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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Who's Your Uncle

So I love my job.  I am helping create some incredibly impactful ads that can really shake up the industry (don't worry about not being able to reach through the computer screen, I am patting myself on the back).  It is pretty cool to realize that our teams are recognizing a need and determining how to fulfill it through advertising. 

That said, such genius can translate into late nights, tonight being one of them.  I have no problem putting in the time because I can anticipate the end result.  I especially don't mind when staying late means expensed din din at the office.  Tonight's restaurant of choice: Uncle Nick's.

Uncle Nick's is a small greek spot in the Midtown West/Hell's Kitchen/Theater District area.  It has become a regular on the rotation due to the consistently good food.  Being a creature of habit, I always order the gyro (no red onions, in case you wanted the specifics), but today I decided to mix it up.  I went on a limb and got the vegetable mousaka.  I am a huge lover of greek food (it's one of my faves), but can be picky about my mousaka, so this was a true test of Uncle Nick's cuisine.  Verdict: loved it!  The hearty eggplant/potato/zucchini dish was paired with a flavorful rice pilaf.  I'm stuffed - and all for $9.95.

Nick may just be my new favorite uncle (sorry to my Mommy and Daddy's bros - when you learn how to make mousaka like this, you can reclaim the title).

Unanswered Questions: Gossip Girl Recap - 3/29 Episode

This weeks episode was all about acknowledgement (or lack thereof), read on to see what I mean...
  • Why does nobody acknowledge the fact that Eleanor's been living in Paris?  She comes back and it's like she's been there the whole time...except she hasn't because Serena's been using her apartment as her own private sex den.
  • How did Jenny sober up? Yes it had been a while since the show as they acknowledge it was "late," but she ingested a buttload of pills. Unless they stopped at Lenox Hill Hospital for a quick stomach pump, I'm not buying it.
  • Thank goodness everyone finally acknowledged that B has no friends at NYU.  But it begs the question...does it really matter when all of her real friends from high school miraculously wound up living in NYC anyway?
  • After last year's seder dramz, I would have liked some acknowledgement of Passover...or Cyrus' existence at all. Where is he? What is he doing? INCONCEIVABLE!
  • Yay those girls from Columbia acknowleged that GG still exists!  It was getting weird having her narrate when none of the characters mentioned her anymore.  Yes they idolize Blair, but why are they still rocking the headbands?  Even Blair's moved on.
And now perplexities not related to acknowledgement...
  • Is it tacky to hang a Columbia penant in an NYU dorm room?
  • Wouldn't a designer as successful as Eleanor Waldorf have a workshop?  Why is she turning her beautiful apartment into a sweatshop?
  • What's so brill about Agnes' plan?  Why would Jenny agree it was necessary to flush the pills at the show - that's something that can be done at any bathroom anywhere.  Damien would be just as upset if she flushed his stash alone in a gas station bathroom.
  • Why does Jenny think it's necessary to trade one absurd makeup tactic for another? First racoon eyes, now joker lipstick.  What's wrong with fresh faced makeup?  That's how every other female on the show does it and they all have hot, successful (read: not drug dealing) boyfriends.  Meanwhile, Jenny is left gazing at a picture of Nate on Gossip Girl...perhaps there's a correlation.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Reality Recap

Apparently there is a new reality show called Pretty Wild that chronicles the lives of three sisters living the crazy life in LA.  I was intrigued because one such sister is named Tess, and I assumed this would make me famous by association, name association that is.  I now realize I don't want to be associated with this chick.  Even without taking the cringe inducing lip piercing into consideration, I gathered I was nothing like this girl.  She and her sisters gallivant around La La Land before returning to be home schooled by their mother (a former playmate who wants nothing more than to see her girls realize her level of nude success) who apparently feels that collages and floral essences (no idea what that is) are the sorts of things you learn in school.  Why she doesn't care that her high school daughters are out until 3 AM is beyond me.  I love trash TV, but this one was too much for me.  I lasted maybe 3.5 minutes before gagging and changing the channel.

