Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Hidden Wonders of Queens

Last weekend the bf and I visited another
lesser known spot in Queens.
The Flushing Mall.
We first heard about it from No Reservations,
anywhere that Bourdain goes is obviously going to
be awesome. This place did not disappoint.

Picture a little food court with the most amazing,
and sometimes unusual foods you've ever seen.
Our first item was a pink turtle shell shaped
creature that was filled with a red bean paste.
The texture was interesting,
(sticky and gelatinous)
and it was surprisingly delicious! and $1.50

We made our way down the line to a booth that
Bourdain ate at. This place was known for its
hand pulled noodles, so naturally we tried their
specialty. This is spicy pork noodles, and it is
a perfectly satisfying dish, and it was $5.

A few stalls down I noticed photos of what looked
like sesame buns, so I asked the ladies and they
told me that I had a choice of fillings: radish, scallion,
and a sweet red bean paste. Yes, red beans are everywhere.
I chose the radish, and definitely think that this is
something that I will get on every visit.
It was amazing! Light and flaky outside,
tangy radishes inside and this was about $1 or so.

Dessert part 1 was this Vietnamese Shaved Ice,
which we were both kind of skeptical of, because of
the gelatinous nature of all of the topping choices.
Would they be good? too sugary? too weird?
(Gelatinous items are very popular in this food court)
But we went for it, because who ever had any fun
playing it safe? We got passion fruit, kiwi, lychee gelatin,
and just another flavor called assorted gelatins.
They were a mix of orange, white and yellow gel
rectangles that can be seen to the right side.
Anyway, another win for the Flushing Mall food court!
And it is now a new refreshing dessert favorite of mine,
I just wish that I didn't have to go to Flushing to get it!

Our dessert part 2 will remain picture-less because
we ate them all before I thought to take a photo.
They are called "cream cakes" and they are mini vanilla
cakes shaped like corn with a cream filling on the inside.
So good! The bf isn't big on sweets so I managed to house
most of the dozen that we bought.

It was an awesome day, oh! and I also found Totoro slippers
at the mall. I might be getting those next time as well.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Latest Obsessions

*Martin's Pretzels

*Totes and things designed by Thomas Paul

*The return of Abita Strawberry Beer

*Uniqlo's new jeans. better fit, no more saggy knees.

*Buying plants/herbs at the greenmarket

*"Meet Me Halfway" By the Black Eyed Peas.
(I don't normally like their stuff but this
gets me dancin')

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Ich bin ein Berliner

I definitely ate enough Berliners on my visit.
The ones from Bacca, our next door bakery,
were by far the best that we had.
Here is a photo of our favorite confection
next to a rhubarb creation that was equally
as delightful as the doughnut.

And here is a list of my top 7 favorite things
about my trip to Berlin. (in no particular order)

1.)Schneeweiss.Prater.Weltrestaurant Markthalle.
I loved every dinner that we had. The German
cuisine did not disappoint, in fact, it has been
one of the few cuisines that I still crave upon
my return home. I didn't go photo crazy
with the food on this trip but here are a
few pictures to make you kinda jealous.

2.)Olivin Wellness Sauna
We did go there on ladies day and it did not disappoint.
It was 26 euros for 2 1/2 hour in the sauna and a
20 minute massage-so affordable and very relaxing.
They did this thing that I like to call the orange ceremony,
a girl came into the sauna and poured orange scented water on
the coals a few times and then swung a towel around to
spread the heat and orange scent. This happened a few times,
then each lady got one final wave of the towel, and then
orange slices were passed around. By this time the sauna had gotten
so hot that I was feeling a little woozy, so I went outside
to their courtyard and laid in a lounge chair. It was surreal to be
outside in freezing weather, wearing only a towel, and watching
the flurries fall through the bamboo trees.

3.)The U and S-Bahn.
Ridiculously efficient. Why can't NY get on board
and let us know when the next train is coming?
I also never had to wait more than 9 minutes for
a train. Below is my favorite station Weberwiesse
(pronounced veeeberrveeasaa)

4.)The DDR Museum
They cram a lot of info into this tiny museum.
Here, you can open up drawers and cabinets to
find infomation and old items from East Berlin.
Apparently nude beaches became popular and
to illustrate this they set up a model of nude folks
at the beach. Naturally I took a picture. You're Welcome.

This candy place was awesome. You get to watch them
make the confections right in front of you, and pick
up some delicious treats to take home. My favorite was a
nougat filled caramel candy, I wish that I had gotten more.

I could have happily made a home on their 6th floor
amongst the cheeses and wines. I don't know that I can
really describe this for you and truly do it justice.
It is a food lovers paradise. I left with multiple cakes,
tea, candy, and a cigar for my dad. We also decided to
have lunch there at one of their many counters.
I got a delicious chicken veg stir fry with a ridiculously
perfect Riesling.

7.) German TV.
I am a sucker for foreign television. Maybe because all
of their cop dramas and soap operas are so low brow,
or maybe because I'm intrigued because I have to really
pay attention to the acting to understand the story.
Either way I was very happy with the shows that I got
to see, and especially excited that I was able to watch
Lenssen und Parner. We actually watched it back when
we were in Rome, it was comforting to know that Lenssen
was still fighting crime out of someones home office.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Back from Deutschland

What can I say?
Vacation was wonderful.
The only things that could have possibly
made it any better, would have been warmer
weather and a full knowledge of the German language.

But it is March and I am taking French classes,
so no dice. But the city was great, U-bahn was quick,
and the food was outstanding. I think that I really could be
a meat and potatoes kind of girl-but only for Berlin.

It is currently 7.56am and I am wishing that my body would
adjust to EST already. I may go back and lay down in the
sleep machine, so I will leave you with some photos.
Expect a more detailed post very soon.

Monday, March 01, 2010


I know I'm way overdue for a blog post.
But in my own defense, February was a
crazy-mega-ultra busy month.

I worked a lot, french class picked back up,
I was doing the thing-a-day, making desserts,

With all that behind me, it is now time for
BERLIN! I feel like I just wrote the post about
buying my tickets. Funny how 5 months fly by.

Anyhow, I've spend a ton of time planning, marking
my map, and writing down addresses. But please don't
be fooled, I like to be prepared not follow itineraries.
I may make lists and lists but when I arrive at my destination
I will let go of any kind of structure and try to
become an instant local. I look forward to wandering
the city, going to markets and odd shops, occasionally
indulging in museums and galleries.

Here is a list of my top 5 things I plan on doing in Berlin:

*Spending some time at Olivin
They have a special ladies day, where the sauna is 8euros
for 2 1/2 hours and they also have 20 minute massages for 16euros.
(I know what you are thinking..and I am fully aware that I could do
this at home. But I want to relax on my vacation.)

*DDR Museum. An interactive museum about the GDR.

*A concert featuring the Orchestra Academy of the
Berliner Philharmoniker. We already have our tickets,
and I'm pretty stoked about this one.

*Eating a lot of traditional German food.

*Going to a discotheque.
is it too much to hope for a discotheque that plays disco?
One can dream.

I'll post all about this upon my return!
til then,