The Girl Who Ate Everything

Blogging about food and whatever since 2004.

pet food, Pommes Frites, Pala, unintentional alliteration, and "Ow, my digestive system hurts"

[pokes self in belly]

...I dunno, man. I just don't know. This weekend was probably the least responsible I've ever been if measured in fun-to-work ratio. All fun. No work. If you're in college, you know that this period is crunch time for writing essays, filling your head with information you should've studied earlier, getting an inadequate amount of sleep while possibly drinking dangerously huge volumes of coffee, etc. When combined in a giant sloshy bucket, all of the above result in hallucinations, insanity, nightmares, head explodee, and other undesirable things. (If you are in such a state right now, I think you should watch Shuggie on Wonder Shozen. It breaks the rules of the universe by being among the best and worst things I have ever seen. You'll see what I mean.)

I have three days of intense fooding to catch up on, but if I attempt to sum it all up in one entry, I will cry. And my head will explode. I'll start with yesterday and eventually work backwards, unless I actually decide to do schoolwork...or something. Yeah. Wait, that's why I live in NYC, right? Someone has to remind me that every now and then.

Yesterday after roaming around Chinatown with Tristan and checking out Pearl River Mart where I got him the most horrifying 21st birthday gift ever, we went to Union Square to look for pet supplies for his rats.

mm, fluoro

.....Wow. As a person who has never had a pet, thus haven't had much reason to browse pet stores, some of this pet food (or "food") is creepy and kind of atrocious. WOULD YOU LIKE SOME HAMSTEROIDS? HUUUUH? CHOOSY HAMSTERS CHOOSE HAMSTEROIDS!

drops MM, snacky! dinner delights MARSHMALLOW CAKES?!
for pets?...OR HUMANS?

These are just a few of the many fun creatively colored and shaped snacks you can buy for your beloved pets. Weeee!!! Do you hear that? [cups hand to ear] That is the sound of a hundred bunnies stampeding towards the CARROT SLIMS!

Yeah, I'm weird. Moving on.

fry, fryyy!
who wants a baaath?...OF INTENSE, SEARING PAIN?!

After visiting a Mexican deli, we went to Pommes Frites. For lunch. Yes. I do not recommend that anyone eats fries for lunch (actually, you probably shouldn't eat fries, period), but we're just a bunch of wild and craaaazy college students who irresponsibly ignore the dangers that deep fried oils will unleash upon our digestive systems.

death by poutine

I went for the poutine ($4), which is a Quebecois invention of french fries topped with gravy and cheese curds. Hoo-boy. I can't say the combination sounded especially appealing, but something about it intrigued me. Like the immense unhealthy-ness of it all. Tristan initially said he wanted a poutine cup, but he totally chickened out and went with regular fries not covered in cheese and gravy.

gravy I ate it all.

I ate it all. The cheese wasn't squeaky like JJ told me they should be, hence this was not the real deal. It wasn't bad, but something I like about fries is the crispiness factor. Dousing fries in gravy leads to lack of crispiness and increased mushiness. (I have the same problem with cereal; I eat it un-milkified.) Some of the cheese blocks more deeply embedded in the fries-and-gravy mix melted, resulting in gooey gravy-soaked fries and cheese blobs. Mmm, cheese blob...

Overall, the poutine was worth trying once, but I wouldn't feel compelled to eat it again. Next time I try it will be in Canada, fo' realz!

(Don't ask me why I said that. I do not know. Some things are best left unexplained.)

Tristan and I returned to my dorm for a short period before he had to leave for the airport to go back to school. [sniffle] Then I went into a deep pit of...deep, dark, depression and other bad things due to the lack of Tristan and...actually, I was just really freakin' tired (not depressed) and decided I needed a nappie.


