The Girl Who Ate Everything

Blogging about food and whatever since 2004.

done with school, Clinton Street Baking Co, and the Nougatine Room

Mom: You gained weight.

Me: ...THANKS.

She's right, but...still. These aren't words a daughter wants to hear from her mum after not having seen each other for one and a half months. In that time period between spring break and moving out of my dorm, I guess I had noticeably increased in girth. From all that...eating. Surely you've seen it. I haven't decided whether or not I should care intensely about the damage I'm doing to my body from putting too much into it and thus exercise some moderation (because I wouldn't exercise anything else, hoohaa!), or if I should just continue my fooding spree until I explode...or can't fit into any of my clothing. If the first one happens, the second would have to also. (And in between the two, death would occur, which would be problematic.)

I left my dorm (known as the nicest dorm in NYU...and one of the farthest away from campus) of two years at around 10 PM, which was oddly the same time that about eight other families wanted to move out. Hmmm. Luckily I live pretty close to school; I can't imagine having to move out and then ship my crap back home or put it in storage. I made two trips with the gigantic gray "moving out" cart and in about half an hour my mum's Jeep was completely stuffed with my 15 or so bags and crates, which were in turned stuffed with crap I didn't even know I had. Funnily perhaps, I had about five bags full of kitchen related items. As you know, I don't cooke very often, but when you need a pot, you need a pot. And a pan. And a baking sheet. And cooling racks. And plates, and bowls, and utensils, and measuring spoons and cups and storage containers and...

...I realized that if I truly hadn't cooked (or planned to), I would've had a lot less crap to bring home. My cup only came into usefulness a handful of times for the sake of holding hot chocolate. I remember last year using my measuring cup as a drinking cup (which I rarely needed) before I realized that I should probably get a real one. Normal people do not drink out of measuring cups, I think. Then again, I'm not normal—maybe I should've held onto that eccentricity.

I think I'm a college senior now. That's pretty damn weird. If my final year in college follows the trend of the past three, it'll be the most procrastination-filled year everrrr.

Clinton St. Baking Co tables
Clinton Street Baking Co

Oh yeah, food. Sorry to bore you with that random "I'm done with college" stuff. As one of the last fun meals of the year, last Saturday I went to Clinton St. Baking Company for brunch with Sarah, Patty, and William. We had to wait almost an hour to be seated and practically stalked a four-seat booth as the customers paid their bill, sat there...sat there some more...and FINALLY LEFT, HURRAH, IT'S PANCAKE TIME.

lake of maple butter and pancake mountain
Mount Pancake and Lake of Maple Butter of Crack-Like Addictive Deliciousness

It was William's idea to photograph Patty's pancake stack in this nature scene-like fashion. You got your craggy walnut-topped mountain of round, fluffy pancakes looming over a lake of one of the top ten most delicious substances in the world (don't ask me what the other nine are): maple butter. It sounds simple, because it is. However, I've never seen or tasted it anywhere else before, which makes me wonder if it really is that simple or if it requires some kind of other-wordly knowledge that is only passed down to the most worthy syrup makers, who in turn can't even tell their own children (punishable by detachment of important limbs) unless they too are worthy syrup makers. They must know the properties of butter and the properties of maple syrup and how to make the marriage of the two truly last until death. Your death. From ingesting buckets of it.

blueberry pancakes pancake innards
blueberry pancakes

And I think I could ingest a bucket of it, at least if it's accompanied by a stack of pancakes. This sauce is seriously one of the most memorable things I've ever tasted in my life, and by now you know that I've eaten many things. I don't see the point of actually describing the taste to you (um, aside from butter and maple syrup, which you probably figured out already) need to taste it for yourself. Dip a pancake chunk into the light, gravy-colored sauce, stuff it in your mouth, and think, "......" While your thoughts turn into vacant ellipses, your vocal cords should return something like, "Guuhuhguhruhrhugrmmhwhaa."

