Sunday, July 31, 2011

Greetings from India and Scenes from Montauk, NY

Hi friends!  I apologize for the serious delay in posts of late.  The last week or so have been a whirlwind between eating out like mad with Nick & gang as well as preparing for my work trip to India!  I actually am writing to you from India this morning!  I just arrived last night, after a really long journey, and I've been up since 5 a.m. today.  You can see I am adjusting to the time zone change beautifully. :)    So far, I've only had airplane / airport food to eat (which was a lot!).  I think I ate like 20 times in the last two days.  Here are some shots of business class airplane and airport lounge food from Emirates Airlines.

Emirates JFK airport lounge: fruit plate, egg white omelet, porcini frittata, potato roesti, chicken sausage and french toast
Butter curls in sealed glass cups - Diana would love!
Lunch appetizer: Chicken tikka 
Lunch entree: beef with salsa verde, potato gratin, woodland mushrooms and asparagus bundle
Dessert: Almond and fig tart
Light snack of chicken and hoisin soba noodles
Breakfast appetizer
Breakfast entree: french toast, "New York style blueberry pancakes" (read: blueberry muffin tops) and crazy mixed berry compote
Emirates Dubai airport lounge dessert spread - pistachio panna cotta, hazelnut cream puff, fruit and a cool baklavaish thing
Emirates Dubai lounge spread of hot food - curried vegetables, penne and tomato sauce and a spinach thing
Dinner - potato curry and lentils
I was so sleepy / full at this point that I didn't even touch this.  Looks pretty though.  Yogurty
Greeshma has given me some great food tips for Hyderabad though, so hopefully I will have some exotic new eats to share with you soon (as exotic as my stomach can handle, eep!).

Meanwhile, I have several new sets of pictures from New York to post, including this one from our recent trip to Montauk, one of Nick's bucket list spots.  Montauk is a solid three hour train ride on the Long Island Railroad, the easternmost point of Long Island.  There's not much in Montauk, to be honest, so it's best to go there with good friends and a car.

After arriving, we promptly headed for lunch at a casual spot called St. Peter's Catch.

St. Peter's appears to be mainly a fish market which also dishes some of their fresh fare.  

At lunch, they have a ridiculously awesome special featuring 1 1/4 lobster, mussels, corn on the cob and coleslaw for $18.95.  We all opted for this sweet deal.  

Several of us also opted for the effervescent and all-natural blood orange soda from the cooler at the cashier's recommendation.  Boy were we glad - this Italian soda was quite refreshing, as effervescent things often are.

The food took quite awhile to prepare.  We were all hungry and anxious, breathing in the area's salty ocean air, so I'm sure that didn't help with patience, but nearly an hour later, we were finally given some lobster bibs to prepare for our seafood feast!

We were each handed a styrofoam container, and opening it was like opening a present on Christmas Day - so exciting!

Oh hi, you beautiful thing, you!

Most of the lobster was pre-cracked already, so it was easy to extract the meat, however some of the claws required a little more work, so we ended up requesting a shell-cracker to ensure we got every nook and cranny of meat possible from this sucker.  

Hi, you meaty claw you, have you met my friend melted butter?  I think you two would get along swimmingly!

Everyone enjoyed making good tasty work of their lobsters.  The lobster had great fresh flavor.

There's no bathroom in St. Peter's catch; so we had to walk across the parking lot to a public park restroom to wash our hands.  Then it was time for 'dessert' in the form of Belly's New Orleans Sno-Balls, located just a few steps away from St. Peter's Catch.

In addition to these staple flavors, Belly's also features some seasonal specialties like honeydew and chiromoya.

I got blue raspberry, and it was great! 

Nick opted for honeydew, which didn't quite taste anything like honeydew, but had a wicked cool color.

After, we all napped on the beach.

Then, before we headed back, we grabbed a quick snack at the local grocery store which boasted famous Herb's fried chicken.  It smelled amazing, so I had to have some.

It had the saltiest crust ever, but the chicken inside was wonderfully moist.  If they had just cut a touch back on the salt, this chicken had the potential to be rather fabulous!

And that's Montauk!
St. Peter's Catch
58 S Erie Ave, Lion's Field Park, Montauk, NY 

Near St. Peter's Catch

Herb's Market
778 Montauk Highway, Montauk NY

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Imperial Woodpecker Sno-balls : A Summer Savior

It is no news (since it is in all the news of late), that the Northeast has been suffering from a bit of a heat wave.  Since I'm originally from Dallas, I'd like to think that I have a heartier appetite for such higher temperatures, but the absolute humidity here has me dying.  Places like Imperial Woodpecker Sno-balls, on the other hand, are really thriving!

Imperial Woodpecker specializes in New Orleans style shaved ice, a more fine-ground rendition of our childhood treat, and serving them in signature Chinese takeout containers.

The space is really small, and you'll be wedged against fellow sweaty people with mangy hair, but it gives you plenty of time to contemplate all the flavor combinations that you may possibly want.

Flavahz and topping options!  Interesting flavors include orchid cream vanilla, dreamsicle and sweet lou's nectar cream...ooOOooOOOoh!

