Tag: food

Midterm Progress Report (I Ate Ants!)

I am slightly more than halfway through Phase II of post-law firm life: my Fauxbatical, Pseudotirement, Funemployment, Eat, Pray, Love life, whatever you call it. While in the airport waiting for my flight to Buenos Aires, I took some time to write a progress report tsd set some new goals.

A Review of the Goals: Overall grade: B-.

1. Being uncomfortable (B-/C+): My biggest discomfort is still with speaking Spanish when I’m not sure of how to say what I’m thinking. There were some times when I pushed myself to do it anyway; most of the time, I did not.



My Spanish has improved significantly, but has not come as far as I think it should have by now. This is entirely my fault. I found a wonderful living situation, but we spoke English in the apartment, so I was not forced to speak Spanish as much as I might have been in another living situation. Also, I listened to NPR every morning to keep up with the news at home instead of listening to Colombian radio.

For physical discomfort, I went paragliding. Like being on the trapeze, it was slightly terrifying at first. Then it was zen.

A disc in a frog's mouth earns the most points

A disc in a frog’s mouth earns the most points

2. Experience the culture (A): My original homestay was nice, but was not exposing me to much culture. After three weeks, I moved into the guest bedroom of a married couple, G & T, which I found through AirBnB. This was great. T is Colombian and her parents have a finca in a pueblo a few hours from Bogotá. I spent a weekend there with them doing very typical things such as drinking a beer while watching the people in the main plaza, taking a hike, and playing rana (rana means frog; this is another Colombian game in which you try to throw small metal things into holes, including the frog’s mouths, to score points while drinking beer—unlike tejo, this does not involve explosions).

In addition, T & G are very active in Colombia’s chapter of United World Colleges, a network of boarding high schools in 14 countries offering an IB program to an international student body. We hosted students who had traveled to Bogotá to attend a ceremony welcoming new students and celebrating the recent high school graduates. That is something I never would have come across on my own. Some of these students come from poor families and UWC is a huge opportunity that likely will change their life’s trajectory.

Ants and chicha (fermented corn drink)

Ants and chicha

Other cultural endeavors:

  • The salsa classes I attended on a few Wednesday nights had more Colombians than extranjeros.
  • I rode public transportation everywhere.
  • I ate local foods, including ants and chicha de maíz, a fermented corn drink (I didn’t really like either very much, but the drink was better than the snacks).

3. Shake things up (A): I’m here!

4. Go to a play (D-): I am not giving myself an F because I watched a short play for children at La Feria Internaciónal del Libro de Bogotá (the Bogotá Book Fair) in April, and understood most of it. But this was not the type of play I had in mind when I set this goal. I definitely need to do this in Argentina.


A Review of the Predictions: Not many as expected

1. Clothes: My clothes were not as out of place as I feared. I think I am going to stick out as unfashionable more in Buenos Aires.

2. Being overcharged: I did not buy many things besides food, and I mostly shopped at stores with posted prices. I did buy my straw hat for the Galápagos on the street, but I paid $7 for it. If that was too much, I can live with it.

3. Lost in translation: I regularly said the wrong thing (on my last day in Bogotá asked for food “to arrive” instead of “to go”), but never in a way that was mortifying.

4. Poor decision because of limited understanding: It turns out that my transportation problems came not from my lack of understanding, but from my inability to be understood. During my first few weeks, I had more than one incident in which taxis took me to the wrong place because they did not understand where I was asking to go.


Other reflections:

I discovered—or maybe confirmed is more accurate—that I like routines. I liked getting up and going to school every day, going out to lunch with other students, and taking salsa class on Wednesday nights or joining the cooking plans at home. Going into this phase, I was pretty sure that I did not want to travel continuously and move to a new place every few days; I’ve now confirmed that. I liked having a place to come “home” to where I could share stories of my travels, cook dinner, and do the laundry.

