OK, a couple things here to begin. This title is slightly misleading. It is all things I ate within a week, but it was more like LAST week, but I’ve just been thinking about it now.
I am a very fortunate young lady. I eat fairly amazing things all the time, whether they are high class or a little more fabulous (and usually greasy) trash. But they all make me happy. The restaurant I’ve worked in since college is a great influence here. It’s hard to eat just-will-do food after you’ve been in that kitchen all night most nights. I also am fortunate enough to have family dinners that are better than I can tell you. Within the last several months, the fact that I am in a relationship with a talented, brilliant chef of great palette has made it a regular activity that I will eat well.
Yes, sometimes we pick up what amounts to convenience store food. Yes, usually at least one night during the week (often during the busy weekEND) we eat bar food—and we do love that too. He cooks, and it turns out to be the best thing I’ve ever eaten—and double bonus because it’s of the comfort of my (or his) own home.
But, I am doubly lucky because we, often along with our friends, go to phenomenal restaurants and eat things I never thought I’d be eating on the regular-ish.
Here are some good ones I found recently, all within one week (with also a bonus because the week was THAT good), all with links to the places, should you be inclined to do some Internet perusing:
1) Golden Purses at White Orchid: Yummmmmm. I was hoping that these would be similar to the curry puffs I am fond of eating at another Thai place—though, those are a whole different talk. They are different, they are fantastic in their difference. What a good decision. These and lettuce wraps were shared. That alone would have made me happy enough to eat something not on par after.
2) Green Curry at White Orchid: (Yes, same place. This will happen a few times on this list.) This is what I ate next. This was far above par. Wowzah. I like curry very much. Sometimes I get a bit timid to try it at a place I’m unfamiliar with. I find a very fine line for myself between perfect, and too hot. Under the guidance of boyfriend and staff here (I think he knows everyone at every restaurant), I went for it. I like White Orchid because you have a bunch of options for temp level. How hot do you want the food you’re ingesting to be? Tyler and I have a whole different scale. I’m more of “oh, a bit spicy, warm me up, don’t light me on fire.” He falls somewhere around atomic. I never had green curry. I want to have green curry many more times. Eggplant, lemon grass, etc. etc. Love it.
3) Roasted Beet and Herbed Goat Cheese Terrine at Edge: (This is where I work, just fyi. I’m giving all kind of info away today.) This has been our appetizer special lately. I have a great love for beets. I have learned, through various salads we’ve had at the restaurant, that I love roast beets with a creamy cheese. This play on a terrine—terrine’s are something we frequently have on addition—is fantastic. It looks great with the contrasting layers, and it tastes amazing. I grabbed a little sample while walking through the kitchen one night when I was fill-in hostessing. I was actually stopped in my tracks to savor and verbally announce my feelings. Our chef is fantastic. (Sidenote: my fella does not work at the same restaurant as I do.)
4) Fried Clams and Fried Cauliflower at Stahleys: I told you: I have a great love of fried bar food, especially after a hard night at work (both jobs, really). Also, this was a Friday during lent. Due to my personal religious obligations, I don’t eat meat on Fridays during lent. And out of nowhere, I had quite the craving for fried clam strips. (I also wanted french fries, but they are part of my “give up for lent” list, but I do love madly some fried cauliflower when the mood strikes me.) Boyfriend said, “Well, let’s go to Stahleys.” Stahleys serves a strange purpose in my head. I don’t think I’ve been there since high school, and back then we had to sit somewhere different. When I was a kid, we all knew it was the place our parents went to karaoke. I did not karaoke. I did enjoy my beer and fried food. The menu is more diverse than most bar food, it comes out quick, the drinks are reasonable, the staff is friendly. Really, it’s a winner if you’re looking for a low key joint.
5) Bloody Mary at Do or Dine: (They’re so new, they don’t have a website yet. But they, naturally, have a Facebook page. Also, you can find some reviews if you google. You should just go there instead.) And yes, I absolutely MUST be a bloody mary on this list. This was our first stop of the day in New York. It was the main catalyst for the trip. Do or Dine is run by three guys who got tired of the “fine dining” scene in New York, and decided to run their own killer place in Brooklyn. They do totally off the wall things. They make steak tartare in the shape of a cow. They encourage you to graffiti the bathroom (I left a Kerouac quote—points if you find it, snap a pic, and send it to me). I’m bad at picking cocktails. I shuddered and thought of a few truly bad bloody marys I have had. The menu (under the heading of DRANKS) said about their bloody mary, “We don’t like saying the best EVER, but…” so I went ahead and trusted them. Man. It was spicy, but not in a way that made in undrinkable. It had some chunk to it, and that was definitely more appetizing than pulp in orange juice. They pickle the peppers in yuzu. I would suggest you maneuver your way through Brooklyn just for this—and you can vintage shop on your way back.
6) Biscuit at Do or Dine: I know, right? A BISCUIT makes this list? Yes, yes it does. I don’t even know how to say enough about it. It’s flaky and full, without being heavy. Throw some butter and preserve (I spent the whole way through it trying, with two very skilled chefs who can eat something and tell you what’s in it, trying to figure out what kind) on the side, and it’s exactly how you want to start the day. Boyfriend’s meal was a pair of these biscuits with sausage gravy, and when I bring it up days later, he’s still inhaling in excitement. Go there. Buy lots of them.