I am not sure if it is like this everyday, or just weekday nights, but Imperial Woodpecker's is a one-man operation.  This poor chap was tasked with both taking the orders and creating the iced treats which meant lines a handful of people long can be quite the wait.

Part of the reason the sno-balls take so long to create is because they are actually triple tiered with syrup flavoring to ensure every beautiful ice shard is indeed saturated with flavor.  Such thoughtfulness = more patience required by everyone in line.

For a mere $1, you can get a healthy dousing of housemade condensed milk topping that soaks perfectly into the ice.  (You know I ordered me summa that!)

Thanan ordered this brilliant medley of colors and flavors including blueberry and mango (his colorful combination illicited much conversation about how awesome his vomit would look should he puke post-Imperial).

I ordered a medium sized wild strawberry + dreamsicle with condensed milk topping.  I absolutely adore anything that claims to be dreamsicle (aw memories of elementary school ice cream!).

I do declare that medium size is a bit overkill for anyone.  Small is 8 oz, medium is 16 oz and large is a whopping 26 oz of sno-ball.  A pound of snoballs.  At least it is just ice right?  Ha!

The sno-ball here is delightfully soft, fluffy and flakes perfectly with each spoonful.  

The condensed milk lends a bit of creaminess to the whole treat, making it indulgent yet light.  However, because of the addition of condensed milk, I couldn't really taste the dreamsicle or wild strawberry flavor.  I just tasted cold creaminess, which I didn't mind, with a back saturated by my own sweat (ha! gross, I know).  I'd probably opt for a creamy flavor next time.

It should be noted that the flavors do appear to be artificial and not created by natural fruit juices, if that matters to you.  That would be a complete nice to have, but I grew up on artificiality, and look at me now! (okay, don't look too closely!)

Regardless, the gang unanimously enjoyed the summer snack!

Fun sno-ball tongues!

Imperial Woodpecker's Sno-balls
145 Seventh Avenue South
Imperial Woodpecker on Urbanspoon

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Last day in Atlanta...

First on the agenda for the day was brunch at Canoe. However, we ended up getting there half an hour before it opened, so to kill some time, we went searching for - go figure - food. It's what we do best, after all! We found Crepe Revolution nearby, and decided to give it a whirl.

Our bananas foster obsession led us to split the bananas foster crepe.

It was just okay. It arrived lukewarm and was a tad too sweet. The candied pecans were the best part of the whole thing.

After that appetizer, we headed back toward our reservation at Canoe. Let me tell you: I love everything about this restaurant. For example, the decor.

Yes, there is a canoe above your head the minute you walk in.

The location.

It's right by a river, and you can stare at the lovely outdoors while dining on your delicious food.
And yes, the FOOD. This brunch was southern-goodness-outta this world. We started with the G
eorgia pecan sticky buns and a sweet and savory scones basket.

It was instant love.

Han's breath was taken away by the sticky buns.

They were perfectly warm, flaky, buttery, sweet, and all-around fantastic.

My breath was taken away by the scones. Our basket included an original scone, a cheddar-bacon scone, and a cinnamon scone.

My one complaint of scones in general is that they're often too dense. These babies, however, were fluffy but still maintained the right scone texture. They were so flavorful and warm. Equally amazing were the preserves [apple and blueberry] and honey butter that came with. 

You could taste the freshness of the fruit in the preserves, and don't even get me started with the honey butter. *swoon*

For our entrees, Carrie ordered the Riverside: applewood bacon with scrambled eggs, hash browns and french toast. When it arrived, I was immediately jealous that I had not ordered it because it looked just grand!

She loved it, and our favorite part had to be the bacon maple syrup. Look at those pieces of bacon swimming around in there. Just lovely.

Han ordered something akin to a duck eggs-benedict (the names escapes my memory), and it was also really tasty.

The duck meat was plentiful and awesome, especially when saturated by the egg yolk.

I went with the soft scrambled eggs with jumbo lump crab meat and celery hash browns.

Admission: I can't stand capers. And you'll notice all these capers in my dish! So I was scared that I would be underwhelmed by these eggs, but lemme say, they were very good! I loved the hollandaise-like sauce they put on top. The mini-chopped hash browns were the right amount of crispy+soft, and the crab was plump and fresh. Treasured all my bites.

After this scrumptious meal, we took advantage of the gorgeous day and walked around historic Oakland Cemetery and explored Piedmont Park. Then, naturally, we got hungry again and went in search of King of Pops. After a great deal of effort (I believe normally one would just look on its Twitter page), we found some of the pops sold at a local gas station.

OMG... These were incredibly refreshing and refreshingly incredible! We tried the tangerine basil, something-strawberry (again with the memory argh), and chocolate sea salt. 

They were all winners. The touch of basil was such a nice complement to the tangy-sweet of the tangerine. The chocolate sea salt pop had a wonderful fudgy texture and the bit of sea salt was a wonderful addition.

It was a perfect end to our time in Atlanta. Hopefully we'll visit again soon!

Crepe Revolution
4600 West Village Place
Smyrna, GA
Crepe Revolution on Urbanspoon

4199 Paces Ferry Road, NW
Atlanta, Georgia 30339
Canoe Restaurant on Urbanspoon 

King of Pops
Varies, check Twitter!
King of Pops on Urbanspoon