn't even taste the lime or heat. I really wanted lobster, but the chef's preparation for the day wasn't too appealing to me (4 oz sauteed over red lentils or something like that). For dessert, we both immediately gravitated to the blueberry crisp with homemade vanilla ice cream. I could have done with more crisp, personally, but that's cause I'm addicted to things made with flour. It was a not-too-overly-sweet but satisfying cap to our meal.

I really need to start taking more photos of my eatings.