I’m actually at work now.
And should not be blogging.
But I didn’t take a lunch break.
I think I can justify a blogging break, yes?
These last few weeks have been full of much super funnesss. And as a result. Little Sleep. and Little Blogging Time. But I hope to (somewhat) redemn myself in this post.
Saturday afternoon and night was filled with a coffee + almond milk + pastry stop at Abraço, which I briefly posted on here. I love Abraço to bits and pieces, despite the tiny space and complete lack of seating. I for one, think the ‘coziness’ of the shop is conducive to socializing …as long as you don’t mind surrendering all notions of personal space. Post liquids and sweets, Robyn, Raphael and I moved met up with Olivia and Erin for a very, very filling dinner at Shanghai Cafe on Mott St.
We started with two orders of xiao long bao: one pork and another crab. The skins were on the thicker side, with less soup than most places, but I found the filling itself to be better than most places in this city.
The broccoli with garlic sauce was awesome, like how all Chinese vegetable dishes are awesome! I wish I could tell you more about this dish, but my head is about to crash and fall asleep on the keyboard if I don’t attempt to get some sleep within the next hour, heheh.
Pan fried rice cakes with mushrooms…
And the one dish I’ll never tire of, no matter how many times I’ve had it and how ever many restaurants: LION HEAD MEATBALLS!!!!!!!!! I get my love of meatloaves and meatballs from my dad, so I can blame any over consumption of such dishes on him. A hot casserole of six gigantic pork-based meatballs swaddled in a sweet vermicelli laced broth. This photo alone doesn’t even begin to do its’ deliciousness justice!
Here’s a peek at the innards. The meatballs are enormous, but they go down soooo easily cause they’re beyond feather light, basking in some weightless dimension of their own. Soft, almost pillowy with a light sweetness, there’s no need for a fork, just a light hand with a spoon and a very eager mouth. Normally I would need a big bowl of rice to go with this dish, but the liberal inclusion of vermicelli noodles rendered rice unnecessary for the evening.
The only letdown of the meal were the red bean pancakes which arrived extremely heavy and greasy. But the big surprise was that the filling didn’t even remotely taste of red beans! As Robyn pointed out, the filling resembled a smashed overripe banana. Scary.
The pork filled joong, was ‘wetter’ than the norm, almost to the point where the rice had become one congealed mass. Nonetheless, it’s hard to dislike any joong despite minor faults, you cannot deny anything hot and steamy with a good chew!
About 80% finished with dinner, we teased with the idea of ordering another dish to round out the meal…even though we were already quite full. But eat with a bunch of people who also like to eat, and more often than not, no one will refuse the suggestion of another order! ;) Hence, this overflowing dish of crispy Shanghai noodles. No better way to call the meal to a close than with a dish that’s hot and oily in all the right ways, clouds of steam rising in the air as we pulled endless crisp fried strands of noodles. Ooooh noodles.
Post dinner we walked over to L’Arte del Gelato in the West Village. I must stop by this place at least once a week, and it’s the only gelateria I’ve found in the city that consistently churns out quality products. Couple that with friendly owners, prime location in the West Village and a fair amount of seating, and you’ve got a place to love. I did a Green Tea and Espresso combination, and the Green Tea proved to be a bagazillion times more enjoyable than the strange gritty serving I had from Grom just a week ago. We chased our gelato run with yet more desserts at Build a Green Bakery just up the street and then parted ways with Raphael and Erin.
The party haz cake!!
Robyn, Olivia and I went to a birthday party for Robyn’s friend, Anna at an apartment in the village. And dear, it was seriously the biggest apartment I’ve encountered in my life, much less this city! The ‘apartment’ I currently share with Shann is but 300 square feet, and this one was…4,000!! Sighs. I don’t even have storage space so my suitcase just sits next to my bed. Which leaves. No room for anything else. HAHARHAR.
Left to right: Alex, Robyn, and Olivia
Like any good birthday party, this one had CAKE. And a rather impressive selection of three cakes picked by Anna herself. And of course. I had a slice of each. Never say no to cake!
And you must say ‘yes’ to a second slice, especially if it’s this cheesecake from Two Little Red Hens! Dense, but far from heavy, it was only a tad sweet and had a fine memorably smooth and near buttery rich texture. Swoooon, indeed!
Sugar Sweet Sunshine’s Pumpkin Spice cake was too sweet for my liking, and unusually oily. The frosting was a bit ‘crusty’ along the edges, but alas, it was all fixed with another helping of the cheesecake ;)
And from The Chocolate Room in Brooklyn, a tall, foreboding and quite intense chocolate cake. Beautifully moist crumb, a very dark cake with pudding-esque ganache dripping sin of the most wonderful sort. I could only imagine how divine this would be with a round of espresso gelato from L’Arte just a hour ago!
As the night went on, we noticed a bit of strangeness taking place in the open kitchen. See the top left of this photo ;) heheh. Midnight mysteries!
Ok! I’m off to sleep now…no time to write a proper conclusion, but I’ll be back this weekend with a more dignified, better written and edited post…HAHAH. But for now….SLEEEP!!
100 Mott Street
NY, NY 10013
L’Arte del Gelato
75 7th Avenue
NY, NY 10014