Aimless strolls and jackpot finds

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What a find!

I think my roommate secretly hates going to the supermarket with me. On the rare occasions when we do go together, she knows exactly what she wants, grabs it, pays and is outside texting me that she’ll meet me back at home, all before I’ve dropped even a single item into my basket.

Even when I have a list, or I’m at Trader Joes in Union Square having homicidal thoughts, or I’m tired, hungry, or wearing sweaty gym clothes, I can’t help but wander aimlessly, roaming, perusing the aisles for something to move me.

Sometimes I’ll just stand in front of the freezer section, half daydreaming, half scanning the rows of pizzas, TV dinners, and ice cream. Ah the ice cream, always and forever the ice cream.

I was doing exactly that recently, standing before a freezer at Target, looking for nothing in particular but everything at once, when I saw it: TWINKIES ICE CREAM.

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It broke but it was good to the very bottom!

That cute little Twinkie in a cowboy hat and boots reached out with one of his tiny gloved hands and said, “C’mon Ang, let’s go home.”

And we sure as hell did cause you know what? I. LOVE. TWINKIES. I don’t care if people think they’re gross, or weird, or capable of surviving a nuclear holocaust. I love ’em. They’ve got a cute name, adorable little spongy shapes, tasty cream fillings, and just the right blend of kitsch and nostalgia to make me feel the warm and fuzzies.

Twinkie cones are chocolate lined, filled with a vanilla-y, sweet cream type, Twinkie flavored ice cream and topped with fluffy bits of golden sponge cake on frothy whip cream, not unlike the stuff inside a real Twinkie.

Only thing better than a walk down the memory lane of sweet childhood treats, is—as the Twinkies cone proves—one of my meandering strolls down the frozen foods aisle.

A great, gooey gimmick

No one does over the top, gimmicky food quite like New York. There’s the giant soup dumpling you slurp with a straw, the technicolor rainbow bagel, the cookie dough scooped into cones and eaten like ice cream. The more outlandish and calorie laden the better.

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Grilled cheese fantasies come to life

And while I occasionally roll my eyes at the line of people snaking down the block at any of the places turning out these food fetish creations, I’ll be the first to admit I’ve had my share, and I too, have waited in some pretty stupid lines to get a taste of the moment’s food craze. (Cronut, I’m looking at you.)

When I heard about this next thing I immediately thought, “Oh Jesus Christ, that’s absurd” followed immediately by “I must have it.” And so my roommate and I compared schedules, nailed a date, and off we went in search of Clinton Hall‘s Flamin’ Hot Doughnut Grilled Cheese.

Made of gooey, melted mozzarella pressed between two Doughnut Project habanero bacon glazed doughnuts in place of bread, the glorious and oh-so-gluttonous flamin’ hot grilled cheese sandwich is served looped through a hook and dangled over a bowl of thick, hot tomato soup for dipping.

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Worth every last calorie.

Even though doughnuts are involved, the sweet element is minimal here, with just the tiniest, subtle sweetness coming through the layers of cheese and butter and doughy, bacony goodness. The tomato soup, which I  often find to be too runny or acidic, was neither. It was thick and creamy, just the right amount of tomatoey sweet with a peppery kick, perfect to complement the grilled cheese.

Even though Clinton Hall only offers 20 of these per day Friday through Sunday, we showed up  just after noon on a Sunday and didn’t have to fight any crowds or freeze our grilled cheese loving asses off standing outside in any lines. A couple of tables had them and obviously there was lots of gawking and picture snapping, but that’s how it goes with these food fads. But if they’re as good as this sandwich was, I don’t really care who’s watching or taking pictures or rolling their eyes. I’ll be the one licking my fingers and doing the little happy dance.

Carbo-loading early

I’ve been toying with a crazy idea over the last year or so, and last Thursday I decided to make it official: I’m running the 2017 NYC marathon.

Cue mild panic attack.

On top of the physical commitment, I’m also running it for charity which means I have to raise $2,620 or else that’s what gets charged to my card. Double yikes, right? The pressure is ON.

In the spirit of finding the energy necessary to run a stretch of 26.2 miles, I decided to get a head start on the carbo-loading with dinner at Cheeseboat. (Ok, the truth is someone posted a video on my Facebook of a huge hunk of bread with a delicious pool of cheese in the middle and when I found out the restaurant was in Williamsburg, I immediately made plans with a friend. But it did actually coincide with me signing up for the marathon.)

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Take me away cheeseboat, take me away

Cheeseboat is a Georgian restaurant and dammit, I wanna go to freakin’ Georgia now because these folks know what to do with some bread and cheese. They have other stuff but good God almighty, CHEESE FREAKIN’ BOATS! I wanna jump in one and sail away into my fat kid dreams.

There’s lots of cheeseboat variations, some with bacon or truffle sauce, cream or veggies, and all manner of delicious combos, but basically they’re a big doughy mass, like a shallow bread bowl, filled with gooey, melted cheese in the middle, so that you gradually tear the whole thing apart and dip it in the middle, scooping out big globs of warm, delicious cheese as you go.

My friend and I  went with the original cheeseboat, filled with cheese, butter and topped with a fried egg, because as I’ve said before, I would almost eat rocks if they were underneath the rich, velvety blanket of golden, delicious fried egg yolks. For a serious carb and cheese lover like myself, this was everything. Yes, I felt stuffed to the gills and completely incapable of running to the door, much less 26.2 miles around all five boroughs, but I can tell you this much, I know what I want to eat AFTER that marathon.