At 7 PM I woke up, although I was still tired. I don't know about you, but when I wake up from naps the first thing I think is, "Hunggrrryyy." It's weird because when I regularly wake up in the morning I'm not hungry at all, hence why I never eat breakfast (and don't get into the "breakfast is the most important meal, doodeedoo!" argument; I've already heard it). After I quickly scarfed down an apple, I got a...(gasp), PHONE CALL. Jen, my oldest friend (not in age, but in the time we've known each other) called to inform me that she too had just taken a nap and was hungry. And that we should eat. Togetherrrr. Sadly, every time that Jen asks me last minute to eat, I've already eaten or I don't have the time to go out. This was a rare occasion where I hadn't eaten yet and even though I had to do homework...hell, whatever. Despite that Jen lives about two miles away from me, we rarely see each other. It is sad.

pala open air

Jen suggested eating at Pala since she had been there before and it was about a 1 second walk from her apartment. I had heard mixed things about Pala over the past few months and while I wasn't dying to go, I was slightly interested. Also, Jen has tastebuds; if she likes it, I probably would too.


I liked the large, open space. It felt clean and rustic at the same time, if that makes any sense.


Ohh, glorious bread. We were given a small bowl of thin, soft, chewy flabread pieces. SO GOOD. This was the same as the pizza crust, so you can probably tell where the deliciousness rating is going. Slightly oblong shaped pizza is offered by the foot (and a foot is plenty for any normal human being), although you can also order a combination of different pizza slices from what's already pre-made. Otherwise, your pizza is baked to order, which takes 20-30 minutes.


Jen and I shared our pizzas because if you eat out with me, you pretty much have to share. Jen ordered the classica, which was topped with tomato sauce, for di latte (cow's milk) mozzarella, and basil. As usual, my ability to describe food sucks and I'm not sure what else to say besides that I liked it. I guess that means the toppings didn't blow my mind away, but I didn't find anything wrong with them either. I LIKED THE PIZZA, OKAY? That's all you need to know. Anyhoo, what I really liked was the crust, which I'll get to...


I went with the monlasla, which was topped with homemade walnut spread, montasio cheese, and fior di latte mozzarella. We both liked this one more than the classica. I loved that in addition to the layer of soft mozzerella there was a layer of uber-thinly sliced hard montasio cheese. I couldn't taste a great deal of the walnut spread, but it was there. Among the cheeses.

My favorite thing about the pizza was the crust, which probably isn't surprising considering my love of bread. The crust wasn't like any other crust I had eaten before; non-greasy, non-floppy, chewy, substantial, and not too thick or thin. Some people may prefer a thinner crust, but I wouldn't have wanted a cracker-like crust that you may find at Sullivan Street Bakery, nor a floppy crust that couldn't support the toppings other pizzerias.




Even though we were totally stuffed from eating all the pizza, we decided we could shove in a dessert if we moved around our stomach contents a bit. The crepe cake ($5) of about 10 crepes layered with light cream was a nice way to end the meal as it wasn't heavy. The flavor was milder than I would've liked (because I would've liked...more sugar), but the texture was great. Each layer was soft and easily gave way to my spoon, but the cake held its structure until the last few bites. It was rather impressive; I expected the layers to moosh apart and look like a mess.

The final bill was about $20 per person with tip (we also got a large bottle of water). I was happy with the meal and would put this on my list of places to go back to. On top of the yummy food, the waiters are really nice. A couple of them joked about my photo taking, which means they probably thought I was a freak, but didn't mind too much that I was taking excessive photos. Hoorah!

Damn, I have to go to class now. Now I just look at school as food blogging interference.


ed / May 1, 2006 12:43 PM

just do you afford to eat like this so often? how do you afford to eat out like this everyday?!

when i was in college, i had to scavange for group events and take all their pizza and chips. or buy mass quantities of food from costco and ration it out over weeks. :P

Samurai Nick / May 1, 2006 12:50 PM

Holy Pizza!

I am going to lunch in about 10 minutes and now plans have changed and I crave crusty breads topped with various sauces and cheeses.