But reality tv is not all bad - I love Real Housewives of New York City.  That's it.  Rock on, ladies.  Can't wait to see what shenanigans you get yourselves into next.

While not a reality show, I finally broke down and purchased Season 1, Volume 1 of Glee yesterday, which is basically my favorite show ever.  I have already seen every episode multiple times, yet I still found this purchase to be completely necessary.  This show is like a combo of Election and High School Musical, and it totally works.  If you're not jealous of the fact that I now get to watch this show over and over again whenever I feel like it, then you must never have watched the show.  To that, I say shame on you.  Stop being so lazy and set your DVR to the greatest show ever.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Unanswered Questions: Gossip Girl Recap - 3/22 Episode

This week, Lily and Rufus reconcile, but it's clear their future is precarious due to Lily's shifty phone call with CeCe at the end of the show.  But like lil J's V card, that's not the only thing that's uncertain.  Read on for the rest of this week's unanswered questions...
  • How does Jenny somehow manage to get away with these schemes when she makes her sneaky phone calls directly outside her front door?  And how comatose is Rufus that he doesn't overhear this conversation?
  • How has Jenny never heard of Dirty Dancing?  The "too young" excuse doesn't work.  I'm technically too young and yet I've seen it 12,000 times.  Does she not own a TV?  Even if she's not crazy for Swayze, that movie plays on TBS every day (thank goodness).
  • Did anyone notice Chuck's pictures?  He has a total of two.  1) Bart Bass and 2) him and Blair sitting Napolean style (him sitting down with his hand inside his jacket over his breast and her standing over him).  Not like I expected a ton of crazy Spring Break pictures in "friends forever" frames, but for some reason that struck me as weird.
  • Where is Eric?  Maybe he could talk some sense into Jenny.
  • Why does Chuck's mom have a weird accent?  Don't think I didn't notice it before.  I did...I was just hoping (in vain) that she would lose it.
  • What's that animal crawling on Jack Bass' chin?
'Til next week....

Monday, March 22, 2010

The "Non-Plan" Plan

I was so happy to have Carlen in the city all weekend!  After a yummy dinner at The Smith on Friday and a great lunch at Nanoosh (a hummus restaurant near my apartment) on Saturday, we had to finish off the weekend with a great Sunday brunch (the trifecta).  Since the weather gods decided to smile on us all weekend, we opted to go with the "non-plan" plan.  That is, we took the subway to Astor Place and walked around the East Village until we found someplace that caught our eye, preferably one we had not yet tried.  We wound up at La Palapa, a Mexican place on St. Mark's. 

I'll definitely be going back.  The prices were reasonable (my meal was only about $10) and the portions were hearty.  I ordered the Huevos Choriqueso (eggs with chorizo and cheese), which were served with heaping portions of beans and guac.  The beans were actually refried black beans, which I had previously never seen.  They were delicious and much better than normal refried beans.  I was shocked by how much guacamole they gave us.  Usually guacomole is portioned out sparingly, like a precious metal, but at La Palapa, they weren't shy, a quality I love in a restaurant.  The meals were served with a basket of tortillas, which I used to make myself a little breakfast burrito - yum! 

Mental Note: remember Mexican (and La Palapa in particular) for brunch.  I like eggs and bacon/sausage, but I am overall not a huge breakfast eater.  Going to a Mexican restaurant is a great way to satisfy my egg craving with more savory, lunchy accompaniments. 

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Jingle Jangle

One of my favorite jingles has been the Starburst Berries and Cream .  Now there's a newbie in the mix.  I can not stop singing the words to McDonald's' "Gimme that filet o'fish" song.  It has the makings of a great jingle in that it is extremely catchy.  I can't get it out of my head.  While I think this is some great marketing - bringing a less sought after menu option to the forefront - I still don't think I'll be ordering it anytime soon.  I will, however, probably be singing this song in the Mickey D's line as I order my double cheeseburger.

