[presses palm onto abdomen]
Oh god. Oh...noo. What's in here? Food in a state of pseudo digestion, riding on waves of bile? Get out of there, GET OUT, RUN WHILE YOU STILL CAN.
Actually, I don't feel that bad. However, I kept on eating chocolate and even a slice of bread despite being negative hungry (I guess "full" is the correct term). Why? What's up with that? Have I destroyed any hopes of eating in moderation? Destroyed...with excessive pastries? Oops.
On Tuesday (I forgot what day it was; my brain is failing) I went to Fusion Crepes in Chinatown amidst some dreary rain and grayness. It's not that old, but for the life of me I can't remember what used to be in its spot on Bowery right below Grand Street. (That's more brain failure for ya.) It's kind of odd to find a creperie in Chinatown because it's kind of...not something you'd expect to find in Chinatown. Noodles? Yes. Bakeries? Sure. Old guys hacking up phlegm? Of course. However, it's for that reason I wanted to try it (uniqueness, not phlegm). Also, I like sweet things. Maybe it's more of the second reason than the first, but...whatever.
After looking at the menu, it was obvious that I needed to get the Nuts-4-Nuts: 4 kinds nuts and peanut cream (roasted almonds + peanuts + pinenuts + crushed walnut + whip cream + condensed milk). Four kinds of fatty substances, atop a creamy fatty substance, covered in thick and airy sweet, dairy substances? How can you go wrong with that? IMPOSSIBLE. ...Unless you're allergic to nuts or are lactose intolerant, in which case this would kill you.
The owner (I think) poured a batter blop onto the griddle, pushed the batter around to coat every square inch of the surface, and after letting the crepe cook through, splodged on some peanut cream, sprinkled on the crushed nuts, and squeezed on the condensed milk in a zip-zag manner. He folded up three sides of the crepe and placed it in a plastic container where a young woman (who works there...as opposed to a totally random young woman) added whipped cream and even more condensed milk.
Unfortunately, I didn't get to eat the crepe for another 30 minutes or so, factoring in the time it took for me to walk back to my dorm and the social interaction that took place in the front lobby where one of my good friends works. The warmth had dissipated. The whipped cream seemed to had vanished. However, it gave off a nice eggy scent and was thankfully still delicious, albeit a bit soggy from sitting in dairy-filled juices for half an hour. On a nicer day when the sky wasn't peeing on my head, I would've eaten it right there; they'll pack the crepe in a different holder if you want to eat it while walking around. I'll try that next time.
Oh, so the crepe; how'd it taste? I'm no expert nor have I ever eaten an "authentic" crepe, but I thought it was really good! I was afraid that there may not be enough nuttiness but crepes are thin and don't require a mountain of crushed nuts to retain an optimal crepe-to-filling ratio. I thought the peanut cream was great, as it's not something you find often in desserts. Of course, I like nuts, so I don't know how it would taste bad. I'm sure it would've tasted much better if I had eaten it fresh, so taking that into account, it's definitely worth trying. The sweet crepes cost $3.50 and the savory ones, $5, which I think are fairly inexpensive prices for crepes. Another bonus is that their menu is probably the most interesting one you'll find as something that goes beyond standard fruits and nutella combinations:
- Vicky pinky: Strawberry + banana (cream, caramel, sugar icing)
- Mango Jango: Mango + Kiwi (butterscotch, cream, sugar icing)
- Ebony harmony: Banana + chocolate (nutella chocolate, cream, butterscotch, sugar icing)
- Peach blanco: Peach + banana (butterscotch, cream, sugar icing)
- Nutty Nana: Banana + peanut butter (honey, peanut cream)
- Crunchy Munchy: Marshmallow + rice krispies (peanut cream, cream, whip cream, caramel)
- Apple Zapple: slice apple w/cinnamon + honey (whip cream + caramel)
- Nuts-4-Nuts: 4 kinds nuts + peanut cream (roasted almonds + peanuts + pinenuts + crushed walnut + whip cream + condensed milk)
- Nippon desuku: Tofu + mushroom (bonito flakes, konomi sauce, seaweed)
- Salmon D-lite: Smoked salmon + mushroom (spiced tomatoes, veg cream)
- Itsy bitsy fishy: Sardine + tomato (parsley, spiced tomatoes, cucumber)
- Cheesey Sleazy: Spam + cheese (cheese, chives, onion, mayo sauce)
- Mediterranean Vegetarian: Mediterranean mix (chopped spinach, feta cheese, raisins, chestnut)
- Hurry Curry: Thick curry sauce + potato (no meat, yellow curry, beans, veg)
- Eggs n Clams: Omelet style eggs w/clams (scallions, onions, paprika)
You know you want eggs and clam! Try this place out and tell me what you think.
Wednesday was a solitary food hunt as I went around Manhattan gathering sweets for a food trade. Like a squirrel gathering nuts...except not at all. I planned it all out in my head: Levain Bakery for cookies, Whole Foods for chocolate, and Chelsea Market for whatever they happened to have. ...Okay, it wasn't much of a plan, but I don't usually take the subway three times in one day due to my reluctance to leave the downtown area and my uber-cheapness that sometimes drives me to haul ass over long distances to avoid taking the subway (I've taken a cab once in my life, after a friend insisted I take it lest I wanted to risk being kidnapped in Tribeca at 2 AM).
