Lobster loving

That not everyone can know the deliciousness of a lobster roll is a sad, sad thing.

Blind people always fill me with incredible sadness. The thought of living in a world of permanent darkness, of not having any idea what clouds look like or the ocean or a full moon— I just can’t wrap my mind around it. I feel the same way about my boyfriend’s shellfish allergy, especially when it comes to lobster rolls.

God, I love lobster rolls. And that’s something I’ll never be able to share with my darling Flaneur. When my fingers and lips are slick with butter and my cheeks are chipmunk-full of  juicy chunks of sweet lobster meat, he’ll have no idea what joy I’m experiencing. And that makes me sad.

A pretty perfect little lunch at Luke's.

Yesterday, during what was a dreary, rainy afternoon, I cut across town to have a lobster roll in the East Village at Luke’s Lobster, figuring it was best to get my lobster roll eating done before he comes back (two weeks from today… yay!). While the lobster roll was slightly on the small side (or maybe I’m just slightly on the fatass side… a more likely possibility), it was absolutely delicious. The lightly toasted, buttered bun was soft and doughy and the hunks of beautifully colored orangey, pink lobster meat were smooth and sweet, with just the perfect amount of mayo, butter and spices. With a frosty Maine Root root beer and a bag of my favorite sea salt and cracked pepper Miss Vickie’s potato chips, I was happy as a clam.

Ironically enough, the bf called me while, I was eating. When I explained what a fantastic lunch I was having he said, “Hmm. I’ve never even had lobster. I can’t even imagine.”

Ugh, it breaks my lobster-roll-loving heart every time.

The summer of ice cream just got big and gay

This has been the summer of ice cream for me. As a friend recently pointed out (in an observational way, not a judgmental one, in case you were wondering) I’ve been eating lots of it.

The Salty Pimp from the Big Gay Ice Cream truck

Maybe it’s because my boyfriend’s been flaneuring around Europe without me (flaneur, for the record, is a noun, not a verb, but I use it as both. My blog, my rules.) and I’ve been emotionally eating in his absence. Or maybe it’s because what the hell else should I do during a beachless, vacationless summer in the city? Ice cream is IT.

Yesterday I even waited in line for it. A pretty long line too, about 35 minutes total, spent between a pack of NYU freshmen and a couple of whiny women straight from a midtown office. So why would I deal with that when there are somewhere around 5 billion other places to get ice cream in this city?

Cause it was from the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck! I’ve been tracking the truck (which constantly changes location) for a few weeks now, missing it because of conflicting work schedules, being out of town (the truck, not me) and friends who didn’t want to wait in line for ice cream. But everything fell into place yesterday and I was able to get my ice cream, in all its delicious, big, gay glory! Continue reading

Never, ever, EVER

Like I’ve said before, I’m pretty open minded when it comes to what I’ll eat. I grew up eating tongue on the regular (thanks Mom, I owe you one) and have even had testicles (of the bull variety at an Argentine barbeque) and really the only thing I will not, under any circumstances, eat are insects.

But now, well, oh boy let me tell you, I am adding another item to the “Will-not-ever-eat-EVER” list. I need to warn you, it’s disgusting. It’s awful. It’s weird and freaky and makes me feel clammy and about to vommit.

Disgusting photo courtesy of Kathryn Parker Almanas for New York Magazine

What is it? IT’S PLACENTA. Jesus Christ Almighty, why would anyone ever eat effing placenta? Ugh, I feel queasy just thinking about it.

New York Magazine has a story in their latest issue that is simultaneously interesting, horryfing, and nauseating. I highly recommend reading it, but unlike what I did, I recommend reading it NOT while eating lunch or any other meal. It’s about mothers who eat the  placenta of their fresh-out-of-the-womb children.

I don’t know that I’ll ever have children (gotta get married first, right? Lord knows that seems an eternity away) but this much I do know: I don’t care how many vitamins and nutrients are in placenta, I am NEVER EATING IT. EVER EVER EVER.

Seriously though, read the story. I’ll be dry heaving in the corner, if anyone needs me.

