Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Foodie Adventures with Nach: Day 3

Nach came back safe and sound from his Thursday Philly trip, ready to go adventuring some more bright and early on Friday morning. At one point he was trying to suggest that perhaps we could start a little later in the day. Memories of the terrifyingly long day we had on Wednesday had him talking crazy when he uttered that suggestion, but that would mean fewer hours to eat. Weighing the pros and the cons, we set out early once more but it was not early enough…

Nach: Hurricane like winds, Mental Asylums to my right, Cemeteries to my left… not a pleasant visit to Philly, add to the equation lousy drivers (the NYC type but drunk) and you have the recipe for disaster… The only reason I'll go back is because I have family over there...

...we made Doughnut Plant on 23rd street our first stop. By the time we got there, it was packed and many of the doughnuts I wanted were sold out. There was this cashew chew and orange doughnut I wanted and I saw it in the display case: just one more left! I asked the guy for two of those thinking there were more in the back. He called to a co-worker to ask on the state of those doughnuts and he told me they were sold out. WHAT?! BUT I'M LOOKING AT THE ONE! Some lucky fool must have secured it before I got there. Ah well. Such is life.

Nach: It was a bit cloudy that morning, not the perfect conditions to embark on another foodie adventure, but doughnuts are the fuel of life! And I had to try the infamous NYC doughnut!

Doughnut Plant doughnuts are amazing to me. I usually get the tres leches but since I did not see any at the time, I went with the creme brulee. They're a little on the pricey side but their fresh ingredients and 'classy' flavours (plus their continued booming business) means if I want to eat one, then I'm going to have to pay.
Doughnut innards! Sick! Nach, you're a monster!
Nach: And then you noticed the Tres Leches ones… I wanted to buy a couple of those, but I had to think of the other meals… and made the correct the decision to move on.
This began Nach's doughnut eating frenzy.
He had three doughnuts at this meal.
Nach: I normally eat 4 or 5 doughnuts… Now I want to eat doughnuts =/ Doughnut Plant should have delivery service to Florida mang!

He went with the carrot cake, an apple spice and a creme brulee as well.

Nach: Carrot Cake: Missing the nutty flavour.
Apple Spice: Needed more spice.
Creme Brulee: DABESS!
And even if they weren't perfect, they were the best doughnuts I've had in my life!
Nach would like to direct you to the racist photograph right above the penguins...or whatever those birds are (if they are birds).
To make matters worse, not too far away is Mario Batali's Eataly. Eataly is a big indoor market for all things Italian: fresh pastas, fresh seafood, fresh meats. But it also has food stalls for your sweet treats and other eats. It was still reasonably early when we got there and it was then Nach spotted the gelato counter.

Nach: Eataly… it was the closest I've been to Italy since last summer, fresh pasta, fresh mozzarella, chocolates, pizza… and the most important thing… Genuine Pistachio Gelato!

It was about 4 minutes to the stand's 11 a.m. opening, so we waited patiently. Then something horrible happened. This woman who had also been waiting patiently was ahead of us and decided she needed to order about two container's worth of raspberry gelato and some other one (I didn't take note). Why was this horrible? Well, it meant Nach had to wait even longer while drooling and commenting about how rich and creamy the gelato was as we watched the woman get served hers. We had just had doughnuts about half an hour before so I don't see how he could possibly be hangry but he was.
Nach: Man I hated that woman, she wasn't waiting in line and suddenly she was ordering a gallon of ice cream before us! What a B! The other gelato she ordered was the Sweet Milk one which Z ordered.

With some time to kill before heading back to Midtown to meet up with TAY's very own Resident Black Market Specialist, Hannibal Chau Chow a.k.a UI, we sat at a counter in Eataly talking to random strangers, and one them got to see my embarrassing display of trying to carefully sit on a very high stool. It was quite comical. Nach, I would kindly thank you to shut it.

Nach: It may have been the funniest thing I've seen in my life… but me trying to pick up your bag from the floor was pretty pathetic… those stalls were higher than they normally should be.

We headed back to midtown where we picked up Halal Food for The Swan (and yes, Nach ate a little bit of it again because he couldn't resist), and met with UI.

Nach: You can't deny a meal from Halal!

UI: Of course, I will pick an obnoxiously big font to chime in my comments because I've ask myself, "Is there any other way? Are you losing it? That's not even a question, the answer is NO!"

After laughing and causing a ruckus, we then headed into the subway hoping that it would not rain on us. UI was trying to sell me a story that it rained some earlier on him. I was not buying what he was selling. Oh, I'm only kidding. It was pretty overcast and luckily no rain fell on us as we made our way downtown to St. Marks for takoyaki, another Japanese Grocery, Toy Tokyo, Barnes & Noble and dinner at Kenka.