Or maybe that's just me. I'm a weird one.

crab cake sammich crab cake innards
crab cake sandwich

Sarah and I split our dishes 50/50, which resulted in neither of us becoming too overly pancaked or crabcaked. I wouldn't usually choose a crabcake sandwich over any other kind of sandwich, but I chose it because I figured I wouldn't order it again. While a brioche roll isn't my favorite (I like chewier bread with crust), the sandwich as a whole was great. The crabcake was thankfully more crab than cake and the soft crustacean chunks held together nicely. The creole mayo-mustard gave it some spicy personality, kind of like...wearing a silly hat as opposed to a normal hat. Except not. Another nice part of the platter were the homemade potato chips, which were uber-thin and thus tasted of crispy, deep-fried fatty deliciousness. The thinness gave them the impression of being light, but that meant they tasted like golden flakes of fat...which is pretty tasty. And not light.

milkshake cream
doomy milkshake

Alas, not everything could be perfect. This was one of the most disappointing milkshakes I've ever ingested. I've ordered many milkshakes in my day and for this to have happen at Clinton Street Baking Company, which seemed to be good at everything, made it even sadder. First off, when a menu describes something as "extra thick", there are certain expectations to be filled, such as...extra thickness. If this shake was just "plain thick", it would've been disappointing. Since it was supposedly adding a layer of extra thickness to some pre-existing characteristic of being thick, it was even more disappointing; What was it adding thickness to? The thin, milky substance in my glass that was so not worth $6? $6! Think of all the cookie slabs that could buy you. (Three, in case you were wondering.) I ordered the vanilla-chocolate-chunk flavor and while there were technically some chocolate chunks in the shake, a better description would've been "vanilla-chocolate-bits"...since that's what they were. Bits. When I hear the word chunk I think of something that could feasibly be carved out of the side of a larger something, as though there's a chocolate mountain and someone whacked it with a pick-axe to create the chocolate chunks. The chunks wouldn't have fit through the straw if they were that large, but...still! THE MENU DESCRIPTIONS TELL LIES.

Ignoring the overpriced milkshake, this restaurant is still pretty awesome. That maple butter makes up for all the wrong in the world. I think they laced it with something. Puuure looooove.

Or mood-enhancing chemicals.

cookies muffins cupcakes muffins
baked goods

I bought a few baked goods before I left. Thumbs up for the chocolate chunk muffin and the chocolate chip cookie, but thumbs down for the berry scone, which had a funky, springy texture and not enough buttery taste. Or taste overall.

rubbing our bellies
this is not among the collection of "flattering photos"

Sarah and I are rubbing our bellies. Because we are so stuffed that we want to roll over and hibernate for a few months. Heehee!

060509 006

On Tuesday, Sarah and I went to Nougatine (or "The Nougatine Room"...I don't know the official name) for their $24.07 prix fixe lunch. She wanted to eat at a more upscale place before leaving NYC (although she plans on visiting again in the summer) and she picked Nougatine (...sorry, but every time I see that word I think, "Haha, noog") since it's the casual Jean-Georges dining experience...which still makes it more upscale than most places.

Trump Tower
Trump Tower

I suspect the rent in this building is kind of a buttload.

mm, i love butter chunk bread and butter
bread and buuuuutter

Our meal started off with a giant disc of butter. I like it. Grace pointed out that the butter mountain was probably sliced from a mother butter log, an idea that hadn't entered my mind. Yup, I have to think bigger. There is a butter log somewhere. We were each given a baguette slice to go with the butter slice and during the meal a waiter with a bread basket would ask if you wanted another slice to keep your bread plate from feeling lonely. Oh god, I could eat bread forever.

stuff in soup asparagus soup
voila, soup!

How funny would it be if you were presented that plate on the left and told to dig in? YOU COULD INHALE THOSE GARNISHES. Thankfully, that', not the dish. Sarah's spring asparagus soup with meyer lemon and truffle vinaigrette didn't fully materialize until a waiter came by with a pitcher containing a single serving of the thick, yellow-green soup and poured it over the lemon and asparagus bits. "DIE, BITS, DIIIIE!"...was not at all uttered during the ceremonial pouring, but I was probably thinking something along those lines. Because I'm weird.

[On a totally random note, last night I found my old science portfolio from 6th grade, which contained lab parter evaluations. Under the "What needs improvement?" section, my friend wrote that nothing was wrong with me, but that perhaps I should be less weird. She was just kidding, of course, but that just goes to show that my weirdness was already in full bloom when I was in 6th grade. It suuuure waaaas.]

Oh, how'd the soup taste? Really good. I couldn't taste the truffle whatnot, but the slight tang of the lemon with the creamy, freshly souped asparagus-ness good. Umm. IT'S SOUP! IT'S LIQUIDY! IT SMELLS OF VEGETABLE-BASED AROMAS! Yeah.


