The Girl Who Ate Everything

Blogging about food and whatever since 2004.

Last Weekend, Part 1: Tiny's, Sugar Sweet Sunshine, and Some Form of Exercise

Fish and cheese. They go together like...seafood in coagulated milk-based product.

Tuna melt!

Oh, I love coagulated milk-based product. It's just that while I was eating my tuna melt from Tiny's Giant Sandwich Shop and savoring the magical blend of melted Swiss cheese blanketing mayonnaise-infused Dolphin-safe tuna mashings I thought about how most of my combination fish-and-cheese eating experiences have taken place in the form of sandwiches. And not tuna melts or lox and cream cheese bagels, but the Catholic-friendly Filet-O-Fish. Which means that most of my combination fish-and-cheese eating barely consisted of what nature would label as fish and cheese. More like "deep fried square slab of compressed white fish bits" and "day-glo orange sliver of processed cheese and emulsifiers." And thus the dark period of gorging myself at McDonald's comes back to haunt me.

I used to eat at McDonald's with embarrassingly high frequency during the first 3/4ths of my life. When I was little it was all about the Happy Meals and the 4-piece "it might be" chicken nuggets dripped in barbecue sauce (hell man, those were tasty). After I grew out of the "If It Comes With A Toy, It Must Be Good" phase, it was all about the fat and the salt and the various chemicals used to enhance the flavors of fat and the salt. Even though I stopped eating at McDonald's in high school, the idea of eating a Filet-O-Fish today (for nostalgic purposes) doesn't completely disgust me. I might even enjoy it.

But I won't do it. I think. I mean, unless you want me to. For nostalgic purposes.

I ate at Tiny's last Friday night (as in, December 7th, many moons ago) with Diana, John, Tristan and Lihan for our "WELCOME TRISTAN AND LIHAN TO NYC FOR THE WEEKEND" celebration, as they had spent the day driving up from Charlottesville. Tiny's is a great place to have a group dinner because it's 1) vegetarian friendly! 2) cheapies! 3) sandwich laden! 4) never too crowded! (at least when I'm there) 5) quick! But if you go somewhat late in the day like we did (7:30 PM, aka "when French people eat lunch") they may be out of a few things.

No more for you

Like soup. Not that any of us really wanted soup, but sometimes you only realize you want something when you can't have it. These desires increase ten-fold when punctuated by a frowny face. :( Next time I visit Tiny's I hope to get a taste of this soup that is so good that they run out of it by 7:30 PM.

something vegetarian friendly
Tristan's sandwich

Here's Tristan's vegetarian friendly sandwich, the Big Mack Daddy. That stuff looks like meat, but I'm going to assume it's some kind of soy protein compound, crumbled and reformed in such a way to make you feel like you're almost eating the flesh of a dead, tasty animal.

grilled chicken something!
John's sandwich

John's Cobb sandwich really did have meat. Mmm.

Take the table by the door and, gee whiz, you'll get cold

After dinner John, Diana and I went across the street to grab dessert from Sugar Sweet Sunshine while Tristan and Lihan fetched Lihan's car in Chelsea to drive it to the Financial District where Lihan would be staying that night. They got a bit lost. Oops. Remember to bring a map with you when you go to a new city, folks! (I didn't do this when I visited Brussels and it was mildly horrible. I'm just glad I lived.)

my cupcake.  all alone

Diana recommended the black and white cupcake for its not too sweet, but perfectly chocolate-y cake. And she was right! The cake was just right in terms of sweetness, chocolate-ness. I could taste the cocoa. At least, I think that's what I was tasting. I thought the sweet frosting went well with the mild cake, but Diana and her lack of a sweet tooth chose to eat around the frosting, leaving behind a frosting-smeared wax paper carcass. So much violence. So much.

And that's why Diana is much healthier than I'll ever be.

John and I parted ways with Diana to meet up with Tristan and attempt to see Juno. On opening night. In limited release. Obviously, we failed.

So we saw Lars and the Real Girl instead! It was awesome. In a happy and depressing way. Seriously, you should see it if it's playing anywhere near you.

Walking to Studio B
Brooklyn is creepy. Don't you forget it.

After the movie we headed to Studio B under the creepy post-midnight Brooklyn moon where we'd meet up with Nathan and his friend Rachel.

too many people
Damn, it's kinda of crowded.

What was I doing at Studio B? They don't serve food (but they have plenty of Red Bull and alcohol). Oh, it's a dance club. Yeah. This is generally the last place you would ever find me (even after a gym), but I had been convinced/coerced into going and I figured i may as well get the "dance at a hip night club full of writhing young people" experience out of the way just so I could say that I've done it. Kind of like that time I saw the Rocky Horror Picture Show at Vassar College and wanted to flee the theater about 50 or 60 times during the performance, but stuck it out to say that I had lived through the experience. And I did. Barely. The best part was knowing that I'd never have to go through that again.


