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Megan Blocker

eG Foodblog: Megan Blocker - Trading Pumas for Uggs

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All right, kids.  I'm off to grab some breakfast at Cafe Sabarsky and then downtown to do some shopping.  I'll see you back here in the early evening, armed with D&Co photos and a full Degustation report!

OMG you are going to make me wait all day for the D&Co photos!!!! mean, mean blogger :wink:

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All right, kids.  I'm off to grab some breakfast at Cafe Sabarsky and then downtown to do some shopping.  I'll see you back here in the early evening, armed with D&Co photos and a full Degustation report!

OMG you are going to make me wait all day for the D&Co photos!!!! mean, mean blogger :wink:

Wendy, I decided I just couldn't do that to you! Well, really, it's just too freaking cold to wander around window-shopping till my 3 PM appointment in SoHo, so I came home after an early lunch at Cafe Sabarsky.

First off, I should tell you that dinner at Momofuku was really, really good...I wanted to get the report up this morning and didn't spend a huge amount of time on commentary, but you should know that the food and the service were both top-notch, and it's a really good deal (had we eaten like human beings, rather than food-happy bloggers, dinner probably would have been around $60/person).

We walked the eight blocks or so over to Death and Company...eight cooooold blocks, and, remember - I'm a native New Englander. I have cred. :wink:

We were really lucky at D&Co - it was crowded when we arrived, but one of the booth/alcoves was available. It was a tight squeeze, but thanks to a little stool under the coat rack, we managed to fit all six of us around the table. And we got our own chandelier for our trouble!

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We ordered quite a round of drinks...of course, it was dark, so these are a little fuzzy. However, I'm sure you'll get the idea of how fabulous they were...

For me, a Fancy Free:

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For Don, a blueberry creation (made with my favorite - Bonne Maman jam) that the bartenders have been playing with.

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I can't remember is Eunice or Connie ordered this - it's one of the virgin cocktails, the pineapple daiquiri!

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Either Eunice or Connie again, this time with the hot buttered rum...so rich and creamy.

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Doug had a glass of Scotch, and Gerald, the sazerac!

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All in all, not a bad run!


"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

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My goal was to get to Cafe Sabarsky early this morning for a Viennese breakfast. However, I didn't climb into bed until about 2 AM last night, and why on earth would I take a day off work and then not get any sleep??!?! :wink: So I decided to go for an early lunch instead.

I took the bus across a very cold, windy East 86th Street, and arrived at the Neue Galerie, in which Cafe Sabarsky is housed. It's right on the corner of 5th and 86th; you look out on Central Park from the Cafe's dining room.

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I was seated at a table right next to the dessert display (evil, evil people!), and ordered the spaetzle with corn, peas and tarragon for my lunch. While I waited, I made a grocery list (I know some of you love seeing handwriting, so...this one's for you!).

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The atmosphere at Cafe Sabarsky is uncannily European. It smells like a cafe - that smell of food overtaken by the smell of strong coffee. It sounds like a cafe - scraping chairs, dishes and cups clanging on the marble tables, people talking and flipping through newspapers. And it looks like a cafe - waiters in long aprons and black waistcoats bustling here, there and everywhere, single diners reading at their tables in between sips of espresso. It really transported me back to my week in Prague. :biggrin:

The spaetzle arrived and was perfect - creamy and bright, warm and satisfying - I didn't want soup, but this was a great, weather-appropriate substitute.

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Then, of course, I HAD to get dessert! I decided to go with the Klimttorte, a hazelnut and chocolate cake. I also ordered a Kaiser melange, fresh brewed coffee with whipped cream on top.

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The cake was delicious - very rich, and slightly drier and crumblier in the typical fashion of Viennese pastries. Sometimes I find that texture off-putting, but in this case, it worked really well.

I walked home and am now snuggled in a blanket, where I shall remain until it's time to leave for my hair appointment at 3:00! Sigh.


"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

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I was at a wedding - probably the best one I've been to other than my own (yeah I'm biased, but the food was good) - where on the way between the church and the reception (in the Natural History Museum in London, seated around the dinosaur), we all sipped bottles of Pop in the coach!

