Usually I make a big deal out of my birthday. I spend months researching the perfect restaurant for dinner, and planning the perfect party at the perfect location. More often than not, I even plan a trip out of town. But this year, I finally stepped outside of my naturally narcissistic self, and realized that I’m the only person who cares about my birthday. I didn’t feel like putting effort into planning such an elaborate, expensive celebration just so that I can hear 100 reasons why so-and-so can’t make it anyway. And now that it’s all done and over with, I’m extremely glad that I didn’t wear myself out making plans. My mom flew to town, and that was apparently all I needed to truly enjoy my 25th birthday.
Archived entries for Food
For the past few days I’ve been craving some gourmet style mac n cheese. Yesterday I set out on foot in the 496-degree weather and ventured to every French restaurant in the Times Square/Bryant Park area for something to satisfy my craving. I ended up settling for Subway. Today I was planning on Subway again until my friend reminded me of my craving. Then he told me about a place called S’mac in the East Village, and after checking out their website, it looked too good to resist. Immediately I grabbed my bag and ran out the door, taking the R to the L and finally arriving at 12th and 1st Ave. I had brought along my camera and notebook, ready to enjoy a nice, creative brainstorming session on my lunch, but the place was about the size of my apartment with no room to eat. I ordered the four cheese “nosh” sized dish which includes “Cheddar, Muenster, Gruyere and a touch of Pecorino,” and almost sprinted back to work. The MTA must’ve known the urgency of transporting a hot meal from the East Village to Hell’s Kitchen, because both the L and the Q (express, yes!) trains were waiting for me. I made it back to the office in record time to enjoy this bowl of warm, gooey, delicious, filling CHEESE!
I never thought I’d say this in a million years: but perhaps there is such a thing as too much cheese. Don’t get me wrong, I finished every bit of it and even licked the bowl clean, but the thick layer of bread crumbs and cheese on top was kind of overkill towards the end. I found myself moaning and groaning as I shoveled in the last few strings and bites of cheese, and then the button on my pants popped. Haha okay I’m kidding about that last part. That didn’t happen THIS time. But overall the dish was pretty delicious. It probably would’ve been better had it been piping hot and I’d eaten it right away, but there’s always next time. When it cooled down a bit, the cheese started to separate and you could almost pick apart the different types. I would’ve preferred if they were still all gooey and melted together, but for under $7.00 I can’t complain. I’ll definitely stop by S’mac again if I’m ever in that area, but since I don’t make it down to the East Village very often, I doubt it’ll be any time soon. Unless this craving rears its ugly head again…
One scorching day last summer I had some graham crackers leftover from microwave S’mores, a can of Reddi Whip, a bowl of fresh berries, and a 90 degree living room full of out-of-town guests. We were craving some sort of light, refreshing dessert, so I rifled through the cupboards to see what I could concoct without having to climb Mount Everest (aka my stairs) after a sweltering trip to the grocery store. I set up shop on the coffee table and started building miniature snow-white mountains of Reddi Whip on top of graham cracker squares, and topped them with thin slices of strawberries. Delicious. Everybody loved them!
So naturally, those same ingredients have made another appearance in my kitchen now that the temperature has
gone into past the 80’s. This time I’ve even added blueberries to the mix. If you’re a dessert junkie like me, keep some of these ingredients on hand for a quick, easy, go-to dessert fix. You’ll feel much better about yourself if you eat 4 of these rather than a pint of Ben & Jerry’s!
On Saturday I finally had my first pizzacone! I was starving, so my opinion might be a little biased here, but I thought it was pretty good for a pizza-on-the-go treat. They were out of the four cheese, so I got a regular sized pepperoni in a wheat cone. I’m convinced that the wheat is what made it good, because everyone who tried the plain white crust didn’t like theirs. And of course I’m selfish and didn’t share any of mine, so they couldn’t really do a taste comparison. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend the place for a meal, but for a quick snack while you’re walking down the street (or post binge drinking*) why the hell not
*No, I was not experiencing the “everything tastes good after 5 drinks” illusion. I hadn’t consumed a single alcoholic beverage before devouring this.
A whole week ago, Woods Witt Dealy & Sons had their third birthday party + Cinco de Mayo bash. I was there physically, but my mental presence was questionable by the end of the night. So questionable in fact, that it’s taken me an entire week just to recover and bring myself to post a blog about it. Okay, I didn’t get that crazy, I just didn’t really snap any good photos so I haven’t had the urge to share. It was a good time though, with chips and salsa, guacamole, quesadillas, stuffed peppers, hummus, a cheese and fruit plate, and a ton of Mexican beer and frozen margaritas. If you want to see some pretty boring photos that a slightly intoxicated, inexperienced photog took, check out my Flickr. They’re mostly just food shots, and boring (see: lacking action) shots of piñata smashing.
Is anyone else insanely addicted to the turkey cubes that come in most salad bars in New York City? They’re so fresh, moist and delicious! I can’t believe some of the best turkey I’ve ever had in my life comes from little bin in a salad bar.