UI: I don't lie about when it rains, for I don't dance in the rain. I glare it and run from it.

These are slightly better pictures of takoyaki that I took a couple of years ago, because Nach scarfed his down so fast that I didn't have time to take any. ::smh::
So after takoyaki, we made our way to Toy Tokyo. My apologies to Habboi for not having enough time or multiple stomachs to go to pommes frites. It's there I would have taken all sorts of mayo pictures for you, Habboi. Alas, the takoyaki and OH! Wait, the cream puff we (read: Nach) had and the trip to the grocery dissuaded pommes frites. That's right. Blame Nach! This actually happened before Toy Tokyo.

Okay, after the cream puff, THEN we headed to Toy Tokyo. We may or may not have shopped for presents for peeps here. And yeesh, we spent forever in there (totally my fault). I'll let UI tell you all about Toy Tokyo and our follow up trip to Barnes and Noble...

UI: The lack of gundam models at Toy Tokyo makes me a sad panda.

And as for Barnes and Noble, my mind was blown away for quite some bit of time, so if I had any intention of trying to rid the hipster, it was all in the past at the point. Gundams and SH Figurarts at BN at reasonable price, who would have guessed? Combine with membership and those coupons, you've got yourself a deal.

Oh and let's not forget how your 3DS refuse to streetpass with Nach and my 3DS. Ahem at your failure to update.

Well, UI was not supposed to tell you about that 3DS debacle which by the way, WAS NOT MAH FAULT. I didn't even update it and it worked the day after. It was all very strange. I think maybe I need that Zelda one to replace my ailing streetpass deficient current small one... Swan? What do you think?
If you're ever looking for Kenka, they open at 6 p.m. daily and there's usually a group of people standing up front. Also look for the giant raccoon with the big balls. There's no line to sign your name, so go ahead and put your name on the wait list as soon as you get there (and don't be an ass like that one girl I encountered there... eye roll... ). Above Kenkas is a punk rock store called Search and Destroy. T. You'd actually probably like it in there.
Okay, so by this time it was nearing 6 p.m. There's this Japanese restaurant that my good friend B. and I often frequent whenever we hang out at St. Marks. It's called Kenka and it's fabulous. The chairs are tiny, blaring Japanese music and rail announcements (all in Japanese) blasts out of the speakers, and the walls are covered in Yakuza and sometimes pornographic Japanese art. The menu is overwhelming and full of things such as bull penis and turkey testicles. I don't want to talk about those things anymore.

There are ordinary things on it too though and we didn't go crazy this trip. If B. were with me, we always try something a bit on the 'stranger' side but I didn't want to scare Nach too much.
It's very important you get the fries at Kenka if you like potatoes and fries. They're crinkle cut, are covered in ketchup and Japanese mayo and they're fantastic. I know there are a lot of things I could get from the menu but these are so freaking good, I just cannot resist.

Another place selling kakuni? Well, we just had to do it...
Tofu. Mmmmm. It was so good. It's fried and comes in a light broth. The special of the night was this grilled salmon in a miso glaze. I wanted the toro but this sounded too good to pass up and we were not disappointed.
UI and Nach both had noodles as well. There was onigiri too but I didn't get a good picture. For their noodles, UI had some sort of ramen that I didn't pay much attention to and Nach had curry Udon. It was his first time having Japanese curry. For me, it took me years to get used to the flavour of Japanese curry. The ones I've had have always been a bit sweet and so different from the West Indian curry I've grown up with. I love the stuff now but it was only until recently that I acquired the taste for it.

Other than the cool thing about Kenka and its ability to just order a lot of small dishes, it's also inexpensive and they give you tiny cups of sugar at the end. What's it for? You take it outside after you've paid your bill and get to work on making your own cotton candy. Yep! They have their own cotton candy machine outside. I have many stories of failed attempts at making a decent sized one. While there are days when we're just champions at it. This night, we combined our three sugars and made Hannibal Chau Chow have the honour of making us a batch. Because well...

UI: And Nach's hunch was right about me being somewhat a pro at cotton candy. Not going to lie, but it was painful watching the people in front of us fail miserably.

But I won't make a second career out of that.

I think Nach was well good and stuffed after this day. We happily made our way to our trains, eating our cotton candy and laughing at UI's skills. It was a pretty good Friday and one I hope we can repeat in the future, with more friends from TAY too!

On DAY 4 in How to Lose a Hipster in 4 Days... it's actually a combination of Saturday and Sunday. Loki was there, and Fyst, UI, L., Swan's husband and Swan. Nach's bottomless pit of a stomach makes another appearance or ten too. And there are more doughnuts involved.
Stay Tuned!

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