The Girl Who Ate Everything

Blogging about food and whatever since 2004.

Blue Ribbon Bakery and...that's it for now

Radio City 060511 017
oh my god, it's not food porn

Last Wednesday I went to Radio City to watch one of my best friends (and future travel partner to Norway) Diana graduate from The School of Visual Arts with a BFA in Graphic Design. Congratulations, Diana! YER FREAKIN' AWESOME! And a note to everyone else: HIRE HER, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD!!!! Graduating inside a ginormous art deco theater with temperature control is much nicer than sitting outside in sweltering heat like my brother's graduation in St. Louis, where the school provided us with water bottles so we wouldn't...die. Not right away, at least.

tables interior

I took Diana out to Blue Ribbon Bakery, one of my favorite restaurants that I had only been to once, for her graduation dinner. I had actually made reservations at Eleven Madison Park the day before, but realized 1) I wasn't in the mood for something that formal, 2) I wasn't that hungry and 3) HOLY CRAP, IT COSTS MORE THAN MY SOUL. The cost wasn't the biggest factor—hell, you only graduate an undergraduate—but it didn't feel like the right place to eat. I love Blue Ribbon because the environment is cozy, warm, and comfortably "upscale" (if you've been there, maybe you know what I'm talking about) and, of course, the food is great. I had only been to Blue Ribbon once before as other visits had been thwarted by long waits (due to too many humans wanting to eat food, damn em), but the restaurant wasn't crowded at 6 PM and we got the prime "food photography" spot by the window looking on Bedford Street.

bread butter
the butter tub wasn't as large as the bread basket, but how cool would that have been?

Do two people really need three types of bread and a tub-o-butter? NOPE. Of course, I tried all of them anyway. Of course, they were all good. If it sucked, they wouldn't serve it.


Diana went with the salmon dish, which came with asparagus, uber-smooth mashed potatoes, and ridiculously thin-cut fries (or potato chip strips). Her first reaction was "Mmmmm mashed potatoes so good"...actually, those probably weren't her exact words (sounds more like something I'd say), but she expressed much satisfaction with the mashed taters. After the waiter informed us that the salmon would be prepared rare, she asked for it to be cooked well-done. To me, salmon tastes good at any state of protein degeneration...figuring it's not burnt (can't say I'm a fan of eating plain carbon). I guess Diana was in a cooked mood, as I know she also like sashimi. She devoured everything aside from the potato chip strips (fried foods aren't really her thing), and since Diana isn't known for having a voracious appetite, the food must've been hella tasty.

fried chicken
fried chicken

Nine out of ten times when I eat out with Diana, my dish ends up being 100000 times less healthy. WOOHOO, I WIN!!! Since I heard so many good things about it, I went with the four-piece fried chicken, gravy-splodged mashed potatoes and collard greens.

yes, innards

The fried chicken was perfectly golden with a thin, non-greasy crispified skin to keep in those juicy muscles of poultry-based goodness. Mmmm. Of course it was delicious, and even better when dipped in the accompanying tub-o-honey.

oh god
uh...I guess I ate it

I'm notorious in my family for my inability to gnaw off every last bit of meat from bones (I think this inability brings down my level of Chinese-ness into the negatives). Upon seeing the fried wing I though, "What the hell do I do with this shizznit?" I got most of the meat off the other pieces, but if my brother had eaten this the bones would be licked clean, maybe to the point that he'd also eat the bones...although I hope not.

Man, that was good.

...But there's more.

banana split
Mount Banana Split of Doom

While it doesn't explicitly say so on the menu, Blue Ribbon's desserts are always for two (or more) people unless one person has a sugar-loving stomach the size of a giant penguin. Diana (as in not me!) wanted to try the banana split since she had never eaten one before. I'm not sure if I've eaten one before either, but I did know that a banana split was like a sundae...with a banana. There are a few possible origins of this dessert, a topic of hot debate. I guess if any fruit had to go with ice cream, the hearty banana is a good choice (on my raw food diet I used to freeze bananas and shove em through a crushing-type juicer for something that vaguely tasted of ice cream, at least in consistency), but I can't imagine inventing this dish while thinking that bananas obviously go with ice cream. Cos...I don't think they do.

