Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Feeding Frenzy (Our NYC Foods Bucket List)

Our pre-trip to-do list looked something like this:

- pack up apartment
- find subletter
- buy health insurance
- eat all of our favorite foods

The first three items have been tedious.
The fourth has been glorious.

Here's the top ten:

1. Pizza, in all its glorious NYC incarnations: 
  • Keste and Olio Pizza e Piu:  Neopolitan-style pizza with a delicious chewy crust.  Olio is slightly less delicious than Keste, but is 0.3 miles closer to our apartment.  It's always a trade-off, and it often depends on whether Dave is wearing flip flops or hiking boots. 
  • Johns Pizza:  This will be our last meal in the US.  Enough said.  (The fact that we have a groupon there that we need to use also works in its favor).
  • Ray's Pizza:  By the slice, the 11st St and 6th Ave location is best enjoyed after 2am.  Pepperoni, extra hot, no extra cheese, cut in half (for sharing = extra healthiness).
  • Otto Pizza:  Orange clogs + pizza = perfection
Mario, go make me my pizza
    2. Sammy's Noodle Shop.  The roast pork wonton noodle soup is a Sunday night staple; the enormous eggroll is a rare and delicious treat.
    I stole this picture from the internet
    3. Momofuku Pork Buns.  Again, only an internet photo here, since we were too busy stuffing our faces to capture the moment.


    4. Murray's Bagels.  Multi-grain bagel, scooped, nova.  No, I do not want cream cheese.

    5. Citerlla Rotis Chicken.  One of the most affordable things at gourmet supermarket Citarella is also one of the most delicious.  We eat their rotisserie chicken over salad for at least 2 meals per week.

    6.  Steak.  We know, we know.  The cows in Argentina are grass fed and free roaming and will change your life, blah blah blah.  And you can bet Dave will write a long post comparing US and Argentine beef products.  But for now, there's nothing better than a NY Strip from Mortons, fed good old American corn and grain and hormones and whatever else, and served perfectly medium rare.
    When Erica and I are around, Dave and Brian are not permitted to order for 6.
    7. Wine and Cheese on the Roof of 45 W 10th Street.  It is a horrifying to think that creamy, pungent, oozy cheese will not be available right around the corner from our apartment, and that a lovely rooftop garden with a glorious sunset will not always be available just 4 floors above our apartment.  So, we have to give a special shout out to our favorite brie from Citarella. 


    That is our cheese guy who, when he sees me heading in his direction, raises an eyebrow inquiringly and gestures at the brie with his long cheesemonger knife.  It is so embarrassing.  Anyway, does it get any better than this?*

    Wine, Ro-Ro and Sunset

    *Excluding the upcoming 12 months of our lives.

    8.  Sushi.  If it weren't for (a) my wallet, (b) my unborn children (and the effect of mercury thereon) and (c) the fact that Dave only wants to eat it after a workout (few and far between these days), I could eat sushi four times a week.  Even though I usually get delivery from one of two local places on Seamless, I'll really miss-u Mizu (oh no I did'unt) and the delicious order Sam always places for the table.

    9.  Jack's Stir Brewed Coffee.  Dave loves this coffee so much that he insists on buying whole beans rather than ground, so as to keep their flavor extra fresh.  Each time he makes coffee he (1) grinds beans, (2) puts Okie* on to boil, (3) places special filter and ground coffee in Chemmy**, (4) fills our travel mugs with boiling water to get them toasty warm, (5) slowly pours other boiling water over the coffee grounds in two 12-ounce increments, making sure to evenly coat all grounds with water, (6) pours milk into a microwave safe glass, heats it up, divides it among our mugs and froths it with special battery powered frothing doodad, (7) adds splenda and (8) pours brewed coffee into the mugs.  Needless to say, if Dave is not around I always walk the block and a half to Jack's and buy my coffee in a very convenient one-step process.


    *  Nickname for Orange Kettle
    **  Nickname for Chemex, the most successful birthday gift I have ever bought for Dave (even if he did, upon receiving the Chemex, conduct his own extensive internet research to assure himself that the Chemex was indeed a highly regarded coffee brewing appliance).

    10.  Chocolate Whipped Cream Cake.  Streit family classic.
    Extra whipped cream on the side, please

    Tuesday, September 28, 2010

    Hoarders Season 4?

    On Thursday, we moved all most a lot of our stuff to the Meshkov basement in Yardley.   For weeks prior, as the packing intensified, our apartment was looking a lot like the home of a serious hoarder.

    Our.... living room?
    I JOKE.  OMG, believe it or not, that was the least disgusting picture I could find on the A&E website.  

    Our living room looked more like this:

    Like any hoarder worth his junk, we sacrificed our couch for our boxes.
    Looks like a lot of stuff right?  You're probably thinking that we need a 14 foot, maybe even a 16 foot moving truck to fit all those boxes.  (We are leaving all of our furniture and dishes for our subletter).

    In the end we went for a 10 footer.  But a large SUV probably would have sufficed.

    Our half-filled truck
    Here we are with Giovanni, our "movers helper."  He was great and we highly recommend him, especially if anyone "has a healing broken wrist" and "cannot lift anything, doctors orders, I swear" - let us know if you want his contact information.  Note that only Dave is not wearing the professional movers helpers uniform of black pants and gray top.  I'm sure that does not surprise anyone.  He claims he had a "supervisory" role, and accordingly, dressed in the manager's blue on blue.

    We got the truck from Budget, which required that we rent it for 2 full days, for reasons of drivers safety.  I almost can't believe that we drove the full 83 miles to Yardley in one go.  We didn't even have to stop overnight somewhere in Jersey to rest up.  (When we pointed out the absurdity of an 83 mile drive necessitating a two-day trip, the Budget representative replied, "This is a commercial vehicle.  You have to take it slow."  O-kayyyyy)

    By the end of the day, and with the help of some Pennsylvania-based movers-helpers (who were just as good, but more camera shy), we managed to clear out our apartment, and turn Lynda and Steve's basement into their own shameful secret.
    Lynda and Steve's basement.  I think there used to be a stationary bike under there.
    Top Five Lessons From Our Move:

    1. Alternate side parking is suspended for Sukkot.  Probably best to check on this before you count on being able to park your truck on your street in front of your building.

    2.  A movers helper is much stronger than he looks.

    3.  No Meshkov man will EVER, EVER, EVER become a movers helper.

    4.  You will never be able to convince a rental truck company that it is possible to safely drive 83 miles in just one day.

    5.  Um, what is all that stuff in those boxes and bags?  We don't even remember what we packed and stored, and we've been living without any of it for the past week without any problems. 

    Thursday, September 2, 2010

    So long, farewell Auf Wiedersehen adieu, Adieu, adieu; To you and you and you

    On Saturday September 11, join us at Radegast Hall & Biergarten - 113 N 3rd Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn NY 11211 (it's a short walk from the L train, get off at Bedford Avenue).  We are planning to travel approximately 30,000 miles over the next year, so you can manage the approximate 3 miles and make it to Brooklyn.  And if you live in Brooklyn, perhaps you can get a locals discount.

    Come early!  We will get there around 12:30.  It supposedly starts filling up around 1.

    Plus, there is delicious brunch food, like gypsy toast and Crispy Dumpling Cubes w/Scrambled Eggs.  Remember, crispy usually means fried.  Yum.  There is also delicious lunch food and dinner food, so don't be afraid to stay all afternoon.

    Who doesn't love a huge beer?


    Hope to see you there! 

    WHEN:  Saturday, September 11 at 12:30 PM