Pommery is fabulous...we had a very interesting tour of their caves, and we learned that, after France, the UK is their biggest market. For some reason, they haven't had that kind of popularity in the U.S., but hopefully that will change...

Your weather looks just like it was when I went to NY a couple of years ago.  Central park was pretty, but the rest... damn cold.  And a downpour on the 3rd day after the snow, so that the puddles were a mixture of slush and rainwater, and you couldn't tell where the sidewalk ended.  Oh god it was cold.

Yup, February in New York can be pretty brutal, kind of like the other side of Fortune's wheel from August, which is brutal in its own sweaty, smelly ways. But it's worth it. :smile:


"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

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Tomorrow promises to be an excellent day...lunch will be light, thanks to tonight's meal and also to tomorrow night's.  I'm meeting a few other foodie types for the Bo Ssam at Momofuku Ssam Bar!  So don't go too far if you want details...

Yeah!!!! :biggrin:

ETA: Oops that was me (Henry). Someone keeps logging in from my computer :hmmm:

I did it for you, Henry. :wink:


"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

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...

For Don, a blueberry creation (made with my favorite - Bonne Maman jam) that the bartenders have been playing with.

gallery_26775_2587_5660.jpg

...

This is actually a cocktail that Johnder has been working on. He had brought in the jam earlier last night to get feed back form the bartenders and try it with the Los Amates Mescals.

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For Don, a blueberry creation (made with my favorite - Bonne Maman jam) that the bartenders have been playing with.

gallery_26775_2587_5660.jpg

...

This is actually a cocktail that Johnder has been working on. He had brought in the jam earlier last night to get feed back form the bartenders and try it with the Los Amates Mescals.

Go John! Sorry, I thought they'd been developing it for John...it has inspired me, I want to work on it too...though I may have to add cinnamon, since I love love love cinnamon with blueberry.


"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

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I'm still dreaming of that Bo Ssam from last night. Lucky for donbert and me, we have leftovers to indulge on. mmm.

We did much better than I thought we would, given 2 people didn't even really eat meat, though I'm sure that whole butt has converted them both to the world of swine.

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I'm still dreaming of that Bo Ssam from last night.  Lucky for donbert and me, we have leftovers to indulge on.  mmm.

We did much better than I thought we would, given 2 people didn't even really eat meat, though I'm sure that whole butt has converted them both to the world of swine.

I KNEW we could get you to post! :wink:

Mmmmm...porky pork pork. Swine, indeed.


"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

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So Megan, where are you going in Chinatown to eat? Have you given it any thoughts? Do tell!

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So Megan, where are you going in Chinatown to eat?  Have you given it any thoughts?  Do tell!

Chinatown was supposed to be today, but I just didn't have time (or stomach capacity - this week has been a lot more food than I eat on a regular basis)...we'll see what happens tomorrow, since tonight is already planned (Degustation)!


"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

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...

For Don, a blueberry creation (made with my favorite - Bonne Maman jam) that the bartenders have been playing with.

gallery_26775_2587_5660.jpg

...

This is actually a cocktail that Johnder has been working on. He had brought in the jam earlier last night to get feed back form the bartenders and try it with the Los Amates Mescals.

Go John! Sorry, I thought they'd been developing it for John...it has inspired me, I want to work on it too...though I may have to add cinnamon, since I love love love cinnamon with blueberry.

Lol! I posted the recipe as it stands now here.

I am really digging the mescal/rye combo. And after having 3 of them last night, I am happy to report no ill side affects.

John


John Deragon

foodblog 1 / 2

--

I feel sorry for people that don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day -- Dean Martin

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Tomorrow promises to be an excellent day...lunch will be light, thanks to tonight's meal and also to tomorrow night's.  I'm meeting a few other foodie types for the Bo Ssam at Momofuku Ssam Bar!  So don't go too far if you want details...

Yeah!!!! :biggrin:

ETA: Oops that was me (Henry). Someone keeps logging in from my computer :hmmm:

I did it for you, Henry. :wink:

You're awesome Megan!

Having experienced Momofuku with the Donbert myself, I know what an incredible experience you must have had. Thanks for sharing it with us. Was it crowded? Having read the New York Mag article, I was a bit worried about the demise of Momofuku Ssam. But I feel that the cream always rises to the top and was not overly concerened. What were your favorites. I still contend that the 3 terrine bahn mi is the best sandwich I have ever had. How juicy was the Bershire Pork Butt? Did you ask how they cooked it? How many hours?

thanks Megan!

