First matter of discussion: my arm? It's too squishy. It's not just that it feels like Jell-O, but I think that some Kraft scientists messed with my arm while I was sleeping and turned it into Jell-O. I have a subcutaneous Jell-O layer. Kraft now owns my arm.
Despite that, I'm still eating. Yeah. Today I went from about 3 PM to 11 PM without eating because 1) I wasn't hungry and 2) I was in the computer lab for that entire time. 8 hours isn't very long, but by the time I got back to my dorm, I immediately filled my pot with water and tossed my last frozen pork bun into the steamer so that 20-odd minutes later I could feast on a bun of mysterious meat wrapped in sweet, soft, whiter-than-Conan O'Brien steamed bread. Mm. Besides that, I got to feast on a box of Australian goods provided by the uber-sweet Jess! It contained fruit bars, cookies, crackers, and this li'l devil:
I have heard about the famed Vegemite for years; now it is mine. Unfortunately, I have nothing to eat it with at the moment (no, I'm not going to eat it straight from the tube), so until that happens, it'll just be that funny little yellow tube, radiant with the warm yeast paste glow. You know, that glow. (nods) I think it's the same one pregnant women have.
Oh, so back to the point of this entry, where I tell you about things not related to Vegemite. This is out of order (hopefully I'll get around to the meals I had earlier this week), but I'm going to write about Balthazar, where I ate for dinner Wednesday night, and Blue Ribbon Bakery, where I ate for lunch yesterday. I'll start with the not-as-good one since that seems to be the way to go.
Actually, I need to step back a bit. There wasn't anything wrong with Balthazar. The room was large and impressive (although louder than most places), the service was attentive and skilled at filling our water glasses every 30 seconds, and the food was obviously good. This is where "weird Robyn psychological problems" come in.
At some point during the meal I thought, "Huh...I'm not enjoying this as much as I think I should." Vibes. I got weird vibes. Kathy invited me out to eat with two of her friends, and for whatever reason (well, if you're my livejournal friend you'd know), I got "opposite of awesome" vibes. Weird vibes upset the stomach. And the mind. And the soul, if I had one. (KRAFT OWNS MY SOUL.) They were nice people and I'm sure they're cool since Kathy's friends with them, but the feeling just...made me uneasy. I'm not the only one who gets vibes, right? I'll acknowledge that I'm not always right when I feel uneasy, but when I do feel at ease I think it's always rightfully so. (Really, I've been in seemingly sketchy situations that upon retrospect may have looked bad, but in the end were totally fine because I knew the other person was cool.) Also, I'm rarely in a stuation where I feel uneasy because I avoid ...you know, social things.
Oh well. That wasn't food related. It was just a reminder of how sensitive I am. You can't tell how sensitive I am from this blog alone; it's for the best. Even if you know me semi-well in real life, you wouldn't know. SO MANY PROBLEMS, SO MUCH INHIBITION. Oops.
Anyway, no more about that. I know Kathy (who is awesome!) reads this and I don't mean to portray anything negative about her friends (who I doubt are reading this...um...I'm not really sure), but I figured it was an important part of my experience. Sometimes you mix well with people and sometimes you're just neutral. Hopefully you know what I mean.
Stuff at Balthazar is expensive. Yeah, I knew that...but whoa. As you read in my wd-50 experience, I don't mind expensive things if I think it's worth it. For some reason I was drawn to the dinner special, koulibiac, which consisted of salmon wrapped in a puff pastry with rice, spinach, dill, and "something else I don't remember" stuffing. With...um, mushrooms and some kind of milky sauce. I had a hard time deciding what to get, wondering if I should let price sway me or to just go for anything. I don't think I've ever spent $26 on an entree before because 1) I don't often go to places that have $26 entrees and 2) I'm kinda cheap. The dish was good--everything cooked perfectly, whatever that entails--and I ate the whole thing rather quickly.
But was it worth $26? Uh. I'm not sure. It was good and obviously took a bit of labor to prepare, but I wasn't wowed by it. Perhaps I'm not supposed to be wowed, but hell, a hamburger could wow me. There was nothing wrong with this dish; methinks I just got the wrong thing. (I heard the duck confit, onion soup, and frites were good, but I didn't want to just get frites nor did I want the entrees that came with em.) One of Kathy's friends got the chicken and spaetzle and it looked delicious. I tasted one of the spaetzle pieces and was reminded of excess tempura batter. Never having eaten spaetzle before, I don't know what it's supposed to taste like, but I wouldn't mind eating a bowl of it. My heart might mind, but...whatever.
So I guess my recommendation would be to not get the koulibiac, unless you're as curious about it as I was. There's nothing wrong with it, but...I don't know. I honestly can't think of much else to say about it.