A New Contender in the Burger Ring

I entered this weekend with one goal: cross at least one restaurant of my "To Try" list.  My friend from college, Carlen, came to visit for the weekend, thus carrying out this mission seemed that much more important.  Turns out I didn't need the whole weekend - we fulfilled this mission within 20 minutes of Carlen's arrival.  I've heard about The Smith for a while - its burger in particular - so I was very happy Carlen's friends chose it.

We shared the hot potato chips with blue cheese fondue and crawfish hush puppies.  Both were very yummy but could have been a little warmer.  The chips were good, but I have tried the hot chips with blue cheese dip at Bar Americain, and I must admit Bobby Flay made the chips better than The Smith.  The crawfish hush puppies were very good.  They were full of crawfish and almost like a bread-ier crawfish cake.  Of course after all that talk I had to try the was great!  It was huge, so I needed to cut it in half to give myself a fighting chance at getting it in my mouth.  The second I pressed down with my knife, burger juice flowed all over the plate and continued to drip down my arm as I ate, which I happily licked clean.  The juice mixed with the cheese and special sauce for extra deliciousness.  The ciabatta bun was the perfect choice for sandwiching the burger.  Oh and don't forget the thick, crisp bacon and mountain of thin-cut fries.  Unfortunately, I neglected to take a picture of the burger - I was too busy getting it into my belly.  I did, however, snap some pics of the apps.

The prices are definitely reasonable, so if you're looking for a casual place to grab a bite before heading out for the night, check out The Smith.  Feel free to thank me after eating the burger.
Hot Chips with Blue Cheese Fondue

Crawfish Hushpuppies with Old Bay Aioli

Friday, March 19, 2010

My Lord! The Lords of Discipline was Great

The Lords of Discipline by Pat Conroy was an amazing novel.  Conroy is a gifted writer and one of my favorite authors.  His flowery writing style could make a dreadfully banal topic seem like the most beautiful things you have ever read.  Combine that with the fact that his literary focus is the South, and I am in bookworm heaven.

I stayed up way past my bedtime to finish this book last night, but it was well worth the extra cup of coffee I needed to get going this morning.  The Lords of Discipline follows Will McLean through his years at The Carolina Military Institute in Charleston (based on Conroy's alma mater, The Citadel).  As he navigates his way through an intense hazing process, a brief love affair, and a treacherous secret society, he learns what it takes to make the transition from a boy to manhood and the meaning of true friendships. 

I was gripped by the characters' deception and yes, I cried at a point.  Don't worry, things turn out ok, but true to life, not everything works out perfectly.  Sad, but this makes the novel believable.  This book made me nostaligic for my beloved lowcountry and I am pleased to say that Conroy writes it to seem as beautiful as I know it to be.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Erin Go Bare

Happy St. Patty's Day, blogosphere!  As a proud Savannah native, I have been bred to consider this one of the greatest holidays ever, which is why I am a tad gloomy today.  New York doesn't recognize the importance of this holiday the way Savannah does.  The streets of NYC will not be swarmed by girls flashing for beads (hence the "Erin Go Bare" post title/Savannah St. Patty's slogan vs. the usual "Erin Go Braugh").  I mean, I am actually sitting at my desk at work right now.  What?!  If I were back in the Hostess City of the South, there would be no work.  There is also no school as all educational facilities strategically time their Spring Break to coincide with St. Patrick's Day.  Why am I staring at a computer screen when, considering it's already 10 AM, I should be 1/2 through drink #2 at this point.

On the upside, I am wearing a skirt today with NO tights.  That's right, it is warm enough to go bare-legged today.  FINALLY!  Can it be?!  Has Spring finally sprung?!

