March 25, 2006
Shake Shack, Dodo, Crosby Connection, and Alidoro: SANDWICH WEEK
You know how you brush your teeth as soon as you've decided that you've eaten enough for the day to deter yourself from eating during the time you shouldn't be eating (like around...[looks at watch]...now) because god forbid you brush your teeth twice in one night? Just agree with me.
Well. That didn't work. The night seemed to progress as it should--I brushed my teeth and all was fine. My body didn't need any more food and I wasn't especially hungry. Then I passed out on my bed for a while, woke up, and decided that 11 PM would be a good time to finish off the last of the Bouchon Bakery muffins Sarah had so thoughtfully saved for me.
[pats belly] This must stop. Not the free food, but the random eating. You know how I periodically update you on how much of my arm has converted into Jell-O? My arm is not only turning into Jell-O, but the parts that have already turned into Jell-O are generating more layers of Jell-O, seemingly from thin air. I know everything comes from something else, but maybe it's divine Jell-O...from another dimension. An evil dimension. Owned by Kraft.
If you're wondering, no, I haven't been getting enough sleep. Tuesday night resulted in a grand total of zero hours, Wednesday afternoon maybe an hour, Wednesday night a couple of hours, and Thursday night about three, which actually seemed excessive by that point. Today I got a few little power naps in between eating and trying to read blogs and answer emails after getting back from work and roaming around for foodstuffs at 6 PM. After my sleep deprivation this week, which is worse than any other sleep deprivation I've ever had (oh, I've stayed up really late before, but usually with the idea that I could make it up the next day, as opposed to this past week where I've just had to wake up in the wee hours of the morning every day), I can safely say that it's a really bad idea to stay up forever, even if you think you can. The result will be incomprehensible notes and squiggles in Anthropology class and getting whiplash from jerking your head up repeatedly when your brain inevitably drifts off every 5 seconds. (I actually apologized to one of my professors for this, to which he jokingly replied that I should drink coffee.)
Besides the lack of sleep, I've just had other things on my mind (if you know me well enough outside the foodie sphere, you probably know what I'm thinking about...and what music I'm listening to right now). Yes, things that aren't food related. It rarely happens, so my mind's as blown away as yours. That it rarely happens is probably a sad reflection of my life; I'll admit to that little else happens. A few days ago a student interviewed me about my blogging habits and my feelings about Internet anonymity related things, but I didn't realize until now (apologies to the interviewer) that there is actually plenty I wouldn't want to write about (in a public blog, that is). In some cases, the most basic, serious emotions are the ones I don't want to put out for everyone to read, but that's not always true. Also, I wouldn't want to write about things that I don't think would have any value to anyone else. Disregarding everything you've read so far in this entry (if you are reading the food porn-less sections--no offense taken if you don't), I use my food blog mainly to write things that I hope would be useful other people. "Eat this muffin! Eat at this restaurant. But not this one. And yes, I eat out of the trash."
Anyway. ...TIME FOR THE USEFUL STUFF!
Shake Shack is notorious for long lines of crazed burger fans foaming at the mouth for made-to-order, moist meat patties. Or something. The crowd was sparse last Monday because they opened a day earlier than their publicized opening date. One office guy in front of me was really excited:
"I love this smell...ohh...how I missed these burgers."
I couldn't miss the burgers seeing as I had never eaten them before. While I've been by the Shake Shack many times, mainly during the summer when I'd walk from the Port Authority terminal to the School of Visual Arts on Monday nights for a class (say hello to my only exercise of the summer), I hadn't tried the infamous burger. The only thing I had tried was a concrete, which was disappointingly not very concrete-esque. A better name would've been "thin cement". Perhaps it was too hot that day.
Since health is of little importance when dining at a place with the word "shack" in it (unless it's called "The Health Shack"...uh...right), I indulged in a Shake Burger (American cheese, lettuce, tomato, and SHACK SAUCE) and a black and white milkshake (half chocolate, half vanilla) for about $10. The friendly cashier gave me a $2 gift card, which will encourage me to indulge in more lactosey drinks later.
