restaurant challenge: complete

things i learned, 
things i ate, 
and answers to questions that you probably didn't have {but my mom did}
1. cocks comb is gross, 
so is jelly fishies, 
and shrimps, 
but truffles rock.
2. hot dogs and mac and cheese and schnitzel 
still reign supreme on my list of most favorite foods. 
3. more restaurants should have a menu option that reads something along the lines of,
don't worry about ordering...just sit down and let us bring you food
4. what were your favorite meals?
the ones with a lot of my favorite people and a lot of time 
and a lot of booze:
terroir, piccolo angolo, alinea, to name a few...
and then there were the ones that i was completely obliterated for, 
those were fun! 
5. ok, but food-wise, which were your faves?
i have dreams about the breslin
and i've been back to kesté like a zillion trillion times
and the black label burger at minetta tavern really was worth an arm and an eye ball
and baohaus...oh there are simply too many... 
my favorites were all comfy foods 
{but i did really love momofuku ko, and was astounded by alinea}
additionally, some of the best things i ate this year weren't part of restaurant challenge. 
they were: 
the banh mi at fatty 'cue {photos were kidnapped!}, 
the hot sauce and honey butter chicken biscuit from the pies n thighs booth at the columbus circle holiday market, 
and, of course, 
my 3,000 chicken schnitzel schnitzel truck sandwiches {happy birthday, oleg!}
 6. things i ate for the first time:
cock's comb*, shrimpies*, truffles, fluke, sea bass, venison, duck, lamb, bunny rabbit, manta ray, caviar, salsify, rutabaga, liver, tongue, pickles, bone marrow, foie gras, turnip, tuna, quail egg, short ribs, goat, piggie face, mussels*, squid*, bitter melons*, eel*, seitan*, tempeh*, beets... ok i'm getting embarrassed. 
*ew
7. did you get chubbier?
no. look at this graph i drew that charts my weight:
 see?! i broke even!
8. r.i.p. canteen 82 and xiao ye
9. how are you not poor?
well, my computer is about to combust, 
my phone screen is shattered, 
and i don't love marc jacobs like i used to, 
if that says anything... 
it was just all about priorities and work study money, 
and also winning free schnitzels.
10. whatchu gonna do now that it's over?
not be that girl that takes pictures with her food. 
oy vay i got so sick of that. 
and also i won't feel stressed on saturdays to squeeze in the restaurant for that week.
...in 2011, i might master the art of the tv dinner or something.
or think of another little project, like, 52 dog butts 52 weeks. 
i love dog butts. they so cute. 

bye bye, restaurant challenge!! 

xoxo

yeh


week 51: cafe sabarsky

the last new york restaurant in restaurant challenge
there are three reasons the answer to can you play this gig? will be a definite yes:
1. the venue is in an unexplored part of town 
{creating opportunities to discover new restaurants} 
2. the performance is narrated by isaac mizrahi
3. it involves 3D glasses 
ok there are other reasons that actually have to do with music and stuff, but the point is this past week i played a gig that included two of the above...
[and i was absolutely kidding about the 3D glasses.]