7) Rabbit Confit at Do or Dine: This was the brunch special on Sunday when we were there (by the way, at Do or Dine, “brunch” is served from 2 pm to 10 pm. I know: badass). The waitress—I think still a little new—initially told us it was duck confit. We said send one for the table. She realized her mistake, said it was rabbit confit, we debated having two sent. It’s a playful little interpretation in the lead up to Easter. Confited rabbit, over easy eggs, baby carrots (regulary, yellow, and purple), and some greens dressed in a surprising, bold, lemony way. Really, these dudes are the most delicious renegades I ever met. Do I have to tell you again to go? This place ought to be packed every minute their open. Also, no reservations.
8) Wylie Dog at Please Don’t Tell: (Also file under here: Crif Dogs, which will make sense if you go.) Holy Moses. Talk about the possibilities of what a hot dog can be. I almost don’t want to share all about this. To begin with, Crif Dogs is a fantastic joint. Oh, you wanted a hotdog wrapped in bacon, with avocado and sour cream? Yes, me too. You got it. Coleslaw, jalapenos, and all kinds of other stuff I can’t remember? Yes: here. With a beer? Oh, yes. Then…should you know what you’re doing, you step into the phonebooth, and maneuver your way—if you’re lucky—into Please Don’t Tell. You want a high class cocktail, a seat, and a hotdog based on the work of a world-class chef? This is the spot. I had the Wylie Dufresne dog. Deep fried mayo, the dog is deep fried, shredded lettuce, tomato chutney: ahhhhh. You can get reservations for this hidden treasure, and I suggest that…though it seems really weird to make reservations to a place that serves a big cocktail list and about a handful of hotdog options.
9) Pork Buns at Momofuko Noodle Bar: Now, I’ve been told, if you’re going to eat pork buns, you need to eat David Chang’s…which sounds weird, and I don’t mean it in a weird way. I refused to let this move from our “NYC to-do” list. (We also have a “Next NYC to-do” list, filled largely with things we did not have time to do.) I gave in to moving Marcus Samuelsson’s Red Rooster until next time, I said museums could wait, we gave up on our idea of touring all the Momofukos, but no, not the pork buns (we did make it to that AMAZING vintage store in Brooklyn. I almost moved in). Totally worth it. I was overwhelmed. I had to split. I’m not sorry. Whatever it takes.
10) Soft Serve Twist with Rainbow Sprinkles at Big Gay Ice Cream: I have so much to say here, I’m not sure that I will have room/time/patience. The first thing you need to know: I have been legit jonsing for really good soft serve, in a cone, with sprinkles. The second thing you need to know: I was already really full from Criff Dogs/PDT and Momofuko, or else I would have demolished the stock at this establishment. The third thing I gotta tell you: we happened to park in front of this place on 7th, which is how we found it. I wouldn’t move on, I gravitated to it (like any proper fruitfly would), and couldn’t leave its orbit until I was promised we would go when we returned to the car. It…was…fantastic. Who doesn’t want to choose from option such as “The Salty Pimp”, or “The Golden Girl.” I do. I want to everyday. Ah. Sigh. We must go back. The soft serve was totally work it. I want the “American Globs.” Our friend Sean got a chocolate ice cream sandwich with bacon marmalade in it. Oh. Enough. I can’t talk about it anymore.
11) HONORABLE MENTION: Cardamom Caramel Ice Cream and Pistachio Saffron Ice Cream at Nuts About Ice Cream: This is only labeled as such because it was not a first for me, therefore it was not revolutionary. This ice cream parlor, specializing in exotic flavors (such as the ones we tried, listed above), is across the street from my high school. I am no stranger to it, though it doesn’t stop being awesome. It was the boyfriend’s first time, and he enjoyed it. We have committed to going back. We may become regulars. I’m OK with it.
What delicious have you eaten lately?
Die. Die slowly, the way you make my muscles feel.
Oh golly good gracious. Why is it that I decided to embark on this journey with you? What part of me decided it was a good idea to wake up with the sun and do a muscle-killing, tear-inducing, hunger-making workout before I go to my dual jobs and work for 14 hours? Oh, it must have been the skinny-girl, concerned-with-her-health part of me…THAT’S why I didn’t recognize it.
I don’t think I’ve ever said, “Absolutely not” some many times before 7:30 in the morning before the 2 1/2 weeks I’ve been bootcamping with you. Wait, what? I have 5 1/2 more to go? How ever will I do it? I’m only on level 3 of 8?! What else do you have in store for me?!!!!!
OK, I admit it: that was way too many exclamation points.
I don’t know why I did this. I have no idea why I did this. Except that…well, miraculously, I am more lean muscle than before (yes, this is the eloquent way in which I choose to describe this process). My jeans don’t fit anymore—which is both awesome, and a strain on my budget. Well, nothing comes without sacrifice, I suppose, and sometimes the sacrifice is financial.