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...

For Don, a blueberry creation (made with my favorite - Bonne Maman jam) that the bartenders have been playing with.

gallery_26775_2587_5660.jpg

...

This is actually a cocktail that Johnder has been working on. He had brought in the jam earlier last night to get feed back form the bartenders and try it with the Los Amates Mescals.

Go John! Sorry, I thought they'd been developing it for John...it has inspired me, I want to work on it too...though I may have to add cinnamon, since I love love love cinnamon with blueberry.

right on!! thanks so much Megan! but now I need more commentary on D&Co please. did you like the place? who was bartending when you were there? what didn't you like about it?? what is the vibe?

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Thanks for the handwriting sample, Megan, although your list is not the kind of daily list I did (I don't note any references to paintbrushes or drywalling).

Jane Austen. Sigh. I had the good fortune in college to take a course (senior seminar) devoted solely to her works, and the prof who taught the class could have been Jane herself. I recently replaced my nightstand with a bookshelf, and her books sit proudly there, along with a boatload of cookbooks.

So, let's get to that blueberry cocktail. We will head north for a Big Birthday for me this summer, and it will be blueberry season. Tell me more, and what you would change about it (except the pinch of cinnamon).

Luscious looking dinner last night. My next butt will be paired with oysters. Can you tell me more about the flavour of the pork and the rub?


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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I imagine that in the course of your jam-packed life (kinda rivals my own), you overlooked this post, but I am curious to know whether the Pommery of the champagne is the same Pommery that produces the coarse-grained mustard.

You may also share your opinion of Clueless if you wish, but that's purely optional.


Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

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Thanks for the handwriting sample, Megan, although your list is not the kind of daily list I did (I don't note any references to paintbrushes or drywalling).

Jane Austen.  Sigh.  I had the good fortune in college to take a course (senior seminar) devoted solely to her works, and the prof who taught the class could have been Jane herself.  I recently replaced my nightstand with a bookshelf, and her books sit proudly there, along with a boatload of cookbooks.

So, let's get to that blueberry cocktail.  We will head north for a Big Birthday for me this summer, and it will be blueberry season.  Tell me more, and what you would change about it (except the pinch of cinnamon).

Luscious looking dinner last night.  My next butt will be paired with oysters.  Can you tell me more about the flavour of the pork and the rub?

We-ell, if I had to put bets on it, I'd say the rub was pepper, salt, some star anise, and maybe some cloves...Don may have more insights. It also seemed to be crisped slightly and then roasted/braised for a long time on low heat...I think they use convection/steam ovens, so they can probably do it in half the time it would take me in my little conventional oven.

Blueberry cocktail...John's recipe calls for some ingredients that are not readily available in the Blocker household...I might modify it to Bourbon instead of rye, a bit more lemon, and a touch of cinnamon. Perhaps not as sophisticated, but mighty good. With fresh blueberries, the added sweet smokiness of the bourbon would be welcome, I think!


"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

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Megan, does that butt roast seem like something we could copy at home?  It's really a nice idea, wrapping it up with an oyster.  Any idea of the recipe?

Hey, Abra!

Check out my most recent post in reply to Snowangel...I think it's definitely at least somewhat replicable...the oysters we had were awfully salty and briny...slightly rounder flavor would not be a bad thing, IMO.


"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

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Tomorrow promises to be an excellent day...lunch will be light, thanks to tonight's meal and also to tomorrow night's.  I'm meeting a few other foodie types for the Bo Ssam at Momofuku Ssam Bar!  So don't go too far if you want details...

Yeah!!!! :biggrin:

ETA: Oops that was me (Henry). Someone keeps logging in from my computer :hmmm:

I did it for you, Henry. :wink:

You're awesome Megan!

Having experienced Momofuku with the Donbert myself, I know what an incredible experience you must have had. Thanks for sharing it with us. Was it crowded? Having read the New York Mag article, I was a bit worried about the demise of Momofuku Ssam. But I feel that the cream always rises to the top and was not overly concerened. What were your favorites. I still contend that the 3 terrine bahn mi is the best sandwich I have ever had. How juicy was the Bershire Pork Butt? Did you ask how they cooked it? How many hours?

thanks Megan!

