Last Saturday I met up with Joe at Shopsin's, the legendary "this menu is too freakin' huge" restaurant that has a list of "rules" (no parties larger than 4, or else someone will have to die), kitschy decor and FREE CANDY. Calvin Trillin wrote a great article in The New Yorker about the restaurant a few years ago,
but alas, Google is failing me and I can't find it right now. EH WELL. (edit) which you can read on their website (thanks santos).
We stared at the menu for possibly 15 minutes. Or longer?
"Should we get pancakes?"
"How about a milkshake?"
"Whatever you want."
"...I dunno? Well. We definitely need ebelskivers."
"Sure. Still need something else though."
"...Real food? Hell, I would just eat desserts."
Gee, guess which one I am. You know I just made that all up, right? However, if you replace the ellipses with drawn out Uhhhhhhhhs, you can recreate "dialogue with Robyn" to 99% authenticity. It's just that exciting.
We decided to share an avocado milkshake (more of a curiosity than a craving for mashed avocado and dairy products), an order of sliders (small burgers, in this case with cheese and onions) with fries, and whipped cream-smothered apple ebelskivers. Does that sound like a weird order? Well. You're wrong! It's perfect and so damn tasty. YOU KNOW YOU WANT IT. We rocked at composing a meal out of the pseudo incomprehensible menu, yes.
Our light green milkshake was brought out in a frosty metal tumbler along with two paper cups and straws for sharing. The indentations from ghostly froth-bubbles excited me (because it really doesn't take much to excite me...ooh look, a squirrel!!!); I had the feeling this milkshake was gonna be goooood.
AHH, LOOKIT IT POUR! YAY, waterfall of milkshake! If only that were real. ....Man, that'd be pretty disgusting. But it would be cool for a while, yes? "Milkshake Factory Explosion Causes Waterfalls and Rivers of Milkshake: Everyone Rejoices. Today's Advice Column: Where To Buy Gigantic Buckets to Fill With Milkshake."
So, what does an avocado milkshake taste like? Not avocado. Not not avocado. Not...not...not not not. I can tell you for sure that it's really good, a little fruity, perhaps melon-esque (that's all I could come up with). Besides the "somewhat unidentifiable, but I think fresh tasting" flavors, the texture was one of the best I've ever tasted. It wasn't so thick that you'd suffocate trying to suck it through the straw, but it wasn't so thin that it was like flavored milk (those made me sad). It wasn't heavy, just rich enough to wrap your insides in ...delicious...milkshake...in my belly...
...I'm probably making it sound better than it actually was, but I really enjoyed it to the point that I'd order it again. I'm actually sad because if I went back to Shopsin's, I'd feel the need to try a different flavor (seems liked it'd be dumb not to), while all I'd really want is the avocado. Surely, the avocado plays a part in the milkshake's texture, being all full of tasty fat. Mmmmmm, faaaat. Yes'm.
I'm going go to talk about something else now. Food! Yes. Real food. Food that resembles the "solid" state of matter more so than the "liquid".
Joe's recommendation to get the sliders was a good one. I rarely eat hamburgers, not because I don't like them, but because I'd rather eat something else (and such is the case for many tasty foods). The last time I had anything resembling a slider was when I was a wee little girl and my mum--for some reason not having to do with motherly love--tortured me with lunches of frozen White Castle Burgers. Yes, she prepared them so that they were at least room temperature (and by "prepared" I mean "nuked"), but I can still remember looking at the tiny sandwich containing a limp, gray patty, topped with some onion-y substance because god knows that would make the patty taste better. I doubt she gave these to me for very long, but the experience was harrowing enough for me to remember it; hell, I don't remember stuff that happened yesterday, yet the memory of frozen White Castle burgers is taking up valuable space in my memory bank, currently with a balance of -$19902132.898noodle.