Oh wait, I’m also sacrificing my time and my comfort. Wah, wah, wah. Now I do things like look forward to running, drink skim milk, and sleep well. What is happening to me? Why is this my life? Am I still a writer, still an artist? You know, we’re not known to make the best decisions about a healthful lifestyle. Is this going to affect my performance? I hope not. Maybe the increased toning and circulatory system will help my ideas get around my body to my head faster. That makes perfect, logical, scientific sense.
Now, about the remainder of this workout: could you take it a little easier on me? Could you not make my want to cry and give up 45 seconds before the workout is over?
No? You can’t? Every second of the next 5 1/2 weeks is going to be painfully intense until I think my muscles are simply going to walk off of my body and spend the day at an all-you-can-eat buffet and day spa? Oh, OK. Oh well, what can I do?
Oh, you say I’d be dropping even more weight if I was eating a little better?
I’m shocked, now that’s something to consider. I’ll get back to you.
Ever Thinnly Yours,
There’s this pair of sandals I want. I saw them—on clearance, mind you—when I was at the shoe store buying new shoes for my restaurant gig. Those, the restaurant shoes, are a necessity. They no longer offer any support (and I’m not talking emotionally, though they don’t do that either), and have left me whining in pain on the floor after several busy nights lately. So, this whole thing didn’t start completely frivolously.
The thing is, I went in there with a budget. Based on years of having to buy shoes to wear at a restraurant, I knew I could expect to spend X amount. Yet, the ones I decided had all the necessary requirements were also drastically on sale. And while I suppose I should have just been overjoyed at my finnancial fortune…err, good luck…I wandered about the store instead. See, I, like many people—not just women—love shoes. And when my shoe budget was not exhausted, things did not feel balanced in the Universe. So, I perused.
Really, I probably found a half-dozen pairs I direly wanted to own and wear and gaze at lovingly in my closet. One of these pair was the aforementioned sandals. Now, these would have put me 10 bucks over budget, which probably made me analyze all the more. Me, I’m not frugal, but I do like to get the most bang for my buck. I don’t want to buy just to buy. I want to buy because I am so fond of the item my palms sweat. (Yes, I am a material girl and this is a…whole week with references to Madonna.)
But that’s just me.
Therefore, I looked closer at the sandals.
Truly, they looked solid, well made, sturdy. This is important in a shoe you could potentially be spending a significant portion of time in. This is not always the case for my shoes. I suppose I would refer to them as “walking sandals.” They still had a lot of strappy stuff going on, but they had a reasonable sole and a good back. You’re not going to simply step out of them strolling down Main Street some beautiful summer evening during a large festival (this is me seeing how applicable said shoes are to my life). And, I am planning to go several places in warmer weather that will require a good deal of walking…do I really want to be cooped up in sneakers? See: I know myself so well.
Really, I was almost prepared to just need to dole out the extra $10, and then, a thought struck me…are these…old lady sandals?
Are these what mothers will be donning while waiting in ballet dance studios and on the sidelines of soccer matches? Will a lady somewhere be rocking these on her feet beneath her fanny pack and Mom-jeans at tours of man-made National monuments and/or grand natural wonders? Will these be the hot trend at new PTA meetings in September? (Don’t get it twisted, eventually I want to participate in all these things—well, except the fanny pack and definitely the Mom-jeans—but do not rush me, footwear!)
Basically, is an elderly female relative or yours or mine going to show up at our Memorial Day BBQ in these? I mean, I’m sure she’ll look great—they’re great sandals—but it makes me feel as thought I will not. And probably should not.
I couldn’t decide. I panicked. I thought maybe my blood sugar was too low and my mind was too focused on shoes of function for this kind of reasoning. I put them down.
Then, of course, I bought a pair of black Vans slip-ons that kept my $15 under budget. Naturally with this purchase, I sent a text to my younger brother asking if I am too old for Vans slip-ons.
File all of this under #whitegirlproblems.
Here’s something annoying. I don’t know how this was misplaced. And it’s so annoying that I want to tell you that it’s annoying more than once. It’s still worth posting anyway, I’ve decided. I was an operative for The Safety Pin Review a month ago, and next week my work is going to be displayed. I’m excited. I’m, well, annoyed that we haven’t been able to discuss this sooner. You should still check this out. There’s amazing stuff going on. I was operative in Issue 15; my work will be Issue 20.
If you didn’t know about The Safety Pin Review, now is the time to find out. Basic idea? Write a story in 40 words or less. Submit it. If it’s accepted, the editor (Simon Jacobs) paints the story onto a black square of fabric. Then an operative—someone separate from the writer, who probably doesn’t know the writer or live close at all—walks around town with the story on their back for a week, taking pictures. It’s a double literary hit: you get it on the internet, and people in the street not even looking for it get it. Rad.
This week, I am the operative. I’ve got quite a powerful little story on my back (woah, deep). I will be the writer side of the review sometime in February, so if you like it just wait for more.
I encourage your participation in this in whatever way you can/want.
Now: click this picture, friendos. (And P.S. HUGE thanks to my very patient boyfriend for following me around with a camera all week and being very patient about it because he’s very patient…except of course where he and some of his tattoos get caught in part of a pick during our dinner date.)