This burger is good. Is it "wait in line for an hour" good? Er...man, I'm lazy; few things are that good. Luckily, I had a very short wait for this small, but satisfying burger. You won't hear me say things like this very often, but the first and last bite left me thinking, "Whoa...that was good." My first bite was of buttery bread and crispy lettuce, while the last was of...meat. Moist meat. Beefy meat? Tasty meat? IT'S A FREAKIN' BURGER; I can only describe it so much. Oh, as for what I tasted in between, it was "all of the above", but I ate kinda quickly so I don't remember it very well. (Nope, still haven't mastered the art of chewing.) Every component was good, and for better or worse I couldn't taste much of the tomato. (I dislike tomato. Huzzah!)
I also highly recommend the shake, even if it's freezing and you have to wear gloves to prevent your fingers from getting frostbitten. Thick, sweet, and deathly make for a good shake. I considered getting the caramel flavor one, but I suppose I'll just have to try it next time.
On Wednesday I went to Dodo for lunch, a little cafe-esque place on Peck Slip and South Street. Why would you ever be in this area? I have no clue. I happen to live around here, but I'd never even know that this place existed if I didn't pass it on the NYU bus. However, with a name like "Dodo", WHO CAN RESIST? What's up with the name? Their maninfesto reads:
Like the DODO which fell extinct from the earth because it was too kind, simple and good for the New World, DODO cafe stands out in its integrity, friendliness, and pure mission to feed people healthy, handcrafted food in an engaging, creative, and genuine environment. Wherever possible, local organic ingredients are used. Food is prepared onsite or with the help of local artisans using traditional craft.
The interior is bright (well, if the sun is out) and warm due to the wooden furniture and decor. Kinda colonial and modern at the same time, if that makes any sense. And it probably doesn't since colonial furniture isn't my forte. The environment lends itself to hanging out (and they have wi-fi, so I don't think they mind people lingering), as demonstrated by the other customers there...hanging out. However, I was there alll aloooone, so my purpose was just to eat and not do the socialization thing.
I ordered a roasted vegetable panini on sourdough bread (organic sun-dried tomato, cheese spread & organic spinach) since I felt like I needed something containing a vegetable. Sandwiches come with a side of mixed greens or fruit salad. And altogether, they come on what I thought was a too-large plate. Sure, I don't want my sandwich flopping over the side of the plate, but I felt like the plate dwarfed my food. The sandwich, it's...it's shrinking!
Nah, I just ate it quickly. The sandwich was alright, but for some reason I was disappointed. It tasted good and it wasn't something I'd be likely to make myself, but...I don't know. Maybe it was the bread, which wasn't bad either, yet disagreed with me. Bread is uber important to me when it comes to sandwiches--it's more crucial for the bread is good than the fillings. So what was up with this bread? I don't knoooow. There probably wasn't anything "wrong" with; rather, I'm just not used to that kind of sandwich bread.
I don't think I can rate Dodo based on one sandwich. My first impression was that it was kind of pricey for what they give you, but after reading their manifesto, perhaps they just use better ingredients than most places. Their menu includes salads, COOKIES!!!, less-great-than-cookies type pastries, soup, wine, beer...it's small and diverse at the same time. I can't say any of the food is stuff I typically eat anyway, but from what I gather, many people like sandwiches. And beer.
On Thursday I went to Crosby Connection for a quick lunch...and yes, by this point I figured, "Hell, I'm eating craploads of sandwiches so I may as well continue the theme, as I may never repeat it again." This slight-larger-than-a-hole-in-the-wall has a nice selection of sandwiches, which I could see the two employees making inside (because it was like..a foot away from me) and neatly wrapping in paper for us to take away.