Not that Studio B was that horrifying—compared to the RHPS, it was much more bearable. I'm not sure that Studio B is this crowded every Friday night; the draw of this night was a Daft Punk cover DJ duo. Nathan somehow got us past this line (smooth talker, he is) so that we could go inside the darkened club and smash our bodies in the mob of people trying to check in their coats for half an hour or more, or less. It's all a blur.

Sooo...uh, how was it? Well, if you like dancing then you'd love it. Duh. I don't dislike dancing, but the situation really needs to be optimal for me to enjoy it. I need to like the music, number one. Preferably I'd be accompanied by at least one friend like me, a female dance noob, none of which was present that night (not that I have anything against the friends that were with me that night; they're great). On the other end of the spectrum, I am quite happy just dancing by myself in my room to my own playlist because I know I'll like the music and no one will see what a flailing dork I am. The problem with the Daft Punk cover DJs is that they didn't play enough Daft Punk (or maybe we missed most of that part) and I spent a lot of the night thinking about how bored I was (which had a lot to do with the boring music) and how much more fun and cheaper it would've been to just dance in my own room. I was really only comfortable when I closed my eyes. I'm what some would refer to as "socially retarded." It doesn't bother me that much.

I can see why people would enjoy this kind of thing, of course. (Maybe the alcohol helps.) And that's cool with me. But I make a very unconvincing member of any dance posse. It wasn't a bad first experience, really. I'm glad I was around people I liked.

I got to Kathy's apartment at around 4:30 AM. After showering myself of sweat, dead skin cells and germs accumulated across Manhattan and Brooklyn, I pressed the INFLATE button on my Aerobed's controller dohickey (those things are advanced!), slid myself into my sleeping bag/blanket, and passed out.


Tiny's Giant Sandwich Shop
129 Rivington St
New York, NY 10002

Sugar Sweet Sunshine
126 Rivington St
New York, NY 10002

Studio B
259 Banker St
Brooklyn, NY 11222


Jeanne / December 15, 2007 3:39 AM

I reallllly wanted to try Tiny's when I was in NY! However, despite spending two afternoons trying to get cupcakes from Sugar Sweet Sunshine, and according to you, being ACROSS THE STREET...I am blind, and did not see it.
And obviously, I didn't do the smart thing and ASK someone...I just wandered away, very sad. Next time!

Morten / December 15, 2007 7:05 AM

You may not believe this, but I too liked McDonald's at some point in life. I was well in my teens when I was made aware of it's existence, probably because the darkness hadn't dawned on Bergen before that.

In the beginning I wasn't allowed to eat it as often as you Americans (my parents tried to keep their kid's intake of unhealthy foods to relative minimum), but as I grew older my freedom grew and I ate it as much as once a week for a while. I've since tried to go back, but have gotten the same result each time: Disappointment. There are worse foods, but it always feels like such a waste of a meal. Sigh. The lure of McDonald's have left me for good.

Graeme / December 15, 2007 7:09 AM

No one tells it like it is, quite like you do, Robyn.

You know you're in for some fun when "Fish in cheese" becomes "Seafood in coagulated milk product".

Great post.

Angeline / December 15, 2007 12:24 PM

Hope you're feeling better from this infection you've got. I was watching Rachael Ray's Tasty Travels (please don't hate me), and she went to Blue Ribbon bakery and they showed people eating sweet breads and marrow! Just like on your blog.

Tina / December 15, 2007 7:49 PM

I should try out Tiny's...and Taim, and a ton of other places that you ate that I haven't tried yet. Oh well...after or in between finals, I can stomach a lunch or two the coming week.

Sounds like you had a fun night, despite the fact you're not into the whole nightlife thing with the dance club...

roboppy / December 15, 2007 9:30 PM

Jeanne: Ahh yes, Tiny's is easy to miss since it's not exactly well marked. :( BUT IT'S THERE! Yeeah. Well, you can kinda see the sign through the window if you wanna peer through it.

Morten: ...You were a TEEN?! Sweet jesus. I feel so poisoned, having been going there since I was 5. Or younger. That's just as far back as I can remember.

I'm a little conflicted about how much unhealthy food my mum let me eat. McDonalds wasn't all the time and we never had snacks/candy/cereal/cookies/pastries like most kids had unless it was or derived from fruit. -__- But I was allowed to eat fast food and TV dinners. Hm.

Sometimes I think I want fries from McDonald's. But I'm not desperate enough.

Graeme: Glad you enjoyed it. :)

Angeline: I'm feeling better, but am still kinda sick. This is the longest sickness I've had in ages, about a week of coughing and loss of appetite and BLECH. :(

Rachel Ray copied mee!..or vice versa. Hm. Well, her taste isn't too bad then? ;)

Nina: THAT'S WHAT TUNA MELTS ARE! MMM!!! I want more.

Tina: Sandwiches then cupcakes! It's a nice combo. Do it!

