Sunday, April 20, 2014

Cronut? We don't need no stinkin' Cronut!

I just got home from a whirlwind trip to the Big City. I went down Friday after school, spent the day doing theatre on Saturday, did one last loop to some of my favorite eateries on Sunday, and then hit the road for home. WHEW! But I had a terrific time, even though my roomie and BFF was sick and had to stay home (boo hiss). Enjoy a few tasty pics, won't you?

On my way through the capitol region on Friday, a friend suggested that I make a short detour to Dinosaur BBQ in Troy for dinner. So glad I did! (I can't believe that I've never been before!) This is a solo sampler plate of appetizers: Drunken shrimp, fried green tomato, hoisin chicken wing, Cajun deviled egg.

(The fried green tomato and that one wing were the best things I ate there, hands down!)

Combo platter: Mac and cheese, BBQ beans, cornbread, housemade hot link and chow chow, ribs, and brisket with housemade pickled jalapeños. (Yes, I took half of this with me to my hotel in Secaucus!) 
The main reason for my trip: To see my beloved Neil Patrick Harris in one of my all-time favorite shows, Hedwig and the Angry Inch! FABULOUS!!
The line at the stage door (spilling out into the street) to see NPH. (My fearless friend, Jaymie, is in the red pants. Soon enough, she would use her diminutive size and stealthiness to sneak to the front of the pack for an autograph!

SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The man himself, NPH!!!!!!!!!!!! (And that's Jaymie's hand shoving a playbill in his face for him to sign. GO, JAYMIE!!)

And in an act of extreme generosity and friendship, Jaymie gave the signed playbill to me!! I LOVE HER SO MUCH!!
As if the autographed playbill weren't enough, Jaymie and her wife, Audrey, took me to dinner at this place in Chinatown that had the most AMAZING Peking Duck (as the name of the restaurant might lead one to believe).
Apparently, the render the fat from the duck for 48 hours so that it's not the least bit greasy, but so tender and moist. And a chef carves the bird table-side for your viewing (and smelling) pleasure!
I can't even convey how good this was! The Peking Duck was crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. The way you were supposed to eat it was to roll up a few pieces in a "pancake" (a flour tortilla, really) with some scallion and/or cucumber and their spicy plum sauce. YUM, YUM, YUM!!
My second theatrical experience of the day was to take in Sleep No More, which was this strange, dream-like immersive play that was loosely based on MacBeth. It's located in an old warehouse in Chelsea made into a "hotel" with many rooms and many characters that appear and interact with onlookers from time to time. All of the spectators must wear one of these Venetian-type masks and must not speak, but you may wander from room to room and floor to floor at your own pace and see what interesting things unfold along your journey. VERY, VERY COOL! I'd love to go back and do it again....if I could afford it, that is. :-(

The next day was Easter Sunday, so I thought I'd take a chance that the Cronut line at Dominique Ansel's bakery wouldn't be that bad. Sure enough, I only waited about 45 minutes, and it was a beautiful spring day and quite pleasant to be outside after a loooonnnnggg winter up north. I even found street parking nearby! WOOT!!
Signs inside the shop. (Tee hee.)
Annnnnnddd, here they are! TA-DAH!! The flavor of the month was passion fruit, and they were definitely DELICIOUS! But here's the conclusion I came to: It was fun to do the Cronut thing just to say I'd done it. But for my money (and time), the DKA (their version of kouign amann) was even better, and you don't even have to wait in line to buy one of those! If I did it again, I'd bypass the Cronut line altogether and go right inside and buy as many DKA's as my pocketbook and cholesterol levels would allow.
For my last stop in the City before heading home, I went by another one of my favorite places, Sullivan Street Bakery, for the beloved potato pizza and other baked delicacies. But right next store now is CO, a full-fledged pizza joint that is Jim Lahey's newest project. I ordered the Flambee with bechamel, mozzarella, caramelized onions, and crispy, smoky lardons. A-MAHZING! If this man isn't making the best pizza in the country, I don't know who is!

No comments: