Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Affected by a storm I never saw

Still stranded in Philadelphia, the earliest train I could book was early Friday morning and all the buses are still cancelled. The worst storm I've ever experienced, and I missed the whole thing.

Based on the reports I'm getting from friends, Manhattan, Queens, and New Jersey are still really struggling with flooding, power outages, and fires, so please send support to your friends or relief organizations if you can!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Storm It Up

I went to Philadelphia for a conference. On Sunday at exactly the same time, two hours after my arrival, the conference was cancelled and so were all transit and Amtrak trains back to NYC. Leaving me stranded.

So after meeting friend at Cafe Lift - I highly recommend their brunch, they have a mustard hollandaise sauce to die for - I walked the Liberty Bell, Washington's Presidential House, and the Independence Hall area before walking back through Old City to my hotel. Which I promptly left to hole up with an old high school friend I hadn't seen in ten years.

Look, if I'm going to be stranded in a city for three, possibly four or five days, I don't want to be alone! And my hotel was on the river, which made me super paranoid.

So we made pumpkin cranberry scones (thank you Trader Joe's! Your mixes make my life) and are doing what work we can manage while we still have electricity and internet. The weather is still rather mellow, so I'm a little annoyed with Amtrak for cancelling the trains so early, but then working from (someone's) home while catching up with an old friend is also awesome.

Having handled three wildfires in one year, three snow blizzards in the following year, and now this Frankenstorm, I feel like I should change my career track and become a disaster response expert instead...

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Blast from the Past

Pandora just played "I want it that way." Luckily for everyone involved, I still remember the lyrics.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Nora Ephron

I always liked Nora Ephron in passing (after all, the woman partly responsible for When Harry Met Sally gets immediate props), but I just read one of her books and I freaking love her. She is my new-found literary lover, and I am now on the waiting list for all the Ephron books that my library carries.

So excited!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Review: Max Brenner's

I may have explained this before, but in college my roommate and a group of her friends discovered their inner fat kids, and in turn I realized I had one, too. Your inner fat kid is that little big person inside of you who wants that extra cookie, that mac and cheese sampler plate, or the extra serving of cornbread-extra-butter-please. My inner fat kid is Augustus, and unfortunately when Augustus' appetite is awakened, it's hard to satisfy.

As we discovered yesterday, my friend also has an inner fat kid, Albert. And Albert suggested to Augustus that perhaps Mac and Cheese was insufficient. Perhaps, suggested Albert, we should also go to Max Brenner's, the Willy Wonka Chocolate Factory Equivalent of a restaurant.

And then, suggested Augustus, we can get three desserts. Because why just share one, or each get one, when we can get three?! It's not like we just had eight types of mac and cheese...

So, off their brand new menu we ordered:
Salted Caramel Milkshake - Pretty darn good, although admittedly the whip cream with the salted caramel topping was the highlight
Banana, peanut butter, and chocolate crepes - Outstandingly delicious. The extra peanut butter sauce on the side might be a bit excessive for the faint of heart when you see that there's already extra peanut butter in between the crepes. Also tastes good cold the next day.
Hazelnut Milkshake - Pretty darn good.

I've seen people go there for the food, too, and it always looks good. But why get dinner when you can just get multiple desserts??

Max Brenner
841 Broadway (between 13th and 14th Streets)

Friday, October 5, 2012


I went to S'mac by Union Square yesterday, a mac and cheese specialty restaurant. As an adamant food and mac and cheese lover, I insisted we get the sampler plate: a giant dish with eight different types of mac and cheese (All-American, 4 Cheese, Cheeseburger, La Mancha, Cajun, Napoletana, Alpine, Parisienne).**

Yum yum!

On the veggie options:
I loved the Parisienne with figs, brie, shiitake mushrooms, and rosemary. It's a serious indulgence and probably the most daring, but the flavors work and I love me some rosemary.

The La Mancha manchego cheese was a brilliant play, but I dislike fennel so I didn't really go for that one. But if you like fennel, the flavor is infused throughout the dish and it does complement the cheese well.

And for the less daring, All-American and 4 Cheese are both excellent. I was pleasantly surprised to find the All-American tasted more like the cheddar than the American cheese, so don't avoid it just because you don't like American. It is really quite good.

The Napoletana tasted like the pizza of the same name. If you want pizza but somehow ended up at the mac and cheese joint, get it, but otherwise the other options are a better bet.

On the meat options:
Apparently the the Cheeseburger tastes exactly like a Cheeseburger (but again, if you want a cheeseburger, maybe you should just go to a burger joint...), but the Cajun with andouille sausage is the way to go.

All in all, I was quite happy. I think next time I will take their "create your own" option, and see what fancy-ness I can come up with! They also have take-out and frozen, so you can keep some S'Mac at home in the freezer for the next time you're craving a little sumthin' sumthin'.

S'Mac Sarita's Mac and Cheese
345 East 12th Street between 1st and 2nd avenues
3 First Avenue, New York, NY 10002
157 East 33rd Street between Lexington and 3rd avenues 

**With tongue in cheek, they also sell antacid pills.