Tuesday, December 27, 2005

belga café



Hope everybody had a nice holiday whatever whatever you celebrate. I did attend church with the Momz on Christmas and had an incredibly awkward experience not belonging there (oh! just like life!) though there was a special EngRish highlight where after the mass during the eating in the church basement festivities included the priest taking the mike and saying, "Happy Jesus!.... Birthday!!" Oh, those funny Koreans.

Anyways, I'm going to write some more about food. Because it provides me with much happiness. If I were at a Chinese restaurant, apparently, this would be called Double Happiness. And it would include like.. pork, chicken, water chestnuts and some sort of brown sauce. But Double Happiness this is not!

I seem to do more fooding in DC than in New York. This might be true. Because I tend not to go to fun places by myself and instead hurry home to my brooklyn burrow after work and eat some old pasta or hummus and watch tv and grow blobbier ... but visiting! That's different! You're obligated to eat, drink, be merry!

A weekend or two ago, I was in DC visiting some friends. We had planned on brunching at Eastern Market on Capital Hill, because they're supposed to have great pancakes there. And my only request for the weekend was.. "PANCAKES!" Eastern Market is this outdoors market full of a jumble of stuff, stalls for food and clothes and knick-knacks and even rugs with tanks on them and I got to try out a Tibetan singing bowl. (Wow, that was a really poorly constructed sentence, like made out of Tonka tools and lincoln logs.) They have a food corner with all sorts of goodies like NC bbq .. BUT they do not serve brunch on Sundays. THUS, no pancakes.

But somebody positively brilliant steered us towards Belga Café, a few blocks away. And it is my FAVORITEST PLACE EVER IN THE WORLD!!!!!

Because they have everything wonderful that I love. Waffles. Pommes frites. Desserts. Fabulous coffee. Even Lambique beer that tastes like magical raspberry juice, though I did not partake in any that day.

The inside is rather all clean lines and lots of light and Euro-hip with the clientele verging more on the not-very-young, (comparatively) sophisticated side, but the service is nice and just look at the food! I had plain belgian waffles which was crispy and light and fluffy and came drizzled in brown sugar, a drizzle of syrup, fresh whipped cream and some raspberries. Sublime. I also split a plate of scrambled eggs with fresh herbs, english muffin and potatoes and the table split a few orders of belgian fries which were nicely not too oily and crispy. All for that necessary balance in life called Salty & Sweet.

During the course of brunch, I also had four cups of strong Illy coffee. And made our waiter think that I had been drinking a different sort of drink because I was acting all strange and happy-like. Chuh.


A friend had a savory waffle with goat cheese and oh, I forget, but isn't it pretty?

And you can't leave without dessert. This was a sampler of creme brulées. Vanilla, chocolate, and pumpkin with raspberry coulis. The sugar brulée was perfectly crunchy. Lovely lovely lovely!
And though I say I never go fooding in New York, I must report that yesterday included a near robyn-style full-day excursion with stops for shwarma and falafel at Mamouns, almost tortuosly thick hot chocolate at Jacques Torres Chocolate Haven, some ginger snaps and a chestnut-honey madeleine (their best!) at Sweet Melissa's Patisserie on Houston (an offshoot a Brooklyn fav.), a pitstop at Jamba Juice, and then some tea and scones at Alice's Tea Cup. To put up the front that we were in the city for reasons other than food was a half hour visit to the Met Museum which closed on us and some time browsing the Strand with their usually skinny clientele. We should have brought them with us and fed them things.
The end! Eat nice things! Because the rest of the world is depressing!

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Dream a little dream

I dreamt about rotting food last night, which is a new thing. It was a bit disturbing, how gross everything was. And there were some bananas and I was thinking, I can't even make banana bread out of this.

The dream dictionary explains: To see or eat stale food in your dream, suggests that you are feeling sluggish and emotionally drained. You need to be invigorated and revitalized.