Now the biggest I say "screw it" to being hungover at work tomorrow and go out and celebrate the holiday tonight?  The work hangover is an awful thing, but can I really pass up green beer?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Unanswered Questions: Gossip Girl Recap - 3/15 Episode

This week something amazing and perplexing occurred on GG: Chuck chuckled.  I reached deep into the Gossip Girl archive that is my mind and came to the conclusion that this has never happened before.  Chuck has never genuinely laughed or smiled in the history of this show.  Smirked? Of course, but this is all new territory for Chuck Bass.  That wasn't the only weird bit of the episode - read on...
  • Vanessa has now hooked up with every one of the boys.  A tree grows in Brooklyn?  More like a slut grows in Brooklyn.  That got me thinking about how everyone has basically hooked up with everyone else at this point.  Dan with Serena, Chuck with Blair, almost Chuck with Serena (near kitchen date rape in 1st or 2nd episode), Nate with Blair, Nate with Jenny, Nate with Serena, Nate with Vanessa, almost Jenny with Chuck (near rooftop date rape in 2nd episode...I'm noticing a pattern).  All that's left is Dan and Blair.  Ew.  Would writers test the incest category with Dan and Jenny?  Or maybe throw Rufus into the mix?
  • Who keeps that kind of stuff in their fridge?  A giant bowl of whipped cream?  And what was that brown creamy stuff they passed between their mouths?  Caramel?  Vegemite?  Poop?
  • Damien reveals that his father really is a druggie and he hates he decides to break the cycle by selling drugs?  Regardless, I think he's still lying because his father is a Belgian embassador.  That kind of job doesn't lend itself to serious drug use.
  • What's up with Paul's pastel scarf?  I didn't know the Fred from Scooby Doo look was in.  why do they try to pass someone who is clearly gay off as a viable love interest for Vanessa?  Get a clue, Vanessa, that boy is about 2 Barbara Streisand albums away from being the Grand Marshall of the gay pride parade.
  • I just it weird to have Gossip Girl narrating when no one gets texts/looks at the Gossip Girl website anymore?
  • Dan and Vanessa, you are 2 college freshmen who just hooked up for the first time and you brought up marriage.  It didn't cross your mind that was weird?  Even if you just mentioned marriage to say you don't have to be thinking about it, it means you're actually thinking about it.  Future stalker alert.
  • Who serves mojitos at a college party?  And who goes all out with a mock-photo booth at a college party?  If this was in a real dorm the most you'd see for decorations and drinks are Christmas lights and hunch punch.  ::sigh:: hunch punch... 

Monday, March 15, 2010

In The Bag[atelle]

I played every moment of this weekend as "full speed ahead," and it felt great.  After a sushi dinner on Friday night with Dave and Dana, the three of us headed to Kings Head for the Vandy/Georgia b-ball game.  UGA lost.  It's basketball - not our strong suit - but don't get used to the feel of victory, Vandy.  Then it was back uptown on our quest for darts.  After our go-to dart spot proved disappointing (they didn't have the actual darts, and staring at a dart board with nothing to throw is decidedly less fun), we went to check out the new Johnny Rockets.  This is nowhere near my first choice for a burger, but when they opened two months ago, they made the top floor a bar, and we figured it was worth a look-see.  $30 of erotic photo hunt, one great mullet, and a grilled cheese later, we were satisfied and headed home.

Saturday I lazied around until about 7 PM, when we headed to Tyler's apartment for some pre-gaming.  A couple hours later, we laughed in the face of the disgusting weather (that lasted 3 straight days) and headed to Meatpacking for a late dinner at Bagatelle.  The food was tasty, my salad in particular.  The endive, jicama, candied walnuts, and cheese was refreshing.  I must admit, it was better than Dave's salad, which was a tad too peppery and slightly overdressed.  I think he liked mine better, too, because his fork kept detouring onto my plate on the way to his mouth.  Dave loved his steak and my gnocci were good, though maybe a little too garlic-y.  In full disclosure, I must admit that my level of intoxication may have altered my perception of the food, so I may have to go back and evaluate without the shots of Patron.  Then again, the best part of the restaurant was the atmosphere.  Bagatelle is a SCENE.  Food tastes much better when you're sitting in the Riviera-esque atmosphere and eating in the company of the Beautiful People.  By the end of dinner we (along with half the people in the restaurant) were dancing on the banquettes.  For as crazy as it got in there, the wait staff was friendly and attentive.  I had a great time and a great meal at Bagatelle, but if you plan on visiting, make sure you know what you are getting into.  It is pricey and loud, which proved to be a great start to my Saturday evening, but not ideal if you're looking for a low-key night.  After dinner we headed to Marquee for a little club action and then it was time for beddy-bye.

