Italy, France, Louisiana and Mexico where the stops on a culinary tour my current hostesses took me on today. That’s pretty easy in a city like New York and absolutely doable in one day.
New Yorkers like to go out for brunch on Saturday. So did we – Noel, Rachel and I – after saying good bye to Noel’s father who was going back to Texas. We went to Via Trenta on 30th Avenue and thus began our culinary journey in Italy.
We started with Cappuccinos and continued with Mimosas. Noel had French Toast filled with ham and cheese, Rachel had potato pancakes with salmon and sour cream, I had a frittata with wild mushrooms and Taleggio. Desserts were ricotta cheese cake and Tiramisu. We had a nice chat with the nice Serbian waiter and as Rachel wanted to kiss the chef they called him to our table. He was very shy and didn’t know what was happening to him. We told him how much we had enjoyed our food, Rachel indeed kissed him and he quickly disappeared back into his kitchen. The nice waiter brought us Moscato to finish our abundant meal.
Noel and Rachel planned to bring some clothes to a second hand shop and asked me if I wanted to come along. I did, thinking we were just going to a place in the neighborhood. But we were going to Manhattan, the shop is on 26th Street between Broadway and 6th Avenue. It was pretty busy. The girls had to stand or sit in line for almost an hour and then did not get rid of everything. The remaining stuff then went to a goodwill store around the corner.
As we were close by Noel suggested to have some chocolate in a chocolate place called L. A. Burdick in the Flatiron neighborhood on 20th Street. So our next stop would have been France. There was no table available though when we arrived. The next idea was to have a little appetizer and come back later. This detour took us to Louisiana into Live Bait on 23rd Street where we shared a kale salad and two orders of fried pickles. They were an absolute surprise to me. The idea to fry pickles seemed funny enough but they were awesome. I don’t know how to describe the taste. It is like nothing I could compare it to. Crispy and slightly sour-sweet. Just delicious.
Our second attempt to get some chocolate in France was more successful. I had a hot milk chocolate that was like I love it. Creamy and just slightly bitter. Rachel had little chocolate pieces that she neatly cut into thirds with her spoon to share them with us. Our common favorite was the one with whisky. Noel had Macaroons, which are very popular currently. I liked them but there are sweet treats I like better.
Before we decided about the final destination of our trip we stopped in Italy again and went into Eataly, a shopping and eating market, to buy some vegetables and prosciutto for Sunday’s breakfast.
As we found ripe avocados the idea to have Guacamole and Margaritas for a snack dinner was born. We would go to Mexico. In a supermarket in Astoria we bought more necessary ingredients – coarse salt, limes and limeade for the Margaritas and chips for the guacamole – and finally went home. Rachel’s task then were the Margaritas. She used funny plastic ice cubes – they don’t melt and water it up. I learned that limeade is a suitable substitute for lime juice. Noel made the guacamole and I was allowed to help. I chopped a jalapeno and cilantro and learned a perfect way to cut avocado out of the skin. We cut them into halves, then cut the meat into squares in the skin with a sharp knife and easily scratch it out then.
We settled on the sofa with our food and drinks and tried two movies on Netflix. Both were nothing we were in the mood to see, too bloody and strange. Finally we ended up watching the documentary about Salinger. It was good and interesting but as well tiring after that stressful day of eating around the world. I almost fell asleep a couple of times.
What I learned today:
How to enjoy a Saturday just with food (and how to make a Margarita)