Wednesday, November 28, 2012

bodega dining

There's something so truly crappy about bodega sandwiches that makes them taste good. Maybe it's the way that the cheap-o white bread is so squishy and soft. Or the way that the sort of warm cheese is a little creamy enough to cancel out the saltiness of the super salty turkey, especially if you ask them to add a little bit (maybe just one slather or one pump) of their mayonaise that you don't see in the fridge but they some how have. Or maybe it's the way that those pink mealy tomatoes and limp iceberg lettuce shreds hug everything in between and make you feel like you're not eating something totally bad and unappealing. Or maybe you're just really hungry and when you take that first bite you think, "God, my bodega makes the best sandwiches."

Monday, November 26, 2012

Well. Today is Monday and I just woke up. It feels kind of good because I went to sleep really late after watching Chronicle with Molly, but it also feels kind of funny because normally I would be at work right now. I actually wish I was at work, but I'm going to not feel weird about it because there's only two and a half weeks until I go to Seattle and nothing I can do except eat a lot of snacks.

And really, who better to facilitate said snack eating than Molly and Jeremy? Is there something weird about that sentence? I can't figure it out. Anyway, Molly had so much cheese left over from her Thanksgiving feast with her family (like two platters worth) and Jeremy made this great turkey soup.

See, cheese plate. I was only organized for the first plate. After that it was just a cheese and bread free for all. Also, yeah that is wine in the mug. Whatever.

This was great!!! He made his own stock n everything. I especially liked the mushrooms. There was a curry flavored soup too but I haven't had a bowl of it yet. I did get sent home with left overs to try so that's next on my list of things to do to day. Right after "get out of bed."

Sunday, November 25, 2012

This weekend I saw what my unemployed future could look like. I think I'm going to lose what little muscle mass I have to fat. I mean, probably not really, I have projects and friends and things I need to do, but I have spent this holiday weekend being a complete oaf and unbelievable glutton. Not that I have a problem with that, it feels good to do that once in a while. But by tomorrow I think I'll be ready to be a functioning adult again. Or something like that.

Eating this is all that I accomplished today. Don't be fooled, it was a lot of work. I was the only person at brunch who completely cleared their plate. And it wasn't even noon yet.

It was so messy and so hard to eat, but really good. I asked for mine medium rare and they definitely overcooked it, but it was still a delicious hamburger. The runny egg yolk helped. I love how adding a fried egg and bacon makes hamburgers acceptable for breakfast.

Oh. Well ok, yesterday I made turkey pot pie with Nick's left over smoked turkey. And mac and cheese. You boil the pasta in milk! It's so easy! Then also this really good salad dressing which was as follows: 2 cloves of garlic, 1/3 cup of white wine, 1/3 cup of olive oil, 1/2 a green apple, 1 dollop of mustard all blended up. I like to think that this picture doesn't do the food any justice. 

I made 2 kinds, one that was more shallow with a doughier crust and the other which was in a deeper pan with a flakier, lighter crust. I liked the flakier one more. I cheated and used Pillsbury croissants and biscuits at the "crust" because I didn't want to make crust and I also couldn't find pre-made crust. Whatever, come on. It's Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Ootoya again

Today was my last official day of work at Pace. It feels so weird, especially since it's where I've been for most of my post-college life now, but I'm also ready to try something new, whatever that happens to be (seriously, anybody got any ideas?). Plus that means that we finally finished the Arturo Herrera project! So that's something to celebrate. Anyway, since we're in the Thanksgiving spirit and everything, I have to say that I've been super lucky in more than a few ways to have ended up working there. I can't imagine having spent the past year in any other way, and I am going to miss everybody too much. And not just the people in the studio or on the 5th floor, but the cleaning lady who gives me hugs, Dick the doorman, the guys at A.I. Friedman who make the same awkward "you guys still working on that project" joke, that guy who maybe works at Adorrama and wears a blue silk shirt every time I see him, even the lady from the architects' office who talks loudly on the phone while she is on the toilet, I'm sure I'll miss her in a weird way too. Obviously I don't like saying good bye. But whatever, I'll be back there in like a week for Kathy's retirement party and I'll get sappy all over again, so I better not waste it all here.

