An Abundance of Turkey

This past Thursday was Thanksgiving, the national holiday of over indulging! For Thanksgiving I went down south to the Orlando area; my cousin was hosting the feast at her new house.

We had a lot of food, but what I thought was the most interesting was the three types of turkey.

First there was the turkey roll, which was as yummy as it looked. I mean, ground turkey rolled in a pastry and baked, what’s not to love?

Then we had the main attraction, the juicy Baked Turkey – I can tell you, it was VERY juicy.

Finally, there was Turkey Curry … yes, you read that right, that is curried turkey and it was good.

I think I’m done with eating turkey though … at least until Christmas where we’ll probably have the Turkey Roll again =D


A Tea Party and a Book Release

The day started out pretty normal. Gloomy weather, tons of traffic and many sighs of frustration as I navigated my way into Manhattan. An hour and a half later, I was at work. Work was as wonderful as work could be, then we found out that the rail – which I usually take – was suspended, and later operating with serious delays. The work day ended and as I walked to my car, being rather thankful that I sat through the extra hour of traffic to have my car with me, I couldn’t help being a little charged for the tea I was about to consume.

I met with Anna, Christina and Rebecca; we sat for tea at Tea and Sympathy, on Greenwich (pronounced GREH nich) Avenue. Tea and Sympathy is a pretty small store, they seat 21 people in the entire restaurant, so going on a Monday evening has the two perks of finding a great parking stop right in the front of the store, as well as being able to get a seat rather quickly.

We shared our meal of scones with jam and clotted cream (yum!!), bangers and mash and chicken and leek pie (pretty much the yummiest pie I’ve ever tasted!). I had the blackcurrent tea, which I like to take without milk and sugar. For dessert we shared the spicy ginger cake with a bit of whipped cream on the side and a treacle pudding immersed in custard.

Around 8 p.m., Anna and I walked over to Books of Wonder and stood in line for an hour and a half. Frans joined us and we passed the time talking with the 7th grade teacher behind us about YA books and what we liked/disliked about different series. Harry Potter is everyone’s all-time favourite and, if you’re familiar with the YA world, you wouldn’t have to think too hard to figure out which series was the least appreciated. We discussed the overuse of love triangles in books and of course, discussed the series of the night, the Hunger Games.

When we finally made it inside, we had to wait in another line to receive the welcome package that included a raffle ticket (#214), a number for collecting the book at midnight (#262) and a certificate showing that I did receive the book and it was stamped by Suzanne Collins (#321). There were jugglers, a tarot card reader, a spinning board(?) trivia game and a make up artist who was painting mockingjays and other such things on people’s body parts. We took part in the eating of cupcakes in the attached bakery. Frans had to leave, but Anna and I stayed and talked about books!

They gave out raffle prizes throughout the entire night. In the first batch the called #213, in the last batch they called #218! The probability of my number being called was pretty low, then about a minute later, they called #214 and I whooped! I got a Mockingjay bag clip, it’s just a little dangler that you put on your bag.

At 11:30 p.m. David Levithan, editorial director at Scholastic and one of the authors of Will Grayson, Will Grayson, introduced Suzanne Collins. Suzanne read a few lines from Katniss’s interview in Catching Fire, and then she read the first chapter of Mockingjay. By then it was midnight and they set up tables and called everyone up by number to receive the book and then get it stamped by Suzanne. She didn’t do a signing because she had hurt her hand. Anna took a picture while I was at the table, but I’m a bit unsure of the posting policy, there were people taking photos, but there was one point where they said something about not taking photos/videos; I’m not sure if that only meant during the reading, but I figure I’ll just post a picture and if I need to take it down I will.

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Thus concluded an epic Monday night and my first book release and book signing.

New York Secrets: Street Food

Our Locals Only stamps

The streets of New York City are littered with street vendors. Some sell souvenirs and little knickknacks and others sell food. One of the best hotdog eating experience is getting it from a street vendor. I’ve been told that one of the best chicken and rice is the vendor on 53rd Street and 6th Ave. People love buying the roasted nuts, especially in the winter. No one thinks twice of these things. So when my friend, Evie, told me that she had passes for two to sample food from a food truck where the meal was cooked by a top New York chef I was game.

NBC got a few chefs to leave their kitchens for a day and make gourmet food for New Yorkers in a food truck. The locations were secret and you had to have a password to get stamped to get food. Our street cart was run by Chef Daniel Boulud owner of DBGB Kitchen and Bar.

Only the best sausage ever!

I got the sausage and Evie got the burger. The dessert was a kind of parfait, but whatever it was it was delicious.

Chef Boulud was a pretty funny and high energy guy. He had a great personality and was quite hilarious while sharing the food. “Sausages! Burgers, where are my burgers!!.”

It was quite an experience. What can I say, gourmet food by a famous chef from a street cart is full of YUM!

Waiting in line to for food.

The chef

The food cart

Juiciest burger

Amazing dessert

Daniel Boulud

Serving the meal

Restaurant Week: Sending food back

really burnt meat

I did one Restaurant Week post already, so I am not going to go into details about this one, but there were a few things that I found interesting. Apparently, lamb done medium well is not the same as steak done medium well. This was the first time I ever sent food back, but really I could not eat the charcoaled piece of meat that was on my plate! Though, if I was quite honest with myself, I probably would have tortured through it if one other person at our table wasn’t sending their meal back in the first place.

Initially I was extremely upset about sending the food back, I didn’t want to insult the person preparing our food, however, the more I thought about it the more I realised that, regardless of whether it is Restaurant Week or not, the reason we go to restaurants and pay money is to enjoy a well prepared meal and if that is not true then the entire experience turns into a bad one.

I suppose the one saving grace of the meal – other than the apple cake – was the good company.

Restaurant Week: Le Cirque

Nothing beats the winter chill than being indoors and trying new foods. A few friends and I went to Le Cirque to sample some French Cuisine. For those who do not know, Restaurant Week happens twice a year in New York City and participating restaurants offer lunch and dinner for a fixed price. You get to chose an appetizer, entree and dessert from a set menu.

The restaurant is located on 58th Street, between Lexington and 3rd Avenue. I’m not much for explaining design and decor, but it did not have a stuffy, pretentious feeling even though it was a very dressy place. I think the colours and the monkeys won me over. What can I say, I’m a sucker for monkeys.

Venison and Pistachio Sausage

For appetizer I ordered the Venison and Pistachio Sausage (with celery root and pickled cherries) , for entree the Bavette Steak (with parsnip purée, sweet and sour mushrooms, and watercress) and for dessert the Crème Brûlée Le Cirque. Wherever there is a French influenced restaurant and Crème Brûlée is on the menu, I’m having it!

Everything was good! The sausage was tender and yummy! Not tough, not gamey, not chewy, but melt in your mouth good.

I am not a big steak lover but I absolutely enjoyed the steak. It was tender – easy to cut into. I didn’t have to wrestle it into submission and that for me is a major plus. I dislike fighting with my food – unless it’s throwing pies at people. The dessert was what I’d refer to as a pretty good Crème Brûlée. The best part of it was the secret message waiting for me at the end.

Overall service was great. So thanks to Evelyn who organized this all.

I am in no way a food critic, nor do I ever plan on getting into that field. However, hanging out at restaurants that one would not normally go to; eating a meal with friends and having a good time with each other while judging the food served is one of the things I love about New York’s Restaurant Week! So if you’re in New York and you have the chance to experience this, then go for it! Try something new, you might like it.

a great meal + a relaxing place + lovely service = A Good Time in NYC!