I was just going through, deleting files and emptying my office computer and I found this pudding picture. I snapped it at a giant supermarket in Hudson. The Pricechopper, perhaps? I love me some puddin', though perhaps this is a bit much.
Last Friday, the big guy, some friends and I decided to attend the Brooklyn Mac & Cheese Cookout and Hootenanny. Okay, the hootenanny part sounded pretty lame, but how could you go wrong with mac & cheese, beer and bourbon? Debra and I were especially excited and bought our tickets in advance ($25 each, plus a seven-freaking-dollar "processing fee"), because we were stoopidly worried it would sell out. I talked my friend Rose and her girlfriend into going too, because that's the kind of friend I am.
So we get to The Yard—a very cool park-type venue on the Gowanus—and within ten seconds of arrival are extremely pissed off. . . Why? Because the beer and bourbon weren't included in our $32 dollar cover charge. We're giant suckers because we each just paid $32 for a crappy paper plate of lackluster mac & cheese (mine's way better), a pile of foul-tasting greens and a slice of apple pie with a whole-wheat crust. Seriously, the pie was so dry and tasteless—it was not unlike trying to down a slice of apple-coated sand. The beer we'd been promised turned out to cost $6 a glass, which was a bargain compared to the $8 bourbon! We would've been better off going to Dumont and sitting in the garden there. At least there, we would've had people serving us and it probably would've been cheaper.
We were all so grouchy by the time we left and—even worse—not even close to either full or tipsy.
I was hesitant to even write this, because the woman who owns Saxelby Cheese seems to be a very nice person, but I've been to three of her events now and each one was a bigger disappointment/waste of hard-earned cash than the last. I appreciate what she's trying to do, but good intentions aren't going to get mama drunk.
Last night was the big guy's birthday, so I took him out to Zenkichi for dinner. Though there's not a whole lot on the menu that I can eat (due to my loathing of all things fishy) I adore this place. The food is amazing, the atmosphere, exceptionally serene (except for the racist jackasses seated directly behind us, but that's no fault of the management), but the best part of all is their strict no children policy.
The rule is listed on their website, it comes up when you reserve through opentable.com and then, when they call you to confirm your reservation, they ask once more if there will be any babies or children with you. And if there are—guess what, you can't come. Uninvited!
After spending a day at the Coney Island aquarium this past weekend, I am well over children and their doting parents. In fact, it's not the kids that bother me—it's definitely the people who spawned them. I was in line for the bathroom—a very long line—when I noticed one stall wasn't turning over. I was worried someone was laying a stinker, but it turned out to be a mother and child. No problem, I realize kids take a while.
But after ten or so minutes, the line was getting longer when I hear, out of the stall, "Becky, now flush the toilet. Flush the toilet, Becky. Come on."
Becky: "Waaaaaaahhhhhhh!!!!! No!"
Mommy: "Please, Becky, just flush it. Mommy wants you to flush it."
Becky: [hysterical shrieking cries.]
Meanwhile, the line is really long and full of (understandably) whiny kids who need to pee already, when the door opens. The harried mother appears, sans toddler, who is apparently unwilling to give up the stall and is now furious that mommy finally flushed for her.
Mommy: "Come on, Becky, we need to go now."
Mommy: "Becky, people are waiting—mommy really wants you to go."
At this point I was safely—and I say "safely" for little Becky and her mommy's sake—ensconsed in a stall, but had I not been, I would've grabbed that brat by the hair and pulled her out of that stall and thrown her into the otter pool. Or at least that's what I would've done in my head. The reality is, I would've yelled at Becky's mom. But instead, I just enjoyed my sixty seconds of sweet relief.
As I mentioned earlier, the man and I went for a walk around the 'hood yesterday and wound up at the Radegast Beer Garden. But first we did a little shopping. I'm looking for a necklace, so I wandered into this place on Grand Street that's a hair salon/jewelry store. I don't really get the connection either, but they had some nice things.
While in there, I overheard one of those conversations that you only ever hear in neighborhoods overpopulated with the very young and extremely over privileged. This chick was getting her hair did and at the same time, bitching at her stylist about the frantic hand life had dealt her:
"I'm a student, but I'm also a DJ. Except when I'm going to school I can't really DJ because being a DJ is like really hard because you have to research the music and then download it and then I don't have time to study or anything. So I can't really DJ until after finals."
Can you imagine if, like some of us, this nitwit actually had to hold a real job while attending school? To, like, actually pay for her own classes and books? A job even more taxing than programming an iPod? The horror!
Anyway, Radegast was really fun. It's beautiful, cozy, and the beer is awesome. The poor waitresses are forced to dress up like naughty shepherd girls, but everyone who worked there was both nice and competent. The beer was great and the food was good. I can't wait for Spring when they roll down the retractable roof!
Inspired by the delicious-looking, rice-cake-crusted Mexican pizza featured earlier this week, my insanely talented friend Debra sent along this scrumptious recipe from Weight Watchers' Cookbooks past. I don't really understand how a bunch of hot dogs surrounding a pile of coleslaw is particularly low-cal, but I guess it's the lack of bun and condiments that makes it so.
At any rate, it's certainly more appetizing than a rice cake smeared with fat-free refried beans.
The Large Greek and I are both attempting to shed a little poundage, so I thought I'd check through the Weight Watchers recipe collection to see what I could find. The first thing that popped up was something called "Mexican Pizza." As pizza and guacamole are two of my favorite food groups, I figured this was a win/win. Until I looked closer. The pizza "crust" is actually a rice cake. And there's nary a dollop of avocado to be found. Full recipe after the jump.
In sharp contrast to the crappy service at the Silent H, we also checked out the new tapas place on the corner of North 8th and Wythe, Nita Nita. We had stopped by for a quick drink on Saturday, but last night we stayed for dinner. First off, the place is beautiful. The lighting is dim, with tall tables and comfy wood stools, seemingly crafted for wide asses like mine (unlike the anorexia-butt, stools-of-torture at the otherwise lovely Dumont Burger). Sam the owner did a great job and not only that, but she's super nice and friendly. It did not surprise me one bit to learn she's a fellow Jersey girl.
We had the cheese plate, some chorizo, garlic shrimp and tortilla. All of it, excellent. Not only that, but they have two-for-one happy hour and a giant garden which will be amazing once Spring finally kicks in. I'm going back on Thursday.
Whenever my friend Rose visits the Motor City, she brings me back two delicious jars of Sander's delish dessert toppings—hot fudge and butterscotch caramel. Yum. So today while I was home I decided to take a sugar break. Alas, there were no cookies or candy to be found so I helped myself to a spoonful of Saunder's butterscotch caramel. In an attempt to distract myself from the fact that I was scarfing sundae topping straight outta the jar, I looked at the label. There was a recipe for Caramel Apple Upside Down Pie. Mmm. Doesn't that sound good? I thought about making it, but worried that it would be too complicated for my limited kitchen skills. Then I read the recipe:
Turn an apple pie upside down on a plate, cover with chopped mixed nuts and drizzle with butterscotch caramel topping.
Because—god help me—this completely atrocious KFC creation is looking pretty good right about now. Mashed potatoes, corn, gravy, crispy chicken strips and cheese food product, all piled one on top of the other. Mmmm.
Then I thought about how my tummy would inevitably feel after downing such a frightful feast. Sort of how it felt after meeting my new neighbors via the world wide web. I want "amenities designed to let me focus on living my life." And what could be better than living in a community that supports "vegan cafes" and "boisterous jazz lounges?" Oh wait, I already live in that community (though mine doesn't come with giant butterflies). Wah!