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Archive for August 23rd, 2006

I finally got to see the bestest this weekend!  I can’t believe she’s leaving in less than two weeks and I’ve only seen her a handful of times the entire summer!  Granted, I was eating my way through HK/China/Arizona for the first month of her being back, we still barely saw each other afterwards!  =[  The sadness.

Well, we made up for loss time by going shopping this Saturday.  What goes well with shopping?  Eating!  We stumbled across a Ben & Jerry Milkshake Experience [read: free milkshake tasting] in Union Square.  It was uber exciting.  They step up a little space in the theatre where Sandra Bernhard had her one woman show and gave out free samples from their new line of milkshakes.  There’s seating inside and there was a tropical island theme going on.  I even saw a woman giving out free massages in the Cherry Garcia side.  There were 3 flavors: Chunky Monkey, Cherry Garcia, and Chocolate Fudge Brownie.

ben & jerry
enter here

The chocolate fudge brownie was too chocolatey for me and the cherry garcia would have been good if it didn’t have a cough syrup aftertaste to it [it would’ve tasted kinda yogurty], and the chunky monkey was best out of the three according to Ander and I.  The Chunky Monkey’s flavor wasn’t too strong and it was mostly banana tasting- but it was a light banana taste.  I think that the Chunky Monkey would actually go well with the Chocolate Fudge- someone should try it and let me know.  All the drinks were really thick so it didn’t really quench our thirst, but then again, milkshakes don’t generally quench thirsts. 

chocolate fudge cherry garcia 
                                                chunky monkey

I brought Ander to oggle and drool over Max Brenner’s new shop [the poor woman hasn’t even been to Ghiradelli!].  She’s a chocolate fan so I knew she’d appreciate Brenner’s works.  We made our way further downtown and I met up with Sherman to have a drink at Sambucca’s and to gossip a bit before we both had to run off for dinner.  Sambucca is a little cafe in Little Italy specializing in many home-made desserts.  There are better places in Little Italy like La Bella Ferrara’s across the street [not the one on Grand] but this happened to be Sherman’s place of choice and I didn’t really care since I was just getting a drink.  There’s outdoor seating in front of the cafe, which is where we always choose to sit and tourist watch. 

sambucca     sam
sambucca’s logo  //  the view from my seat

After a ton of shopping and indecision on dinner, Ander, Bak, and I stumbled upon a Cuban place on Thompson Street.  I was originally looking for Cuba, but didn’t recall where it was and Googl wasn’t helping too much.  I hate using my pebl for treo functions!  Anyhoo, we thought Cubana Cafe was a cute hole-in-the-wall type place to check out.  Little did we know, they were cash only!  I was cash-less and Ander had $3.  It was Bak to the rescue with his $60 dollars in cash.  Oh, they have an ATM machine next door for those of you who may need.  Since the place is a hole-in-the-wall, we expected hole-in-the-wall [ie. cheap] prices, which they supplied, so we knew we were okay with the $60.  The interior of the restaurant was very simple and reminded me of the inside of a grandmother’s Manhattan apartment.  Behind the door was a rod with a curtain that looked like it belonged on top of a bathtub.  You know, those rods that go all the way around a standalone tub.  The tablecloths were the odd plastic floral designs with a clear plastic covering on top. 

cubana cafe
3 guesses why the bestest is covering half her face

Their cuban sandwich was calling my name.  I don’t think I’ve had any since I was in West Palm, being served Cuban sandwiches by actual Cubans [whoa- that’s an entire year ago!].  Their cuban sandwiches are made with roast pork, sliced ham, swiss cheese, sliced pickle, chipotle mayo, with a side of chickpeas.  I generally don’t like meaty stuff but I lurve cuban sandwiches.  I definitely think the cheese and the pickles have a lot to do with it.  I don’t know how some people order the sandwiches without the pickles- the sourness gives it a good … sour kick?  It just makes the sandwich taste juicier to me.  I also love how the bread is smushed down and toasted so it fits into my mouth easily.  =D  In addition to the sandwich, I had to order regular food too.  Hey, the sandwich only costs $7.  I could afford a real entree!  I ordered the Palomilla pounded chicken breast marinated in garlic lime and onions served with rice and beans.  The chicken wasn’t very flavorful but it was good with whipped plaintains.  The rice and beans were okay, nothing special.  Ander got the pulled pork with whipped plaintains and roija wine pork gravy.   The whipped plantains were too sweet but the pork was good, although the roija wine pork gravy didn’t stand out.  I think I enjoy BBQ pulled pork more.  A liter of sangria only costs $15 so we just had to go for it.  It was good except they used a lot of orange peels instead of actual fruit which was very disappointing when Bak and I went to taste the wine soaked bits.  The only remarkable thing about this place is its cuban sandwiches.  I say take them to go and save yourself the tip.  They also didn’t bring us bread!  I was deprived of my favorite part of the meal!  We ordered it for “desert,” and they still didn’t bring it to us.  Boo Cubana Cafe for that.  The bill came to be just a bit under $50, btw.