On top of that I need to cut back because the last week I was at a work conference where they fed us every 2 hours or so.

good enough cook / May 1, 2006 12:51 PM

I just wanted you to know that I love, love, love your blog. I have very little patience for the "here's this fantastic thing I just ate" school of food writing, but somehow your journeys around NYC give me exactly the vicarious thrills I crave. It's not pretentious, it's not masking any investment in showing the world how cultivated and committed you are, it's not trying to be food-trendy, it's just you enjoying the abundance the world presents to you, and I love it. It probably helps that I used to live in NYC but now I'm in a gustatorily uninspiring corner of the midwest.

I just wished you had sampled the honeydew egg tarts--I found those intriguingly off-putting and wondered if the flavor of honeydew could be translated into a baked and eggy form.

Continue to eat hard! and good luck on finals.

Skp / May 1, 2006 12:59 PM

I've been dying to try Pala; that crepe cake looks awesome and I feel the same way about soggy cereal (it's such an unpleasant way to start a day: pour the cereal, pour the milk, and eatitasfastasyoucan before it gets soggy).

Mochene / May 1, 2006 1:59 PM

Pizza. How could you do this to me? I have to go to work where there's no pizza. I'll be back to finish reading and drooling.

Maybe I can convince them to make me pizza.

roboppy / May 1, 2006 4:09 PM

ed: A lot of people have asked me that, so maybe I'll write some kind of explanation in another entry. Otherwise, my short, obvious answer would be that I eat like this because I have money...

Nick: Every 2 hours? Oh god...whyyy? That reminds me of once when I flew in business class and was fed seemingly ever 5 minutes. I distinctly remember not being hungry at all and being disinterested in the food (I was a little kid). Sad. If that happened today, I'd take photos of everything and BLOG IT.

good enough cook: Thank you so much for your comment! I certainly enjoy the abundance, although the lining of fat encapsulating my body does not.

The egg tart ratings will come soon! I did eat more of em. :)

Skip: Goooo get pizza! It would be good to go with a bunch of people so you can have more variety. WOOHOO, MORE STOMACH SPACE.

I am not alone in my avoidance of soggy cereal! Woo.

Mochene: I hope you got to eat something semi-yummy? I'm not even a huge fan of pizza...but bread, YES'M!

mini: That wouldn't surprise me. (shudders)

ani: But does your stomach love it? :) Actually, I felt physically fine after eating it. Psychologically, not so much...

Kathy / May 1, 2006 4:38 PM

Oooh, awesome pictures Robyn! I have to confess that I like how everything gets all soggy in the poutine...hehe. Maybe it's just the cheese I really like! I'm just the opposite - a soak your cereal in milk until it turns to mush kind of person. How does the crepe cake compare to Lady M? It's doesn't look as "classy" but seems as if you enjoyed it just as much:)

Kingfox / May 1, 2006 6:34 PM

I've been to Pommes Frites a few times, my friend Stave drags us there whenever we're in the area. Their war sauce is amazing: mayo, peanut satay sauce, and bits of onions for a wonderful dipping delight. Last time we were there someone had the Irish curry and another person had the curry ketchup, and we couldn't figure out what made the Irish curry Irish.

Unfortunately, as you found out, their poutine isn't authentic. Which sucks. I have yet to have authentic poutine, and even looked for it just about every day I was in Canada last summer. Supposedly it's an EASTERN Canada thing, and ends up being just cheese fries with gravy in Western Canada.

Kingfox / May 1, 2006 6:37 PM

OH YEAH the last time we were there some crazy guy harassed us asking for our fries, going on about the time he was in Belgium for a year and how they failed to reproduce it.

And the best fries I've had in NYC were from Les Halles, which is well worth trying.

Albany Jane / May 1, 2006 7:13 PM

SHUGGIE Ha ha! You rock so much for that Robyn.