 Kaasan Ni from the "Simmered & Hot Pot" of the menu 

I went to Ootoya on Monday with some work pals, and it was so nice. We sat in the upper area and I had a clear view of what everyone at the bar was eating. I spied two guys eating this and looking really pleased, so I ordered it. 

I have no idea what "kaasan ni" means but I'll now always assume it means heavenly, warm deliciousness. If you wanna get technical, it was deep fried chicken topped with a soft boiled egg (oh my god) and grated radish served in a soy sauce infused broth. This was a really excellent decision. If anything, it was a little too salty at the end, but only because the portions were huge and I ate almost all of it. I guess that's why there's so much grated radish, it adds a nice spicy bite to the fried chicken. The fried chicken isn't crunchy though, obviously. But since its swimming in that amazing broth, it becomes this very moist, flavorful piece of meat that falls apart in the best way that chicken meat can. And plus the egg yolk! I usually get weirded out by chicken-egg combos, but Japanese food always gets that right. The egg is so creamy and rich and adds this whole new layer of flavor and texture to the broth and chicken. I loved it.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Nom Wah Tea Parlor

Ugh, I'm sick! I always get sick around September, but then it came and went and I was totally fine, so I've just been waiting and waiting. I guess it finally was my time. I felt myself getting the chills and getting achy, and I tried to will myself to feel better, but I guess it was too much. I was in a fever-daze all night. Oh well. Now I'm just hiding under my blankets watching cartoons and looking at pictures of meals past. Like this dim sum lunch Neal and I had at Nom Wah Tea Parlor:

 Shrimp dumplings

Shrimp cheong fun (steamed rice noodles and sweet soy sauce)
This has always been my favorite thing to get when we have dim sum. My parents don't even ask me what I want anymore when we go out for dim sum, they just order this.

Ooo, this was good. Beef dumplings in broth

I can never figure out if I actually like getting these little rib things. I think I like it a lot in theory but it usually just ends up being too oily for me.

 Turnip cakes with little bits of Chinese sausage in them

Taro dumplings with mushroom and some other filling. I didn't like these very much. The dumpling skin was way too sticky and the filling was blah. 

But everything else was really good! And hot! That's a good sign, you know. Nobody wants cold dim sum but it happens all the time. Maybe because this was coming straight from the kitchen and not on a cart. I also forgot to take a picture of the BBQ pork buns, which are also another favorite dim sum item. I love how super soft and sweet the bun is and the way it hugs all the sticky, saucy pork. It's just sweet and savory enough. Now I'm going to watch another episode of Rugrats and go back to sleep.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Grand Sichuan International

So I haven't been to a Chinese restaurant in such a long time. Yeah, the food was great, like the better, restaurant version of Chinese take out with super thick sticky sauces that probably have a lot of corn starch in them. I know that sounds sarcastic, but I really did like it. I mean, I wouldn't bring my Chinese dad here, but also, I didn't order any of the Sichuan food that I was probably supposed to get, like dan dan noodles or something, so that's mostly likely not a fair assessment of the authenticity of their food. And also, like, I ordered General Tso's was listed under "American Chinese Food" so what do I know about anything? But I couldn't help it! I REALLY wanted General Tso's chicken and I haven't had it in so long because I'm too scared of the nasty Chinese take out places in my neighborhood. So worth it.

Cold noodles in a peanut sauce

Pork soup dumplings
It's perfect soup dumpling weather now.

Family jewels or 4 jewels or something like that. It came with some sauce on the side, but I'm not sure what it was. It sort of tasted the same as the sauce on the eggplants.

Eggplant with some sauce with pork in it

Yes! General Tso's chicken. Saucy, salty and sweet fried chicken. You can't blame me for ordering this.

Monday, November 12, 2012

breakfast club

To be real, this past week sucked so hard, harder than any week has ever sucked before. And just when I thought it wouldn't suck any harder, it sucked even more. I felt like I got beat up in the head. I guess that's how it happens sometimes though, one thing goes bad and then it's just one thing on top of another until you are buried under a pile of suck and everything feels miserable and mean. But now it's Monday, which means that week is over and also that there was breakfast burrito spread. It was a good way to start a new week because it reminded me of all the things that don't suck and make my life very good and happy and nice, like my friends, they're good. You gotta look out for each other and be good to everyone you love and know. Now I feel like Jerry Springer.