With G & T watching Copa America

With G & T watching Copa America

I did not fall in love with Colombia as a country (nor did I fall in love with anyone in the country). There are many things about it I like, but I do not feel compelled to relocate there, at least not at the moment.

In a total cliché, what I’m going to miss most are the people. I made some very good friends during my 3.5 months there and continued to meet new people even during my last weekend here. I am confident that had I remained in Colombia, many of these people would be the base of my friends.


Resolutions for Argentina:

1. Live more in Spanish. I am going to make sure I find a living situation that will demand more Spanish. I’m not sure I can give up my morning NPR, but I will find a way to listen to more Spanish media.

2. Go to more cultural events. I had an image of going to book talks or lectures or things like that, which also would help my language skills. I did not do any of this in Bogotá, even though I know the opportunities where there.

3. Plan my travel better. There are many places across Argentina to see and if I don’t put some dates on the calendar now, I will probably miss out on some of them. I waited too long in Colombia to make travel plans and as a result, did not travel to some of the most recommended cities.

Why I Almost Booked A Flight Out of Colombia

Yesterday I almost booked a flight out of here. Even my frustration with trying to return something to a store didn’t make me think that I couldn’t live here. Instead, I was brought to the edge by my near inability to buy cocoa powder.

Ok, I admit I’m being slightly melodramatic. But only slightly.

Chocolateras and molinillos

Chocolateras and molinillos

As my friends, family and former co-workers know, I love to bake. I’d heard that recipes for desserts that rise, such as cookies and cakes, need adjusting because of Bogotá’s altitude (8,660 feet/2,640 meters) so I’ve been reluctant to start down the baking path here. However, when I learned that Saturday is the birthday of a guy who has been in my class since I arrived, I knew I finally had a good excuse to turn on the oven. An online search led me to this recipe for high-altitude brownies that I could bring to school for a surprise celebration.

Colombians love their hot chocolate, which they primarily drink at breakfast, often with cheese in it. (Yes, that’s weird.) They even have a special metal pitcher (called a chocolatera) for heating it, and a special wooden utensil (a molinillo) for mixing and frothing it. My house has two of each.

So imagine my shock when I went to the grocery store to buy cocoa powder and couldn’t find any. The baked goods section had only various liquid forms of chocolate topping and everything in the hot chocolate section seemed to have sugar in it. I asked two people for help. At first they couldn’t understand why I wanted unsweetened cocoa powder. Then they proceeded to tell me they don’t have it.

Carulla's hot chocolate section

Carulla’s hot chocolate section

I remembered an off-hand comment about how meal planning here can be difficult because you can’t rely on the grocery stores to have the same items in stock consistently. I decided to try the Carulla six blocks away in hopes that I could find cocoa powder there.

Again, I struck out in the baked good aisle. When I got to the hot beverage aisle, I decided to spend some time reading the packages. And, lo and behold, there in the middle of the millions of different types of hot chocolate, was my natural cocoa powder. (Specifically, on the fourth row down, just to the left of all of the green packages, there are two bags of it, one hidden behind the 20% off sign.)

In hindsight, I suspect they do sell it at my neighborhood Carulla, I just didn’t take the time to read the packages carefully because I trusted the employees to know their inventory. I now remember another off-hand comment about how people here are so eager to be helpful that they’ll answer any question, even if they have no idea whether their information is correct.



The brownies came out well, especially because I decided to add a Colombian touch. Another sweet they love here is arequipe, which is like caramel, but not as thick and sticky. I decided the brownies would be enhanced by a layer of arequipe in the middle. I was right, sort of. Most of the arequipe melted into the brownies instead of baking as a separate layer. I was disappointed to see this, but once I tasted one, I realized it gave them an extra fudgy texture. Delicious. I’ve decided to stay.

Lost In Translation, The Passover Edition

Here’s a photo I took in the grocery store last Friday. At the last minute, I decided dash out and buy some raisins to add to the charoset I was taking to seder in a few hours. To be clear, Pesach started just a few hours after this photo was taken.

