By the end of the night, I began my usual campaign to move to the city. It didn't help when we walked past an apartment building with listings posted on several 8 x 10 pages. Within seconds, I was pulled, along with the other six girls that had been walking behind us, over to stare, drool, and point at the *deal* of $1900 a month for a one bed/one bath spot in the West Village.
Enough with my hopes and dreams.
We went to the city for one purpose: food. I think if I ever do move to the city I will never manage to go to a restaurant that I love more than once because of the endless list of restaurants that Hubby and I have compiled.
On our way to our greatly anticipated lunch we saw this:
Actually, we saw the building first, not the sign. It was adorable. The ceiling to floor windows were opened giving the coffee shop the air of an outside cafe. I wanted to teleport my laptop from home, push someone out of one of the taken seats, and sit there writing the rest of the afternoon away. Hubby, however, wanted to partake in what they were selling. I don't think he saw the above sign.
The coffee connoisseur in me knew the instant we walked into the building that these people didn't offer any 'light' or 'medium' strength choices, which Hubby needs in order to be satisfied. He was still blinded by the beauty of the building, the colorful macaroons, and other pastries dripping with sugary delight that decorated the counter top. There was no posted menu, which oddly intimidated me, so I ordered a simple iced coffee. Hubby, poor daring misguided Hubby, ordered 'The New Orleans' which sat in a fancy beverage dispenser on the back counter. I knew when I overheard one of the employees noting to another employee that she always double checks if the customer wants room for milk in this variety that its strength must be mighty, mightier than even my tough body builder could handle.
Perhaps it was because neither of us had made it to the gym on this particular day, but we soon found out that we were not as strong as our coffee.
Since there were no seats available, we walked a little down the street and found a bench strategically located across a puppy shop.
I had to chant to myself, "I do not want a puppy. I do not want a puppy," over and over in order to convince myself that the puppies looked much better in the window than they would on my hardwood floors.
But they were absolutely adorable.
I wish I had zoomed even further in on their cuteness, but I was trying to appear inconspicuous.
Luckily for me, the thought of lunch quickly distracted me away from the puppies.
In just a mere 10 hour time frame of being in NYC we managed to walk past at least six different photo shoots taking place, amateur and professional.
This one seemed more on the amateur side. The curiosity within me almost forced me over to ask them what they were taking pictures for. But I contained myself.
Though I love most shows on the Food Network (but a little less these days considering they kicked my girl Paula off) I don't normally watch the Barefoot Contessa. She tends to not hold my attention and/or cook things I would often make. However, one episode I happened upon she visited The Meatball Shop and the owner made her a meatball sandwich. It looked so outrageously delicious I texted Hubby that moment and told him we had to go.
We sat at the bar because the other spots were taken and we didn't want to wait. We're impatient like that. The menu is laminated and dry erase markers sit at each table for guests to check off their orders.
I love that.
We both went with the classic beef meatball, but spicy pork and chicken were both very temping options. (There's also vegetable for you vegetarians out there).
Though the sub that the Barefoot Contessa enjoyed looked divine, I went with naked meatballs and a side of risotto. Never having been a big meatball sub person, I thought I would try them sans bread and see how delicious they were on their own.
My favorite part was the sauce. It was not too thick, and had a light sweet flavor that carried throughout.
when I looked at Hubby's plate I knew instantly that I had made a mistake.
He's the best, as you know by now, and he let me steal one...two...three bites of his sub. I don't know what the difference was, but eating the naked meatball had nothing on it being smashed in the middle of mozzarella cheese and a toasty baguette.
Even his salad was tasty!
This was my view during our meal.
I loved it in every sense of the word.
And while I was desperately interested in trying their cookie ice cream sandwiches, I also have this strange quirk about me, which I may or may not have already described, where I like to have my dessert at a different place from where I've just eaten.
I'm weird and a snob, I know.
We declined dessert and headed back into the big city knowing that the right dessert would find us.
And of course, it did.
I suppose we were like Will Farrell's character in 'Elf' when he sees the sign "World's Best Cup of Coffee" lit up in a diner window and gets excited for their accomplishment of this feat.
"Congratulations! Great job....NYC's Best Hot Dogs! I'll take ten!" was pretty much our attitude.
Then we realized that the eight-pack of ball park hot dogs sitting in our freezer that cost us $2.50 (even cheaper than only one of their hot dogs) tasted better.
What a let down.
You can order ice cream in a cup or get one of there options of an ice cream sandwich named for building structures. We went with the smallest choice. Our ice cream was cookies and cream (though I was dying to find out what their chocolate lava tasted like) and the cookies were red velvet. The ice cream was basic, but the cookies were outstanding. They were soft and buttery, but firm enough to be held if you wanted to eat it that way. We used our tiny little spoon to eat most of it.
After our bellies and my feet were satisfied, we walked a little around Union Square.
We found this and I felt special for about 3.83289 seconds....
until I saw this:
By the time we came back later in the evening, I think he was up to 600-something faces.
We took the subway to go into Times Square for one reason and one reason only....
I'm still searching, but so far, they are my absolute favorite NYC coffee place. Best Mocha Frappe, ever.
And trust me, I've had a lot of Mocha Frappes in my time.
This time I felt a little adventurous and, forgive me, wasn't in a coffee flavored mood.
I now, sacrilege. Again, please, please, please forgive me.
I tried their 'Strawberries and Creme' frappe and was so happy I almost did cartwheels in the aisles.
And that would have been quite a feat seeing that I have never done even one cartwheel in my entire life. I blame elementary school gym class for my complete lack of upper body strength.
I need to blame someone/thing right?
After Caffe Bene, we shopped a little in Times Square. Hubby bought a suit for a family affair at H&M. Then, we headed for dinner.
Here's where you will hate me. I had been using my phone to take pictures all day (because I refuse to look like a tourist and carry my honkin' SLR camera around with me). Naturally, my phone's battery became drained and by dinner time at 8 pm, it was so low on battery I could no longer take pictures.
The restaurant of choice was 'The Redhead' in the East Village. It was so tiny that if we hadn't been looking closely for it, we could have walked right by it. The room couldn't have seated more than 50, so it was a pretty intimate atmosphere, which suited us just fine.
The waitress brought us sweet bread with a creamy and subtly sweet butter. When she came around with a second roll for us both I thought perhaps she had forgotten that she had already given us one. I giggled a little to myself, then devoured it.
We ordered their chips and dip as a starter which was house made waffle chips with, get this, butter braised onion dip.
I'm not normally one for chips and dip. I usually just eat chips with my chips, but the dip was delicious.
Hubby and I both ordered the buttermilk fried chicken which was so amazing. Take everything you know about delicious fried chicken and double, no, triple it. That was how good this fried chicken was. On the side was a salad of mixed greens, strawberries, and almonds. I love salad with fruit and nuts, but for some reason it is one of the few things I refuse to make on my own at home. It's one of those things that I want to be able to get when I'm out and think to myself, "Wow, this is delicious. I never have this at home!"
I know, I'm strange.
My favorite part of the meal, hands down, was what we got to leave the restaurant with:
Cookies to go? Just for eating a meal at your restaurant? Sweet. Hubby was such a trooper. I made him wait the hour ride home to eat his cookie so that I could get a picture of them for you.
You should feel honored, dear reader.
(*Note: Truth be told, it was harder for me not to eat the cookie than Hubby. He has much, much more self-control than I ever will).