see?!
for two entire weekends, i was chained to the guggenheim,
playing show after show of {my favorite!} peter and the woof.
and i thought i was out of luck when yelp search nearby said
 starbucks, le pain quotidien, starbucks, the wright...
 until on page four it finally said my dreams come true in the form of
[3 blocks away]
...and so began my residency
on the first day there was what a little austrian girl eats after a long day when it's cold and she could use some comfort:
baked bowties, ham, and emmentaler
and
weisswurst with a pretzel and mustard
it was the best kind of hot dogs with mac and cheese.
and it is a fact that, if there's one underrated wiener in this country, it's weisswurst. 
that s*** is hella good.
on the second day,
there was 
spätzle with peas, carrots, and mushrooms 
bratwurst with riesling sauerkraut
and a high brow version of what the people in my family like to call
hot dog cheese* {käsekrainer... bratwurst stuffed with cheddar}
*one of the most embarrassing snacks i ate as a wee one was a hot dog cut up and topped with little squares of american cheese and then microwaved and served with ketchup. 
it was as embarrassing as its terribly unfortunate name.
the käsekrainer was really delicious and snappy!! and oozy. 
and the spätzle was amazing, once i picked out all of the mushrooms. i know, i know. 
spätzle is another thing this world needs more of. i mean, it is little premature dumplings!
for dessert,
rehrücken
chocolate marzipan cake with organgey things and house made whipped cream
your girl cannot resist some marzipan.
it is like if a clydesdale were a dessert, you know? 
all smart and stately. 
and austria is cool because it doesn't mess with all them fruity sorbets or popsicles. 
they are all about the cakes and the marzipans and the strudels.
and you should have seen this dessert menu. 
on the third day,
i took the newspaper as my date and had a 
liverwurst open-faced sandwich 
which i had a little issue with because the menu didn't specify that my sandwich would be 
open-faced, but i instantly didn't care because 
it was some thick and salty {i lurve salty} liverwurst spread. 
by far the best part about this meal was afterwards when i ran into my little korean friend on the street who asked me what i ate for lunch and, in my best broken korean, i tried to explain what liverwurst is to her, until i realized that i really don't know korean and decided to just point to my liver and then i didn't know which side my liver was on. 
so i think she thinks i ate a pancreas sandwich for lunch...
the other best part about my last visit was that i got an apple strudel on the house.
maybe it's because i went there like twelve times in a week,
but part of me also thinks it's because i was there alone and it was an all male wait staff and i did my hairs real good that day.
regardless, the apple strudel was the perfect christmas time dessert!
***********
***********
and so here marks the last new york restaurant in restaurant challenge. 
it was christmas-y and festive and delicious. 
wiener-filled, and marzipan inclusive. 
i'm into it. you should be too.

now, get ready for the 1 remaining restaurant.


xoxo

yeh


cafe sabarsky is on east 86th and 5th, inside of the neue galerie. if there's a really long wait, the more casual cafe fledermaus {downstairs} has the same menu.






week 50: the spotted pig


i've got a fever and the only cure is more april bloomfield.
since being done in with cotechino and ciabatta donuts at the breslin last february, i've had my little desires burning with hope that one day, maybe, i'd have the time to invest in the legendary wait at ms. b's other wansternaunt, 
here are my dates, jeff and hammer, doing what you're supposed to do before a spotted pig happening. and it is sad because our schedules these days are such that our "spontaneous late-night badass drunk trip to the spotted pig" really had to be our precisely calculated days in advance drunken itinerary meal plan. 
but really it was aok because when we rolled in after a few at the local watering hole, we apparently told the host the lucky number because despite the fact that people were all up in each other's grill, we three got seated immediately. shazam.
and soon thereafter, chicken liver toast was in my belly and it was more than great. 
it was so so great. 
and even better was that the friend who told me weeks ago that i must get the chicken liver toast is a circus clown.
 the other appetizers {deviled eggs and something called a devil on a horseback {?} which involved a fruity thing wrapped in a bacon-y thing}were good too, but nothing could prepare us for 
the bunny rabbit that jeff ordered.
i never had a bunny rabbit before, i never even considered it.
stoop always used to sleep with a stuffed bunny rabbit, so maybe that was the reason. 
anywho, i do believe that bunny rabbit might be one of my new favorite meats. 
it's a juicier, softer, tastier version of a chicken. 
and i am all for it, thumpers aside.
ok so the gnudi = {gnocchi + ravioli}^n
trader joe's makes this stuffed gnocchi that is wild, so if you eat that and then imagine it better, that is what this is. 
the pasta was really doughy and the ricotta was really grainy and ricotta-y.
 i don't know what was more entertaining:
the great pile of rosemary hiding underneath the shoestring fries
or hammer sitting across the table from me, 
about to poo his pants about how much he loved that damn burger.
and yeah, it was mighty good. flavorful, a softy bun... but in my eyes, roquefort cheese will always be a man's cheese. and also being a majority tipsy might not have been totally conducive to the stinky feet smell...
but the shoestring fries, by gum. it was like every single night during high school that was spent at the steak and shake eating their skinny fries. these were crispier, and garlickier, and saltier, and...soooo much rosemary. brilliant. 
it was a tight fry.
shortly thereafter,
i was awake in my bed with all of my clothes on and a bunny rabbit next to me.
just kidding.


whatever, good thing this place finally happened because there are two restaurants left in the restaurant challenge. holy lamb.


xoxo

yeh 


the spotted pig is on west 11th and greenwich and is open way late and does not take reservations