Carulla's kosher section Erev Pesach

Carulla’s kosher section Erev Pesach

While there are many debates about what is and is not kasher l’Pescah (kosher for Passover), some things are pretty well decided. Chief among them is that one cannot eat Ritz crackers, Barilla pasta, or Aunt Jemima pancakes. (Or crackers, pasta, or pancakes of any kind that aren’t specially formulated for Passover and if they are, chances are good they won’t taste very good, so it’s just better to go without for eight days. After all, our ancestors wandered in the desert for 40 years. The least we can do is live without pancakes for a few days.)

The basic tenet is that leavened and fermented grain products are prohibited. This restriction commemorates our escape from Egyptian slavery, when the Jews did not have time to let their breads rise before going into the desert.

I appreciate Carulla’s efforts to carry kosher products for Bogotá’s small Jewish population. In fact, my hostess for seder Friday night bought a bottle of Manischewitz wine at a Carulla. This was great because (1) the charoset tasted as if I had made it at home and (2)  drinking Manichewitz for my first cup of wine made me less homesick. Unfortunately, there was no matzah to be found—she brought some back from the US.

While Carulla gets a A for effort, I think a little more education is in order.

PS. If you skipped it above, click on the Manischewitz wine link and read the short article, especially if you are Jewish. Such interesting history that I did not know until researching info for this blog post.

TOL: Culture Mixing

Last night, I was in Bogotá eating dinner at an Italian/Mediterranean restaurant, drinking Argentine wine, when the chicken dance song comes on – in French. Cultural dissonance? Harmony? Mixture?

Whatever you call it, it’s a small world.

Mediterranea Andrei logoNote: The restaurant is Mediterranea de Andrei in the Usaquén neighborhood. The dinner was delicious and I would go back.

Berlin: Seven Other Impressions

To augment my musings about My Jewish Day In Berlin, here are other impressions from my trip.

1. Climb and Climb

I climbed a million stairs in Berlin. Probably—I lost count pretty quickly. From the street to my AirBnB apartment was almost 100. Every U-Bahn (Untergrundbahn or “underground railway”) station is at least another 25, more if there is a transfer between lines, which there usually is. My record was day two, when I recorded 13,142 steps by taking the 4-hour Famous Insider Tour, going up and down from the apartment twice more, and walking through two Christmas markets. I’m tired thinking about it all again.

That walking tour was one of the best touristy things I did. I got an understanding of the city’s geography, saw all of the major sites, and learned quite a bit from the guide, including finally understanding how the Russians blocked all of West Berlin necessitating the Berlin Air Lift (the city is entirely within what became East Berlin, making West Berlin an isolated little enclave—similar to how Lesotho is entirely within South Africa).

2. Christmas Markets

Drinking glühwein, staying warm

Drinking glühwein, staying warm

Before I left, many people told me about how big of a deal Christmas markets are in Germany. They are full of food vendors selling different kinds of wurst, doughnuts, spiced nuts, chocolate-covered fruits, and hot drinks. All of which are delicious. My favorite was glühwein (hot mulled wine). We need more of this in the US. All of the markets seemed to have the same vendors for both food and gifts, which few people were buying. It seems Germans go to the Christmas markets as a new place to be together and hang out.

3. AirBnB was great

It was suggested that I try AirBnB in a few specific neighborhoods instead of a hotel. This was my first AirBnB stay, and I’ll be back for more. My hostess was lovely and having someone to talk and hang out with made the trip even better. We watched a movie together Saturday night and went to a Christmas market together another night. Being able to cook myself breakfast saved money and time, and ensured I always had exactly what I wanted.

4. There’s Always Time For Chocolate

Chocolate Reichstag

Chocolate Reichstag

I took time out of my busy tourist schedule to visit Fassbender & Rausch, which claims to be the world’s largest chocolatier. I don’t know about that, but I do know about the deliciousness that was in my mug. It was like drinking a gourmet dark chocolate bar. Somehow I refrained from buying all of the pastries in the cases.