Last weekend I went out to dinner to say goodbye to my ex-coworker/friend Jim & his wife Karen. They’re moving to San Francisco at the end of the month (those lucky bastards!) so we had to have one last hoorah before they head west. We went to the Bentley Hotel, over on E 62nd and FDR basically. It’s a fabulous little hotel with an amazing, glass enclosed rooftop bar that no one visits because it’s so far out of the way. It was pretty nice being one of the only 15 or so people in the place- and 11 were with us. We had some delicious Pinot Noir, fresh mozzarella and tomato slices, salad, and calamari for the table. For my entree I chose the steak, which was absolutely delicious. The outside had a nice, crispy layer of flavor surrounding a soft, flavorful hunk of New York strip steak, soaked in an incredibly flavored juice. I didn’t even use steak sauce for this bad boy, and I am the condiment/sauce queen! For dessert I chose the chocolate mousse pie, which was an absolutely perfect ending to this meal. It was very light and airy, so it didn’t require much room to stuff down.
The dinner was great; great people and great food. I took some pictures of the food [of course] and most of the dinner party. It was a nice get together to wish Jim & Karen well in their new life they’re starting out in San Francisco. I’d be lying if I said I weren’t jealous. Maybe we’ll be neighbors when I move out there in a few years…
Easter Sunday was absolutely perfect. I spent the morning watching the Red Wings on NBC (even though they lost), while doing some last minute preparations for an Easter picnic in Central Park. I could not have asked for more perfect weather than the 75 degree and sunny day we had.
Mike and I were both in town on a holiday for once, so we wanted to do a little something to celebrate. Usually one of us is in Ohio or somewhere else on any given holiday- including birthdays and hallmark holidays. We initially thought about cooking dinner, but that sounded like a lot of work for only two people. Then we discussed going out to eat, but since we go out to eat all the time I thought it would be more fun to have a picnic in the park- especially considering the nice weather we’ve been having lately. So we went down to Central Park and sat in a field somewhere in the lower/mid 80s area, on the East side. We had the most comfortable, fuzzy brown blanket, music, ice cold drinks, and a full menu including:
- Butter crisp crackers
- Hard Salami
- Sun dried tomato goat cheese spread
- Bacon wrapped olives
- Crescent wrapped cocktail franks
- Individual serving apple pies which I baked without a recipe
- A lemonade, cranberry juice, and rum cocktail drink
Everything was delicious! I spent about two hours making those six pies on Saturday night, and I was relieved to find out they tasted so amazing. I thought for sure I would screw them up somehow. We sat in the park munching on food for around 3 hours before packing it in for the day. When I came back to my apartment, I was slightly buzzed so I decided to sit on my window cil over the fire escape and play guitar and sing [horribly] to all of the passerbys below. Nobody took notice though so I got bored after a while and headed back inside.
If you’re as much of a food photography lover as I am, you should check out my photos from the picnic on Flickr. There’s some nice shots of the park in there too, and some ridiculous ones of myself and my guitar.
Yesterday was the perfect day off. I woke up around 1030, took care of some things around the apartment, and made it outside around 230. I took a limited bus down Lex to around 8th st/3rd ave area, all while reading a book and enjoying the sunshine and open windows. Then I took a walk through the East Village, Greenwich Village, Soho, Tribeca, and finally the Financial District. By the time I hit the financial district I was absolutely starving, so I searched for food around the WTC site. There’s not much in that area other than a Burger King and McDonalds. But luckily I stumbled upon Les Halles, a place I’ve actually been wanting to try after several years of passing their Park Avenue location. So I went in and had a fantastic solo dining experience. I had some red wine, delicious bread, an absolutely AMAZING mushroom and goat cheese appetizer dish, and an ice cream and pastry puff dessert. After all of the bread I wasn’t hungry enough for an entree, so I figured it wasn’t worth spending another $20 on. I will definitely be back to try out their full course menu in the near future since I was so blown away by the appetizer. Seriously, I kid you not, the flavor in this thing was incredible. Not to mention the decor of the restaurant was nice, french style and not too pretentious. The music was great- lots of Beatles songs during my dinner, and overall it wasn’t too pricey for a good meal. Including tip, I paid $30 for my meal + wine. They’re located at 411 Park Ave, and 15 John St in NYC.
After leaving the restaurant I had to stop at Starbucks for an Orange Blossom Tazo Tea since the temperature had dropped about 20 degrees while I was eating. Or maybe it was because I was in a sundress, eating ice cream, and now the sun was setting? Regardless, I needed to warm up. I met a few people down in Battery Park to watch the sun set more or less. It was a bit breezy, but the perfect ending to a day spent exploring downtown. After a quick stop home, I finally made my way to the movies around 1030. Perfect day off. And the best part is, today is only Saturday! I still have one more day off and I’m planning an awesome Easter Dinner picnic in Central Park tomorrow! Time to start some new holiday traditions!
Sunday I had brunch down at Benny’s Burritos on Greenwich & Jane. $10.95 gets you a meal + unlimited drinks. I met up with some people just before 2pm, and had every intention of leaving by 4pm and heading home to do laundry and clean the apartment. So I ordered some sort of egg and chorizo dish, but unfortunately they were out of chorizo, and I had it with bacon instead. This was after about 5 mimosas so I didn’t really care anymore. Then the mimosas kept on coming, and the margaritas started soon afterward. I usually steer clear of margaritas because tequila = blackout for me, but I was swayed by the upside down bottle of Corona stuffed in that margarita. Next thing I know, I’m waking up on my living room couch, and it’s 9 o’clock at night! I have no idea how I got home, when I left, nothing. My camera makes it look like I had a good time though, so I’ll trust that. I love brunch, but yesterday just got a little too out of control. Next time I’ll have to set my own limit to 3 drinks. Check out some pictures from my shutter happy state of mind.