It was not too crowded...plenty of spaces at the bar all night (we left around 9:30 or 10:00). The butt was super-tender, though I don't know if I'd call it juicy, per se. It was falling apart and flavorful, but not oozing. That said, there was a nice pool of fat on the bottom of the plate by the time we were done. Oh, my.


"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

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I imagine that in the course of your jam-packed life (kinda rivals my own), you overlooked this post, but I am curious to know whether the Pommery of the champagne is the same Pommery that produces the coarse-grained mustard.

You may also share your opinion of Clueless if you wish, but that's purely optional.

As far as I know, Sandy, the Pommery's of the mustard are separate from the Pommery's of the champagne...though I could certainly be wrong. I know the famed Louise Pommery married into the name and convinced the family to stay in the wine business after her husband's death...

Clueless: best film adaptation of Emma in existence - true to the themes and characters of the original, and you actually like the central character, as opposed to in the Gwyneth Paltrow version. Plus, you know, lots of interesting food at the drive for the hurricane victims (gotta keep it food-related, folks. :wink:).


Edited by Megan Blocker (log)

"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

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So, just back from a fabulous evening...Degustation, Room4Dessert, and Temple Bar, all with Daniel and the lovely Alicia. I will post more in the morning, once my coffee is brewing. For now, bonne nuit, mes amis.


"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

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Last night, I went to Degustation with Daniel and Alicia...we met up at 8:00 for our 8:00 reservation, and waited about 10 or 15 minutes to be seated. This happened the last time I was at Degustation (toward August, I think), and I'm disappointed that they haven't worked the kinks out yet. That said, they were very gracious about the whole thing.

Chloe works the whole 16-seat bar, and knows everything there is to know about the food and the wines that work best with it. She told us about the specials, took our drink order, and left us to debate the menu. Daniel and I started with Black Velvets, Guinness with Cava - I really liked them, sort of the flavor of Guinness without the heaviness.

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Alicia went with a classic Kir Royale.

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For our first course, we shared the croquetas, which remain one of my favorite things on the menu. Corn, bacon, creaminess...the mayo they're served with is quite onion-y, as Daniel pointed out, and is a nice, sharp counterpoint to the rich croquettes.

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I had the tortillas, which are soft and wrapped around a quail egg and some shallot confit, topped with a slice pickled jalapeno...these, too, play nicely on the contrast of rich flavors with the pungent, tangy pepper.

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Alicia had the long-poached egg (45 minutes at 63 Celsius, according to Chloe), served with smoked cheese foam, ham, and a crispy asparagus stalk. The play of textures here is great...everyone I know who's tried this one has loved it.

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Daniel, being a wild and crazy guy, went for the salad - beets with arugula, I believe!

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For the middle course, Alicia and I both had the sweetbreads, served crispy with dill yogurt sauce...these were really fresh, with a bit of cilantro on the plate, too.

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Daniel had the squid, and I tried it for the first time. Loved it! It's rich and meaty, and it brings life to the lentils...

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Finally, course three. I had the crispy pork belly, another perennial favorite...it's served with more of the pickled jalapeno, a sherry vinegar reduction, and some pickled scallions....ooooh, I love the balance of fatty and pungent here...

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Alicia had the suckling pig special, which was rich, tender and oh-so-porky.

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Daniel went for the other special, a lamb loin with beet sauce, and a hash brown with a poached quail egg. This was wonderful - it tasted of lamb mixed with essence of bacon...

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It was a fabulous meal, and when it was over, we headed out, into a cab, and over to Room4Dessert!


"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

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Well, it looks like the Chinatown wish is coming true! I'm about to walk out of the house to head down to Bayard Street, where I'll be meeting a few other eGulleters at Yeah Shanghai...full report this afternoon, along with the end of last night's festivities (and D&Co. commentary, Ms. Foodie!)


"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

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After dinner at Degustation, we decided to hit Room 4 Dessert for (what elese) dessert! We were seated in the middle of the bar, and Mia and Will took good care of us. I started with the whisky coca glass, which had a vanilla cream, whisky caviar, caramel popcorn/crackerjack and cola sorbet...so tasty, and such neat texture combinations.