I ordered the arugula salad with radicchio and sugar snap peas. I'm not actually a big fan of salads, but my conscious told me that I needed to eat something raw and of plant-origins. The bitterness of baby greens (or the bitterness of anything) does not agree with me, but this was definitely a nice salad. One aspect of a "nice salad" for me is when there's just the perfect amount of dressing coating every bit of the salad. That takes skillz.

pork -n- fennel (not the official name) pork
the other white meat

My entree of grilled pork with braised fennel and herbed salad was simple and satisfying. Yeah, it's a bit of a pointless description, but the impression that Sarah and I got from the dishes was that they were very well prepared compositions of simple ingredients. I know I could grill a pork chop, but I doubt it would come out as nice. I could probably braise fennel too...poorly. The herbed salad of dill and other things I couldn't recognize was more vinegar-y than I was expecting, but as the pork and fennel had mellow flavors, they went well together. I mean...I did eat the whole thing. Yup.

funky knife

They pay careful attention to utensils here. We noticed that we had different silverware, with Sarah's being the stranger set. She was given a blunt knife with a slightly angled cutting edge (kind of like a butter knife...or maybe it was a butter knife) and a fork with only three prongs, as opposed to my serated "pork tearing" knife and a fork with four whole prongs! I guess her utensils worked out for her, as she ate most of her sake-soy glazed salmon with napa cabbage and cilantro. The salmon was cooked a little rare, so it was...soft n tasty n stuff. There's probably something written out there about the rareness of food in relation to its prestige, but...uh...that sounds like a school paper and I'm lazy.

chocolate thing
chocolate thing

Time for the best part of the meal: SUGAR. This is what chocolate chantilly on breton sable with mint sorbet looks like. If you look closely at the chantilly part (mm, creeeam), its sitting on top of a little chocolate cake bit, which I guess is nameless according to the menu. I don't know what a breton sable is, but if they're all like what was in this dessert I wouldn't really want to eat it again. The dryness of the cookie caused a piece of it to ungracefully fling off my plate and make a crumbly mess on the otherwise pristine floor when I tried to cut it with my spoon. Crap. IT WAS NOT MY FAULT, I SWEAR. I felt guilty marring the floor with my food, but it seriously just wooshed off my plate before I could catch it. I used my palm as a "cookie wooshing shield" the second time I tried to cut off a piece, but that part of the cookie was a smidge more moist and thus wasn't at risk of flying out of my plate-space.

So that was odd. The chantilly cream was fine as was the cookie part, but neither entered the "holy crap this is delicious!" department. Not enough chocolate flavor, perhaps. The mint sorbet was my favorite part because I love anything with real mint in it. Real mint >>> fake mint. However, sorbet is still much less satisfying than ice cream; there's not enough creamy mouthfeel with sorbet. Seriously, does anyone like sorbet more than ice cream? If you do that's okay, buuuut....but...I don't get it, unless you're allergic to dairy.

cake thing cake thing

Sarah's dessert of fresh fruits on almond cake with cream cheese ice cream and spice sauce (although I don't know what kind of spice it was) was structurally impressive. I liked the placement of the squiggle cookie perched on top of the ice cream. This dessert was probably more satisfying than mine, or at least healthier because of the fruit.

a weird piece of art looms by Sarah's head

Overall, Sarah and I thought the food was good, just not really good to the point that we'd think of going back. (I should add though that the food at the main Jean Georges restaurant next to Nougatine is supposed to be hella awesome. I don't think any critic has actually described it as "hella awesome", but if I tried it I'd wanna throw that in. If. Maybe some other day.) The service was attentive and the ambiance was comfortable and bright, although not coffee-house cozy. We hung out there for about two hours before parting ways to allow me to study for my food science and technology final, which didn't go over well due to the LACK OF STUDYING, HOOHAAHAOOAH!


Ah well, I probably passed, and that's all that matters, eh? Every time I tell people I'm not that concerned about my grades, they say, "Ah well, not like you're going to grad school; you'll be fine." It's nice to know that I can just suck at school because I have no aspirations to aquire more diplomas and whatnot. Um. Yeah. (Don't get me wrong; my grades are still good...despite that I have no direction in life. Hoorah!)

Coming up: more entries with more food and more whining about how I'm gaining too much weight. YOU ARE SO EXCITED, I CAN FEEL IT.


Clare / May 12, 2006 8:09 PM

I swear, the whole "you've gained weight" is such an Asian mom thing. My mom says things like "Your face seems rounder than usual" and my obachan (who is 96 years old!) will take my hand and say (in Japanese): "Your hand has gained one pound." Huh?

Anyway, congrats on being a senior. I'm looking forward to all your fun foodie follies from your neighborhood (where is home, btw? NYC? Jersey?).

Adalmin / May 12, 2006 8:46 PM

Benefits of weight gain: BOOBS.