After staring at the menu long enough for it to have adequately burned itself into my skull, I went with the avocado brie dill sandwich, consisting of "avocado, brie cheese, honey mustard, sweet roasted peppers, sundried tomatoes, red onions, topped with fresh dill". I've never even heard of that kind of sandwich before (not that I'm paying much attention to the sandwich world) and remembering my love of avocados in a previous life (just a few years ago, really), I went for the fat-bomb fruit of deliciousness, coupled with...bovine fat-bomb deliciousness and other things. For $5, this is a freakin' sweet sandwich. The only thing I would object to is the raw onion component since raw onions leave me feeling with a pungent onion-gassed feeling all day long (caramelize those suckers). Otherwise...SO TASTY! Fresh dill! Mooshy cheese! Fat-tastic avocado! And other stuff! On bread that doesn't gouge the roof of my mouth! Ahh, happiness.
Behold, for we have come to the end of the "eating stuff in between two slices of something wheat-based" week. Yesterday for lunch, I met up with Mike of Twenty Bucks a Day for sandwiches at Alidoro, one of his favorite sandwich places. While I've passed it many times (the first time i noticed it was in the summer when the had a tempting looking gelato case...oooh), I almost walked past it until Mike noticed that I was...um, walking past it. OBSERVANT, I AM NOT.
If there's anywhere else ordering a sandwich while you're there, you may have to wait a while. It worked out fine for me since I had no idea what to get from their menu of sandwiches that mainly contained mozzerella, some kind of cured meat, sweet peppers, arugola, and sun dried tomatoes in a gajillion combinations (even more if you factor in the six types of bread). It's like looking at a pizza menu that lists everything as having mozzerella and tomato sauce, plus a few small differences. Since I'm mega-indecisive, I decided to go with the Max Special of sardines, sun dried tomatoes, and M. Bel Paese (a soft cheese); unless I didn't look carefully, it was the only sandwich with sardines. Alas, when it was my turn to order...
"Sorry, we don't have any sardines."
Doh! My plan was thwarted. Mike went with the Cortino special (speck, provolone, dressing, and arugola) and I went with the other special, Il Capitano with tuna (mozzerella, Italian baby onions, sweet peppers, olive paste, and arugola), both sandwiches on semiolina bread. After watching the guy behind the counter carefully layer the crapload of ingredients in the semolina log, I was presented with a GINORMOUS SANDWICH OF DOOM.
Well, you definitely get your money's worth. The sandwiches are pretty big. Yeeeeah. Look at me stuff it into my mouth. Very becoming, yes? I make my mum proud.
I liked both sandwiches, but definitely enjoyed my Il Capinato more. Oh, of course we shared 50/50; it's a great thing about eating with people who love food. WE SHAARE! We can eat twice the variety in half the time!...or something like that. The mozzerella tasted so fresh and moist, like it was pulled fresh from a tub of curd water (mm, cuuurd waterrrr). I loved the baby onions, because I like onions and the idea of eating things that are babies, and ...um, all the ingredients tasted great, for lack of a better description (and there is always a lack). OH, THE SWEET PEPPERS! They were sweet. (nod) As someone who is very unfamiliar with Italian sandwiches, this one made me verrrry happy. The Cortina was good too, but flatter and not really as satisfying to me without the thick slabs of mozzerella. Still good though.
Many thanks to Mike for the tasty enjoyable lunching and introducing me to Alidoro! I'd definitely go back, whether for giant sandwiches or...um, individual servings of Nutella? Yeah, they sell those. It's for those times you just want a shot of Nutella. Dammit, who wouldn't want that?
Oh my god, this entry is finally over. Now I will to sleep for a stretch of time that extends beyond the length of a movie, and perhaps you will eat a sandwich? DO IT.
OH I lied, I have a final note. Many thanks to people who have emailed me lately with comments about my blog. I don't usually get many, but this week I've gotten a few and...that's sweet. For some reason, you've emailed me in unison. Maybe I have mind controlling abilities..."You shall email me now" [wiggles fingers]
Posted by roboppy at 1:31 AM
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