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Alicia had the chocububbles, with warm chocolate mousse, apricot, and some cocoa crispies.

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Dan had the white chocolate margarita, with tarragon yogurt...

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For our tastings, Alicia had the voyage to India (!), which I somehow managed to miss out on photographing! :sad: Dan had the infance, which was so much fun...cotton candy, sponge cookie, marshmallows...

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I had the plat du jour, a nutella-themed dessert, with homemade chocolate hazelnut spread, brioche, a lemon cloud with crispies, and a ridiculously tasty ice cream, all boozy and good.

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We had some cocktails, too...the La Fleur (gin, rose water, and maybe lemon?) was really good...it tasted like drinking roses, but in a good, gentler way.

After that, we headed to Pravda for some vodka, but it was so crowded that we couldn't even stomach getting past the coat check. We turned tail and popped into Temple Bar for a quick one with some of Dan's friends, and ended up with saketinis...look at all the cucumber! :biggrin: One long ribbon of cuke in each glass (sort of - some were stubbier than others). Some popcorn on the side...

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All in all, a good, long night...I'm still recovering! Lunch today helped a lot...am preparing a full report as the blog's grand finale...I think lunch in Chinatown is a good segue into our other ongoing blog! :biggrin:


Edited by Megan Blocker (log)

"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

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      A bit of background on me and where I am.  I'm Elizabeth; I'm 33 years old and since the last foodblog I've ceased to be a Canadian expat in Ecuador, and become a full-fledged Ecuadorian citizen.  I run a catering bakery out of Ambato, and I deliver to clients on the entire mainland.  I've got a large customer base in nearby Baños de Agua Santa, a hot-springs town about an hour downslope of me to the east; I'll be visiting it on Wednesday with close to 100 kg of baked goods for delivery.  Ambato, the capital of Tungurahua province, is located almost exactly in the geographic centre of Ecuador.  It's at an average elevation of 2,850 meters above sea level (slightly higher than Quito, the capital) - but this is measured in the downtown central park, which is significantly lower than most of the rest of the city, which extends up the sides of the river valley and onto the high plain above.  We've got what amounts to eternal late springtime weather, with two well-marked rainy seasons.  Ambato has about 300,000 people in its metro area; it's the fourth largest city in the country.  But maybe the most important thing about Ambato, especially to foodies, is that it's a transport hub for the country.  Anything travelling just about anywhere has to pass through Ambato on the way; it gives us the largest, best-stocked food market in South America.  I have simply staggering variety at my fingertips.
       

       
      This view, which was a teaser for the blog, was taken from my rooftop terrazzo.  It is a fraction of the panorama of the river valley that I see every morning, and since Easter is traditionally somewhat miserable weather-wise, the clouds stick to the hilltops.  The barrio you can see in the middle distance is Ficoa, one of the most luxury districts in the city.  Ambato is notable amongst Ecuadorian cities for having small fruit farms (300-500 m2) still operating within city limits and even within its most established barrios - it's from this that the Ambato gets one of its two sobriquets: The City of Fruits and Flowers.  The tendency for even the poorest barrios to take tremendous pride in their greenspaces gives the other: The Garden City.  My barrio, Miraflores Alto, is a working-class mixture of professors and labourers, and my neighbours keep a mixture of chickens, turkeys, and ducks in their yards; someone down the hill has a cow that I frequently hear but have never seen.  Consequently, if the season is right I can buy duck eggs from my neighbours (and if the season is wrong, entire Muscovy ducks for roasting.)
       

       
      Today, I'll be doing my largest fresh-food shopping at the Mercado Mayorista, the largest market of its kind in South America - this place covers nearly 30 square blocks, and it exists to both buy and sell produce from across the country.  Sundays and Mondays it also opens up to a huge, raucous farmer's market where smaller quantities are available for purchase.  Sunday is the day of the freshest food and the largest number of vendors.  And I'm going to cross more than half the city to get there - I've moved since the last blog, and my new house, on the slopes of the river valley is further away than the old one on the high plain.  I promise to take many pictures of this - particularly close to the High Holy days, the Mayorista is alive with vendors and there will be special sections cordoned off for sales of bacalao, truly enormous squashes, and if it follows the previous years' trends, a festival of Hornado (about which more later).  Apart from mangoes, which are just finishing up their season, it is harvest time across the country, and the Mayorista will be well stocked with all manner of fruits and vegetables.
       

