[This is the last entry of my January "Tristan Week," which took place on January 5th. Yup, I am that behind. Funnily perhaps, today is the last full day of my February "Tristan Week"—he just came back to NYC for mooore! With luck you will hear about this in March. I hope that provides some kind of explanation for why I haven't been able to update recently. I really want to, you know. COS I LOOOVE YOUUU!!!]
Here's a pack of Goetze's caramel creams.
And here are the innards of one of those caramels. Next to my shoe.
Out of our group of four—Lauren and Jones of the excellent fashion blog Fops and Dandies, Tristan and myself—I was the only one who wasn't familiar with this candy. Because I was deprived as a child. The pack I bought from Economy Candy tasted a bit dried out; looking at the photos of the candies on Candy Blog gives me the impression that the fillings should've had a high enough moisture content to plump out and stay inside the caramel ring instead of expel themselves onto the ground. Someone didn't want me to experience the joy of the fillings. And thus fate denied me of the creamy innards.
However, I did get the full effect of the caramel, which as Candy Blog's review says, has a doughy texture. Like...a "dough gone wrong" texture, if I had to continue the description. I probably only think this because I'm not used to Goetze's caramels. I'm partial to the kinds of caramels that are smooth and melt like butter—Goetze's caramels didn't really...melt. Of course, they dissolved at some point because that's the effect saliva tends to have on things you eat, unless you're eating plastic.
We had better luck with Economy Candy's chocolate covered s'more. I didn't even know they made these palm-sized blocks of gelatinous sugar smushed between layers of wheaty sugar encased in cocoa-y sugar until Jones mentioned it as the thing he had to get whenever at Economy Candy. While I'm not even a huge fan of s'mores—not that I'm opposed to the combination of chocolate, graham crackers and marshmallow, because that would be crazy—I thought that if it was that special to Jones, I should be willing to risk forming another layer of body fat to give it a whirl.
Although s'mores are meant to be eaten in a partially molten state with the marshmallow oozing out between the graham crackers like a popped pustule, the non-molten chocolate covered s'more brought the awesomesauce to the world of s'mores in its own way, its way being, "It'll take you a day or two to completely devour my hugeness." Instead of hugging a chunk of chocolate in the middle with the marshmallow, the thick graham crackers themselves were covered in chocolate and the central chocolate layer was absent. Cover all this in a thick layer of chocolate and you've got yourself a lot of chocolate. But then there was also a lot of cracker and marshmallow, so everything kind of evened itself out.
The combined depths of thick chocolate layer upon thin chocolate layer upon graham cracker upon thin chocolate layer upon marshmallow upon thin chocolate layer upon graham cracker upon thin chocolate layer upon thick chocolate layer required me to open my mouth to large, unsightly proportions if I were to successfully get any of it into my belly. One chomp was disarmingly satisfying. Although I wanted to eat more right there, I didn't get to finish it off until later that night.
After we had sufficiently killed enough time roaming around the Lower East Side we headed to Prune for brunch. The popularity of Prune is such that if you get there at 2PM you won't get to sit down until about 3PM. Of course, if you suffer from the "my stomach is a-gurgling" disorder during the wait you can go to Economy Candy and get a hefty, non-nutrition-packed chocolate covered s'more to tide you over.
Although I tend to stick with tap water for 99% of my meals, I had to try the steamed almond milk, aka "almond squeezin's." For some reason I expected the drink to be sweeter and nuttier than its actual level of sweetness and nuttiness, which I would place around, "mildly mild." What does that mean? ...I don't know. I was going to say, "one level below mild," but then I realized that was like a mild mild and now that I've looked at the world "mild" so many times I say it to myself as "milled" and then "mildew" and my brain hurts so I'm going to start a new paragraph.
Lauren and Jones both ordered the Dutch style pancake, a ginormous baked pancake topped with apple slices. If I were allowed to rename this pancake I would call it, "Fat Pillow of Sweet Dough." You'd totally go for it.
Maybe it's wrong to call this a pancake. It was more like a round loaf of half-corny cornbread with a crisp outer crust and soft innards disguised as a pancake. Which is fine with me. "Loaf of cornbread" probably isn't very acceptable to order for brunch, but giant pancake (or fat pillow of sweet dough)? Yes.
