Whoa the weather was hot this weekend. Which evoked many proclamations along the lines of “I’m hooot. It’s huuumid. I’m schweaty…”
However, that did not stop XJ from walking many miles over two days.
First off, though, was Friday evening, during which I cooked a massive amount of cabbage. And then we demolished half a cantaloupe. Exciting evening, right?
Saturday, we headed out on a hunt for croissants. Specifically, croissants from City Bakery and Patisserie Claude. Journeying towards Union Square from Grand Central, we hit up The City Bakery (on 18th between 5th and 6th) first.
Croissant of choice? The pretzel croissant.
Salty, crackle-y crust and chewy, dense interior, with nice layers made possible by gratuitous use of butter, of course. And of course, J thought it wasn’t buttery enough. Quite hard to satisfy, that one. He also said it was too salty. However, with about 1.5 bites left, he declared, “This is actually pretty good.”
I enjoyed the croissant. While it definitely did not exemplify the typical flaky, buttery croissant, I enjoyed the sprinkling of salt reminiscent of, you guessed it, a pretzel.
Halfway through the croissant, I declared that iced coffee was needed (despite already having consumed my usual morning coffee prior to heading out). I just wanted something refreshing, yeah?
So off to Cafe Grumpy on 20th. The barista recommended the Guatemala beans, so that’s what we had. Delicious? As always. J reflects, “That was really good.”
Then we walked south along 8th Ave for a bit. Walked into Williams and Sonoma, where we each tried a shot of Nespresso. It was a caffeine-filled day.
J decided he wanted to venture into Chelsea Market, so that’s where we went next. What did we get there? Two Liddabits caramels ($1 each) – one sea salt and one beer & pretzel. The sea salt caramel was not terribly impressive. Once again, J claims the caramel didn’t have enough butter. Or specifically, “The butter essence wasn’t there.” What is this butter essence of which he speaks? I’m not quite sure, but apparently it wasn’t there. We saved the beer & pretzel caramel for today, and my, that one was quite yummy.
Next up – the High Line.
Pretty cool walkway – lots of green and trees. Very crowded, however. And the sun! We walked back up to northern tip of the High Line (around 20th St.) and then down to the southern end (Gansevoort St.). After climbing back down to ground level, we walked around the meatpacking district and neighboring areas for a bit until journeying onwards to Patisserie Claude. Consumed along the way? 2 bottles of Duane Reade Lemon Lime seltzer. Consumption of seltzer was been ridiculous this weekend (3 liters total at this point, including a liter from Friday night).
Oh Patisserie Claude. We had such high expectations after reading online reviews exalting the glory of your croissants and pastries. While the croissant was good, it wasn’t good. You know, the type of good that merits the use of italics and a pause in speech as one remembers just how good it was. It did leave us dreaming of the Parisian deliciousness that is to come in five weeks.
The kind lady behind the counter also gave us a sample of a little square of pecan-and-goo-topped pastry crust.
Then it was off to Union Square for my weekly apple fix. But before that, we passed by Roasting Plant. Remembering that they won Serious Eats’ chocolate chip cookie contest, we just had to pick up one to try.
And what would a Saturday be without a trip to Whole Foods on Bowery? We had walked by Stand earlier, and J developed a burger craving. So we picked up a pound of ground beef, 1/3 of which went into making the burger below.
Mmm… Now this was good. No kidding. Not the typical bun, either. Toasted French bread served as the carbohydrate accompaniment to the patty of meat. Mmm, I say again. I love my bread. Exhibit A:
The rest of the evening? A swim and some studying. The former was refreshing, the latter confusing.
Sunday started off as Saturday ended – with a burger. Yeah, J makes burgers for breakfast. And eggs.
After church, we wandered in the direction of Two Little Red Hens, but lo and behold, we ran into the Wafels and Dinges truck.
The liege waffle with spekuloos ($5) was quite – J tagging in here – delicious. Liege waffles are a Belgian creation, denser and chewier than your “traditional” waffle with a crisp crust made possible with the addition of large sugar crystals to the dough that melt as the waffle cooks. Spekuloos is a new word in my eating vocabulary; it is a spread made with speculaas, a Dutch shortbread cookie, and to make a long story short it is delicious.
The happy face of a man about to be inundated with sugar, fat, butter, and more sugar and more butter.
J again. As the day was extremely hot (now I know mid-80s is barely warm by Houston standards, but to people who spent the past 6 months enduring bitter cold, we may as well have been running a marathon in the Sahara) we again stopped by Duane Reade for some cold, bubbly, lemon-limey refreshment. Updated bottle count: 7.
Hydrated, we forged onwards to Central Park, intending to find a shady spot to sit down and study. However, the midday sun had other plans for us. Ever a compelling force, the sun soon convinced us to abandon our plans and seek the soothing shelter of AC.
(J just hit writer’s block – so it’s X again. This post is a little schizophrenic, I know.)
Anyway, we walked in Central Park for a bit, but I was truly getting a tad bit too hot. Ok, a lot bit too hot. We quickly skedadlled our way to Columbus Circle (well, as quickly as one can skedaddle in flip-flops under a hot sun). First stop: Godiva for X’s free truffle of the month. I chose the peach truffle enrobed in milk chocolate (and was given two additional seasonal truffles to sample). The peach truffle was wonderful – I loved the not-too-sweet filling inside. Second stop: Whole Foods for Organic Valley cottage cheese and butter, cantaloupe (which we annihilated about an hour ago), and some coffee beans for the week.
Then it was back into the heat for a quick 20 block jaunt down to Times Square to catch the 7 train to LIC. A little studying ensued, followed by a swim. I am such a slow swimmer.
Weekends pass all too quickly. Until next time!