Sunday, June 18, 2006

    Odds and Ends

    I think we all have a love/hate relationship with food – too little and our minds are cloudy and cranky, too much and our stomachs are achy and bloated. Finding the right balance with food, with everything, is a lifelong adventure.

    One of the best NYC meals I've had of late was a splurge with my friend Chloe, who suggested Kuma Inn, a Thai tapas gem on the Lower East Side. Chloe works in food PR and essentially eats out for a living. From the first taste, we were both enraptured by our meal. Each chopsticked bite was savored and every flavor, spice, and flash of heat had meaning. We shared edamame with Thai-basil lime oil; sauteed Chinese sausage with chili sauce and sticky rice; pan roasted scallops with bacon, calamansi, and sake; and a luscious tuna tartar. The prices are low, but the bill adds up since the dishes are petite. The meal was just under $40 each, including one glass of wine and tax + tip. To balance the budget, the next night I ate my old standing-up-in-the-kitchen standby of Boca fake chik'n and edamame.

    Inspired by my last blog entry, my dear Shayne and Tracy friends gave me an early birthday gift of ice cream bowls (very hi-tech: they are made of materials that inhibit the "transference of temperature from the interior to the exterior of the bowls"); an ergonomic ice cream scoop; and jars of dulche de leche; a very rich, fruity chocolate sauce; and strawberry rhubarb topping. All the better to eat ice cream with you, my dears.

    I first had rhubarb in a strawberry rhubarb pie at the now closed Sermets restaurant in the West Ashley neighborhood of my hometown, Charleston, S.C. On the menu was a pasta dish I still miss from 10 years ago: penne with squid and mint. I'm not sure if Sermet still serves the rhubarb pie at his downtown Charleston location? I had my first legal drink there with my friend Matt a mere seven years ago this month. Sigh.

    Along with ice cream, nothing says summer like sticky sweet fruit juice drippin' down my chin. After reading this New York Times story about cherry picking along the Hood River Fruit Loop in northwest Oregon, I sprinted to Whole Foods to buy a bag. Boy, are they expensive. Ha-ha, fruit loop!

    Speaking of Whole Foods, I am mui curious as to when the new one on Houston Street will open. The thing I thought I'd miss most about moving out of Chelsea next month was the close proximity to my dear Whole Foods -- mine has an urban neighborhood feel to it vs. the commuter vibe at 14th St. and the tourist laden crowd at the Time Warner Center. Turns out, Jon's and my new apartment in the East Village is a stone's throw from the as yet unopened Lower East Side location. By golly, a quick MapQuest check tells me I'm currently .34 miles away from WF, but will soon be only .31 miles away! I'll leave you to wonder if that's secretly why we took the apartment.

    While I do love milkshakes, or a healthy pour of milk in my coffee, I have always been a tad disgusted by the prospect of sitting down and drinking a glass of milk proper. Milk drinker or not, I bet that you too would be grossed out by Lucky Charms, Wheaties, Trix, Starburst, Milky Way, and 3 Musketeers flavored milk. Ewww.

    This morning Jon and I ventured out in the heat to The City Bakery for the best yogurt bar, pretzel croissants, and gourmet (i.e. expensive) salad bar you've ever met. As I was checking out, I spied fellow food blogger The Girl Who Ate Everything, whose face I recognized from the photos on her fabulous, fun, funny blog. One day later, we've each officially blogged about our random meeting. (I unapologetically don't do names, but due to a strong ability to imprint, I never forget a face -- sometimes to an embarrassing effect.) What a teeny, tiny New York it is.

    Postcard from: The City Bakery

    Next week: A slice of the big move of 2006

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