Avocados for dessert? Yes, please.

When a friend told me recently, albeit half jokingly, that she wanted to open a restaurant where everything would feature avocados, I was one hundred percent behind her. It might not happen anytime soon, unfortunately, but dear sweet baby Jesus I hope it happens sometime in my lifetime, cause I LOVE AVOCADOS.

I love thick wedges as a side with rice and beans, and creamy slices stuffed in my sandwiches. Fresh-made guacamole makes me go batty, and even when it’s just plain and being scooped out of its shell with a spoon (something that always gets a “What are you eating??” from someone around me), I LOVE avocados.

So you can imagine what happened when I read about a new Cuban luncheonette/ 24-hour diner named Coppelia that recently opened and had avocado ice cream on their dessert menu. My mouth started to water and I could just feel the crazy look in my eye. The antsy dance (you know, like when you really need to pee) may have been involved.

My love for avocados just reached a whole new level: dessert.

Yea sure, there were other things to eat at Coppelia including ropa vieja, Cuban sandwiches, fried yucca and all sorts of other staples, but I’ll be honest, being from Miami (i.e. Northern Cuba) I’m kind of picky about my Cuban food. I like it cheap, abundant, and usually served by a little old woman with an attitude. It’s just part of the experience. So yes, I had dinner there, and yes, it wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t anything to write home about… especially when home is Miami.

But the dessert, the whole reason I went to Coppelia, was great. I’m not sure how Cuban avocado ice cream is, but I don’t really care either. I LOVE them, remember? And here was a whole dessert centered around it! The actual ice cream, a pale yellow-green color similar to the very inside of an avocado, the part closest to the pit, was buttery and smooth, almost the same consistency of a perfectly ripened avocado. The flavor, which I think is what would worry most people (though definitely not me) was much more subtle and delicate, so that really it was more of an avocado aftertaste that was left lingering on the tongue. To play up the avocado’s sweet notes, a couple dollops of fluffy whipped cream made it seem more dessert-like while crumbled panela, a hard, molasses-like, unrefined cane sugar, added a nice little crunch amongst all the soft sweetness. And finally, just to bring out a tiny bit of the avocado’s other, less desserty flavors, coarse Maldon salt and a few drops of lime juice. Sweet, avocado deliciousness.

If my friend ever opens her avocado eatery I’ll root hard for an ice cream dessert like Coppelia’s. And hopefully, as one of her most ardent supporters in her avocado endeavors, that’ll mean there will always be a table with my name on it.

National Rice Pudding Day, yes, rice pudding

According to Serious Eats, today is National Rice Pudding Day. (Random, I know, but hey, we all have to get some recognition sometime.)

Up until about a year ago I would never have celebrated National Rice Pudding Day. I grew up being slightly grossed out by the lumpy, cold dessert, because like lentil soup, rice pudding was one of those things that my mom made all the time, even though I told her, and still have to remind her to this day, I didn’t like it. At all. I’ve always thought my mom’s cooking was mediocre at best, but rice pudding (and lentil soup, for that matter) always fell squarely in the “blegh, gross” category. My mom’s was sticky and goopy, with disconcerting whole cinnamon sticks.

Rice To Riches' cheesecake flavored rice pudding. Now, THAT'S my kind of rice pudding.

But some time last year I heard about Rice To Riches, a Nolita shop specializing in one thing only: rice pudding. Curious to see how a business could thrive selling something as random as rice pudding, I went to check it out. Unlike my mom’s milky colored variety, the rice puddings at RTR came in more than a dozen flavors and colors. There was a gold colored caramel, a chocolate flecked cookies and cream, a chocolatey hazelnut, an oatmeal-colored french toast. This was NOT my mom’s rice pudding.

I surprisingly liked it so much that first time, that I went again more recently and tried it again. And what do you know? I still wasn’t grossed out by it! In fact, I straight up liked it. I went for the cheesecake rice pudding (named “coast to coast cheesecake”) which was cool and creamy, with just enough texture to not be too smooth or slimy. The flavor was a creamier version of cheesecake filling (which, ahem, I could eat by the gallons) and best part— no surprise pieces of uncut cinnamon sticks! (God, I hated those.)