And don't just think we spent Sunday just sitting on our laurels.  Well, I did for a little while as I nursed my hangover, but that didn't last all day.  After a little brunch at the French restaurant next door and some McDonalds later in the afternoon (as I said, I was nursing a hangover), Dave, Dana, Simon, and Mrs. Smiles attended a wine and cheese pairing class at a cute cheese shop in CT.  I'd say that capped the full weekend.  Take that, rain.  

Friday, March 12, 2010

Flea Fi Fo Fum

Apparently, Manhattan is about to get a big, new flea market that will rival the Brooklyn Flea, a place I am ashamed to admit I have not yet visited.  Now I won't have to. 

Suchin Pak (of MTV veejay fame) is one of the brains behind the operation, which comforts me because she is from the Glory Days of MTV, back when they actually played music.  Seriously, who's in charge of their programming schedule?  Whenever I scroll through the listings, it seems like Teen Mom 24/7, but I digress...

A flea of this size (60 vendors) would be great to have in my neighborhood.  Well, Hester and Essex isn't exactly my neighborhood, but it's my borough, which is a huge improvement.  Flea markets combine two of my faves: street food and fun, cheap, rando, antique-y finds.  I am now counting down the days til it opens on 4/26 (and will be open 10 AM-6PM, Saturdays and Sundays, April-Dec) - a date that will hopefully provide the nice springtime weather I have been craving, the kind of weather that is perfect for an LES, flea market stroll.

Thursday, March 11, 2010


I can't believe I am about to type this (sorry in advance, Mommy), but I am addicted to porn - FOOD PORN.

Wendy just earned herself shout-out #2 for the week because today at work she IMd me a link to Food Porn Daily.  Wendy scored herself some brownie points for this for two reasons:

  1. She provided me with a much needed break from client meetings and cost analyses.
  2. This site is truly amazing.  I can not stop clicking.  I want more.  I must have more.
Wendy does lose a point, however, because the drool induced by these pictures probably ruined my keyboard.  And because I may now have to join David Duchovny in porn rehab, which, frankly, I don't have the money to afford.

I am now super inspired to make equally mouthwatering dishes.  This may be the sexiest website I have ever encountered.

Same Blog, New Look

It's a new day and a new look for quinTESSential information.  Thought this look was a tad nicer and must thank Marzy for leading me to the wonderful world of new backgrounds.  For this, I must give her blog, VAB-FAB, a much deserved shout-out.  The look may change again and I may - wait for it - add a picture to the top, but for now, I'm lovin the makeover.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I Want Sum More

Sunday was a DAY.  In fact, it was such a day, that it has taken me this long to blog about it.  We started off a little groggy after spending a long night celebrating Greg's b-day, but I had made plans with Wendy and Raychel and did not want to back out.  Dave, on the other hand, was pretty adament about wanting to stay home and sleep; however, I was excited about the plans, so I begged, pleaded, and bribed him with a sweet treat from Dylan's.  I eventually wore him down and we heded to Chinatown to meet the gals for dim sum at Jing Fong on Elizabeth Street.

We were a little late because we were seduced by the fish markets selling lobster and jumbo prawns for around 2 cents a pound.  I'm pretty sure I now know where I'm going to shop for my next big meal.  I plan to serve a ton of lobster to a group of friends to attain baller status..  Once we arrived, there was a crowd outside, but Wendy and Raychel had already grabbed our ticket (part of the dim sum process) so it was not long before they called our number and we boarded the escalator up to a humongous, crowded banquet hall.