chocolate ice cream whipped cream
the process of devour-age

But it's definitely tasty, and perhaps the inclusion of a banana makes the dish seem mildly healthier than it would be sans-banana. The long, glass boat held three tennis ball-sized spheres of strawberry, vanilla, and chocolate ice cream nestled (yeah, I said nestled) between a length-wise sliced banana topped with what seemed like the entire contents of a can of whipped cream, drizzled with chocolate and caramel sauce, a smattering of crushed walnuts (could've used more!), and a single maraschino cherry of questionable edibility (for some reason, maraschino cherries have always freaked me out a bit and made me ponder, "My god, this used to be a real cherry?"). The ice cream wasn't the most flavorful I've ever had, but the texture was almost perfect in pliability, softness, and density. Mmmm...creaaaaminesss.

mm, pile of ice cream chomp
yeeeeup, that's me

Obviously, I didn't eat the whole thing by myself. (God, my mouth is friggin' huge.)

sundae...IS GONE

...Alright, I probably did eat most of it, but Diana mainly ate the strawberry, while I went for the chocolate.

Blue Ribbon Bakery is more expensive than most places I go to (and despite my over-expenditure as documented in this blog, I can be kinda cheap), but for whatever reason it feels worth it. Why else would I pay $12 for a banana split? It's not just the food, but the environment you eat it in, along with the service. Water was regularly filled, table was cleaned and silverware was changed after finishing the entrees, and one of the waiters poked fun at me for my excessive photo taking. Hell yeah! Um.

And of course, the fun-ness of eating also depends a lot on who you eat with.

I have at least two more entries to write, if that's anything for you to look foward to. Thankfully, living in NJ gives me nothing else to do besides sit on my bed with my laptop all day long, especially on Sundays where a lot of places aren't open. Then again, even if they were I still wouldn't feel like going. NJ really isn't my kind of place. (sigh)

I know I'm gaining a bit too much weight, so perhaps the food blogging will die down a smidge in the summer. A. Smidge. I'll be working in NYC on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays during the summer besides the times when I'll be on vacation, but I probably shouldn't treat every one of those days as a possible eating opportunity. Maybe once a week I can go out with an NYC-based friend? ...Or maybe I should just go on a diet. Today for lunch I ate fruit. And cookies. Oops.


S-s-s-somethin' from the comments

Yes, that's a completely rip-off of zefrank, who has the most addictive show ever. Granted, I don't watch Lost, but pretty damn addictive. Watch some of his episodes to understand the comments reference. (I think it'd be awesome if someone made a zefrank-like show recapping the going-ons of food bloggers in a totally stupid manner, like "Today, Robyn ate this banana split and nobody gave a crap. [insert random sound effect]")

I know some people have noticed that I reply to comments on the same page of the entry it's been written on. I used to reply to comments through email, but it got kind of annoying...not that this other way isn't annoying either. I don't know about you, but I don't usually check back on blogs to see if the writer replied to my comment. I bet I'm writing all these replies for NO REASON. I'd only stop if I got more comments than I could handle, which is kind of unlikely since most of my comments are spam offering free calling cards and every kind of porn in the world. Then I baleat them.

Uh. Anyway, I'll point out a few choice comments.

Maria explains those special fish eating utensils at Nougatine. "...the pinty knife is designed to help you separate the fish bones from the meat." They're all the rage in Portugal! However, the three-pronged fork is still a mystery and as far as we can tell provides no special benefit in the fish-eating process. THE LACK OF PRONG DOES NOTHING! Jean Georges is just messin' with you. Hoho!

jswansails is happy that I'm not starving myself to death. Hahahaha hahaah! Haha. But wait, there's more. "After reading your blog I realized I DO NOT EAT ENOUGH! I cannot wait to dig in like you. Keep on eating!"

Nonono, you probably eat enough! Oh my god! I EAT TOO MUCH! Don't dig in just because of meee!

babyfoot brings up kuidaore, which is a term to describe crazy food-loving Osaka-ians. I'm not even close to that level of food obsession, but I guess I have something to strive towards now.


Marvo / May 14, 2006 4:52 PM

First off, your friend Diana is frickin' brilliant.

