Monday, November 21, 2011

NYC part 3: The Rest of Friday

Oh no, was it already a week ago that we were in New York?  Time is weird.  I miss it.  I'm already forgetting.  Gotta write it down!  That Chocolate Show post took me a lot longer than you might think.  I don't have a lot of big time blocks in my life to write like that.  So I think the rest of the posts may be brief.  Maybe.  At least nothing else will require that much description.

You might think after the Chocolate Show we were chocolated out.  In a way, yes.  I was done eating it for awhile.  But I was hardly sick of it.   And there was no way I was going to New York without a stop-in at Jacques Torres.  Yeah, he had a booth at the Show, but I wanted to go to his store.  It was like coming home. 

 Here's what I love about Jacques Torres.  His chocolate...specifically his 60% house blend dark.  But also his dark-chocolate-covered pumpkin seed brittle, seasonal in fall (got some.)  His "wicked" pecan brittle (also got some.)  His hot chocolate.  Serious WHOA.  Got some.  His chocolate croissants, chocolate covered corn flakes, chocolate pretzels, caramels, marshmallows, grahams, and everything else in the shop.  The only thing that stopped us from getting some salt-and-pepper ice cream was that it came in a pint, not by the scoop, and it was too much for us.  Love that place.
 By now it was about 2:30 and we were hungry for some lunch.  I suggested we head to Baluchi's, my favorite Indian restaurant, in Tribeca - a good antidote to all the chocolate.

Now might be a good time to say we did a lot - and I mean A LOT - of this:

 And just because we were riding the rails doesn't mean we weren't walking.  Luckily NY has an extensive subway system, and you can pretty much get anywhere from anywhere.  But there are lines, stairs, platforms, more stairs, and still lots of walking from stations to locations.  Friday night, when we called home, Juli mentioned to Brian how much we had ridden the subway.  "Why aren't you just walking?"  he asked.  Really?  Trust me, we did a TON of walking.  And we had the blisters to prove it.

So.  We got to Baluchi's and guess what?  They are closed from 3-5pm, after lunch and before opening for dinner.  And it was exactly 3 o'clock.  And we were really hungry for something savory!  So we consulted the map and Brian's list, and headed over to Macbar (in Nolita), a tiny gourmet mac & cheese bar.  Just what the doctor ordered.

Despite the bright yellow storefront, we walked right past it and had to consult the address to actually see it - it was so small!  But super cute, warm, and also shaped like a macaroni noodle on the inside.

As you can imagine, it was kinda hard to decide what to get.  But in the end we got three smalls to share - cheeseburger mac (this AIN'T no Hamburger Helper), margarita mac, and mayan chipotle.   SO DELICIOUS!  I could seriously go for some of that right now.  It was amazing and cheesy and really high quality, descriptions that don't always go together. 
 And since we were not too far from it, we stopped into Billy's for some cupcakes. 
 It was near the end of the day so pickings were slim.  I got a dreamsicle cupcake.  It was OK.  I'm pretty nit-picky on cupcakes, though.
 It was getting dark now, so we headed back to the hotel to drop off all our heavy chocolate we'd been carrying around.  Did I mention we walked past the Chrysler building every time we walked from our hotel to the subway?  I think it's my favorite building in New York.
 Once we were lightened of our burdens, and had changed our shoes, we skipped off to the Gershwin theater to try for lottery tickets to Wicked.  The way it works is, they save 25 (or so) front row (or so) tickets from each show for the lottery.  Two and a half hours before the show, they start taking names.  Two hours before the show they draw names.  Each name drawn has the chance to buy one or two of the tickets for $25-30 cash on the spot.  Really awesome opportunity, horrible chances.  We guessed there were maybe 150 people there.  We still tried.  We had really high hopes.  I mean, Juli even matched the signs!
Alas, Wicked was not in the cards for us this time.  But Godspell next door did their lottery a half hour later, so we tried for that, too.  Alas, again, no.

But our disappointment was brief because we had dinner reservations at Artisanal Bistro (just in case we didn't get tickets.)  Which was, as you might guess, amazing.  Granted, our waiter was a little odd and aloof, and we debated whether his French accent was real or not, but the food spoke for itself.  So perfect to end a long day on our feet.  We shared a beet salad (with endive, walnuts and goat cheese) and ordered the artisanal blend cheese fondue for dinner, with bread, chicken, fingerling potatoes, and pears for dipping.  Exquisite!

But we weren't wowed by the dessert menu, and decided to consult Yelp on my phone for nearby options.  (Editorial:  My iPhone was THE BEST part of the trip!  Between Google map, Yelp, and the NY Subway app, we were girls on a mission, and usually headed in the right direction!)  We found Paris Baguette nearby, which you may, as we did, think is a French bakery.  I was so in the mood for an eclair.  But I had one more chance to sigh, "Alas!" this fateful Friday.  As we got nearer, we realized we were in a "Little Korea" area, and when we stopped into Paris Baguette, we found choices like green tea chiffon cake, "glutinous pastry", and milk bread.  Huh.  Turns out Paris Baguette "ranks as the top brand in the highly competitive Korean bakery market."  Hey, I like an Asian bakery as much as...some other people, but I wasn't in the mood.  Slightly deflated, and very footsore, we hobbled into a Crumbs bakery on the way back to the subway, where I got a great hot caramel apple cider, and a mediocre cookie, and we made our weary way back to the hotel, where we called our husbands, I took a hot bath, and we crashed.

Next post:  A serendipitous morning, round-the-corner pizza, and my toesies finally get cold!

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