Bacon lovers, you have gone bat-shit crazy and it’s time someone called you out on it. I myself love bacon and the first time I saw band-aids printed with bacon strips I thought it was a great idea. Then bacon started appearing on the dessert menu and it was also a welcome addition. Ditto for the first bacon food festival I read about. But somewhere down the rising disposable income line things took a turn for the worse. Bacon mania isn’t attractive anymore. It’s like an athlete on steroids: the magic is lost by the too much of it all. Bacon taco shells? Please stop before you turn me vegetarian out of spite. Let’s return to the simpler days of sizzling bacon for breakfast, hold the bacon cupcakes, which, frankly, suck.
“I didn’t do it on purpose. It just happened,” is a phrase I use a lot. Usually when I’m talking about my fashion choice for the day.
The phrase can also be used to explain why I ate bacon before going to Veggie Galaxy, a new vegetarian restaurant in Cambridge, MA.
But never mind the porcine details.
The Galaxy is a new diner that recently opened next door to Mary Chung on Mass. Ave. If you’re not familiar with Cambridge, that’s the street that runs (across the city, yes, but) between Harvard and MIT. They’re smart. You’re not. Deal.
Everything’s vegetarian and most can be made-to-order vegan, if that’s your thing. Sometimes vegetarian meals can be hit or miss with the flavor, as in, it just ain’t there. But I rated my meal as the best I’ve had in weeks.
I ordered the Mass Ave. omelet, which was filled with grilled leeks, Vermont goat cheese and mashed sweet potatoes with balsamic on top. The idea of the sweet potato and goat cheese combination threw me at first, but it ultimately worked in my mouth.
And the cliental provided some good eye candy, too.
p.s. I still ❤ Cambridge, even if I left it for NYC
The first thing I ate at the ice cream festival was a popsicle. What? I got to the ice cream eventually.
Today’s New Amsterdam Market featured their second annual Ice Cream Sunday. The ten vendors scoopin’ up the goods included The Bent Spoon, Blue Bottle Coffee, Early Bird Cookery, Marlow & Sons, KINGLeche Cremes, La Newyorkina, Steve’s Ice Cream, Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream, Victory Garden and Otto Enoteca Pizzeria.
Naturally, I started with the first frozen desert to cross my path: Brewla Bars. (Truth be told, I do have some will power, as I passed up Mr. Softee and Dipin’ Dots on my way to the market.) At Brewla Bars I picked up The Doctor aka a rootbeer popsicle. It didn’t live up to the rootbeer popsicle memories of my youth, but maybe if I had been eating it dressed in a dripping wet bathing suit standing next to the freezer in my aunt’s garage I would have given it higher marks.
On to the ice cream! Don’t know if all the frozen goodness was playing tricks on my brain, but it seems that the more I ate, the better the stuff got.
First up was a scoop of the salty caramel at Steve’s Ice Cream. It was good, but didn’t have any zing factor to it.
Next, I headed over to Early Bird Cookery where I tried a sample of hay ice cream (they steep the hay in milk like you’ve steep tea in water) and a sample of butter milk in cookies ice cream before buying a cone of corn and caramel ice cream. All of the new (to me and probably you, too) flavors tasted nice, and I have to give them bonus points for piling on the free samples before I even asked.
Finally, the best of the best (and the only one without a web site to link to), KINGLeche Creme. I tried both of their flavors: roasted peach lavender and honey bourbon. Out of everything I tasted, these guys had the strongest flavors. Plus they were unique flavors. The only downside was the honey bourbon seemed to have so much alcohol in it that it didn’t freeze well, but I am not one to complain about too much alcohol in my ice cream.
I believe it was Anthony Bourdain who said my body’s not a temple, it’s an amusement park. Easier said than lived. And if your body’s not an amusement park, but a trailer park, well, then, god help you.
Between my recent agenda of coveting Airstreams and going to Wanda Jackson concerts, it was only a matter of time before I ended up in a trailer park. It’s a slightly tricky feat to pull off when you’re beatin’ the pavement in Manhattan, but if you head over to West 23rd Street you can find the Trailer Park Lounge.
It’s been around for a while, so maybe the novelty has worn off for the locals, but as someone who’s seen their toilet bowl on the sidewalk our front, but never been inside, it was a treat. And by treat I mean a chili covered mess I had to chase with several Tums.
First up, the decor. There’s part of an authentic looking old trailer lining one wall with a few folding lawn chairs beside it for good measure. Velvet Elvis paintings, candy colored Christmas lights, and a splash of taxidermy help with the vibe. There’re actually so many treasures lining the walls that it would probably take a few visits to identify everything.
My pal I Yum New York and I were lucky enough to sit next to a rotating glass shrine to Tonya Harding (that’s right) filled with talismans from her career including an ice skate, porn VHS, and autographed boxing glove (that’s right). Are you picturing it? Spinning in a glass case?
Since we were there for dinner and I’d gotten into the spirit of the place, I decided it would be a good idea to order some Champaign in a can (aka Sofia Blanc de Blancs mini) and pair it with tater tots covered in chili, bacon, and cheddar cheese, with sour cream and jalapeños (probably from a jar) on the side, because putting it on top would cross a line.
Needless to say my weak yuppie stomach starting burning only a few bites into my meal. But it was fun. Check out I Yum New York’s blog for the official and trademarked food review.
By the way, I Yum and I made a pact that the next meal we share will be tame. She’s envisioning leafy greens. I’m hoping for buttered toast. Either way it’s sure to be a doosy.
When a restaurant gets a lot of hype, half of me wants to try it and half of me wants to avoid the crowds and inevitable disappointment. Still, the combination of history and promising dim sum made me check out the Nom Wah Tea Parlor in New York’s Chinatown.
Yes, it’s a restaurant, but I was probably more turned on by the style of it and back story (as highlighted by the Gray Lady). That’s why I brought along the lovely I Yum New York lady to serve as the official food critic for this tea party (in the nonpolitical sense of the term).
We’re both used to getting our dim sum from rushed ladies pushing carts around crowded restaurants. That was what my first dim sum experience at China Pearl in Boston was like, and I use it as my measuring stick. The furthest I’ve gotten from that is Ping Pong in London, but London’s so damn cool, it can almost do no wrong.
What’s the Nom Wah Tea Parlor like? Faded on the outside, and sweet like a Georgia peach on the inside. Seriously, it’s got some sort of southern diner charm going on inside. But it works. I especially love the bathroom sinks that are small enough that they wouldn’t look out of place on a train compartment. Are they original?
Out of the seven plates we ordered, I loved the roast pork bun the best. Unfortunately, on the hot July night we went they were all out of red bean ice cream, but there wasn’t much room left in my stomach for it anyway. Head over to IYumNewYork.com for the official and trademarked food review.
The night ended with a couple of celebrity sightings: the Rent is Too Damn High guy (eating takeout while sitting in a parked car covered in his own photos, naturally) and Goldenstash (stuck near the Fung Wah station to Boston, naturally)
After a steady diet of mermaids and marching bands, sometimes you just need to kick back with a drink. Enter the Frying Pan. Apparently on some nights, it’s a crowded Chelsea Pier hell of the too cool for school crowd. Luckily, I experienced it as it’s meant to be: a relaxing boat bar/restaurant with great view of the sunset over the Hudson River.
Don’t over think it. Just go, see the boats, see the water, and leave before the masses descend.