       
      To start us off, I'll demystify one of my teasers a bit.
       

       
      The Minion head that peeks out of my cupboard every day belongs to my jar of ChocoListo, the Ecuadorian equivalent of chocolate Ovaltine.  Since I gave up coffee for Lent, it's my go-to morning beverage.  ChocoListo normally comes in the plain white jar with orange lid that you see in front of the Minion; that's now my hot chocolate jar because I just couldn't resist when the company came out with the specialty jars.  I firmly believe that one is never too old to have whimsical things!
       

    • By therese
      Good morning, y’all, and welcome to the party chez Therese.
      As per the teaser, this week’s foodblog does indeed come to you from Atlanta, where I live with my two children (hereafter known as Girl and Boy) and husband (hereafter known as The Man). Girl is 11, Boy is 14, and The Man is old enough to know better.
      Atlanta’s huge: the total metro population is about 4 million, and there are no physical boundaries to growth like rivers or mountain ranges, so people just keep moving (and commuting) farther and farther out of town. Atlantans can be divided into ITP (inside the perimeter) and OTP (outside the perimeter), the perimeter referring to the interstate freeway that encircles the downtown area and surrounding neighborhoods, separating it from outlying suburbs. The politically minded may note that these areas could be designated red and blue. I’ll let you figure out which is which.
      We’re about as ITP as it gets, with home, work, school, and restaurants all in walking distance. The neighborhood’s called Druid Hills, the setting for the play/movie “Driving Miss Daisy”. The houses date from the 1920s, and because Atlanta has so little in the way of “old” buildings the neighborhood’s on the National Register as a Historic District. Charming, sure, buts lots of the houses need some updating, and ours (purchased in 1996) was no exception. So we remodeled last year, including an addition with a new kitchen, and this week’s blog will look at the finished product.
      So, some encouragement for those of you presently involved in kitchen renovation, some ideas for those who are considering it.
      But never mind all that for the moment: What’s for breakfast?


      Dutch babies, that’s what. And even better, these Dutch babies are produced by my children, the aforementioned Girl and Boy. The first picture is right from the oven, the second is after the somewhat messy job of sifting powdered sugar on top. They are delicious (the Dutch babies, I mean, not the children) and a great weekend treat.

      The Man drinks coffee in the morning whereas I prefer tea. He's not up yet, having played poker last night. I'm hoping he makes it out of bed in time for dinner.

      I also eat fruit whereas he prefers, well, anything but fruit. This is not such a bad thing, as it means that I don’t have to share the fruit. Pomegranates are a pain to eat, but not so bad if you’re reading the newspaper at the same time. This one’s from California, but you can also grow them here if you’ve got enough sunshine (which I don’t).
    • By Shelby
      Good morning, everyone and happy Monday!  
       
      It's me again....that girl from Kansas. 
       
       
      This is VERY spur-of-the-moment.  I was sitting here yesterday thinking of all of the canning etc. that I needed to do this week and I thought, well, why not ask you guys if you want to spend the week with me while I do it?  I got the ok from Smithy so away we go!
       
      This will not be nearly as organized as my first blog was.  But, really, when does a sequel ever measure up to the first?     
       
      Most of you know all about me--if you missed my first blog you can read it here.
       
      Nothing much has changed around here.  Same furry babies, same house, same husband  .
       
      Right now we have field corn planted all around the house.  In the outer fields we have soybeans that were planted after the wheat was harvested.  Sorry for the blur....it was so humid the camera kept fogging up.
       

       
      I just came in from the garden.
       
      I snapped a few pictures....for more (and prettier) pictures you can look in the gardening thread.  I always start out saying that I will not let a weed grow in there.  By August I'm like..."Oh what's a few weeds" lol.
       
