If you were walking outside yesterday in NYC at noon-ish, you'll understand the pain I was feeling.
"OH MY GOD, THIS SHOW CRAP SLUSH CRAP EVERYWHERE, WHAAAT, WE'RE NEVER GOING TO MAKE IT."
Those weren't my exact words. My exact words were less wordy and capitalized. Maybe more like...
[grunt] "I hate this weather." [shuffles down Broadway trying not to soak shoes in snow crap]
I met up with Christina for lunch and was horrified by the slush-slicked sidewalks and roads that had formed while I spent the previous three hours in the photography lab doing "not much" (well, I printed some okay photos and developed a not-so-good roll of film). As we walked towards Ruby's for what felt like an eternity even though it was only half a mile, I thought, "Oh...god, we're not going to make it in time. I'm going to die before I get there This is how it's going to end..."
Of course, we did eventually make it there. If you want a succinct review of Ruby's, check out my food communication class's webzine from last year (which you may notice is hosted on my website and not NYU's for whatever reason, OH THE CONFUSION). If you want a longer, verbosier review, read on.
Ruby's is a tiny, aesthetically pleasing, "somewhat larger than a hole in the wall" restaurant that specializes in Australian food, or food made by Australians. (I don't know anything about Australian food besides that it includes Tim Tams, Violet Crumble, Vegemite and
koalas...wait, no meat pies, so excuse my ignorance.) Christina and I squeezed inside the door past the coat hooks and slid onto the wooden benches and table. If there had been any more people it would've felt overly-snug, but in this case it just felt cozy.
Behold: "The Wall of Stuff." Set on what could be the original brick wall of the adjoining building is a mirror and a shelf that, for some reason really amuses me, holds a Vegemite pyramid. I just noticed two Poloroid shots by the register. My assumption is that they're not "THESE PEOPLE ARE BANNED FOR LIFE" photos, nor "THESE PEOPLE ATE 5 BURGERS...AND ARE ALSO BANNED FOR LIFE" photos, but they seem pretty random and now I'm curious. Hm. [drums fingers]
Christina's pumpkin salad with extra grilled chicken looked gooood. She ate the whole thing, so I suppose it also tasted good. Thumbs up for the salad.
I opted for something higher up on the "likely to kill me" scale by ordering the Bronte burger, which includes generous portions of "Premium ground beef, tomato, lettuce, sweet chilli, mayo & cheese." (I also think I'm too influenced by A Hamburger Today). I wasn't expecting the soft, ciabatta bun or the baby spinach salad but was happy to see both of em. "HOW YA DOIN, BREAD? I'm gonna eat you. You too, spinach." No one is safe.
Yes, you get this lovely innards shot to stare at while I describe what you're staring at. Juicy slab-o-beef topped with a thick tomato slice, cheese, lettuce, and somewhere in there some sweet chili and mayo. Even though the sauces weren't visible, the taste was all there. It's subtle, but enough for you to appreciate the sweetness and spicyness, which I did. I only had one problem with the burger; the bottom bun acted as a meat-juice sponge, and not a very good one at that. However, this wasn't the messiest, drippiest burger I've ever had, so I don't see that as a large fault. As I don't eat many burgers, you may take my opinion with a grain of salt when I say that this is one of the yummiest burgers I've had in...um...ever. That sweet chili sauce! So good! Must slather on all other meat based foods! I could do without the tomato but I guess it's a standard burger condiment. [sigh]
Christina and I paid the cute waiter (I don't think I've ever mentioned the cuteness of a waiter before, but in this case I have to agree with my classmates from last year and mention this little observation) and hobbled back to campus for class. My desire to try their sticky date pudding was thrwated by the ginormous burger, so delicious and so anvil-like in my tummy. Hmmm...
...Well, someone's gonna go back withi me, right? I mean, I need dessert. Maybe next time I'll get a salad and that will leave sufficient stomach vacancy for sweets. One way to solve this problem of not eating sweets (a serious matter making front-page headlines...nowhere) is to just eat sweets for lunch. I do this frequently. Please don't follow my example.
While randomly browsing menupages (someone needs to slap that site with a warning sign, like "DO NOT BROWSE WHILE FIGURING OUT WHAT TO EAT", even though that's the point of the website), I came across Joe Jr. Restaurant. A greasy spoon diner in my midst? Hmmmm. I LIKE IT. While looking at the menu online, I set my eyes on French toast and a vanilla milkshake, aka "The Lunch of Anti-Champions". That's what I am, and that's what I got.
Mmm, when was the last time I had the toast of France? It has been too long, my good friend. Behold two soft, adequately thick slices of challah soaked in an egg mixture and fried to browness dipped in surprisingly viscous syrup that neatly plopped out of the dispenser compared to the other 99% of the times when it runs over the spout and ultimately suffiocates the entire exterior of the dispenser in sticky, golden death. Joe Jr. ain't having none of that! THE SYRUP; IT PLOPS. This French toast gets my thumbs up.
God knows what would compell me to get a milkshake on a day that was so cold as to make my eyes hurt while walking outside for ten minutes at 8:30 AM. Yes, my eyes hurt. My corneas shivered and though, "WTF?". CORNEAS AREN'T SUPPOSED TO SHIVER...OR THINK.. So naturally, I got a bucket of extra-thick semi-liquidfied frozen sweet dairy based substance. I don't usually order milkshakes for the health-killing factor and the what usually seems too expensive price, but I think you get your money's worth with this...bucket. If you can, please share this with someone else, for the love of god. Unfortunately, I was alone, left to ingest the dairy bucket myself.
I like thick milkshakes, hence why I ordered extra-thick instead of regular. This truly is extra "suck your face inside out" thick, at least until it gets more melty. Do you like that kind of thickness? I KNOW I DEW! It passed the straw test with flying colors. Maybe I need a more difficult test involving heavy metal rods. And squirrels.
I finished about half of the milkshake while sitting at the countered and wondered if I should bother taking the rest to go. A split second later, I decided "Yes, I will not get this tub of molten frozen delight go to waste." (sigh) I consumed all of the milkshake; it just took a while. The French toast was much easier to tackle. Hell, I could've just and the milkshake for lunch, as it probably fulfills my caloric requirements for the next week.
Joe Jr. is a quick eat, probably better for loners who can sit at the counter (the place was consistently full, but the customer turnover rate was high). I don't feel the need to go back, but I wouldn't be opposed to it. (There are just too many other diners I have to try out. And every time, I NEED TO TRY FRENCH TOAST, YES?) It's not exactly cheap (I spent $13 with tip) but the service is nice and you can see them make your food right there. It was somewhat exciting to see my French toast sizzling on the griddle. "That's my toast!"
...Ah ha, new t-shirt idea. I foresee a vector drawing of toast with the words "THAT'S MY TOAST" hovering above the devine slab of wheat. Commence confusion from passersby.
...Come on, you know you want it.