Next, that fried chicken looked damn good. Makes me want to go to KFC for totally inferior fried chicken.

redrhino / May 14, 2006 4:57 PM

[quote="Vouge Magazine"] Steer clear of horizontal stripes, which make you appear wider, but consider vertical stripes, which make you look longer and leaner.[/quote]

Wink, ;-) Wink, ;-)

Martha / May 14, 2006 5:27 PM

Hoy CRAP that sundae! I don't even like ice cream, but for some reason, banana splits set of serious cravings in me -- it's uncanny. So, while I wouldn't necessarily insist that bananas actually GO with ice cream, I'd say that, when the two substances are put close together, they do have some sort of magical power.

And I LIVE in NYC and view every day as an eating opportunity -- self control? So totally overrated.

Have a great summer!

Honey / May 14, 2006 5:50 PM

Many congrats to Diana! And I just wanted to say that I loved loved loved the Blue Ribbon when I lived in nyc. I went there with my roommate and any friend I could drag there for brunch on the weekends. Their brunch is awesome. Ahhhh.

roboppy / May 14, 2006 6:42 PM

Marvo: Yes yes, she is. It's frustrating to be around that kind of talent!

Nooo, do not give into the colonel!

redrhino: HAHAHAHAHAHA. I'll be a long and lean stump. THANKS, VOGUE!

Martha: I KNOW, THAT SUNDAE! It huuurts! With deliciousness! I agree, they have some kind of magical power. Ice cream + something else = something that is more desirable than ice cream itself.

Honey: Damn, I wish you could drag me! Not that I need dragging. I'll go over anyyy tiiime. [licks lips]

Gordon / May 14, 2006 7:11 PM

I come back to read your replies. Actually it's pretty cool that you do reply and that this comment section here just for show. I'm quite addicted to this blog, it's where i find new places to try out!

elaine / May 14, 2006 10:15 PM

Oh, dear god, I want that sundae!

Just wanted to say that your blog's inspired a fellow NYU student to try a bunch of new restaurants :D Your pictures are always gorgeous ♥

Kristin / May 15, 2006 2:04 AM

I agree with Gordon on the addicted to your blog thing. Yeah, why the hell else would I be replying to your blog at almost 1:00 AM on a school night. yeah.

I also enjoy reading the replies. Why you ask? Maybe you didn't read my first paragraph on addiction, haha. Woah. I'm starting to sound stalker-ish. Have it be known that I am not a stalker, lol.

Moving on.... I find it incredible that you never once in your life had a bananna split. How could you go through life without having one?! Although they aren't my favorite ice-cream related item, I thought they were like a kid's staple among all American households! Maybe it's a New Yorker thing, since your friend had never had one either, lol.

This comment is way too long. I think I'll stop now and go read up on the Vietnam War before bed. LOL - my teacher got so far behind this year, we're learning about nam in 1 class period, even though it spanned, like 3 decades. *shrugs*

Ok now really, I'm going to stop typing, lol.

janet / May 15, 2006 11:38 AM

omg that mountain of ice cream is awesome. awesome in the traditional sense of awe-filling. like awwww -filling. hahaha i need to get some edge.

Adrien / May 15, 2006 12:31 PM

Why do I read your entries while I'm eating lunch? I just snarled at my poor sad lunch because it was white bean dip and veggies and NOT FRIED CHICKEN. BEAN DIP, WHY AREN'T YOU FRIED? Ugh. I need a cold compress. Or some gravy.

Cathy / May 15, 2006 1:18 PM

I WANT THE BANANA SPLIT OF DOOM! I had collard greens for the first time a few days ago. I broke down and bought a can. My yankee curiousity got the better of me. Not bad. They taste like spinach but sweeter. Don't get me started on that fried chicken...

I love that you reply to comments, and I always check back to see what you say in response. Hope you enjoy your summer break and your trip to Norway!

roboppy / May 15, 2006 1:46 PM

Gordon: YOU READ EM! Woo! I hope I've directed you to some good eats.

elaine: Everyone wants the sundae. It receives more love than most babies!

santos: Yup, I used my fork and knife...somewhat successfully. I don't like to eat with my hands, ehe. :P Unless I'm eating a sandwich.