Some of the many bloody marys made by Nick, like every little bit was made by him, except the vodka, none of that premixed junk and also, so much better than what you would get at a restaurant brunch. For real! I'm always afraid to order them because I think it's going to be too horseradish-y or too tomato juice-y. Definitely not an issue with these.

Well, I forgot to take a picture of the table with all the fillings. It was hot and I was hungry. But there were scrambled eggs, black beans with green chiles and lots of garlic, peppers, two kinds of sausage, cheese, obviously, and guacamole. Oh and tater tots. I have been SO into tater tots lately, they go with everything! Tater tots are the new black? 

I don't know how or why, but I was so completely full after only one burrito! I mean, I kept snacking on the tots and sausage and cheese...and everything else, so I probably had the equivalent of at least another burrito, but still, that's not a lot. But it felt like I ate 100 of them and I was so drowsy. It hit me like a bunch of frozen 2 lbs bags of tater tots (we ate 2 of these bags) and I fell asleep almost immediately after everyone left. Everyone else looked totally awake though, I don't know why I got so tired. Now it's 6 am and I've been awake for a solid hour and a half. :) 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

stolen phone treats :-/ :-) ?

So, someone stole my phone today. It really sucked. And it happened as I was coming out of the subway, in my own neighborhood! I think that was the most upsetting thing about it, you know, like "hey! I live here, you can't do that to me!"Anyway, this week has already been a little bit rough on my brain so it felt extra rude. Then after a lot of snot and tears (hah gross, sorry), I was feeling pretty crummy and I had to order Domino's. I haven't had any since living in Providence. I mean, it really sucked but at the end of the day, it's just a phone, and it could be worse, right? I took this photo on my photobooth. I'm gonna go eat my pizza now. I don't even feel bad. 

P.S. took this in photobooth

Saturday, November 3, 2012

cabin fever

I guess yesterday was Friday? This whole week felt like a surreal weekend. By the 3rd day of sitting around and staying within 1/2 mile of my apartment, it all started to blur together, so by yesterday my brain was close to melting and my body was a little closer to being a soggy lump. Luckily Jeremy and I were totally on the same wavelength and decided we needed to get out and do something. The "getting out" part only involved biking to the grocery store to get ingredients for buffalo chicken, but it counts.

So anyhow, this is what we made. Instead of using wings, we got drumsticks because they were cheaper. And it's just more satisfying than eating something that's not doll food size. We didn't want to deal with deep frying, so we coated the chicken with panko crumbs and baked them, and aside from the brief smoke emergency (ooops, heh) they came out super moist yet crunchy. Then we just ladled on the buffalo sauce, but there wasn't any tossing and coating of all of the drumsticks, it would have been too messy. I felt like I needed to watch sports after this.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Man, you guys. The hurricane. What a drag. I mean, I am super super lucky. I didn't lose power, I didn't get flooded, I didn't get hurt, I didn't even lose my internet connection, it's all good. I'm not trying to be a jerk because sooo many people had/have it real real bad, so the following complaint is going to be totally stupid, but don't roll your eyes (too hard): I have terrible cabin fever. I just didn't think it was going to be this bad, you guys get it, right? I wasn't prepared to not have work for the week or to not be able to leave my house or neighborhood, so I freaked out. One day I felt like my eyeballs were going to melt from staring at the computer for so long. I know that's my fault, yeah yeah. But really, it's been a cushy life, just hanging out and eating so many snacks, like so many. I don't have pictures because it was just that kind of extreme gluttony.

But today Melissa made a real dinner. It was a butternut squash risotto with spicy Italian sausage. It was the perfect post-hurricane fall meal. I love how sweet the butternut squash is once it's all roasted and soft, but I think it's only made better in combination with the sausage. But then again, what isn't?

 Public house burger with onion rings and cheddar cheese

I ate this last night for dinner. After I ate quesadillas for brunch. This was a monster burger and it's not really a game changer, but it's everything you look for in a bar burger. Melty and gooey cheese and a lot of juicy meat weighing down on a not-so-sturdy white bun. Can you dig it?