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Sunday, December 26, 2010

Merry Christmas...or Should I Say, "Feliz Navidad"

Last night, while other Jews were eating Chinese food and going to the movies, I went to Karina's apartment to enjoy a traditional Puerto Rican Christmas dinner.  Karina already had apps ready to go when I arrived, so I stuffed my face with two types of crostini (one with portobella mushrooms, the other with shrimp) while waiting for the rest of the meal to finish cooking.

While the main course was sittin' pretty in the oven, we chit chatted and poured ourselves a couple drinks.  The wine was good (what could be bad?), but my favorite was the coquito, Puerto Rican egg nog.  It tasted like a pina colada with cinnamon and filled me with Christmas spirit.
The main meal was unlike any Christmas dinner I have ever seen.  Instead of a spiral ham, we had tender pernil (roast pork).  Instead of mashed potatoes, we had potato salad and arroz con gandules (yellow rice with pigeon peas).  And instead of figgy pudding, we had pineapple flan.  I love flan.  It's like if my favorite dessert, creme brulee, decided to take up Spanish as a hobby.  The meal was an unexpected take (well, unexpected for me, the white girl) on holiday favorites.  
After dinner, we let our food digest a bit (and let the coquito wear off) by watching The Town.  I should have made time to watch this movie sooner.  It was great and Jeremy Renner's performance was impressive.  He was thug-tastic.  Blake Lively's performance was also applaudable, but I still found her to be a little too pretty to be believable as a strung out baby mama.  After the movie, Matt and I revved ourselves up again by playing a game of Scrabble.  I am proud to say I won by a seven point margin and, feeling victorious, was ready to head out to the bars.

You may find it hard to believe, but on Christmas, much of the city that never sleeps does, in fact, snooze.  It wasn't easy to find an open bar, but my cousin Aaron had just arrived in town so we were determined to find a place to booze.  After driving around the LES we settled on Spitzer's Corner.  The picnic-style tables, extensive beer list, and tasty bar snacks (like hand cut fries and truffle mac) make it a great day drinking spot, but it worked just as perfectly as a laid back evening venue.

I hope your Christmas was as holly jolly as mine!

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