So apparently all the cool kids are going to Brooklyn, but guess what? I was there before either of them and now it appears I’m the last to post about it. Womp womp. Anyway, not that much of my babbling is relevant two months later, so you’re probably better off just scrolling on down to the pictures…
I had some anxieties about having to finally part ways with my 20s earlier this year, but as an individual without any chemical vices, that really only left me with one coping mechanism: eating. I decided to indulge myself (well, more than usual) locally and also during a brief overnight to New York City. It just so happened that this year’s milestone celebration fell on Fat Tuesday, so my spree of gluttony seemed especially appropriate. My original plan was to hit up Two Fat Cats for some king’s cake that I had seen them promoting ahead of Mardi Gras. Alas, I never made it to India Street because once I realized Dutch’s was on my immediate walking path and they had whipped up their own king’s cake, laziness prevailed. I managed to get the last one but the traditional plastic baby baked inside had already been claimed, so no birthday coronation for me. It was a pretty substantial piece of pastry leaving some concern of hitting my caloric peak far too early in the day. I can hear you all boo and hiss at me right now, but I did go to Starbucks to redeem my complimentary annual reward and ordered a tiramisu latte. While it didn’t exactly hold a candle to Paciarino‘s version of the dessert, I’m not really one to gripe about a freebie. I then meandered from the top of Exchange Street to the bottom to push the limits of my caffeinated sugar rush. One Holy Donut probably would have been sufficient, but I bought two so I could properly
arrange play with my food to exhibit my age. I felt I was continuing to handicap my stomach with heavy carbs, so I hit up Central Provisions for some soup & salad. This was my feeble attempt to convince my body there was some semblance of healthy food in the mix. The last edible I was entitled to as birthday boy was across the street at Gelato Fiasco. I simply could not justify getting anything larger than a treat size, though I did have them double up on flavors. I waddled back to my apartment and took a very uncomfortable nap. It got to the point that I had to text my friend Kate from Vinland to bump my reservation at her pop-up event because I still wasn’t feeling up to it. She was super thoughtful and took the time to make me a pie though, so I absolutely had to attend to honor her efforts. I’m really glad I did because the dip set and banh mi with headcheese (euphemism “pork terrine”) were freakin’ delightful. Like a champ, I finished out the night by downing that whole apple galette too.
My birthday present to myself was seeing Sharon Van Etten concert in Brooklyn with a friend from college. I took the bus to Boston and had some lousy pizza at South Station which I did not feel was worth documenting. I think my body was still in recovery mode from the previous day because I didn’t end up going to the snack car at any point. I met my friend as she got out of work and her plan was for us to check out Fette Sau in Williamsburg. Customers seemed entitled to having their backpacks, purses, and shopping bags strewn about the picnic tables (think a much smaller version of Salvage BBQ). We spent most of our time just holding our food, craning our necks in search of free space, and trying to swoop in before the other displaced diners. Barbecue served on a tray isn’t really conducive to eating while standing unless you have counter space, which only existed as the bar and was also full. When we finally snagged some seats, my friend and I shared the pulled pork, sausage, and brisket which were all really tasty along with the selection of sauces at the table. Their cornbread, however, was doughy and inedible. The performances by Sharon and her opener Leon Bridges were fantastic, the crowd however was anything but. They put me in too foul of a mood to get around to trying the venue’s pierogies.
My friend had a job interview the following day, so I had to fend for myself for a few hours before catching the train back to Boston. My friend suggested I check out Doughnut Plant for my breakfast fix. The peanut butter & jelly donut was a revelation. I don’t know how it hasn’t reached the peninsula yet…Leigh Kellis and/or Urban Sugar, nudge nudge. I initially wanted the tres leches flavor, but discovered I didn’t have any lactose probiotic on-hand. I went on a frantic errand to CVS to buy some because I had a lunch reservation at noon and zero intent of limiting myself to dairy-free options. I had booked at Butter without realizing it was also Restaurant Week in New York, so that was a nice prix-fixe surprise. My primary motivation for eating there was because I have been starstruck since realizing the owner, Alex Guarnaschelli of Chopped fame, has been following my Instagram account (P.S. she seems particularly fond of Taco Tuesday posts at Local Sprouts). I ordered the endive salad, the porgi, and orange pound cake. I tacked on an order of veal meatballs and also sunchokes. Endive salad wasn’t necessarily the most exciting course, but I kind of learned my lesson the day before. I was ordering on strategic value more than hedonistic value. I also caught a piece of bone in my whitefish, but other than that I was very pleased with the food, service, and atmosphere. While I wish I had some more time to try a couple more places down there, it is comforting to know that somewhere on the peninsula there is always a good meal waiting to be had. New York, I like you, but Portland…I like you like you.