Damaged church spire

Damaged church spire

What also makes the store fun are the Berlin landmarks rendered in chocolate, such as the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtniskirche (Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church). The church, which was mostly destroyed by bombing during WWII (as was almost everything in the city), has been repaired but the spire has been preserved in its damaged state.

5. The Coolest Toilet I’ve Ever Seen

Neue Castle

Neue Castle

I ventured to Postdam to see Sanssouci Palace and the Neues Palais. (They are situated within a park that has beautiful gardens as well but (1) they aren’t so beautiful in the winter and (2) this turned out to be the one day on which it rained, snowed, sleeted, and hailed. I didn’t linger outside.)

The castles are beautiful and extravagant and worth seeing. In a few years, more rooms will be restored, and the tours even better.

Also worth seeing while in the park is this amazing self-cleaning toilet seat in the Visitor’s Center.  This was the only restroom I had to pay to use, and my €0.70 was well worth it. (I thought about shooting a video, but didn’t—thank goodness for YouTube.)

6. Culture

My AirBnB hostess suggested I go to the ballet, which she had just seen. It was an amazing staging of Don Juan with classical technique and modern sensibilities. It was so unusual that I was sure there would be online reviews, but I haven’t been able to find any. So just watch the short video instead. It’s worth it.

I saw a poster for Hinterm Horizont (Beyond the Horizon), a musical with English translation on a screen. You know I love a good musical. It features the music of German rock star Udo Lindenberg and it tells the story of him falling in love with an East German girl while performing there. Seems that never happened, but other pieces of the show historically accurate, such as Udo sending the East German party boss a rocker jacket in 1987. Still, the story was sweet.

The show masterfully incorporated video of the Berlin Wall and historic events, some of which I recognized, but mostly I was guessing at what I was seeing. I am sure they resonated with the Germans in the audience the way images of marchers in Selma or the crowd on the Mall during Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech would with Americans.

U-Bahn Rules

7. Lost In Translation

Because not everyone who reads this blog is on Facebook, I’m including this gem. This sign is in every U-Bahn car and along the platforms as well. My first interpretation of it was:

No eating.

No drinking alcohol.

No smoking.

Riding a horse is permitted.

8. Photos

Because I’ve learned that inserting a lot of photos into a post makes it slow to load and frustrates readers, which I really do not want to do, I’ve created a separate photo album. It also incorporates a few things I haven’t written about here.

Cranberry Sauce Three Ways

I love comparative taste tests—pitting multiple foods against each other in head-to-head tasting combat. But I don’t get to do it often for logistical reasons (how can I simultaneously have Amy’s Ice Creams (Texas) and OWowCow (Pennsylvania)?).

The assignment to bring cranberry sauce for 30 people to Thanksgiving this year provided the perfect opportunity for a little competition. Because, why have cranberry sauce one way when you can have it three ways? Honestly, I probably would have carved out time to do this even if I was still working. But it was fun, so I’m posting about it.

I’ve been interested in making Mama Stamberg’s Cranberry Relish ever since hearing Susan Stamberg talk about it on Morning Edition years ago. When searching for the recipe, I learned that Garlicky Cranberry Chutney is Susan’s favorite, so clearly I had to make that one too. Next, I got an email with a link that led me to this Spiced Cranberry Sauce recipe (and I then saw it posted at a spice market as a suggested recipe, reinforcing the need for me to try it).

The verdict? None of the recipes is perfect as is—at least for me. I came to realize that I envision sweeter cranberry sauce at the actual Thanksgiving meal, so I’ll be making the third recipe with a few tweaks. As the other two are on the savory side, I think either would be perfect with the leftovers (if you’re lucky enough to have any). In the meantime, I’m enjoying lots of cranberry sauces with yogurt, oatmeal, and occasionally straight from the container.

