The Girl Who Ate Everything

Blogging about food and whatever since 2004.

Ruby's, French toast, and milkshakin'

If you were walking outside yesterday in NYC at noon-ish, you'll understand the pain I was feeling.


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.

wall of stuff
wall of stuff

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]

Pumpkin Salad
Pumpkin Salad

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.

Bronte burger
Bronte burger

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.

burger innards
burger innards

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 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.

Joe Jr. Restaurant
Joe Jr. Restaurant

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.

French toastFrench toast

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.

bucket of milkshake
extra thick milkshake

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.

060303 015

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.


roboppy / March 4, 2006 11:58 AM


Suze: Whoaa now that you mention it, I remember reading about beets in burgers! Hmm. No beets here, ooh. :O

Anne / March 4, 2006 12:13 PM

I just discovered your blog and now coffee is coming out of my nose- thanks. You are seriously cracking me up. I love your funny comments and I think I've actually fallen in love with your photo of this burger's innards. Say hello to mama!

Jane / March 4, 2006 5:21 PM

Hey I really enjoy your blog! I was just wondering if you eat out 3 meals/day and how expensive it gets. I'm just like you, i love eating out and have been recently doing it for each meal! Soothe my mind and tell me you do the same!

roboppy / March 4, 2006 10:25 PM

Anne: Thanks for stopping by! Sorry about the coffee-nose issue; maybe I should put a warning on my site. ACTUALLY, once I had a friend tell me not to talk to her while she's drinking anything or else she might choke. I see her point. Hmmm.

Jane: Ohh no, I don't eat out three meals a day. :) I don't eat breakfast for one thing (ahh, that could be a health-centered debate...I won't get into it), so I guess at most I'd eat two normal meals out. I should keep better track of how much money I'm spending, as I'm sure it's a lot. :( Oops.

lori / March 4, 2006 11:23 PM

I hear ya, Robyn. I adore milkshakes, always have, although I don't have them too often anymore because of the oink factor. French toast and milkshake? Oh, yeah!

roboppy / March 5, 2006 1:36 PM

Lori: The oink factor is MAJOR! I gotta keep that in mind...of course, that means it's SO DELICIOUS, ARGH.

hxy: Oohh yes. I look back and think, "Why did I drink the whole thing?!"

Jen / March 5, 2006 8:11 PM

Damn, that burger looks gooooood. How does it stack up to Shake Shack?

Mmmmm milkshakes. Drinkable ice cream, and you can't go wrong with that.

kittylikelactose / March 6, 2006 8:13 AM


i LUV your blog. its the one bright spark in my day! finally someone who isn't afraid to be honest about how much she loves food. my kinda person :)

Cathy / March 6, 2006 10:29 AM

I like the spinach greens on the side thing. That's kind of cool.

And that french toast looks so heavenly. Not to mention that milkshake! Don't fret over the dairy bucket. Just be satisfied knowing that you're not calcium or vitamin D deficient. That's a good thing. :D

roboppy / March 6, 2006 5:45 PM

Jen: Sadly, I haven't tried Shake Shack's burger yet. :( THIS IS MY SHAKE SHACK YEAR, I SWEAR! I have to admit though, I really want to try the shackapalooza (with the help of at least one other human).

Drinkable ice cream is aaaawesome.

kittylikelactose: First off, your name is awesome. Second, thanks for reading my blog, I'm glad you like it! My piggish tendencies are a bright spark! That's good to know. ;)

Cathy: French toast is so awesome! But wait wait, you gotta check out the Country Pancake House's banana French toast; stuff for the gods.

I have nooo problem getting my calcium and vitamin D requirements from uber indulgent milkshakes. ;D

Cathy / March 7, 2006 8:21 AM

That banana french toast. is... *head explodes*

If I ever find myself in NJ I'll be sure to stop by. I could bring a picture into my local Denny's and say: "Can you make my french toast like that?". I wonder if they would do it?

roboppy / March 9, 2006 1:21 AM

Cathy: Head explosions are a common reaction. A bit messy though. Or maybe stomach explosion is a more common reaction...

Does Denny do special orders? Find out! :D

April / March 16, 2006 9:07 PM

Tonight I went to my first Colombian restaurant (in Astoria) and tried the grilled rice ball. I wholeheartedly agree with you- it tastes like nothing! It's funny to say that I really like the texture, but there is no taste- I did dip it in the beans for some flavor.
I'm not a pork fan but my friend had something that looked like deep fried fat back- he liked it:} I just overloaded on carbs like you did- sweet plantains, rice and beans- I can live on that stuff. I live in Queens but hardly ever venture into other neighborhoods so this was fun- and if I had not read your post, I may have ventured into a Greek restaurant:}

roboppy / March 17, 2006 2:44 AM

April: Ah, I'm not insane! It tastes like nothing! Weird, eh? I liked the texture too, and...yeah, with sauce it's fine. Mmmmm. Textured sauce.

Deep fried fat back? Oh god, I'd have to skip that. Some things are beyond the realm of things I should ingest. I don't know how I make those standards though.

I've been interested in trying a good Greek restaurant! Someday, perhaps.

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