And all Asian parents do the neurotic weight-checking thing. Don't let yo mama drive you round the best. Rejoice in boobage!

ed / May 12, 2006 9:05 PM

i remember once in high school my mom told me i was too skinny. then college came around, and i was told i was too fat. now i exercise and maintain a healthy balance, only to have my parents throw food in every direction. they'll never be satisfied! >:]

Angela / May 12, 2006 9:20 PM

There was an old saying in the 'dorm' I lived in here in Oz - "Ps mean degrees" aka you pass, you graduate. Many lived by this concept.

Love this site!

Claudia / May 12, 2006 9:28 PM

i stumbled onto your site two weeks ago and it's quite enjoyable to read. i can't wait to read and see where you eat next. :)

p.s. i love your poofy creations

Cat / May 12, 2006 11:19 PM

Where is Home for you? Just curious. Jean Georges is fantastic. (Friggen Fantastic) The petit fours alone are good enough to go for.

John / May 12, 2006 11:33 PM

Hi Robyyyyyyyn!

God, that crabcake sandwich looks incredible!

You are done with junior year now? Yes!

Now you can spend the summer making cool blippy noises with me. BlipblipblipbloooooooOOOP! Perhaps we'll fit the sound of noog in there, too. Nooooog!

roboppy / May 13, 2006 12:45 AM

Clare: DAMN ASIAN MOMS!...but Asians are pretty slim. Hm. I mean, if I went to Taiwan I'm sure I wouldn't be able to fit into anything. My mum was telling me that their clothing stores have more variety because they only need to stock a few sizes...BECAUSE EVERYONE IS THE SAME SIZE. Damn em.

96! Holy crap! Japanese people live foreeever.

Today while at Mitsuwa I was telling Sarah that Japanese people don't read my blog. HAHA! Or they do and I just don't know about it.

Ohh, I can't believe I didn't mention where I live. JERSEY. I'm back in dirty Jerz. Wooha. Looking forward to commuting to work in NYC three days a week, WEEEEOOOH.

Adalmin: HAHAHA...whoa, that is not a benefit! Is it? Since middle school I've only wanted decrease in..."boobage". All the more reason to lose weight.


Angela: HAHA, good concept. I guess. Hmmm. I think even if I took a pass/fail course, I'd still try to do much better than merely passing to be on the safe side...


Claudia: Oh man, I'm so not excited about where I'm eating next because right now I feel like my tummy's gonna splode. But after that feeling fades...I shall be more excited.


Cat: Jersey. :( It's okay, I guess. I'd love those petit fours. AND NOTHING ELSE.

John: I would love to spend the summer making cool blippy noises! AND NOT EATING MYSELF TO DEATH! YES!!!

Albany Jane: The salmon was pretty damn good. Semi cooked...semi not cooked...mmm.

Jeanne / May 13, 2006 1:16 AM

My parents are a no-win situation too. But now that I'm 22, it's progressed past the weight thing. I'd almost rather it be, since now our conversations mostly include: "haven't you met any nice boys lately?" or "what are you going to do after grad school?"

My mother asked me the boy question four times in one afternoon that we spent together in the CAR. Me: "Yeah mom, at the last rest stop! Didn't you see the guy with the tattoos?" @_@

sophie / May 13, 2006 5:40 AM

Mother of god why do I come here at 10 am when lunch seems lightyears away? Also, I always wonder where do you get all the dough (stupid pun, hah) to buy all these luxurious items? do you save by having a permanently empty fridge? are you a food spy sponsored by big companies? If so, please do give me their contact number...

Deb / May 13, 2006 6:53 AM

You're right. I'm not a fan of living in Jersey. John's and my reply to all things unsatisfactory is "We need to move." And we will eventually.

Thanks for the fun entry.

I too need to drop weight a bit (a hazard of baking too much these days--love the butter log, by the way). In an exercise of irony, we could eat our way to the best seemingly low calorie meal...

Hey, when is my Poofy shirt coming? Do you have anything that says "Poofy" on it?

Claudia / May 13, 2006 10:45 AM

you're still making those poofy shirts?? cause if you are, i'd love to buy one. =)

redrhino / May 13, 2006 12:36 PM


please don't touch my banana. sanx u berry much


Mochene / May 13, 2006 1:20 PM

Congrats on your seniorshipdom. I remember my last year of college, I think.

Mothers look at weight for some reason. If you lost some, she'd probably just say you're wasting away, eat more, and cook you a hell of a lot of food and be angry with you if you didn't eat it all. At least my grandmother does that. I'm too skinny one year, and too fat the next.