inside cubana  inside cubana 2 
tablecloth  bill
  
  sangria  cuban sandwich
pulled pork  pounded chicken

Yesterday, Irene, Eva and I decided to celebrate our 10 year reunion.  This September would mark the beginning of 10 years of friendship.  Whoa.  Scary right?  We decided to go back to our JHS neighborhood [Stuyvesant Town] to celebrate at the original Ess-a-Bagel.  I drool just thinking about their homemade bagels with bluberry creamcheese.  As Eva and I got off the bus, we saw that a branch of the Belgian patisserie Petit Abeille has opened up on the corner.  They had outdoor seating and mimosas so we decided to scrape ess-a-bagel and have brunch at Petit Abeille.  I actually noticed another Petit Abeille being constructed along West 17th somewhere so I guess they’re branching out.  Petit Abeille is actually my sister and my place of choice to eat when we are waiting to get into the Metropolitan Pavillion for their sales.  I really do shop as much as I eat. 

essabagel
much better than H&H; no matter what anyone says

At the corner of 20th street and 1st avenue lies Petit Abeille.  We snagged a table outside and realized it was really humid out.  It might have been a better idea to get seating that was still inside the restaurant, but still facing the open-air. 

petit abeille  inside abeille

Irene and I ordered bellinis; strawberry and peach respectively.  The strawberries they used weren’t very sweet so the drink wasn’t as good as it could’ve been.  The peach bellini was absolute yummers though.  They have this brunch special for $16.95; you get an appetizer, an entree, and a Stella- the Belgain beer staple.  Since I ordered a bellini and couldn’t substitute the Stella for it, I decided a la carte would be best.  I ordered the Omelet Ardennaise, it came with onions, spinach, bacon, and mushrooms with a side of stoemp and mesclun.  The stoemp is belgain mashed potatoes.  it was sooo good.  I don’t know what they put in there, but I tasted onion- I am definitely a fan of stoemp.  The omelet was very hearty and had good flavors.  The dressing for the salad sucked but that’s okay- as long as they used mesclun, I can forgive them.  Irene got the waffle special with peaches and blueberries, topped with whipped cream.  It was sweeten whipped cream- so yummy.  I hate non-sweeten whipped cream.  The Firm actually makes some killer thick ass whipped cream.  I’ve learned to put that stuff on almost everything since I’ve started working here.  It definitely does not help the protruding tummy.  Anyways, the fruit was thankfully not canned and all fresh.  Waffle itself was good and soft.  Eva got french toast with fruit salad on the side.  Mmm… I lurve Challah bread.  It’s good even in non-french toast form.  A aprt of her toast was a bit burnt, so she refused to finish it.  The strawberry sauce was good, but I’m a bigger fan of syrup.  She also managed to finish all the fruit except for one piece of honeydew.

wafflse  french toast
omlet  omelet inside

After our fooding, Eva had to head uptown so Irene and I went downtown to Malia Mills because I was, and still am, in search of white bikini bottoms.  Little did I know, their bottoms cost $95!  AMERICAN dollars at that!  They may have the goods but they certainly do not have my business.  Pssh!  My top cost $19 and that’s already expensive to me!  Generally, I’m a pretty free spender- I see, I like, I buy as long as the price isn’t too ridiculous.  No wonder Malia Mills has to buzz customers to let them in- you walk away with one item, that’s like $100! 

On the way to Malia Mills, I decided I wanted ice cream- then it popped into my head- GELATO!  We got off the bus and hit up Ciao Bella– my favorite gelato place.  We ordered mango gelato with pear sorbet.  That’s a small sized cup Irene is holding!  I’ve had both before so I knew they were good.  Irene also gave them rave reviews.  It’s a really small shop- just a counter and barely enough space for 4 people to walk around inside comfortably.  There’s an itty bitty amount of seating outside by a tree, but otherwise, they’re more of a to-go type place, which is exactly what we did.  We walked and ate gelato on the Nolita streets. 

ciao bella    ciao bella

 Boo, Irene and Ander are leaving NYC!

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