Kristen: I'm keeping you from your schoolwork? YES...I, wait! That's not good. Is it? Hm.

You're not stalker-ish unless you've read all my blogs from the past 4+ which case I would be kinda scared. But if you had, you would've dropped dead from boredom by now.

Maybe the lack of banana split-age is a Chinese thing?, it's just not something I've ever been interested in. I've always known what they were of course, but I guess I never got the "banana + ice cream" combination.

I know almost nothing about the Vietnam War! :| If you're talking abut high school history class, I recall...uh, not learning much. I wasn't a big fan of history though so I didn't take it in college. Except food history, because...THAT'S COOL.

Janet: Dude LET'S GO GET SOME ICE CREEEAM! Their non-banana sundaes are like buckets, I think.

Adrien: If it makes you feel any better, for lunch today I ate rice, some smoked salmon stuff my mum got in Alaska (because that is what you buy when you're stopping over on the way back from Taiwan) and some taro. And a banana! Not the most mouthwatering lunch, but it was okay.

Fried bean

Cathy: I kinda like collard greens, although not so much that I eat them a lot. Then again, I don't really eat anything green on a regular basis. :\ I'd rather eat collard greens than spinach. Actually, some of my favorite vegetables (if prepared well) are kale and ther tough leafy greens.

But...I'd rather eat fruit. Mmmmm.

ed / May 15, 2006 2:03 PM

man...every time i come to your mouth waters. one day...there will be no pictures of food, and my mouth will still water. i feel like a dog in training... >.man...every time i come to your mouth waters. one day...there will be no pictures of food, and my mouth will still water. i feel like a dog in training... >.

Jen / May 15, 2006 2:54 PM

That Sundae. I'm at a lost for words (in a good way). Are you travelling anywhere this summer?

Cat / May 15, 2006 6:03 PM

There are just too many reasons to post. I adore blue ribbon (brooklyn) they have sushi and for dessert you can get (get this) a BREAD PUDDING SUNDAE! Bread.Ice Cream.Caramel.Umm. Also, honey with fried chicken is a midwestern invention....yep we're takin the credit. (My grandmother makes fried chicken and then drizzles honey over it and serves it with buttered bread and maple buns...yep TWO types of bread...umm

fearmymoxie / May 16, 2006 4:00 AM

too..much...whipped cream! but i would have done the same thing (eat it all!). and i honestly don't think you gained any weight. maybe the stripes deceived you.

roboppy / May 16, 2006 11:26 AM

ed: Do you need a bib? Ehe.

Jen: I'm going to Norway in June and hooopefully somewhere else later in the summer. Otherwise, I'm right now. I'm at work! Yeah! Okay, I'm not really working right now.

Annie: Sometimes I think about how my parents could've moved ANYYWHEEERRRE and yet they chose NJ. Which kinda made sense cos their company was initially an import/export thing and NJ was a good place for that. But blah!

Cat: Bread pudding sundae? I think I've had that, figuring it's the same as the bread pudding dish at the Blue Ribbon in the West Village. A large dish of bread pudding with a scoop of ice cream? :) That was sooo goood...oh god, I want to go back just for dessert.

Your grandmother sounds awesome! Unfortunately, I have no good family-related food memories. :\

fearmymoxie: Naaah I definitely gained weight. PANTS DO NOT FIT LIKE THEY USED TO. I'm scared because my current pair of jeans used to be so loose that they felt like they'd fall off. doesn't really apply.

Kristin / May 16, 2006 10:29 PM

I guess I'll reply to your reply here, hehe.

Yes, sadly this is still High School history - but technically I only have 3 more days left...muhahah.

You would think though...that we might want to spend more than just one class period on the Cold War when that lasted about 45 years... and more than one class period on Vietnam wich was something like 20 years? (I might be wrong, I didn't learn enough to figure that out).

In general, I'm not a huge fan of history, but the 20th Century fascinates me, and it kinda sucks that it's taught by the worst history teacher in the school, and there was no Honors option. Of course though, they're making an Honors next year. Grr....

Haha, you asked, and I replied with entirely too much info. Oh well.

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