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Sunday, May 30, 2010


So "the criminal," as my boyfriend calls her, is back from her visit to San Diego which means my Blue Ribbon dining compadre is back in tow.

Cynthia and I met Thursday at Woo Lae Oak where I was enjoying some Campari while awaiting her arrival. After I finished my drink, we headed next door to Lure because as I'd recently promised our favorite bartender, Laura, I'd bring Cynthia along with me to greet her on my next visit.

Unfortunately, the bar area was jam-packed and Cynthia and I had to wait (and hover) for an open bar stool to appear. (We'd better keep our eye on that one--I think she thinks she's going to snag our stools!) Just as I was about to finish my first glass of Schramsberg, the stools which Cynthia and I had been patiently awaiting were finally relinquished.

A brief pow-wow between Cynthia and I resulted in Fluke Ceviche with jalapeño, watermelon and meaty sashimi-like pieces. After thoroughly enjoying our dish, we told Laura that we were going to spend the rest of the evening doing things we've never done before--but instead, ended up back at Blue Ribbon.

As Cynthia slid herself into the banquette I noticed, above her head, a new addition to BR's permanent collection.

This is who keeps telling me to go to Blue Ribbon.

Narrowing down my list of dishes yet to be tasted, I opted for Pierogies while Cynthia went with New Orleans Shrimp. It wasn't until after I'd finished my first shrimp or two that I'd noticed I'd been eating them avec leurs carapaces; I guess that's just the way I eat shrimp now... Although, I didn't eat the heads until Cynthia suggested that I do and even then I tried avoiding the eyes, but misbit and accidentally ended up consuming them as well. I was fine.

Friday, by 3 o'clock in the afternoon, I had still not eaten anything because I couldn't decide where I wanted to eat for: breakfast, brunch, lunch. I decided I had to do something about it and after taking a look at their online menu, headed downtown, for East of Eighth.

They were offering a "Winter Lunch Break Menu" with plenty of choices for just $8.95. I chose the Grilled Pork Chop with grilled peaches and cornbread pudding.

It was amazing!

And I hate to say it, but it blew Blue Ribbon's pork chop out of the water. (but Blue Ribbon's was only a special, not a mainstay)

The cut was so thick and juicy (and lean too) and the grilled peaches added a very thoughtful touch. Even though I was already past the point of satiety by the time I finished my cornbread pudding, I managed to finish the squash and pearl onion salad as well.

Noticing this dish on their evening menu as well, I couldn't believe that what I had just had was an $8.95 dish. This dish could have justifiably gone for $23, or more! And I can't imagine that it was simply a smaller portion of the dinner menu dish; if it had been any larger it would have been too much!

Needless to say, I left East of Eighth very happy. (and my server was very accommodating as well--even to the point of bringing me an extra glass of champagne, compliments of himself)

Later that night, I ended up back at East of Eighth, for dinner. (I'm beginning to see a pattern here)

I ordered a glass of Australian Shiraz and the "Better than Mom's Meatloaf." Unfortunately, my wine was very unsavory--I don't recommend their wines by the glass. And the meatloaf was, unfortunately as well, not "better than Mom's." It was fine though and the garlic mashed potatoes weren't bad either.

(the dish did look nice though)

Saturday was a double shift for me at work. --Ugh.

At the end of it all, all I wanted to do was sit down and eat. I headed west, then north, and ended up at Cafeteria. Even though it was Memorial Day weekend and many New Yorkers had already scurried off to the safety of their nests in the Hamptons for the holiday, Cafeteria didn't register a blip. I spotted my friend (and Cafeteria's manager) Jon amidst the tumult and he directed me to go downstairs for additional seating.

I propped myself up at the bar and ordered a glass of prosecco. Jon was eventually able to escape the crowd long enough for a quick chat and to introduce me to the chef. I was telling her what all my favorite dishes there were, including the Chesapeake Crabcake Sliders. A few minutes later a slider appeared before me, unordered. (it pays to compliment the chef)

After scrolling over the menu, I decided upon (along with Jon's insistence) the Smoked Double Cut Pork Chop. A prosecco or two later, the dish arrived, looking scrumptious.

The cut of pork was, well... massive. And the dish accompaniments were apple sauce and potato pancakes with sour cream. The meat had a nice touch of charring on the outside, yet was still juicy on the inside and the apple sauce made for a nice dressing too. The pancakes were also tasty, although I only ate about half of them. (summer) According to Jon, all the accompaniments were "home made" and the proof was in the pudding--I'd say. > >

Next Post: Soft Shell Crab Sunday!
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