Mama Stamberg’s Cranberry Relish, the one that started it all: Mine got to the desired Pepto-Bismol pink. The relish actually tasted better after sitting in the fridge for two days because the onions and horseradish mellowed, but it was still tart.

Mama Stamberg's Cranberry Relish

Mama Stamberg’s Cranberry Relish

Garlicky Cranberry Chutney: Too garlicky! When opening the container of this chutney a day or two after making it, I was overwhelmed by the garlic smell. The chutney didn’t actually taste as garlicky as it smelled, but the odor was too strong to get to the tasting part. It was the thinnest consistency of the three recipes. If I were to make it again, I’d cut down on the garlic—I can always add more later, but as I learned here, I can’t take it out once it’s in there.

Madhur Jaffrey's cranberry chutney

Madhur Jaffrey’s cranberry chutney

Spiced Cranberry Sauce: Too gingery! I like ginger quite a bit. My extended family? Not nearly as much. I’ll be adding a lot less ginger when I make the big batch. I like how thick this cranberry sauce is and with cinnamon, cloves, allspice and nutmeg, it tastes like the holidays.

Spiced Cranberry Sauce

Spiced Cranberry Sauce



Chop, Chop

Those are some beautiful pepper strips

Those are some beautiful pepper strips

Chop, chop went the vegetables.

Chop, chop went my hair.

(But not at the same time or at the same place.)

I hoard my gift certificates. I never spend them, saving them for something “special.” I do the same with new clothes (waiting for the perfect occasion to debut them) or fancy soaps (I don’t want to waste them). About a year ago, I decided that this was stupid: I buy these items because I like them and therefore I should wear or use them often. Same with gift cards. The givers wants me to use them. No more waiting.

Therefore, I’m pretty proud of myself for using a gift certificate to Culinaria Cooking School within two months of receiving it as a going-away gift. That I got to work on the culinary skill I most want to master was an added bonus.

IMG_0811Taking a knife skills class has been on my to do list ever since a friend, who is very comfortable in the kitchen, told me that she found it helpful. Finally, I actually had the time to do it. The class was on Friday from 10.00 am–1.00 pm. It was me and group of retired people, along with two people my age (but I didn’t get their stories, so am having fun speculating about how they were available at that time of day…).

Proper knife grip

Proper knife grip

I learned how to properly hold a knife. See how the index finger wraps over the top of the blade?That’s where a chef develops a callous. I don’t have one of those yet. I especially felt this towards the end of the class. Julienning a carrot is hard, because carrots are so hard. Boy did my hand hurt by this time.


What does one do with all those chopped vegetables and chicken? Stirfry of course! And it was delicious.



Added bonus? Driving a different way home led me past Nielsen’s Frozen Custard. I ordered half chocolate, half pumpkin. No toppings. Creamy and delicious.

IMG_0818 - Version 2

Unexpected dessert

Oh, and my hair? That happened a week ago at Parlour Salon. At the beginning of the summer, I told Rebecca, who has been cutting my hair for years, that once I was no longer working, and after the last family wedding of the season, I was ready to try a new hairstyle. I sat there and this is what happened. I love it!

Shenandoah Valley—I Went For The Foliage But Am Writing About The Food First

Three completely blank days on the calendar = road trip!

Pulling out my list of local places that I’ve never been but should have after living in DC for 12 years, and considering the time of year lead to one easy conclusion: Shenandoah Valley. Of course, I spent a good portion of the trip checking out good food. I’ll write a separate entry about the beautiful fall foliage, hiking and Skyline Drive.

Facebook crowdsourcing started the trip off right with doughnuts at The Apple House in Linden, VA. Given that I left DC much later than planed and it was lunchtime, I designated the doughnuts an appetizer to a bbq sandwich. Bad decision. The sandwich tasted only of sauce and although I hate to waste food, the doughnuts had taken the edge off my hunger so I chucked it and headed down the road eight miles to Spelunker’s, in Front Royal, VA, which I had been advised serves delicious burgers and custard. Score!