Yup, the night was fun. I wouldn't mind going to a small dance party in the future without girls who look like they're 16 (euh, they probably were 16), but something Studio B-esque? Eeuh...

jodie / December 16, 2007 4:51 AM

ah! why did i not go to tiny's giant when i was in new york! >:|

and you should totally check out half nelson. i liked it better than lars :|

...too many :|'s?

Mila / December 16, 2007 9:41 PM

The only times I depend on McD and other fast food options is when I get stuck at home, or come home late and I'm starving and there's nothing I want to cook at 11pm, and heck, they all deliver at any odd hour of the night, so I end up calling for bad food delivery.

I feel for your experience at the dance club. I was nagged by this person at a party recently to dance with them and barely held my temper while trying to tell her off. I hate the idea of being forced to dance.

roboppy / December 16, 2007 10:54 PM

Jodie: Ah, thanks for the rec!

Yeah, that's a lot of :|


Mila: I frequently ate at McD in middle school cos...I was too lazy to go anywhere else. (It was a short walk from my apartment.) Also, they spoke English. (This was when I lived in Taiwan, haha.)

Buh, I had to hold my temper too. Actually I was more distraught than angry because I didn't want to go, but then...I did. WOOOOooo.

Julie / December 17, 2007 10:39 AM

Tiny's looks yummy. Hot gooey sandwiches hit the spot, always, forever.

I liked going to certain dance clubs on certain nights with certain friends when I was younger. Now, not so much, so I feel ya. Not being a drinker, either, I feel ya there, too. *sigh* Still, there's enough awesomeness in life to enjoy without that stuff. Woot!

Annie / December 17, 2007 11:29 AM

About the joy of "meal with toy"--I made cupcakes for my daughter's third birthday and (after they were baked) planted a Sesame Street finger puppet in the middle of each 'cake. Those children tore into them with cries of glee and another mom said to me, "Well, of course it's a hit--it's their two favorite things at once." The velocity of their pleasure was a little frightening.

as to going to a club: I felt just as you do (didn't like alcohol or dancing in front of people who took it seriously) so I stayed home and didn't go out to see the Disco Era. And now when people say, "Hey, Annie, how was Studio 54?" I just stand around looking dejected. So at least you've missed that fate.

roboppy / December 18, 2007 1:02 AM

Julie: There are lots of awesome things to do. Not that I mind dancing...or people who dance. I just don't want to be negatively judged for not being totally into it. Buh. (Not that anyone here was doing it, I just...felt like a friend was doing that to me and it felt horrible and...stuff.)


I like that.

Aw, kids are so easy to please. PUT TOYS IN THEIR FOOD! "Uuhh what's in my chicken HEY ITS A BARBIE!"

If I lived during the disco era, I would've missed it too. ...Weeee!!

eatyourheartout / December 19, 2007 10:47 AM

Alcohol helps make bad music seem like good music to have fun/dance to.

That is why we can never get how those humans can have a great time dance to crap: it's because they're drunk! Now I get it!

Rachelle Nicolette / December 19, 2007 6:49 PM

Um, this is a little scary.

I had a crazy sense of deja vu when I was reading this! I lived RIGHT ACROSS THE STREET from Tiny's (above Schiller's) and have tried almost everything they have. My personal favorite? Their Way BLT. I can't say no to avocado and bacon in a sandwich. Also, the fact that the cupcake shop was also just across the street was very dangerous. You can bet that I promptly bought a four-pack of their cupcakes when we visited a month ago.

Also, my man used to live a block away from Studio B, which completes this whole freaky deja vu episode!

Cakespy / December 19, 2007 9:21 PM

I can't get past the fact that she ate. around. the. frosting. As they say in Heart of Darkness (or was it just the movie) "the horror! the horror!"

Danny / December 19, 2007 11:49 PM

I like McDonald's. The only person in New York with a food blog that would willingly go to one. The nuggets are awesome! They were the best things ever when I was a kid and back then they had the spicy mustard dipping sauce. Oh man. Sweet chemical deliciousness.

And that is a really great shot of Brooklyn in the dark. :)

roboppy / December 20, 2007 1:36 AM

Diana: Alcohol really does many everything more fun! Except for the hangover part, maybe...

Rachelle: Whoaaaa, too many similarities there. I WAS UNINTENTIONALLY FREAKY!

Anyhoo, what a cool location you lived at (I'll skip living by Studio B, haha)! Daaaamn. I gotta try that BLT; never even thought about it before.

Cakespy: Actually, I remember those words from an old commercial. You know, the ones with the puppet?...

Yeah, my brain is a junkyard.

And yes, so much horror!

Danny: I haven't had one of those nuggets in AGES. AAGESS. But I still kind of remember the sensation of biting through that fried crust into the juicy...uh, "chicken" part. Yeah. I bet I'd still like it now, but I couldn't bring myself to eat it. Eeeuhh...(sniffle)....chemical deliciousness, indeed.

I liked that photo too, thanks! It really brings out the desertedness.

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