Saturday, January 20, 2007

A Food-Filled Weekend

My adventures over MLK weekend were laced with a mixture of good and bad luck. It all started on Saturday night when The GF and I, along with our friends, Hooligan James and his girlfriend, tried seeing a 10:10 showing of Notes on a Scandal at the AMC in Times Square. Unfortunately, it was sold out. We were naïve enough to think other people in New York had better things to do than spend their Saturday night at the theatre.

Actually, people in New York probably do have better things to do than spend their Saturday night at the theatre. It was probably all those crazy tourists who bought the tickets. They probably thought, “Let’s buy our tickets, eat some crappy Mexican food at Chevy’s, then shop at Quicksilver and Skecher’s until the movie starts.”

Whoever did that was smart because they got tickets. I ended up going to the “Everything for $1” street cart for a sausage with sauerkraut, onions, and mustard ten minutes before the show. After discovering that it was sold out, we debated between Casino Royale and The Holiday. I’ll let you have one guess at who wanted to see Casino Royale and who wanted to see The Holiday.

We decided a night at the theatre would just have to wait. We saved our $11 and headed back home, but not without stopping at the “Everything for $1” cart again. Those sausages are delicious.

I had promised to make breakfast that weekend, so Sunday morning seemed like the perfect time. My specialty is French toast and bacon, mainly because it’s the only thing I can make for the morning feast. I always seem to burn pancakes, and my omelettes just aren’t as good as those at Easter Sunday brunches.

There was a little twist to my breakfast. We were using Arnold wheat bread, which I don’t particularly fancy, but is the preferred loaf of The GF. I usually use Home Pride wheat or Wonder Bread. I also made the mistake of purchasing turkey bacon. The GF talked me into it for health reasons and because it was $3 cheaper than the good, fatty pork bacon. We also used Log Cabin Lite syrup. My preferred syrup is Aunt Jemima. She’s much thicker and sweeter than Log Cabin Lite.

I did change up my mixture a bit and threw in some vanilla extract. That was pretty good. Overall, I didn’t think it was my greatest French toast, but The GF seemed to like it. I think once she tries my French toast with regular, fatty products, she’ll be even more amazed. (Side note: Dunkin’ Donuts redeemed itself this weekend. The GF bought me an iced caramel latte for me to sip on while I cooked. It was delicious.)

On Sunday, night we went to Chinatown because I’ve had an intense desire to visit my favorite Chinese restaurant and get some egg custard. I also wanted to visit the Asian grocery store.

The first stop was the Asian grocery store. I love the smell of any Asian grocery store. They all have that same funky smell, but you adapt to it after five minutes. My original intent was just to get some oolong or jasmine tea, but I also ended up with chocolate.

I located the Meiji aisle and tried to find the Hello Panda chocolate-filled biscuits but instead, stumbled upon Meltykiss (click on that link for a review). I bought about twenty boxes of the green tea flavor when I was in Hong Kong. They didn’t have green tea, but they did have milk and strawberry. I had already tried strawberry, which is delicious, so I gave milk a try. It was heavenly.

The next stop was the egg custard shop. My initial experience with egg custard occurred when I was on The Island. I was floored by it. I attempted to buy some egg custard on my last trip to Chinatown, but it was too late and the only shop that was open had sold out. This time, I bought the egg custard before dinner. Unfortunately, the egg custard I bought was not that great. I think I need to try the bakery that sells it for $2 a piece rather than the bakery that sells it for $.75 a piece.

The last stop was supposed to be O.K. Diner on Hester Street, right by Little Italy. I know you’re wondering how a place called O.K. Diner, which is located a block from Little Italy, can be my favorite stop in Chinatown. You’ll have to trust me when I say the pan-fried noodles, salt and pepper squid, and Chinese broccoli were unreal. We hadn’t eaten there in over a year, so we figured we could wander around Hester Street until we found it. To our (more like my) complete dismay, O.K. Diner no longer existed. I even called my sister in Michigan to see if she could find this place on Yahoo! Yellow Pages. I was completely disappointed. I now had to find a new spot to eat in Chinatown.

Finding a new spot is not as easy as it sounds. Not every restaurant is good. Take Joe’s Shanghai, for example. This place is revered by many, mainly because of their soup dumplings. The soup dumplings are extremely delicious, but I found the rest of the food to be crap.

As a general rule, I think establishments with some sort of meat or dead bird hanging in the window are your best bet. Though they may not be great, I think they’ll be better than “fancy” places without the meat/dead bird showcase. (This is my own personal criteria for choosing Chinese eateries. Do not adopt it as fact.)

After deciding against some places because of no hanging meat or crowdedness, we decided on a place called Big Wong. We ordered steamed dumplings, seafood pan-fried noodles, and the salt and pepper trio (shrimp, squid, & scallops).

Though Big Wong had some ribs and duck hanging in its window, it wasn’t as great as O.K. Diner. I’d definitely leave open the possibility of returning there, but I’m going to try a new restaurant on my next trip to Chinatown.

Monday morning brought a slew of bad luck with food. The plan was to go to Max Brenner in the East Village, then head to Target in Brooklyn. If you are aroused when you get a glimpse of the chocolate river in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, then you must visit Max Brenner.

On weekdays from 7AM-1PM, Max Brenner in the East Village has a coffee & waffle with warm chocolate sauce combo for $1. Breakfast for two for $2 was too good to pass up. (Did you like how I used four versions of the “too” sound every other word in that previous sentence? I thought it was genius.) Unfortunately, they’re too cheap to offer it during national holidays.

I don’t panic. It’s 11AM, and we’re a block away from Pommes Frites. We walk there, but they don’t open until 11:30.

I still don’t panic. BAMN is a mere 100 feet away. We decided that we don’t need breakfast, and we just want the $2 green tea soft serve. As we walk by, we notice the soft serve machine has a sign taped to it that says, “OUT OF ORDER.” Dammit.

We decided to see if there was something by Target, but we just ended up with McDonald’s. It was the nastiest McDonald’s I have ever visited. The McChicken, the cornerstone of any of my McDonald’s visits, tasted nasty. What was even worse was that I also tried the Snack Wrap. Purely disgusting.

I should’ve just gone to the “Everything for $1” cart. That guy never fails to please.


  1. i dont like the path you have gone in your blog. its like a long annoying away message left by a girl who has no creative ability yet feels everyone wants to know what shes doing, in chronological order. we dont care about what you actually do. what we care about are your funny insights on not only what you do, but current events, random tangents, anything. your blog is mediocare at best. make it better, i expect more out of you.


  2. I'm not too sure I'll ever enjoy the smell of walking into a chinese grocery store.....