Wendy won some major cool points at this stage of the meal because she just started grabbing the ladies pushing carts of food, busted out the Chinese, and selected our plates.  Dave was super impressed.  Later he and I had the following conversation:

D: Wendy's really cool and chill
T: I know
D: And she speaks Chinese - that's really cool
T: I know
D: I mean, did you see that?  She was speaking Chinese.
T: Yes, I was there

We ate so much, it was absurd:
  • Pork shumai (2 orders)
  • Shrimp ha gao
  • Steamed pork buns
  • Sweet pork in a pastry
  • Shrimp in rice dough
  • Spring rolls
  • Eggplant stuffed with shrimp
  • Crispy taro/vegetable puff
  • Turnip cake (kinda like creamy hash browns)
  • Fried shrimp wrapped in bacon
  • Sponge cake
  • Chicken feet.  Yes, you read right, I ate chicken feet.  We all did...well, not Raych - she had to draw the line somewhere.
I've tried a couple dim sum places, but this was the best yet.  Everything we tried was delicious, and crazy cheap.  Even though we ate so much that we waddled - not walked - out the door, the total came to a mere $13/person, including tax and tip.

Dim Sum Cart

You may think that after all that, we would call it a day, but then you would be putting me in the amateur category, and that would be a mistake.  Wendy and Raychel went on their merry way, and Dave and I continued our food journey in Little Italy.  For someone who loves Italian food as much as David Smiles, I could not believe he had never been in this 'hood.  He was like a kid in a candy store.  (Actually, about an hour later, he really was a kid in a candy store when we hit up Dylan's, as promised.)  He refused to leave Mulberry street before trying what was advertised to be the "best cannoli on the planet" (according to the restaurant's own banner) and a slice of pizza.  Both quite tasty, but the jury is still out on whether they were the best on planet Earth.

After that, we headed uptown to kill time at Dylan's before going to the movie theater next door (yes, we got popcorn).  We saw The Ghost Writer.  Why we didn't try to squeeze in one last Oscar nom before the awards is beyond me, but Dave was dying to see it, so I figured I'd give it a shot.  My review: not bad.  A little slow, but more realistic than a typical intrigue film.

After the movie, it was back to CT for Mr. Smiles, and I headed home to watch the Oscars and cook some steak fajitas.  Both the fajitas and Academy Awards were great, though I would have preffered a little more verbal bashing from exes and best director nominees James Cameron and Katherine Bigelow.  I called all but one of the big winners and am now seriously regretting not putting money on any of my picks.  Next year, I won't be so foolish.

All that running around made me remember what New York City is like during beautiful weather.  Oh how I've missed that.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Unanswered Questions: Gossip Girl Recap - 3/8 Episode

We're baaaaaack!  Finally, after a long absence, GG has returned!  I won't leave you in suspense any longer, let's jump right into the recap of what left me perplexed at the end of this episode:
  • Why was Lily so afraid to tell Rufus what she did?  Was it ideal?  No, but it wasn't awful.  Her Mom was dying and he's the father of her kids and apparently a shamen who can cure the aforementioned dying mother.  She's allowed.
  • If everyone could see the pill jacket lying on the ground in the coat check, couldn't they all see Nate and Serena doin the dirty?  Coat checks are simply not that large.
  • Violette switched the jacket, not the dress - can someone explain why S had to walk out like a flasher, completely nude underneath a coat?
  • Blair, what happened to that ruthless spirit we all love and adore?  That was your full attempt at cracking the Chuck Bass Mother Mystery?  That kinda sounds like the title of a Hardy Boys novel.
  • Why is Serena staying at the Waldorf's?  Eleanor moves to Paris and lets a college dropout live in her penthouse when said dropout's family has an equally large penthouse?  I don't think so.
  • Did anyone picture the moment when Damien picks up Serena?  "Hi.  I'm here to take you to a ball, and I'd like to give you a sweater that you should wear tonight."  That's awkward.  Anything other than flowers on a first date is highly suspicious.
  • Who else had flashbacks to the Da Vinci Code as Jenny pieces together her drug smuggling plot via newspaper clippings?  At least she had better hair than Tom Hanks.
  • If Serena hasn't seen Damien in, say, 3 years, why would she say "Text me your number"?  If you don't have his, what makes you think he'd have yours?  Oh, I forgot; you're that cool.
  • Why does Dan tell Rufus to make his own waffles, like that's some sort of punishment?  Dan was making Eggos.  That's not difficult.
  • Since when is there a jeweler/patient confidentiality agreement? 
It feels good to be back.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Bonkers for Bunco (and Auction House)