After reading about the Monte Cristo sandwich on Tina's blog, I couldn't imagine getting anything else. The prospect of eating an egg-battered, deep-fried triple-decker ham, turkey and swiss cheese sandwich screamed a few things: "EAT ME!" and "MM, IMPENDING HEART ATTACK!"
The sandwich was actually not too artery-clogging due to its minute size. You may not be able to tell from the photo, but it was a wee small bugger. Technically since it was a double decker sandwich I guess it provided twice the sandwich in one bite, but I could've eaten this entire sandwich if it had been twice as large, at which point it would've been more of a health hazard.
...So maybe it was a good thing that it was only a little bit larger than my palm. As delicious as it was with its oozing cheese and layers of ham I don't think it was worth $12, even with the accompanying fried egg and red currant jelly.
Tristan devoured his plate of huevos rancheros, baked eggs in tomato, garlic and chilies, with black beans, avocado, cilantro, lime, and tortilla chips. While he liked it, he didn't think it was worth the price ($15) either.
At the end of the meal your check is presented with licorice in whimsical shapes, in our case euro coins. I took a bite about the size of 5 grains of rice out of my 5 euro coin, attempted to chew...continued attempting to chew...and failed. It's not Prune's fault that I like eating licorice about as much as I enjoy staring straight at the retina-burning midday sun, but I decided I should at least try it. So I did. Licorice is definitely not compatible with my taste buds. I'm not sure how those Scandinavians do it.
I think our overall impression was that although the food was satisfying and prepared well, it was a little out of the range of "worth it." The prices weren't astronomical or unreasonable, perhaps just a few dollars more than what I'd normally pay (except for the almond milk, which was only $3 for a large glass) , but I wasn't left with that jubilant feeling of, "OH MY GOD, I WISH THE MEAL WOULD NEVER END!" I enjoyed it—I just don't feel any need to go back. Even though I really want another one of those Dutch pancakes. Roebling Tea Room in Brooklyn seems to make the same thing for $8 (as opposed to Prune's $13) according to one of the comments in Lauren's accompanying post.
After browsing around Kinokuniya and H&M in midtown we headed back to Penn Station. And thus "MEET-UP WITH ANOTHER BLOGGER" was a success! For no good reason I was slightly nervous (although I would like to add that for good reason I was excited!) about meeting up another blogger who didn't write about food, even though I know Lauren reads my blog and she knows that I read hers and we've had previous contact and DAMN I AM JUST THAT SELF-CONSCIOUS, I need to work on that (really, despite all the eating out I do and all the friends I may appear to have, I am very shy and hyper-aware of how other people perceive me and zomg, you're judging me right now, I can feeeeel it, stop staring at me). Lauren and Jones were awesome to hang out with and as far as I know I didn't freak them out too much. More eating is already in the works! And at the rate I'm blogging you'll read about it 3 months after it happens!!!
Back at home Tristan and I got a pizza from Sorrento's. If you look at that webpage you'll see some scary-ass reviews. I don't know what those people were eating; our pizza was perfectly fine. We ordered a pizza made "grandma" style, half topped with vegetables and half topped with tomato, mozzarella, basil, garlic and pepper. It was kind of a deep-dish style pizza that required something like 45 minutes (or possibly more time) to make because the dough needed to proof and...what not. I'm not sure exactly by this point (it's been about a month since I ate it, you know), but we were won over when the pizza maker passionately described the process to us. Aside from the dough being a smidge soggier than we preferred, we were very happy with it and ate it all save for one slice. This pizza should've probably fed at least three people. Oops.
We popped open the free bottle of Champagne that came with my condo (a "welcome" gift, I suppose), which had been sitting in the fridge since my mum bought it. In May. My mum and I don't really drink, ye see. If I didn't think I liked Reisling, I practically loved it compared to Champagne. Hey, at least I tried it.
And then we watched Superbad. What a glorious movie.
And then the next day Tristan went back to Virginia. How gloriously sad.