Maybe my brain is rotting. And not even cannibals will want to make brain bread out of it. Ok that was really grosssss.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

grilled cheese

I always feel a bit daft (yes, daft) ordering grilled cheese at diners. I mean, it's grilled cheese. Yet I often do and perhaps this explains why I am daft (1: silly, foolish; 2: mad, insane; 3: not to be followed by punk), oftener than not. Most likely, it consists of two slabs of wonder bread drenched in butter with some slices of Kraft singles, maybe served with fries or soup. Greasy Goodness, the alliterators like to call it. Most people can make an excellent grilled cheese of their own at home, with nice bread and nice cheese. But whatever version, there's not much better simpleness than a grilled cheese sammich.

But really, I should stop ordering that crap. The end.

Anyhow, my point? Yes, points. Before going to see the always excellentExplosions in the Sky the other day, some friends and I went to a li'l restaurant on the lower east side called Grilled Cheese that had been tucked into my little brain in the to-eat-at-list which I can never access. Somebody who knows about brains should do something about that.

Anyway, the sandwiches here would so win fights against Krafty concoctions and remain just lovely, not even breaking a cheesy sweat (ew!). They're grilled with olive oil (according to this Columbia piece) in a sort of panini press, I think, so that they're just crunchy enough with nice ingredients and real cheese. I got the "Grilled Garden" which is, if I remember correctly, cheddar, hummus, tomato, cucumber, red onion, some greens, and a touch of vinaigrette. Cheesabulous! and came with chips. Chipabulous! My tomato soup was a bit..marinara-consistency, but it was fresh-tasting and I got to feel virtuous for not getting fries.

My friends got other kinds of sandwiches. I don't remember. But not because they were imaginary friends or anything. They got fries too. They were similarly pleased. The menu includes other goodies like milkshakes and salads and cookies and wine and beer. All in all, a nice little spot in the über-trendy side o'town (not SoHo, as that Columbia journalist tries to point out).

My new fantasy future now includes opening a restaurant called Cravings. It would serve the major basic cravings of the general populace. You know, because you can generalize like that with no problem. The menu would be listed as 'eclectic' and include cheese-based things, chocolate-based things, and bread-based things. And fried stuff. And some Korean dishes. And hummus. And turkish coffee. OK, maybe it would just serve everything in the world and we'd all sit down together for a good meal and then I would single-handedly bring about world peace. The End.

Pics of eits here from Robyn who I randomly ran into (whom into I randomly ran??? hahahahhaha) at the concert.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

the rambling row



Hello! I have returned! Where have I been? Nowhere! It is a magical place, next to Neverneverland, except you don't have to fly to get there - you just sort of lay around and don't do anything (no motion sickness!) - and you have to grow up anyway and you barely put on a respectable front of everyday matters like going to work and paying your bills and not living in a den of iniquity. I just wanted to say 'den of iniquity' just to spice it up a bit. Nowhere doing nothing is worse than flat soda and worser than worse, than flat champagne. Cuz then it isn't even champagne anymore because you can't call it bubbly. And this means that its very nature has been changed. Look how even more rambly I've gotten.

Maybe I'm just being hard-headed, like a goat, with one of those yellow construction helmets, waiting for some grand change to come over me, to goad me into Action!! Maybe I misplaced that thingy that they use for movies that says Scene 23, Take 150,402. Action!!! and all I'm left with is a boom mike and it's just picking up all this crackly silence. Maybe the fish aren't biting. Or maybe I'm just running amok with wild figurative language. Either way, I'm chugging along with a deep desire to give everything up and just bum around. Or maybe Bridget Jones's friends love me JUST THE WAY I AM.

Anyhoo, I'm thinking of switching platforms for this site, over to wordpress, if I ever awake from this catatonic state. Have any suggestions for redesign? Do y'all like the random list-o-links on the right? Should I talk more about dens of iniquities? Less Grey's Anatomy? And I guess there's a couple more books and movies I've read and seen about which I've been meaning to share my delightfully flat-champagne thoughts. I'm ever so popular at parties. And if my comments don't work because evil spammers are attacking my spaceship and I'm too busy pressing random buttons on a control board and looking very stressed out, just send me an email.

Hell, just send me an email anyway. I want to say Hi You! And then you will say Hi! And it'll be great. Just like world peace.

And now it's time for a cookie and milk before bedtime. Because the rational part of me is already asleep. As she so often is.