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Seefuh-free Summer Saturday

This week’s post is brought to you by J.

I felt a little funny when I awoke Saturday, as a strange sensation pricked at my barely-animated consciousness.  Confused, I went through a checklist of the usual suspects.  Indigestion?  No. Limbs-fell-asleepness? No. Drooling? Maybe-a-little-but-that’s-not-right-either. Anxiety – work or study related?   No, wait. Study? No study. No need to study. Freeeeeedom!

Yes this did mark the first weekend in a very long time that we were free from the crushing weight of the CFA Level II, and what a relief it was.  To mark the occasion, and to start making headway into our summer to-do list, we decided to go into Manhattan for brunch.

(Note:  In New York there are two, and some may debate this point, non-mutually exclusive forms of brunch.  Brunch, as a heady segment of the New York population conceive of it, does not pertain so much to the concept of eating as it does to one of having an excuse to get sauced early on weekends. Brunch, as you and I know and love it, is simply about food – delicious, delicious food.  People can take their pick or mix-and-match, but we were out for the latter.)

As I was saying, we were out for brunch, and our destination?  Well you’ll see in a bit because first, X needed a morning perk-up in the form of a rather delicious cup of iced coffee from Joe in Grand Central.  The iced coffee from Joe is made from cold-brewed coffee; which as the name suggests means the coffee is made with cold water.  Just pour unheated water into grounds, allow to steep 12-24 hours, and filter.  Cold-brewed coffee is a much different experience from regular brewed coffee.  It’s richer, more chocolaty, and lacks most if not all of the bitterness normally associated with coffee.  In short it is delicious.

(I just realized that I’m mixing up the use of both one- and two-spaces after my periods in this post.  Just thought I’d point it out as it’d bother me if I didn’t yet I’m too lazy to check through and standardize.)

We walked out onto Lexington Avenue to the sight of this:

People setting up for part of the filming of Men in Black 3!  Too bad we didn’t get to see Will Smith – his stunt double was present but I didn’t manage to get a shot.

After that we hustled our way down to the Gramercy Park Hotel, which housed…

Maialino.  A self-described “new Roman-style trattoria,” it promised great food. good prices, and incredibly, no lines! (Given the near-universal passion people here share for brunch, good places nearly have a wait.  At great places the wait can easily extend to an hour or more.)

As we were led to our table we passed by these massive loaves (lengths?) of yummy flatbread.  Portions of which I would soon be greedily stuffing in my face.

Getting our food proved to be a difficult task as I was overwhelmed by the options.  Our poor waitress had to come back to our table several times before she finally received our order.  The time spent proved worthwhile however, as we got a good mix of fantastic food.  In no particular order, our meal comprised of:

Porchetta
Roast pork, fried egg, and ciabatta

The pork – rich, fatty, juicy, and porky – was well complemented by the peppery arugula and crunchy bread.  I am also a sucker for runny egg yolks on my sandwiches.

Ricotta Pancakes
Ricotta, maple syrup, and strawberry-rhubarb compote

Fluffy, buttery, well caramelized, stupendous pancakes.  Great on their own but enhanced when topped with the accoutrements.  X have noted that they have exceptionally good maple syrup.

Maialino Scrapple
Fried pork liver & pork belly terrine

I guess that makes this fried fat?  Awesome, livery goodness.  I work out so that I can eat this stuff without my heart exploding. *knock on wood*

Here I am meticulously spreading egg yolk evenly over my sammich – I’m neurotic like that.  I’m not sure why I look kind of sad in the picture.  Maybe it’s because my subconscious is trying to tell me that I am in desperate need of a haircut (which I will do this Saturday with Brandon, in chinatown, after filling our bellies with dumplings and whatnot).

We left stuuuuuffed!  The fullness actually magnified as we wandered the city – lasting hours after our meal.  Likely because we filled our stomachs with so much food that it had difficulty conveying meaningful information to our brains.

After wandering around some stores we went to meet up with one of my old college suite-mates to celebrate his engagement.  By the time we got home we were hungry again.  I can’t recall what I had but X sated herself on a bunch of Trader Joe’s Roasted Gorgonzola Crackers.

And so ended our first Saturday of the Summer 2011.

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