As usual, all your food makes me want to eat everything in my house. Mmmm

Oh, and the Hamsteriods? Sounds kind of like the world's worst hemmerhoid.

piccola / May 1, 2006 8:47 PM

Ah, poutine. In Ottawa, where I grew up, there's a poutine truck on practically every block. Through college, a few of my classmates ate it for breakfast.

One of my best friends is from Warwick, in Quebec, the birthplace of poutine. She says no one else has really managed to recreate it. The key is to use St. Andr� cheese, the squeeky cheese.

BTW, about 10 years ago, they came out with "Italian poutine" - basically fries with bolognese sauce and cheese.

roboppy / May 1, 2006 10:19 PM

Kathy: Ohh you like soggy?! Hehe, interestingggg. I guess you're not alone if so many people like gravied fries and mooshy cereal. :)

The crepe cake at Lady M was better, but this wasn't bad. I wouldn't necessarily want it again, but I wouldn't be dying to eat Lady M's cake again either. I WANT A CHUNK OF BUTTER CAKE, HOOHA.

Kingfox: I feel like the poutine was the last straw for me. Can't...take...anymorefries...

Mm, the war sauce was pretty good. That's what I got the first time I went! :)

I'd only eat poutine again if I could be sure to get the real thing. TIME TO GO TO CANADA.

Oh wait, I really want to go to Belgium too. Their stuff is supposed to rock.

I never thought about going to Les Halles, but...(looks at menu) does sound pretty good. Damn. I wanted to try Balthazar's, but I didn't want the entrees that came with the fries. Mrrh.

Albany Jane: Shuggie gives me NIGHTMARES.

Hamsteroid is definitely not the best name. I thought the same thing. :|

Carol: AHHHHHH....blooper.

piccola: Pouting TRUCK?! Holy crap, that's awesome! Send some to NYC! I definitely do not want that stuff for breakfast though.


Cassandra Tan / May 1, 2006 11:12 PM

Crepe cake from Pala is one of my favorites, but I also found the best rice krispie treat EVER tonight at Perch in Brooklyn. (I was a former manhattanite, but the hubby is an eternal brooklynite, so I made with the switch) Also, had a great sammy from them tonight. (mind the pic of it on my blog, taken with phone camera)The Cake Lady also makes a killer crepe cake with marscapone.

Mochene / May 2, 2006 1:20 AM

I didn't get pizza, but I didn't starve either. I think I'll make pizza though, on one of my days off. Thanks for the photos even though they made me hungry.

piccola / May 2, 2006 8:06 PM

Yeah, kind of like an ice cream truck, but for poutine (and other fried things). They're called "chipwagons".

I'm going for a quick visit home in a couple weeks - if I find some squeeky cheese, I'll bring you some. :-)

Deb / May 3, 2006 4:40 PM

I hope someday (before I move--and can actually witness it) you come down to central Jersey so you can experience my favorite Sicilian pizza at Vinnie and Sons in Somerset.

It was good to see someone else do a Pala review--albeit yours was much better. I'd go back and get the classica again. Yummy!

By the way, are you still doing that Europe trip this summer?

Phern / May 3, 2006 7:49 PM

Yay Robyn, you had the poutine!!! From your photos, the cheese curds looked really hefty!

Not all poutine places in Canada make their poutine with actual curds...some places wimp out and use shredded cheese instead.

I had the best poutine in Montreal, Quebec. Squeeky cheesy, meaty gravy and some shredded Montreal smoked meat on top! Now that was a meal unto itself!

roboppy / May 3, 2006 9:54 PM

Cassandra: Oo, I'd love a good rice krispie treat! Even though I love them, I don't eat them much because most times they kinda...suck? Too much mush, not enough krispie? I need a good one. Sounds like I'll have to check that place out.


Phern: Ah, so even if I go to Canada for the real deal, I'd have to do some research first? I want those squeaky curds! I think I can do without the meat topping though, hehe.

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