Monday, August 22, 2011

Best Brotherly Vacation

Well, like I was saying in my M Wells post from a few days ago, Owen and Greg were in town for the week last week.  In this post I will show you what I did with them.  I was working during the day and they had adventures while I was working, when we were together mostly we ate.  Can you believe it?

That said, early Wednesday morning I went down to Times Square with them to get in line for Spider-Man rush tickets.  I couldn't stay with them until the box office opened, but I put in some time.  For solidarity's sake.

Arriving a minute after 8 we were the second party in line.  The first person in line was a guy in town for Milan who had been there since 6:45.  If you want to see someone very concerned with the availability of tickets, I'd have a look at the man standing behind us in line.

Bill Clinton says: "What an Amazing Nigh on Broadway!"  And what does Brigham say about Spider-Man?  I say it deserves its own post.  That's what I say.

We met up before the show at the Minetta Tavern to try the famous Black Label Burger.

I did not photograph the Black Label Burger well.  The deal with this pricey burger is that it's made of an incredible secret blend of Pat LaFrieda beef.  Basically it's a patty made of fine steak, or something, cooked impeccably, or something.  It's what 88% of the Minetta Tavern customers order and of it I say: "Eh, whatever."  I went for the purist experience and ate the burger straight without dressing it at all so I could savor the flavor of the beef or whatever, but if I ever have a Black Label Burger again, I'm putting cheese and all the toppings on it.

What made a bigger impression were these carrots.  Cooked in so much butter (so much butter) they tasted just like how my Great Grandma Condie liked them.  Did not know my meal was going to take me back to preschool dining memories.

Thursday evening we went with Dave to Frankies in Brooklyn.  We ate in their charming backyard garden, halfway beneath their garden tent.  Then it started to rain.  Hard.  We had to push our table in twice to get away from the water.  Right now I'm thinking: Wait.  Why didn't anyone from the staff rush out to move us in from the rain?  Come on, Frankies.  Protect your guests!

This is what it looked like by my feet when we were done.

They may not have protected us from the rain, but they protected us from hunger.  We had two plates of meatballs.

An antipasto plate.

Sweet potato & sage ravioli, the ribeye, clam linguine, and (not pictured) cavatelli with hot sausage in brown butter.

Post-dinner we walked (in the rain) over to the Brooklyn Farmacy to meet up with Broek and Kim.

We had wonderful ice cream creations like Greg's peanuts & bacon sundae.

My red velvet Twinkie sundae.

Broek's "Rhapsody in Blue" float.

And Kim had the sundae where they put a lot of potato chips on your ice cream.

Friday Owen and Greg went to Ellis Island and then met me for a downtown worker's lunch.  We had Cuban food at Sophie's.

Then that night we met up for dinner at the Noodle Bar, but at the wait for a table was already 30 minutes, so after a minute I told the hostess to strike our names and that we'd be back later.  We held off eating for several hours and saw the Tree of Life at the Sunshine.  It was my second viewing and I'd say I didn't remember at least half of it from my before.  I liked it even more this time, I caught stuff I didn't catch before, like the boy's pre-mortal life and birth (from his perspective).  I am beginning to think that this is an exceptionally fine movie.

Close to 10 we went back to the Noodle Bar, the hostess recognized us, and seated us in front of everyone else in line. SEE!  This is why you should at the very least tell the hostess when you're taking yourself out of the line, she doesn't want to call your name over and over when you're not there.  Be considerate!  She might return the favor.

Now let me tell you about our dinner.  We had a jar of pickles.  Some highlights: Pickled watermelon.  Pickled green beans.

They served Owen and Greg two of the finest pork buns I'd ever seen.  I could not refuse the bite Owen offered me.  Man.  I have to quit opting out of pork buns at Momofuku because "I've had them so many times."  Forget that!  I'm going to have them so many more times!!

There's a new roasted corn in town!  Corn with lime, mayonnaise, cilantro, bacon, cotija cheese . . . an elote off the cob.  Some might say this dish is reason enough to book New York City travel.  Here's the deal, you come to New York, I will buy you some of this corn.  

Also, would you believe that, inspired by the old miso butter corn, I made elote off the cob for Cinco de Mayo this year?  I did!  Me and the Chang Food Lab are on the same page!  This is a picture of the corn I made.  I don't blame you for thinking you'd rather have the Momofuku version.

Owen and I had shrimp buns.  Because I miss the Ebi Filet-O.

And then . . . Momofuku Ramen, which I ordered because reading Lucky Peach cover to cover made me feel like I needed to practice appreciating ramen and also my slurping.

Owen had the Bibim Gooksu with smoked chicken, fried egg, and watermelon.

And greg the Chilled Spicy Noodles with sichuan sausage and candied cashews.

For dessert?  Lemon/Ricotta soft serve with a pesto cookie at the bottom and pretzel cake balls.

Next thing we knew it was Saturday morning and the boys had to leave.  After one more game.  Just one more.

Hermanos!  (Look!  There's me!)

I took them down to Penn Station because I wanted to make sure they got on the right train and everything.  It's so confusing down there!

Goodbye, dudes!  Have fun going back to school again.

This trip was significant because it both established and completed a family tradition of when one brother returns from his mission, we gather in New York.  Great job, everybody.  We did it.  Thank you Mom and Dad for sending them out here and for feeding us.


LaurenHoya said...

Ok - long time blog lurker here, I swear I'm not creepy (ask Karen C or Bryndee). I'd like to think that next time I'm in NYC that one of our mutual friends would introduce us and then I could be part of one of your great culinary tours that starts with that corn and throws in a photogenic portrait somewhere along the way. And maybe we could go over the Tree of Life again because I'm still puzzled on how I feel about it. That's all.

Side of Jeffrey said...

Okay, I get it. I'll come to New York again and eat at a Momofuku joint. I keep trying and missing, trying and missing. I need to be more dedicated.

Side of Jeffrey said...

Oh,and Tree of Life was pretty much the only movie I've seen this year and probably the only one I need to see.

Collin Mapp said...

And you met up with Dave, Brigham.

Brigham said...

Lurker--Come on over, I'm a host of my word.
Jeffrey--Only one more movie you need to see: Bill Cunningham New York. Then you're set. Also, come have pork with us.
Collin--What, Dave was there?

Collin Mapp said...

There is a picture of your beautiful friend, Broek. And behind her, I see an equally beautiful David.

Brigham said...

am I a cruddy if I say Did you read who I went to Frankies with?

Collin Mapp said...

Blog read Fail. But surely you can understand my excitement to see Dave? It was like he had a slight cameo that almost trickles off the eye and then.... WAM! There he is in person! So unforgettable! So in your face! I only wondered why I didn't see his name earlier for preparation. But the thing is - you did prepare me.

LaurenHoya said...

Alight - maybe next time I'm in NYC and if I don't feel awkward about being a blog lurker, I'll take you up on your culinary hosting adventure. It'd be rad, right?

Brigham said...

Rad is all I do.