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So many eatscapades with Willie!

August 11, 2009

Ahoj Willie!

Since we recently ended a wonderful visit (that may have ended unfortunately and unfortunately ended) and ate out at so many great (and not so great) new restaurants, I thought I would write up a summary post of our edible exploits! And, since I haven’t posted in quite a while, this post is going to have to cover a lot.

Following the second great moving debacle of the Summer of 2009, we ended up in Jersey without a paddle… okay, maybe we had a volkswagon… We decided to finally make our way to Raymond’s in Montclair. I don’t remember your exact feelings on the food/ambience/service/etc. but I thought it was an all-around pleasant experience.

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I think it is pretty clear what the star of this meal was. We shared the pear, endive and gorgonzola salad, which was very tasty. (except that I forgot until after the first bite that gorgonzola is the cheese that really tastes like mold and is pretty gross…) We also shared the mac and cheese, which was kind of dissapointing and mostly just tasted like roux on macaroni… The vegetarian chili was a passable chili, but nothing spectacular. The star, however, was the out of this world cheesy grits with mushrooms in white truffle oil. This is, seriously, one of the most delicious things I ever tasted. I believe that multiple times throughout the meal I exclaimed that I wished I could eat it forever. (No worries, my exclamations were drowned out by the rather odd discussion about Jesus and the Torah going on at a neighboring table.) So, in the end, I think Raymond’s was definitely a good choice and I will definitely need to stop in for more grits really, really soon.

Once we finally reached our destination, unloaded the totes that I had packed to the gills and had a little puppy playtime, we were ready for a good meal. Luckily, Supervegan did not let us down. We found this little vegan-raw friendly eatery called Rawstar in Prospect Heights. This restaurant just opened in June (and the website is still under construction) and I would consider the recent opening of this little gem a sign that I definitely belong in Brooklyn!

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Although we went pretty late in the evening on a Wednesday night, they seemed to be doing really good business. The clientele was a mix of young hipsters, grad students and friendly older Jamaican men and families. It is a pretty small location though so we did have to share our table, but it was okay because one of the people at the table is a casting PA for the new smurf movie and that was pretty entertaining to hear about. Anyways, back to the deliciousness. I must say, everything at this place was pretty close to heavenly and it was relatively inexpensive!  We started with the chipotle handrolls (bottom right), which were a little spicy for me, but still wonderful. For our main courses we shared a stuffed mushroom with sesame cressle (sp?) and paradise salad and tempeh (?) with kale and pear salad and curried plantains. I had never thought to make stuffed mushrooms with raw portabello, but it was a million times better than the usual stuffed mushroom and I will definitely be trying that on my own! The cressle was a little unweildy when it came to the mechanics of eating, but that didn’t male it any less amazing. The curried plantains weren’t quite as currylicious as we were expecting, but they were perfectly prepared and some of the best plantains I had ever eaten. Also, kale + pear = match made in heaven. Everyone must go here.

Now, after two very good experiences, I learned that 3rd time is really not always a charm. I don’t have photos of the food we ate at Sukhadia’s Indian Gourmet and it is better that way. To be honest, finding good, affordable, vegetarian/vegan-friendly lunches above 14th street seems to be a herculean task. We finally decided on this place when we realized it was really the only feasible location to get lunch amid our museum hopping. It had pretty good reviews and it was suggested that we should go to the buffet. I was pretty hungry. Willie was pretty hungry. 10.95 somehow seemed like a reasonable price for a quick lunch. The food was an utter disappointment for me. I just didn’t think the spices really meshed in any one of the dishes (I tried a little of all they had to offer). The kofti tasted like cheez-whiz and the sweet flatbread kind of tasted like a pop tart… The paneer was pretty tasty though… By the end of the meal, my tummy was not happy with me. Later that night, I developed a relatively short-lived (thank goodness) but incredibly unpleasant bout of food poisioning. I feel that I can safely blame it on this food since it was really the only thing I ate that Willie didn’t. Everyone must not go here.

Quickly to the liquid consumables!

We stopped at Starbucks because Willie had a giftcard and I decided to try to be adventurous.

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Now, I really like coffee, though I’m definitely no connoisseur. One of my lovely Pittsburgh roommates got me hooked on the kawa my junior year at uni and the love affair began. I only drink it very occasionally now; it is sort of a special treat. To understand why this particular cup is so special requires a small explanation. Starbucks is too complicated for me. My regular drink is a soy latte for two reasons: I love soy milk foam and that I can remember all the words I have to say to order it correctly. I just can’t manage a drink order that requires elaboration beyond 3 words. P-burgh roomie however is a seasoned veteran when it comes to ordering coffee at starbucks and has fashioned the perfect drink. The only problem is that I can never remember all the parts that I need to say or what order they are supposed to go in without her by my side. (I know, I am going to be utterly lost and decaffeinated without her…) So, I thought really hard and told Willie what I thought (and hoped) the drink was. He had to write it down. When Willie went up to order, he brought the note. The barista needed it. What at first seemed like gibberish did result in a successful beverage however! (In case you are curious: it is a tall, two-pump, toffee-nut latte with soy milk, I think…)

We also wandered around WF for a while, just window shopping, but Willie did end up finding some exciting new products! The red quinoa for his mother, seen in one of his earlier posts, some chia seeds for his father and this bottle of appley goodness:

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I think Willie and I were both charmed by the specificity of Red Jacket Orchard’s Fuji Apple Juice. In all seriousness though, this was ridiculously good. It tasted a little more like a cider than most apple juices and tasted really fresh. The method they mention on their website sounds really interesting too. Willie and I agreed on a thumbs up for this purchase!

So, super, super long post tonight and now I’m pretty sleepy but before I head off into the arms of Morpheus, I just thought I’d post a few odds n’ ends as a kooky or eclectic little finale.

  • I really didn’t know much about Terry Pratchett’s impending “old-timers,” but reading his discussion of mercy killing and all of the legal precedents is really fascinating, albeit clearly not very cheery reading: “I’ll die before the endgame” (and yes, I do realize that it was published by the daily mail, but it really bears little resemblance to their usual reporting. )
  • On a lighter note, if you want to practice your patois and chat Jamaican with the best of ’em, I guess a good place to start is Dr. Seuss!

Until we eat again,

Caitlin

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2 comments

  1. Great post! Can we go back to NY sometime soon? Oh right, I’ll be there in less than a week! 🙂


  2. […] grits definitely rival Raymond’s! They were just absolutely perfect! The taste blended perfectly with the sweet and slightly tangy […]



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