I enjoyed that doughnut

I enjoyed that doughnut

Although there is a drive-thru, and inside the menu board and counter are set up like a fast food joint, this a chain burger place. My food took a few minutes to cook, and was delivered to my table by a server who then asked if I needed anything from napkins to silverware to a very long list of condiments. Aside from being a bit too salty, the burger was delicious. Really nicely grilled onions made the difference. It was big, almost to the point where I worried I didn’t have room for dessert. Luckily, it was only almost.


Photobombed (by a man who has no idea what that means)

Photobombed (by a man who has no idea what that means)

Here’s the first of many times I knew I wasn’t in the big city: people pre-pay for their custard and when ready for it, walk up to the counter and say, “I paid for a cone already.” They then get a cone—no proof of purchase required. It hadn’t occurred to me do this, so I waited in line again. The custard was very creamy, but ice slivers in it prevent me from raving. If I returned for a burger, you wouldn’t have to twist my arm very hard to get me to order dessert too, but I won’t send you there just for the custard.

Front Royal’s dinner options were limited—all the recommended places only serve lunch, are closed on Mondays, or both. While strolling through the town, a couple asked me for directions to a nice-sounding restaurant. Even though they live two towns over and I live 70+ miles away, I’m good with a map and decent with an iPhone and figured out which way they should walk. Before they set off, I looked at Yelp and saw that the place was closed (remember, this was a Monday). We started walking together in another direction and even though I wasn’t that hungry (it was 2.30 by the time I ate at Spelunker’s), I liked the idea of sharing a meal with someone, so I joined them for an entirely forgettable meal. It was a good change of pace to have conversation over dinner, and they ended up treating me, which was unexpected and kind.

Appetizer before breakfast

Appetizer before breakfast

Fortunately, I left Front Royal the next morning on a good food note at the Woodward House Bed and Breakfast. This place was everything I expect a country B&B to be — a bit kitschy and decorated with flowery wallpaper and lots of knickknacks. I think this is the first bed that I’ve needed a step stool to climb into.

I had some work to do and was up way before breakfast started. Luckily, there were homemade cookies in my room to tide me over. (And yes, that is a golf lamp on the side table.)

Then I learned they really do mean it when they call their breakfasts “skip a lunch.”  And, BTW, I did (skip lunch).


More about more good food, gelato and ice cream later.



Seeking Out Good Food Is Good — Part 2: The Other CIA

Once someone mentioned that I could dine at the Culinary Institute of America while in the Hudson Valley, I planned my whole trip around this dinner. The CIA offers a $45 prix fixe menu Tuesday-Thursday, so my indulgence wouldn’t even break the bank.

The evening started off on a sour note when the hostess couldn’t find my name, then did find it and exclaimed, “You canceled your reservation this afternoon.” I replied, “I promise you, I did not. In fact, I built my whole trip around this dinner, rented a car and am staying at a hotel nearby just so I can be here now.” (Luckily, the only other sour note of the night were the bitters in my cocktail, and those I asked for.)

Once I was seated, I saw that there were quite a few empty tables so there never was a risk that this whole venture would have been for naught.

The Bocuse Restaurant menu

The Bocuse Restaurant menu

Deciding what to order was extremely difficult. Because I was dining alone, there was no opportunity for sharing or tasting someone else’s choices, my favorite things to do when eating out with others. I went pescatarian, in part at the recommendation of my server, a student who had cooked the fish station for a few weeks.




My appetizer and dessert were spectacular. The tastes were interesting and rich. The lobster was tender and flavorful. Foam can be annoying and distracting when done badly. Here, it added accent and taste.


Butter-poached lobster

Butter-poached lobster


Every component of the dessert was delicious on its own. Together they were magical. It was so amazing, I’m writing about it before the entrée.


Dessert! Not a crumb left.

