Monday, September 27, 2010

Dirt Candy Disappointment

My friend Natasha visited this weekend so we could go to one of the SIX Pavement shows at summerstage on Thursday. It was a short, but sweet weekend since she was leaving Saturday morning, so I decided to make some reservations at Dirt Candy in the East Village for Friday night. It opened about a year ago, but I hadn't been yet. Natasha is vegan and eating in the city with her almost inevitably takes us to the East Village. Everything good AND vegan is there! When she comes to town I get to test my vegan/vegetarian palate.

The place did not even have a sign out front! How is that for trendy! Also, it was so dark in there that I couldn't get ANY good pictures, but I will post one of the jalapeno hush puppies and maple butter below anyways. I went into the restaurant thinking that the goal was to take one veggie or fruit and create a dish inspired by that. So, if you have a sweet potato you could make a sweet potato glaze, and then a mash, too. But it turns out that I was a little off base. Only a few options were like this.

I have to say the food was OK, but seemed wildly overpriced for what it was. Also, the menu did not have many options. I know the idea is to simplify the menu and have it be market fresh, but one more option would have been nice. We started with the jalapeno hush puppies. Then, I had the tofu broccolini and even though the tofu was perfectly crisped and the orange sauce was delicious, the broccolini and tofu were sadly a little bland.

The place was great for a date and the atmosphere was impressive (complete with a mini-bathroom that is AH-dorable!). However, with all the other great options in EV, it seems unlikely that I will go back. Unless I meet a sexy vegan who hasn't heard about this place yet. The aesthetic definitely makes a good impression.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Free falling.

9/15/10 - 7AM. I discover a crick in my neck. I'm guessing it has something to do with being used as a certain someone's body pillow, but I've never been one to point fingers. Regardless, after spending the workday having to turn my entire body everytime I went to butt into someone else's conversation, I opted for an emergency appointment with my chiropractor, Dr. Stein. Of course, Dr. Stein was busy with another patient once I arrived so I got shoved off onto another doc who thought my name was Shara. After my 15 minutes of whatever it is they do, I was walking a bit taller and ready to attack my afternoon.

Here's where my plan hit a snag. I get on the waiting elevator, press L and get into my elevator stance just as the door closes. I wasn't really paying any attention until we hit floor number 9, when all the sudden the elevator started to shake. What happened next can only be described as something between a sliding shake and a free-fall. For 9 floors I thought that this might be it. Somehow between the terror and anger I had a few fleeting thoughts. I thought of my parents. Of my boyfriend and of the Gatorade I was supposed to be bringing him. I thought of our dog Quincy. And somewhere between floors number 3 and 2, I thought of cheese. No one type of cheese per say, but more of an assortment. Hard cheeses. Soft cheeses. Runny cheeses! I love them all.

After a few choice words with the elevator operator and a few more trips up and down the 16 story building, I was finally freed. I walked out in a daze, confused about what had just happened to me, and into the loving arms of a nearby Duane Reade Look Boutique. I picked up a few essentials. Mascara. Shampoo. Conditioner! They've got it all. As I wobbled to the register, something familiar caught my eye. A cheese tray; simple and perfect, and waiting just for me.

Moral of the story? Life is short, eat cheese.


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

L'Shana Tova

Hi, my name is Sarah and I'm an asshole. Not only did I FORGET to blog last week, but I also LOST my copy of Everyday Food. FAILFAILFAIL. But luckily for me, I'm writing to you on Yom Kippur. I'm not exactly sure how this whole High Holiday thing works but I'm sure forgiveness has a place somewhere in the festivities. 'Tis the reason for the season!

I really wish I had more to share with you. A sensational steak or a crostini or a croque madame! But between sneaking into the Empire State Building (entirely too easy to do PS but that's another story for another day) and learning an entirely new career, all I had time for was a quick dash into Chipotle at 9PM tonight.

Hunched over a chicken burrito bowl and large Mr. Pibb Xtra (who knew!) with only my huffingtonpost to keep me warm, I managed to somehow feel like myself again. So my darlings, please remember this. No matter how stressed out or crunched for time you may be, make time for yourself. And when you're done with that, treat yourself to some melted cheese.

L'Shana Tova, y'all!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Tuesday's Takeout

This takeout actually comes from Friday, when a long weekend led to happy bosses and my leaving at noon. Hooray long weekend!! So in attempt to diversify from ordering Posto yet again, and still score a cheap lunch special, (the highlight of getting out early) I walked across the street to grab some thai at Lantern. A sizeable appetizer and entree is $8, and I went with shrimp Pad See Ew and spring rolls. I added the Thai iced tea, my fav hot day drink, and they served it to me in a giant soup bowl, which was nice to sip all weekend long.

Lazy Coffee Monday

OK, with this being my second post about coffee you may be starting to realize that I LOVE COFFEE! I drink probably 4 cups a day. We can all debate about how healthy that is, but I think it is safe to say that it is just a necessity in my life. With this Monday being a holiday I had to forego my usual ING Cafe coffee and pick a more laid back destination. I love Monday holidays because I get an extra day to take care of laundry, go grocery shopping, and then spend a good couple of hours at a lovely coffee shop.

One of the reasons I started loving coffee was when I studied abroad in France. It was such a social event, but it was also completely acceptable to sit at a cafe all day with a paper and your tiny espresso cup. An activity that can be enjoyed alone or with company! By god, no wonder I love it so!

Today on my day off I found myself wanting to head down to my fave coffee destination, Irving 71. I would not recommend this place for an all day solo event because sadly the place does not include wifi on their menu which IS a major disappointment. However, if you just want to slowly enjoy your coffee and people watch I have to say it is a perfect solo place to kill a couple of hours. BUT my favorite time to go to the cafe is with friends, sitting outside in the nice weather and slowly sipping coffee and chatting. It really is a great lowkey activity and lends itself well to company.

via Flickr

Now onto the coffee. One of the things that surprised me the most about New York's food scene when I arrived was the lack of good coffee shops with good food. How can this be!! What is a coffee shop without a bagel?? So I was so pleased when I found Irving, who not only have excellent bagels, but a huge menu of breakfast or lunch options. Today I just feasted on a sesame bagel, but the salads are delicious, too.

I think what I like about it most though is it is the laid back coffee shop environment that I miss about all the other cities I have lived in. I always had my spot! And while this one doesn't meet ALL criteria, it will work as my loungey, lazy coffee shop for now.