Rice To Riches was able to make me a rice pudding believer, even after a childhood of the goopy, icky stuff I had at home. So go ahead, have a happy rice pudding day! At a safe thousand plus miles away from my mom’s rice pudding, I know I certainly will.

Getting figgy with it

The Figgy Elvis. Thank you Murray's. Thank you very much.

It was my day off, and with temperatures outside sizzling in the upper 90s, my only plan for the day was to hang out in my PJs in the comfort of my apartment, AC blasting, music blaring, no plans of venturing into the outside world.

It was a damn fine plan too, until I checked Twitter. That’s when I read a Tweet from Murray’s Cheese Shop advertising their special melt of the day, the Figgy Elvis. As I read the ingredients, my thinking went a little like this:

Crunchy peanut butter (yumm), bacon (double yum), mascarpone (oh heck yea, now we’re talking), and fig spread (that’s it, SOLD). Alright, where are my shoes?

I threw some clothes on and bolted out the door and down Bleecker Street to Murray’s, which thankfully is only about a 10-minute walk away. After popping in, ordering and then beelining back, I was once again home, this time in the sweet company of my new lunch, the Figgy Elvis.

It might not be pretty, but it sure made up for it in deliciousness.

Now, I’ve had sandwiches that combine peanut butter and bacon before, but this was nothing like that. Instead of being a dry, tongue-sticking-to-the-roof-of-your-mouth jumble, the Figgy Elvis was creamy and smooth thanks to the velvety softness of the fluffy mascarpone cheese. The fig jam, rich and fruity, was the perfect amount of smooth and sweet to play off the salty crunch of the perfectly cooked bacon (perfect bacon, in my book, is crispy, not chewy).

I love every ingredient in this sandwich but it’s not every day that I eat them all together. But the Figgy Elvis?  I could eat that one every single day it was so good, even on my days off when I want to just hole up in my apartment.

Homage to yogurt

I recently realized that I don’t show nearly enough love on this blog to one of my favorite foods ever: yogurt. So you know what, yogurt? This one’s for you.

With nuts or with honey, fruit flavored and plain, as a snack, a dessert, or even as a meal— I just love yogurt.

But who ever writes about yogurt? Who rants and raves about it? I never read about yogurt in food blogs or magazines, and few foodie convos ever involve it. But after a couple of really phenomenal yogurt experiences I’ve had recently, I’m here to sing its praises!

Yogurt with stewed fruit at The Smile

First, was a great big bowl of yogurt topped with stewed plums and almond bits at the cozy-hipster-rustic-chic (cause that’s a whole design concept these days) Noho eatery, The Smile. The plain white yogurt was sweet and creamy, a delicate vanilla taste to complement the rich, jammy plums poured on top. To break up the smooth creaminess there were chunky chopped almonds. Big enough to be a meal and sweet enough to be a dessert (a fairly healthy one at that) this yogurt was perfect. Forget eggs and bacon for once, this was all the brunch I needed.

Goat's milk greek yogurt with blueberries, granola and honey

My other recent delicious run-in with yogurt was at Victory Garden, a teeny Greenwich village shop that sells dairy treats made with goat’s milk. While the salted caramel frozen yogurt I sampled was good (tiptoing that delicious line between salty and sweet), I saw Greek yogurt on the menu and immediately wanted that tangy sourness. As toppings, I got fresh, plump blueberries and a nutty, sweet granola, all under a generous drizzle of honey. The yogurt itself was thick, so much so that had it not been covered in blueberries and granola, I would’ve been curious to see how long before it oozed out of the cup if I turned it upside down. The flavor was tangy and bright, which was perfect for the juicy, sweet blueberries and the crunchy granola. The honey tied everything together in a sticky sweet way and made the blueberries look even shinier and ready to be swirled into the yogurt.

Yea, most days’ yogurt comes in individual serving sized cups with peel-back lids and not made with delicious ingredients like these, but so what? I love it all just the same.