And then all was made right with the world when the dessert appeared. God, I love dessert. I would've rather eaten three desserts for the price of one koulibiac (damn, wouldn't most people?). This caramelized banana tart atop of a frozen ricotta disc was beautiful to look at, although no dessert is too beautiful to prevent me from stabbing it with my fork. The perfectly arranged thin banana slices were coated with a thin caramel candy shell. Breaking the top reminded me of digging into a freshly burned creme brulee. I think I would've liked this more if there were some kind of cream between the banana layers and the cookie (the answer to all of life's problems: add cream), but it was fine without it...because the frozen ricotta disc made up for the creamy factor. Faintly sweet with a light, fluffy texture, it went really well with the tart in taste and cool temperature. AND CREAM. I LIKE MAH DAIRY. AND FAT OF BOVINE ORIGINS.
Hooray for dessert. When I say I want to go to restaurants and just make up my own "dessert tasting menu", I'm not joking. I just need to find someone to go on a dessert hunt with me; the more people you eat with, the more you can sample!
I went to Blue Ribbon Bakery for lunch yesterday with Patricia and three of her friends that I had never met before. The additional three friends weren't planned, but I was cool with all of them. I mean, no weird psychological things coming up here, OKAAAY? Just wanted to let you know that the weird vibes don't come up every time I go into public.
At 1PM, we had no problem getting a table downstairs. I was only vaguely aware of the downstairs seating area, which is nestled in this lovely rustic "everything is made of bricks" environment. It was very cosy and warm feeling. Walking down the hall to the bathroom (which was also very nice and clean) you'd pass the most awesome thing ever: BAKERY. Magical bakery! I half expected elves to appear, arms carrying piles of bread...wait, that doesn't make sense. Something about it felt magical and out of another time and place. Yeah, I'm weird.
Their free bread basket is awesome. (I should've mentioned that Balthazar's bread basket was also awesome. Oh god, yummy bread...makes me so happy.) Besides the two breads you can see in the photo, there were some smaller slices of some kind of chopped vegetable flatbread. IT WAS SO GOOD. I wish I had a better description, but you'll just have to try it for yourself.
We all got sandwiches. Why? SANDWICHES ARE AWESOME. I didn't get to take a photo of one of them, but they all looked different, although were about the same size (which was larger than how they appear in these photos, I think). I feel like every sandwich had its own personality. "This one comes with a salad; it's kinda healthy! This one comes with fried shoestrings; it's gonna clog your veins!" Mm.
Clogged veins, here I come. I went for the Blue Ruben, composed of "Chorizo, Cole Slaw, Cheddar on Baguette". I've never had a ruben sandwich before, but they're not usually as appealing to my tastebuds as this one. Bread plays a huge role in rating the deliciousness of a sandwich, and I'm not a big fan of your typical rye bread. A baguette on the other hand is always welcome to enter my stomach. Repeatedly.
I loved this sandwich. Although it may seem like there wasn't a lot of filling, it was just enough for me. I've never had cole slaw in a sandwich before, but it went well with the thinly sliced chorizo and melted cheese. Everything just went so WELL together, especially when hugged by a crispy, toasted baguette. The sandwich came with some brown sauce that I couldn't identify, so naturally I dipped the sandwich in it and it tasted awesome. It tasted...brown. If you know what the sauce is, please let me know.
Even though I felt satisfied after eating the first half of the sandwich, I just kept on going. I ATE THE WHOLE GODDAMN THING. (Patricia exercised more sense than I did and saved half of her sandwich for later.) I don't think I finished the shoestrings (why have I eaten so many things that come with shoestring fries as of late?), but they were good. They tasted like...well, crispy fried potato sticks, which means they burst with fatty goodness. Oh lord.
Alas, the real reason I wanted to try Blue Ribbon Bakery wasn't for the sandwiches, but for the infamous bread pudding. I read that this pudding was worth killing babies for. ...Okay, I didn't, but I bet someone out there had the idea at some point. ("The baby was ugly!") Luckily Patricia agreed to split dessert with me (before even knowing what I was ordering) or else I would've wanted to explode from eating the whole thing.
Oh yeah, this was AWESOME. I didn't know it came with a large plop of vanilla ice cream, which increased the awesomeness by a lot. I may have eaten it too quickly for the tastiness to fully register in my brain, but I just remember warm banana chunks, walnuts and uber-moist bread pudding chunks swimming in caramel sauce and melted ice cream. Awesome1000. $12.50 is a crapload for dessert (although technically I paid $6.25), but I wouldn't hesitate to get this again. Hell, I want another one. Now. Okay, soon. Not right now, since it's past 2 AM.
I want all their desserts. No joke. Anyone wanna go out for a "let's order everything on the dessert menu" meal? You know I'm serious.
We all left Blue Ribbon Bakery extremely happy and stuffed. This goes on my "list of restaurants I want to go back to soon"...figuring I get through everything else first.