Dessert menu—with the chocolate listed first, as it should be

Dessert menu—with the chocolate listed first, as it should be











The menu description of the halibut entrée didn’t mention the croquette of olive tapenade, but once my server described it I was sold since love a good olive tapenade. Here, the saltiness and brininess overpowered and distracted from the fish. At the end of the day I took advantage of this since the fish was slightly overcooked and a little too tough.

Olive oil poached halibut

Olive oil poached halibut





A nice surprise was the game Amuse that is given to every table. The cards ask questions such as, “What culinary skill would you like to master?” (knife skills) and “What is your least favorite task in the kitchen?” (chopping onions). Between people watching and answering the questions myself, my two-hour dinner passed quickly.

Amuse cards

Amuse cards






The other nice surprise was that at the end of the meal, they gave me two of every extra treat even though I was a singleton. I ended up taking all but one of the white chocolate truffles in a to go box because I was so full. A truly sweet ending. The weekday prix fixe is a deal and I definitely would return.

Departing treats—enough for two, but I got to eat them all myself

Departing treats—enough for two, but I got to eat them all myself

Seeking Out Good Food Is Good — Part 1: NYC

I spent two days of the first week of my new life seeking out really good food. I enjoy good food. This does not make me unique. I have not had much of an opportunity before to plan a whole day around acquiring good food, and boy did I enjoy it.

Day One: Tuesday, September 9, 2014

I started at Chelsea Market, which was not the planned destination but could not be skipped when I found myself across the street from it. There were many, many tempting foods, but since I had eaten breakfast not that long before arriving, I went practical. I tried to indulge at Doughnuttery, but six was the smallest quantity I could buy and that seemed extravagant, and might not leave me enough room for the other good food planned for the day. Nearby, I found Sohha Savory Yogurt, where I loved the Za’atar Bliss:  tangy yogurt with za’atar (a middle-eastern spice mix), olive oil, mint, olives and tomatoes.

Sohha menu

Za’atar Bliss—sub tomatoes for the cucumbers and we have a winner












To work up an appetite before my next stop, I walked the length of The Highline. Finally, my plans to do so weren’t thwarted by rain, snow, sleet or hail.

I then walked over to Eataly, which I’ve been hearing about since it opened. Decided on full-fledged carnivore lunch from Rosticceria. I refrained from the gelato in order to walk over to the West Village for Big Gay Ice Cream.  I learned about Big Gay Ice Cream from the authority that is Buzzfeed (I knew this list was legit when I saw it included Amy’s Ice Cream, my favorite ice cream in the US) and knew it was a must-stop for this trip. I gave into all of the hype (Food Network, Dessert Professionals) and ordered the most popular combo, the Salty Pimp (vanilla soft serve, chocolate shell, sea salt, dulce de leche). Salty-sweet ice cream.  Need I say more?

Next time I'll think to take a photo before I devour my ice cream

Next time I’ll think to take a photo before I devour my ice cream.







Day One: Epilogue

I admit that on Wednesday morning I realized that accelerating from my office’s salad bar to yesterday’s meals, and from my few-times-a-week workouts to walking 6+ miles, pushed the limits of my stomach. After a great class at The Pilates Boutique, I needed a soothing lunch before the matinée of Kinky Boots.

Sometimes the universe sends you what you need. Yelp wasn’t helping me identify where to find chicken soup, so I decided to just walk out the door and see what I passed on my way to the theater. And I found a gem: Kung Fu Little Steamed Buns Ramen. Just like grandma’s chicken soup, if it came from Japan. Just the medicine the doctor ordered!

Great find in Hell’s Kitchen

Best unplanned meal of my trip

Best unplanned meal of my trip








P.S. Turns out Lunch at The Highline is the modern version of the 1932 famous photo, Lunch atop a Skyscraper (New York Construction Workers Lunching on a Crossbeam). Next time I’ll try to do the image justice.

credit: probably Charles C. Ebbets, but disputed

credit: probably Charles C. Ebbets, but disputed

credit: Roberta A. Ritvo

credit: Roberta A. Ritvo

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