By the way, a sable is a French shortbread cookie, so it's dense and on the dry side, as opposed to, say, a chocolate chip cookie (think Walkers Scottish shortbread). Reading about your little dessert incident reminds me of Pretty Woman when Julie Robert's character is eating the escargots.

That salmon looks divine!

babyfoot / May 13, 2006 2:39 PM

I just finished watching Tony Bourdain's NO RESERVATIONS where he toured Osaka and it seems (after reading your about recent adventures + all the archives I can handle) that you share a food philosophy that dominates Osaka!It is called kuidaore, do you know anything about this? Main objective: eat a bunch of delicious food until you burst. Sounds about right.

roboppy / May 13, 2006 3:15 PM

Jeanne: I highly doubt my mum is going to ask me those kinds of questions...because if she did I WOULD GO INSANE. All we ever talk about is food, actually. Today when I woke up with asthma she said I need to cut down my fooding. Then she asked me if I wanted to eat out with her and my brother. So we did. I wasn't hungry and now I'm just really full. (I'm fatter than both of them, ugh.)

sophie: Actually, my fridge during the school year was pretty empty. :O I wonder if my roommate forgot about all the food she left behind or for some crazy reason though some of it was mine...hmwell. Other people have asked me the dough question (mmm...douugh), but I'm not sure if I ever answered it. Mmmwelllll...

Deb: My family is planning to move, buuut...WITHIN NJ. Okay, I guess that's just my parents, but...ahh. Our house is too expensive to take care of. I feel like if you're gonna move, may as well get OUT OF NJ!!

I need to eat less. Unfortunately, everyone I hang out with doesn't seem to share that idea. Because we all like food. Dammit! (gouges out stomach)

I just ordered the Poofy shirts a few days ago so I hope to have them mailed out at the end of May or early June. Wee! I don't have anything that actually says "POOFY" on it, but I don't plan on doing that...kinda feels like advertising.

Claudia: Ohh I just ordered the shirts a few days ago. :( I had gone so long without orders (I had the order form up for a few months) and I figured "Uh...okay, I'm not gonna get many more." I may have some extras leftover though, if people flake out.

redrhino: Uh...[steps away]

Mochene: Oh noo, my mum would be happy to see me lose weight. As would I. But it seems unlikely to happen if she keeps...buying food and stuff. AHHH.

The sable wasn't very dense. ...But I don't have much to compare it to. It was just odd because some parts were so dry (the parts that flung off) while others weren't so much. It wasn't bad, just confusing. :|

babyfoot: Whoaa, I haven't heard of that! Thanks for letting me know. I don't think I share the exact same philosphy...I mean, I'd hate the idea of eating until I feel like explpoding/puking. ;) I love it when I can eat a good meal and feel totally satisfied without feeling like I need to be rolled home. I don't think my love of food comes even close to the idea of kuidaore, which looks way intense...maybe that gives me something to aspire to? Haha.

maria / May 14, 2006 7:34 AM

hey robyn

congratulations on finishing your junior year!

the knife and fork your friend got are actually special "fish eating utensils" - the pinty knife is designed to help you separate the fish bones from the meat... (don't really know why the fork only has three prongs though...). here in portugal we use that type of cutlery whenever we eat a fish dish

chochotte / May 14, 2006 9:41 AM

Aww you two look so happy!

I love that food can do that. Imagine how awful it must be to be an animal for whom food is just a simple refuelling exercise, and not one of life's greatest joys.

plume11 / May 14, 2006 2:25 PM

I was going to show off telling you about the sabl� and the fish cuttlery but it's to late, someone did it allready!

I've told you once about pizza from Marseille and I just had some for dinner. If you ever come in Marseille, mail me and I'll take you in a pizza tour!

roboppy / May 14, 2006 6:08 PM

maria: Thanks for the info! The three pronged fork is just tryin' to be DIFFERENT. That bastard.

chochotte: We were full of happiness and carbs! Wee!

I wouldn't mind being a cute kitten or something. People would love me just for being cute and I wouldn't have to like...DO anything. Doing stuff is overrated. Rolling around and being pet a lot is the way to live.

plume11: TOO LATE! You still win the prize of "almost telling me about the sable and the fish cutlery". :)

I'm gonna keep your tour in mind. If I study abroad in Paris then you might have to stuff me with pizza. HEEHEE.

Heather / May 16, 2006 3:37 PM

"the rent in this building is kind of a buttload"

heh, made me spit out my coffee laughing!

And no, you can never have enough kitchen gadgets ever. How else can you make delicous yummy stuff without them? And then eat them...

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