For Greg's 28th b-day, Susan decided to throw him a Bunco party at their new, gorgeous duplex on Saturday night.  My only exposure to bunco was during a marathon of The Real Housewives of Orange County.  In one episode, Tamra throws one helluva bunco party for the other housewives and it basically entailed rolling dice and drinking.  In that respect, this party was the same.  On the other hand, there was an absence of peroxide-loaded hair and silicone-loaded chests, so I guess we're not too similar.  I managed to master the rules of the game, though many other players focused more on the drinking aspect of the tournament...and somehow they still managed to beat me.

After a rousing game of bunco, we headed to Auction House on 89th and 2nd.  I've lived in the UES since I moved to NYC and had never even heard of this place, but I now plan to be a frequent visitor.  I have rarely seen so much red velvet in one place, but it made for a great atmosphere.  Imagine a typical LES bar.  Can you think of one?  Now, pick it up and drop it on a quiet uptown block.  That's Auction House.  Everyone there was very chill, the drinks were tasty, and the intimate feel was nice.  There were plenty of dark corners, making it perfect for a romantic evening if you're into that, but if not, it's great for groups, too.  So I am here to tell all you trendy, hipster doubters that the UES is more than fratty central (not that I mind fratty - in fact, it's pretty much my fave, but this just goes to show that we've got a little bit of everything up here).

Friday, March 5, 2010

The Hardy Bulb

I saw the following quote on my calendar yesterday (yes, I have a foodie calendar):

"My final, considered judgement is that the hardy bulb blesses and ennobles everything it touches - with the exception of ice cream and pie."
-Italian-American Author Angelo Pellegrini (1904-1991) on garlic

That got me thinking about one of my favorite appetizers: roasted garlic.  Cut a whole head of garlic in half, cover with olive oil and wrap in an aluminum foil pocket.  Then just let it sit in the sauna that is your oven for around 30 minutes and once it comes out it will be nice and spreadable.  I serve it on grilled pita wedges with a little goat cheese, but it's also good with some roasted red pepper or caramelized onions.
  • Fact: Roman doctors gave garlic to invalids
  • Fact: Egyptians used it in the embalming process (because those people didn't smell bad enough)
  • Fact: Greeks believed it gave you crazy super-human strength
  • Fact: If you and your date both eat garlicy foods, the bad breath factor is non-existent

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

This is Why I'm Hot

Last night, Raychel and I tried hot yoga.  I was not overly-psyched to go because I had previously only been to one yoga class, and the instructor almost kicked out Steph and I on grounds of excessive laughter during the "om" session.  Apparently they take this stuff serously, even at the decidedly non-granola environment of Crunch.  This time, I kept the giggles to a minimum and actually enjoyed myself. 

I was always told a lady doesn't sweat; she glistens.  If that's true, ladies should not take hot yoga because I was "glistening" buckets.  I didn't necessarily sweat much more than during a run or heavy cardio, but the fact that I hit those sweat levels when I'm just sitting in poses says a lot.  Because I worked up a sweat, I felt productive at the end of this class (unlike my first yoga experience). 

Hot yoga was the perfect way to unwind after a long work week...oh wait, yesterday was only Tuesday.  Nonetheless, it was a great de-stresser and I'm feeling very zen today.  Don't expect to see me running off to an ashram and speaking about chakras anytime soon, but if anyone wants to break out a yoga mat underneath about nine heat lamps, I may actually join you.


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