I got my tradee a walnut chocolate chip cookie and a chocolate chocolate chip cookie and a walnut chocoalte chip cookie to split with two of my friends. ...Andasconeformyself. The scone is easily one of the best scones I've ever had, the other one being from Financier. It wasn't too soft, nor dry, nor crumbly, nor tough, nor sweet, nor salty. I'd describe it more but I can't give it justice with my plankton-grade vocabulary. The scone perfectly balanced all the properties of a scone you could want (which you wouldn't know about until you ate it), for the price for $2.50. Thankfully, the one from Financier is almost the same (in my opinion) so I don't have to go to Levain for a scone fix. It's food epiphanies such as Levain's scone that make me think, "Jesus, I can never eat a scone from another place. If I do, I will be disappointed and want to kick myself repeatedly and wash out my mouth with chlorine for wasting calories on such unworthy foods." The same goes for Il Laboratorio del Gelato's ice cream. (I know ice cream and gelato aren't one in the same, but I can't tell if they serve ice cream or gelato since they refer to everything as ice cream despite their name. And who cares; it's all good.)
After getting a Toffee and Almonds Chocolate bar from Whole Foods, I made my way to Chelsea Market, an avenue-long hall of bakeries, meats, fish, produce, and other things most people like to eat. I've never been there before and thought I had never passed it, but I instantly recognized it as "the weird building thatI couldn't recognize as having a distinct purpose." I suppose I'm a moron because I could've sworn that they didn't have a sign. Actually, I still don't see a sign--I did walk around it a bit--but obviously there must be one somewhere (er, there's one inside). Maybe that thing above the door is the sign, but if it is, it's not very obvious. Overall, it doesn't look like a food market at all from the outside and it's not something I'd randomly enter unless I happened to walk right by it, which is unlikely to happen as 9th Avenue rarely comes into my strolling route. And if you're wondering if I'm blind, well...n-no, other people are too, as a woman asked me where Chelsea Market was as we were standing outside just a few feet away from it. Seriously.
I've heard about Fat Witch's brownies so I picked one up for the food trade. And...um, for myself. They don't allow photos inside, hence this outside view, but just picture a bunch of brownies and you'll get the idea. I tried a sample and it was pretty good, maybe too sweet if you don't have a high sugar tolerance. I bought two for $2.30 each, and the cashier gave me two baby brownies with my purchase. Woo, freebies!
Sadly, I wasn't very impressed by the breakfast witch, which is 2/3rds oatmeal-ish blondie atop 1/3rd brownie. It wasn't bad, but there was no wow-factor, no "OMG, I want more, and when I say 'more' I mean I want a truckload of this stuff right by my bed to wake up to eveerrry day and I want to eat it by the bucket-load." It didn't taste much oatmeal and the brownie part wasn't very chocolate-y. The sample I had was more flavorful so I don't know what was up with this one. As someone who tends to eat everything, I amazingly didn't eat the whole thing. It's not just that I like to consume baked goods in their entirety (oh, how I love to do that), but I like to get my money's worth. But sometimes...it's not worth it. This was a "not worth it moment". [sniff] To me, the problem was that the flavor didn't deliver, as the texture was okay. Maybe I was expecting too much. I rarely eat brownies, but I've enjoyed Polka Dot Cake Studio's "better than Brad Pitt" brownie.
Due to my Vietnamese food craving I expressed in my last entry less than 24 hours ago, I went to Cong Ly on Hester Street just west of Christie with Mary for dinner yesterday. She's pointing to the random 100 lb bag of sugar that was next to our table, kindly keeping us company I suppose. I'd think of something funny to say about the bag of sugar, but I think it speaks for itself. If not, think of something. You can mull it over for a while. (Okay, my question is: What's with the astronaut?) The restaurant is medium sized and lacks in decorations (but provides some...um, Cantonese music for ambience, methinks?), but it's OH SO TASTY AND CHEAP, which is all that matters, figuring the waiters aren't scary.
I ordered the rice noodles in beef broth with grilled pork and Mary ordered rice noodles with chicken curry. Since there was a wide selection of sauces, I figured "Hell, I'll try em all!", recalling the days in middle school when at the fountain soda dispenser, I'd fill my cup with a little of each choice (orange AND grape Fanta, yeah!), resulting in a blue substance, maybe a chemical reaction from the sodas as I couldn't figure out how the colors could combine to form blue. Anyway, I didn't actually combine all the sauces, but I should have for kicks. Mounds of used napkins formed next to my bowl and Mary's as Mary had to constantly clean her curry-covered fingers from eating the chicken and the chili sauce unleashed torrents of mucus from my nasal passages.
Damn, those were some good noods. Eating the huge bowl of noodles for $5 made me realize that cooking my food is useless, as it tastes...not so good. If i don't mind walking 15-20 minutes, I can eat this stuff all the time. Alllll the tiiiiime.
God knows I want to eat sweet grill pork all the time. I grew up thinking I didn't like pork, but I think I've been eating the wrong kind of pork...you know, the kind whose smell makes me nauseous (usually the breakfast variety). This pork is the right kind. Agahrghrha [drooling noises].
This entry is officially taking me 300% more time than it should, so to sum things up, after Vietnamese-ing, Mary and I went to Financier where she got tea and biscotti and I procured a personal Galette de Rois, a French (okay, you figured that one out) almond paste-filled puff pastry. Apparently, it's Galette de Rois season, as they had a crapload of full-sized ones on display cutely wearing paper crowns. The first time I had this was in a French class way back when (I took French from 6th-10th grade, although I have almost nothing to show for it besides "Je suis le fromage!", which isn't exactly something I picked up in class, unless my teacher was really weird) and since it's seasonal, I figured...hell, I'll get that rois majiggy. It was pretty good, although not something I'd get again. My tastes demand less puff and more paste.
If you read this whole thing, then CONGRATUATIONS, you have too much time, although I have even more too much time. My parting link to you is Natalie Dee's shop, where she's currently selling a good/evil hot dog shirt. You have to go there to see what I mean...and even then, it's kind of weird. She's also selling a pea t-shirt. Yup.