Thursday, September 30, 2010
New York Food-o-rama: Part Three
On Friday it was all about bamboo.
Hallie and I agreed to meet Joe at the Metropolitan Museum of Art so we could be a part of the lucky group of people actually allowed to climb around on the Big Bambu exhibit. Everyone can go to see it, but we agreed that being able to climb up 50 feet of lashed-together bamboo would be way better than just walking around on the ground admiring it. Kind of like getting to climb up the stuff I made out of tinker toys when I was a kid.
Because we needed to get to the museum in a timely manner to get our tickets, Hallie and I forewent a sit-down breakfast in favour of some bagels grabbed along the way at a place aptly titled The Bagel Store. They had several varieties of tofu cream cheese (so civilized!) but I chose plain for my whole wheat bagel because I wasn't feeling particularly oniony at that hour and the sweet fruity cream cheese flavours gross me out.
The bagel was delicious and I ate it on the steps of the Met in the sunshine. I also had a giant iced tea because I was sweltering of boilingness.
We got our tickets (score!) and then had three hours to kill before our guided tour. Joe went off to run errands and Hallie and I went off to explore Central Park, which was lovely. We saw lots of turtles sunning themselves, and lots of high school kids rowing boats inexpertly while shrieking at each other. Soon it was time to go back to the museum.
We weren't allowed to bring cameras on the climbing portion of the tour, which was kind of a bummer because it was AMAZING. Totally breathtaking. The exhibit has been built in phases by the artists and a team of rock climbers. It's made to resemble a cresting wave, and it has pathways that snake all the way up to its highest point so you can walk up high and look over it from above. In a few weeks they'll start taking it down and it will be gone forever. I'm so glad I got to be a small part of its existence.
After our tour Hallie had to go off to work so Joe and I took off enthusiastically for Red Bamboo, a vegetarian restaurant he'd been talking up to me for a while. I must say here that Joe, who is not a vegetarian, is excellent at being vegetarian-adjacent. Hallie and I both noticed this. He knows good veggie places to eat and never complains or gets weirded out by the food on offer. And he does nice stuff like offer to order vegan cheese on whatever he's getting in case I want to try it. I always told him to go for the real cheese, though. I love vegan food, but vegan cheese is just not that great.
Here we are being dueling food photographers. I ordered cashew chicken and Joe ordered a Philly cheese "steak" sandwich. My food was amazing. Of course, I was super starving from all that park walking and bamboo climbing, so I would have been pretty happy with whatever was served to me. But this chewy fake chicken and crisp vegetables with rice was totally perfect for my giant appetite.
I was not going to miss out on dessert again, so halfway through dinner I forced myself to slow down and eat only the chicken blobs and the broccoli which were my favourite parts of the meal. This left me enough room for one of the five or six cakes they had available. This was called "Peanut Butter Heaven".
And heavenly it was. Light, spongey yellow cake layered with peanut butter and chocolate mousse and iced with a solid layer of chocolate frosting. I ate far more than I truly needed to. It was hard to stop.
We continued on to Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre where we got to see an improv show for free because Joe knows all the right people. It was a great show. I think that Chris Gethard is really, really funny. When the show was done I was almost asleep on my feet but we still managed to meet up with Hallie and her friend Joanne for drinks before she and I headed back to Brooklyn for some well deserved sleeping.
Last New York food recap is tomorrow. Glad you're still with me.