[Crap, I'm two weeks behind. SORRY, I SUCK.]
The saturated garlic-ness of the roast chicken with garlic sauce from Amazing 66 didn't really hit me until after I had I wiped my mouth with my food detritus-tainted napkin.
It took me a while to realize that the napkin's intense garlic smell had come from the little bits of sauce that had transferred from the mouth to the napkin. And then back to my mouth. The napkin smelled intensely of garlic, even more so than what I could perceive from the dish itself.
Oh yes, it was some awesome chicken. Tender, juicy meat blanketed with a layer of fatty, slightly crisp skin. Flecked with chopped garlic bits. And doused in garlic essence. If only I didn't have to share it with Diana, John, and Rebecca...
Just kidding! I love sharing food with my friends!
...Because they help disperse the calories.
Diana didn't care what the rest of us wanted as long as there was flounder, in this case, fresh flounder chunks with that wonderful melange of Chinese vegetable matter: sliced carrots, baby corn, little mushrooms (alright, fungal matter), watercress, etc. I'm not sure what the shiny sauce is, but it tastes good. I mean, I dunno what the hell I eating. You mostly visit this blog to look at the photos, right? I hope so.
Everyone loves Sichuan-style eggplant with pork. Everyone. Give me a big honkin' bowl of squishy-soft fingers of eggplant coated in oil and spiciness made vegetarian unfriendly with ground pork bits any day.
For the chlorophyll-enhanced part of our meal, we ordered a mountain of watercress with bean cake sauce, and judging from the photo, a few cloves of garlic. It's crunchy. And tastes healthy. And fibrous. I know I'm not making it sound delicious, but it is. Simply cooked Chinese vegetables tend to constitute my favorite vegetable dishes. Either that, or in the form of "fried" or "cheese covered." Or better yet, some combination of the two.
Thanks to Diana's Cantonese-speaking prowess (in case you didn't already know, I can't speak any Chinese dialects; I am but a shameful descendant of my Chinese ancestors), she secured us bowls of hot tapioca and taro soup for dessert, a sweet combination of slightly thick, smooth blended taro and loads of little slippery tapioca balls. They look like fish eggs! Hoorah!!! (Why that was the only reaction I could come up with, I do not know.)
The next day...
Actually, it was Ed's idea—he wanted to do a post reviewing everything made by the Dessert Truck. READ IT, NOW! It's full of food porn! Shower me with love and comments and hugs and comments; I would appreciate it. Also check out the accompanying Gianduja Pot de Creme recipe. I'm going to try and make it! Someday!
After dessert, Kathy, John, Rebecca and I walked eastwards to Lil' Frankie's for a pizza-laden dinner. (Neopolitan pizza, that is. On retrospect I probably should've brought Rebecca to a New York pizza joint, but I really wanted to try Lil Frankies, besides that Adam had recommended it, and...she'll probably visit NYC again someday.) In my world, dessert before dinner is perfectly acceptable. I mean, that's usually why I want to eat dinner anyway; why not get it out of the way first? Why stave off the sweet, sugary pleasure? Whyyyy?
...Health reasons? Oh. What is this "nutrition" you speak off? I'll look it up later.
The complimentary bread at Lil' Frankie's is nicer than most places: the thick, crusty, and chewy bread is accompanied by a dish of olives bathed in olive oil. I love olive squeezings, but still can't comfortably masticate whole olives without twisting my face into a pained expression in response to the sensation that a pustule of death had burst in my mouth. It's the saltiness that gets to me; if I eat an olive with something that isn't salty, then it's not as bad, but I can't imagine popping it like candy.
I ordered the special pizza of the night, the norcina topped with sausage, red onions, cremini mushrooms, fresh mozzarella and tomato sauce. I would've liked more onions, but overall I liked the lightness of the toppings—slivers of thin onion rings scattered around, delicate plops of fresh, sweet mozzarella, chopped mushroom and sausage bits here and there—on the thin, slightly charred, somewhat floppy crust. (Medium floppy? It wasn't limp, but no a cracker either. Medium!) I know that's not much of a description; just look at the photo.
Behold, the butt of the pizza. Or...under-butt. I guess the crust is the butt. I don't know.
I tried a slice of John's napoletana pizza topped with tomatoes, garlic, oregano, capers, olives & Sicilian salted anchovies, and had the luck of getting an anchovy-wrapped olive in one of my bites. I could swear it was the only part of the pizza where both toppings decided to join forces and form a new, Satan-approved sensation of being shot in the mouth by a bullet made of super-compressed salt. I like anchovies (a preference that would seem to oppose my distaste for olives; I don't claim to make any sense), but wrapped around an olive? Oh. Oh no. No. Don't think so.
Otherwise, I liked the pizza—I just got that one unsatisfying bite.
Rebecca seemed satisfied by her margherita—basil, cheese, and tomato sauce surrounded by a wall of puffy crust.
Kathy got the polettine, topped with baby meatballs, tomato, mozzarella & fresh sage. BABY MEATBALLS. I like the idea of meatball babies.
Here are Rebecca and Kathy modeling their pizzas. I think Rebecca's slice didn't want to let go of its mommy.
Lil' Frankies is a comfy spot for great Neopolitan pizzas that won't distend your belly. Although it may not look big from the outside, the restaurant actually has a lot of seats tucked away in multiple rooms, in addition to an outdoor garden area (not open when we were there).
Rebecca surprised me with a box of macarons from La Maison du Chocolat on the way back to NJ. Awww! My heart, it melted. :) We ate them when we got home and just as I thought, these are still the best macarons I've ever had in NYC, to the point where no one else even comes close. The cookies are delicate but not mushy-soft (yeup, I've had those; they're weird), and the ample, smooth filling is more flavorful than sugary. The downside to LMDC's macarons is that they're all chocolate based—chocolate macarons tend to taste the best from any bakery because, as far as I know, it's the easiest flavor to not screw up (I say this having made chocolate ganache-filled macarons)—not to say I dislike chocolate, but that I'd really love a caramel-only macaron, or pistachio-only macaron. When do I get to go back to Paris?
Lastly, here's a picture of me and my polar bear (aka the Snuffles bear by Gund) that everyone seems to love. His name is...Polar Bear. Tina gave him to me last year for my birthday and I've showered him with hugs and human skin flakes every since.
Sadly, I have nothing else to love. But Polar Bear can't protest my affection since he's made of polyester and plastic pellets.
I'm going to be in Chile from this Saturday (12th) to the following Sunday (20th) for a food-filled media trip. Yeah. All expenses are paid and the itinerary is all planned out; I just have to show up and bring my complete lack of Chilean knowledge or Spanish-speaking abilities with me. I doubt I'll have much time to post about the trip while I'm there, nor will I write much about it anyway since this is a Serious Eats-sponsored trip (Ed was supposed to go on it, but since he's busy I'm being sent in his stead) and a free trip to Chile falls well outside the boundaries of BlogHerAds' $40 limit on "free stuff you can write about," but I'll eventually write about it on Serious Eats.
The question I get the most is whether or not I'm excited. I should be way more excited than I am now (I've never been to South America before), but I'll be more excited when I'm safe and sound in Chile. I always have this irrational fear of not proceeding past the destination country's airport; once I'm out of there, I'll probably feel better. Also, I've been mega, mega tired lately. I can't stress that enough, although watching me pass out in under one minute while riding the train between NY and NJ should serve as some sort of indication.
Another question I get is how many people are going on this trip. I have no freakin' clue, but at least three people from the NYC area. I have no idea what to expect; maybe I should've asked.