Oooh, these were some good sliders. The meat was juicy and flavorful (...well, it had to taste like something) and the bun was...I swear, "cute". Yes. Cute. Soft and fluffy equates to cuteness, and the bun was soft and fluffy. Trust me, I wish I had a better description of it too. I keep meaning to flex those nonexistent "food review" muscles, but then I remember that flexing requires movement, which doesn't fit into my closely regulated regiment of "sitting around".
Oh, no funky onion-y substance here. Real onions! Processed cheese! Together as one! Even though the onions were spilling out of the little burgers, they were somewhat held in place by the cheese, thus making for a tidy slider-eating experience.
I don't remember how many ebelskivers came to one order, but there were definitely enough. One word of advice: get the whipped cream on the side., if at all The whipped cream melted over the fresh hot ebelskivers, forming bubbly rivulets over the convex ebelskiver surfaces and creating an unintentional sweet, creamy bath for the ebelskivers. (Mm, whipped cream bath...wait, that's disgusting! Is it? Wait. Lemme think about that one.) The whipped cream died right before our eyes. Oops.
The ebelskivers were kind of like tiny pancake dumplings with little apple chunks. Do you like pancakes? GOOD. (I know you said "yes" because if you didn't, you'd...be evil. I know you're not evil.) You will like ebelskivers. Bite-sized pseudo-pancake is what the world needs. That, and peace. And less McDonald's...s.
I'd be perfectly happy eating a meal of milkshake, burger, and ebelskiver all over again. The food is probably artery clogging, but hey, we're all gonna die someday. [thumbs up]
And with a pick from the "free candy" shelf, we went on our merry way. To...
Milk & Cookies! Where'd you think we'd go? A place that doesn't serve food? Vomitorium? Need food! No vomiting! (I think we both felt rather comfortable stomach-wise after Shopsin's. Not that the food was healthy in way way, but it wasn't that heavy [okay, that's debatable] and we didn't eat a crapload so that our removable from the restaurant would require smelling salts and a lift truck.)
As Milk & Cookies specializes in cookies, they're making custome macro-fortune cookies for Valentine's Day. It's for that special someone who realllllly likes fortune cookies. Does anyone really like fortune cookies though? I'd much rather just get a giant American-style cookie. The fortune could be written on a $100 bill: "Today you will receive $100 and a cookie." Ah, how true. But I'm pretty sure that's not going to happen. I can't say I celebrate Valentine's Day, not since the obligatory "everyone has to get a card" celebration that happened in grade school. Fun times! Everyone must get a card, EVEN IF YOU HATE THEM.
We shared a plate of three cookies, staring with a crispy chocolate chip cookie. I wouldn't prefer this buttery, crunchy cookie over a soft, chewy one, but the flavor was good. Butter is the win. I think it could've used more chocolate chips, but it was good enough.
Next up was the humble sugar cookie. Joe asked if it was a bit redundant for there to be a cookie called "sugar cookie". Hm...perhaps. I mean, you need some kind of description aside from plain ol' "cookie", but cookies better have some kind of sugar in them. I guess you can also have "butter cookie". "Tasty cookie"? "Delicious cookie."
"What's in the 'delicious cookie'?"
Um. So! This cookie was a delicious cookie. Soft, chewy, blah blah, think of other things you like about sugar cookies and fill in my laziness-induced blanks.
Last was the snickerdoodle, one of my favorite cookies that I first discovered at Whole Foods (they make good cookies!) and certainly one with one of the most fun names. A snickerdoodle is like a "sugar cookie +" in that it has cinnamon. I guess it could be a "sugar cookie -" if you don't like cinnamon, but the cinnamon makes it awesomer. Lilke the sugar cookie, this cookie was awesome, although I think it coul'dve used more cinnamon. Or butter. How gross would it be to spread butter on a cookie? ...No, I'm not going to try it, although I'll admit that the idea is now in my head and god knows where that'll take me.
Milke & Cookies is great little homey place to hang out at. If you like cookies. OF COURSE YOU LIKE COOKIES. It's like a cookie bar. The world needs more cookie bars!
We did some more fooding, but I'll put that in "part II". I actually have to go to sleep now; sucks being human.