       
       
      Here's a total list of what I planted this year:
       
      7 cucumbers
      8 basil
      23 okra
      4 rows assorted lettuce
      20 peppers-thai, jalapeño, bell, banana
      4 rows peas
      5 cilantro
      1 tarragon
      2 dill
      many many red and white onions
      7 eggplant
      3 rows spinach
      57 tomatoes
      5 cherry tomatoes
      7 rows silver queen sweet corn
      11 squash
      4 watermelon
      2 cantaloupe
      6 pumpkin
       
      I killed the cantaloupes...and I tried damn hard to kill the squash lol.....sigh...squash bugs came early this year and we sprayed with some kind of stuff.  WOW the plants did not like it, but they've come back and are producing.
       


      I just love okra flowers

      Found some more smut   
       

       
       
       
       
       
       
    • By Pille
      Tere õhtust (that’s „Good evening“ in Estonian)!
      I’m very, very, very excited to be doing my first ever eGullet foodblog. Foodblogging as such is not new to me – I’ve been blogging over at Nami-nami since June 2005, and am enjoying it enormously. But this eGullet blog is very different in format, and I hope I can ’deliver’. There have been so many exciting and great food blogs over the years that I've admired, so the standard is intimidatingly high! Also, as I’m the first one ever blogging from Estonia, I feel there’s a certain added responsibility to ’represent’ my tiny country
      A few words about me: my name is Pille, I’m 33, work in academia and live with my boyfriend Kristjan in a house in Viimsi, a suburb just outside Tallinn, the capital of Estonia. I was born and schooled in Tallinn until I was 18. Since then I've spent a year in Denmark as an exchange student, four years studing in Tartu (a university town 180 km south), two years working in Tallinn and seven years studying and working in Edinburgh, the bonnie & cosmopolitan capital of Scotland. All this has influenced my food repertoire to a certain degree, I'm sure. I moved back home to Estonia exactly 11 months and 1 day ago, to live with Kristjan, and I haven't regretted that decision once Edinburgh is an amazing place to live, and I've been back to Scotland twice since returning, but I have come to realise that Tallinn is even nicer than Edinburgh
      I won’t be officially starting my foodblog until tomorrow (it’s midnight here and I’m off to bed), but I thought I’ll re-post the teaser photos for those of you who missed them in the 'Upcoming Attractions' section. There were two of them. One was a photo of Tallinn skyline as seen from the sea (well, from across the bay in this case):

      This is known as kilukarbivaade or sprat can skyline A canned fish product, sprats (small Baltic herrings in a spicy marinade) used to have a label depicting this picturesque skyline. I looked in vain for it in the supermarket the other day, but sadly couldn’t find one - must have been replaced with a sleek & modern label. So you must trust my word on this sprat can skyline view
      The second photo depicted a loaf of our delicious rye bread, rukkileib. As Snowangel already said, it’s naturally leavened sour 100% rye bread, and I’ll be showing you step-by-step instructions for making it later during the week.

      It was fun seeing your replies to Snowangel’s teaser photos. All of you got the continent straight away, and I was pleased to say that most of you got the region right, too (that's Northern Europe then). Peter Green’s guess Moscow was furthest away – the capital of Russia is 865 km south-east from here (unfortunately I've never had a chance to visit that town, but at least I've been to St Petersburgh couple of times). Copenhagen is a wee bit closer with 836 km, Stockholm much closer with 386 km. Dave Hatfield (whose rural French foodblog earlier this year I followed with great interest, and whose rustic apricot tart was a huge hit in our household) was much closer with Helsinki, which is just 82 km across the sea to the north. The ships you can see on the photo are all commuting between Helsinki and Tallinn (there’s an overnight ferry connection to Stockholm, too). Rona Y & Tracey guessed the right answer
      Dave – that house isn’t a sauna, but a granary (now used to 'store' various guests) - good guess, however! Sauna was across the courtyard, and looks pretty much the same, just with a chimney The picture is taken in July on Kassari in Hiiumaa/Dagö, one of the islands on the west coast. Saunas in Estonia are as essential part of our life – and lifestyle – as they are in Finland. Throwing a sauna party would guarantee a good turnout of friends any time
      Finally, a map of Northern Europe, so you’d know exactly where I’m located:

      Head ööd! [Good night!]
      I'm off to bed now, but will be back soon. And of course, if there are any questions, however specific or general, then 'll do my best trying to answer them!
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