Thursday, June 24, 2010


It's been a couple of weeks since we went to New York and Boston. In fact we've gone to Minneapolis since then. I guess I took so long to post because I wanted to get my Holga pics ready. So I did. Anyway, moving on. We ended up with free airline tickets because United fucked up our flight to Hong Kong last year. We decided to go to New York and Boston. We ended up landing in Newark NJ. which is awesome, because although I've been to New York before I have never been to New Jersey. After 35 years I can finally cross New Jersey of my things to do list. Sadly, I did not get to explore the Dubai-esque Newark. Instead we ended up in a semi-comped suite in the fine burg of Weehawken NJ. It was actually pretty cool because we were right on the river and just a ferry ride away from Midtown Manhattan. My entire agenda in NYC was pretty much dominated by food. As everyone knows that town is silly with places to eat. Of top priority was Momofuku. At one point in my life I may have said it was "off the hook." Seriously though it was ridiculous. We arrived at the Momofuku noodle bar at like 7 on a Tuesday and the line was already about an hour deep, but I would not be denied. After a leisurely wait we got seated and ordered some awesome food. I got some of their house made pickles which came in a little Mason jar. Next we ordered some pickled ramps which were flavoriscious. Next up came the most epic pork belly buns ever. Seriously, WTF those bastards can sure slow cook a pork belly! To aid in the onset of a food coma we each ordered a bowl of ramen. It was basically the best ramen ever. Better than any ramen I had in Japan, and better than my favorite ramen shop here in the city. Since I was well full by that point I decided what could it hurt by finishing off my meal with a cup of the sour cherry soft serve? It only hurt a little bit so visited the Momofuku Milk Bar for some desserts including an epic "Cereal Milk"-milkshake which was fucking awesome! The next day we visited an epic foodie paradise the Chelsea Market. That place made the Ferry Building look like a food court in some backwoods mall in rural Indiana. We ended up wasting precious stomach room on a vegan restaurant, which ended up being supremely so-so. All I can say is how the fuck can you call a sandwich a vegan Ruben? Perhaps I have less imagination than I thought? Moving on. We ended up meeting a friend at bar in Greenwich Village called 124 Old Rabbit club which ended up being Belgian beer heaven. When I think of a bar, this is basically exactly what comes to mind. It's small, very dark, uber local, has excellent music and just plain cool. The digestive train didn't end there by any means. We kept seeing this little Australian meat pie place called the Tuck Shop. Like everything in New York it was open late and our snack-y craving was sated by a little meat pie smothered in peas and gravy. Still going. I have watched the Food Network play up an Indian restaurant called Brick Lane Curry House which claims to have the hottest curry on the planet. As a spicy foods maven I have been champing at the proverbial bit to try this dish. Brick lane calls the dish Phaal and they claim the chef has to wear a mask and eye protection to prepare it. Furthermore, they make a contest out of it. If you can finish it in a half hour you get a free beer and your picture on the wall. As soon as I told the waiter what I wanted I basically hated the place. Upon uttering the words Phaal curry he basically lost it. "Why do you want that?" Umm, because I want it? Seriously, that's just the most simplistic way of putting it. Since I stuck to my guns and refused to change my order the lack of enthusiasm on the waiter's part was palpable. There would be no contest for me. The curry was actually delicious, but it wasn't the hottest thing I've ever tasted. I couldn't finish because the volume of food was beyond me. In my opinion it was all hype. Fuck Brick Lane Curry House! The roll call continues. The highlight to our foodie adventures came in the form of a WD50 reservation. I'd heard a lot about this place and I've always wanted to try it. We opted for the totally gangster tasting menu. With all the dishes to talk about I ended up quite possibly favoring the hazelnut tart. I'm not usually a dessert guy, but fuck it, I'm taking a stand because it was a great tart. Not to be out done was the fact that we were seated by the kitchen and I was being a total nerd watching epic eats being created. The subtlety of my nerdiness was not lost on the waiter as he astutely surmised that I would probably enjoy getting a tour of the kitchen and meeting Chef Wylie Dufrense. Give that waiter a cigar! I was all about that shit. His kitchen was spotless and well organized. What a weird comment that was. Whatevs, let's talk about the stuff I didn't get to eat. I didn't get to eat at The Pickle Guys. That's sad. I didn't get to eat a Papaya King hot dog which sucks. I'm fairly certain I didn't get to eat pizza anywhere that pizza is sold. This sucks because NYC tap water has the right alkali content which makes for the perfect crust. I didn't get to eat at about 50,000 other places either. We spent  our last NYC night in Williamsburg in Brooklyn. It was a cool little neighborhood and I wish we had a couple of extra days to spend there. After an all too quick NYC adventure we picked up our car and headed up to Boston. Our route took us through Connecticut, which Steph slept all the way through, Rhode Island and then into Boston by way of Cape Cod. When you plug NYC to Boston into any standard GPS device it will tell you, quite smugly I might add, that's a three hour and some change bit of journeying you're about to undertake. Let me just tell you that Google maps doesn't take into account the giant tear in space time that exists in the northeast because NYC to Rhode Island took us seven fucking hours! Ok, maybe it was the several trips to Best Buy outside of New Have in search of a car charger for my iPhone. Of course the busted car we were riding in didn't even have working 12 volt plugs. I digress. Once we made it to Providence I was halfway considering hanging up the keys for the night. Over coffee we kind of decided to just throw caution to the wind and just push on through to Cape Cod, that and the fact that we were in Providence during graduation week and all the hotels were booked. On the way out of town I remembered a little hot dog place Steph had mentioned called Olnyville NY System. Late or not we were had to go, and it was probably the best diversion ever! The restaurant was an old-timey diner and at the counter were several salt of the Earth type men with sweet New England accents talking the talk of the working man. We ordered a couple of "hot wieners" as they call them,  and we were treated to some awesomeness. You get the dogs one way and one way only. $1.80 buys you a steamed bun, a delicious dog with mustard, celery salt, onions and wiener sauce which is basically a seasoned hamburger based sauce spread on top. Nice! We made it up to Province Town at the tip of Cape Cod at around midnight and opted to stay in a little seaside motel, as if there are other kinds. As we were driving around the little streets I managed to decide that it was perfectly acceptable to drive down a one way street and of course I got pulled over for it. The next day we headed on to Boston. We ended up getting a hotel in a pretty awesome location, Back bay. The best was getting Steph up to Salem to visit the Witch Museum. I had been there when I was a kid and I thought it was awesome. Sadly, as a jaded grown up it was just ridiculously silly, but I still loved it. Boston is a great city, where people talk with funny accents.

Speaking of funny accents. We also just went to Minneapolis for my cousin's wedding. Minneapolis is where my family is from and a city where I spent a lot of time as a kid. It made me super happy to show Steph around the city. The wedding took place at my grandparents lakeshore house an hour south of Minneapolis. I spent so much time there as a kid and it holds some of my fondest memories. Anyway, it was an awesome feeling being able to share all that with her. Roll film!

For some of our point and shoot pics go read Steph's timely post here and here!


mel said...

I'm not my grandmother who can comment on everything,so i'll just say: i'm glad you two had fun, and you have a bottomless pit of a stomach my friend.that is one triple threat vacation.

Nerd Love-Bot said...

An army moves on it's stomach.

Rachel said...

hoorah!!! glad u guys had an epic time! thanks for posting