I don’t like Mondays

August 12, 2008 at 9:05 pm (foods library, nova scotia motorcycle trip, travel toothbrush) (, , , )

Nova Scotia Trip Day Three, on a rainy Monday.

Day three may have been the worst day of the trip by far. I think we were starting to get to our breaking points, we were all hangry (when you’re hungry and angry at the same time, you may also use crungry to describe this phenomenon), and the weather just wouldn’t let up.

We started the day by packing up the enchanted forest camp, without seeing a unicorn horse mind you. We travelled into St. John, New Brunswick with high hopes for a nice breakfast and a good day of riding. These thoughts were shattered once we parked and immediately encountered a native with nic fits. He asked us all for a cigarette and none of us had any since (woohoo- six months!!!) none of us smoke. He found this very hard to believe and angrily yelled “None of you smoke?!” It was then that we knew St. John was not welcoming us with open arms.

We left the bikes with some trepidation and looked for a diner. After a few blocks we realized we didn’t want to leave all of our stuff and the bikes open to the masses and planned to move them. As we approached our parked bikes we noticed a homeless man admiring our shanty town packed bikes, specifically Michael’s bike. At least our instincts were still working.

Back on the bikes for a few blocks we settled on a parking lot where we’d grocery shop our breakfast instead. Something about St. John put the cranky so far into our pants that none of us could shake it and we decided to skip breakfast and hurriedly run our bank, gasoline and camping store errands and get on the road. These errands ended up keeping us in St. John for far longer than anyone should ever stay in St. John. I saw more homeless people there than anywhere else on our trip. The highlight of St. John was the camping store that also sold the Canadian equivalent of the boy scouts, known as the BEAVERS!!! Check out their scary and fascinating mascot:

Because the clerk skeeved me out to no end and because I was hangry I did not purchase any fabulous Beaver products.

Finally we left St. John, on empty stomachs and pushed on and it rained and rained and rained. We stopped at a rest stop/A&W restaurant to eat and rest.

After pitching a little fit I ordered the only two non-fried vegetarian things on A&W’s menu, the swiss cheese veggie burger and green garden salad. I love vegetables, especially dark leafy greens. I am obsessed with them. So when my shitty iceberg lettuce salad came out I pitched another little fit but then I shut up and ate the vegetables I could get. I also ate my scarily gray hued veggie burger with processed swiss cheese on it, only slightly bitching while chewing. Bill opted for the Grandpa burger since he is Pop-Pop. Eww, Bill, Eww.

We got back on the road in the rain but had to stop to work on both Jared and Spano’s chains. Jared’s chain and back wheel had been problematic for some time, Spano’s chain issue came about that morning. The boys were able to fix Spano’s but realized that Jared’s would need a hardware store for proper fixing. We decided to camp sooner than later since the rain wasn’t letting up and since we needed a hardware store for Jared. We found a campsite that just wasn’t right, they were lovely and pointed us in the direction of another just down the road.

After setting up in the rain and some bickering we got our shanty town up and running. Michael, Wes and I set out for the grocery and liquor stores. There we found plenty of cheap food and plenty of expensive alcohol. I guess national health care equals high ass costs for killing your insides with alcohol. As a foreigner I just couldn’t get behind these prices and opted to drink from my flask.

We fulfilled everyones grocery store orders and I bought precious vegetables and some soup in a box. We got outside and realized the temperature was ten degrees higher and the rain had stopped. I smiled for the first time in many, many hours.

Back at the campsite we realized that three beers had exploded in the bag. Three Mooshead beers equalled $4.50 of failure. I made soup and hot whisky tea and ate an avocado and a tomato. Happiness. Everyone else went to bed and Bill dried his socks, flannel and boots. Michael and I stayed up long enough to enjoy some fire and dry clothing time before retiring to our sleeping bag beds, prepared to sleep off any remnants of St. John.


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I would ride 500 miles and I would ride 500 more…

July 28, 2008 at 11:00 pm (foods library, nova scotia motorcycle trip, travel toothbrush) (, , , )

I am home now, 2900 miles, trench foot, diaper rash, and ten days later I am home.

Nova Scotia Trip. Day One.

I’m gonna do this day by day or I’ll be so overwhelmed by it I’ll just say fuck it and go put on some Boudreaux’s Butt Paste and hang out in my bed for several many hours.

On Saturday, July 19, 2008 at 7:30AM I embarked on a journey from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States to Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada. I did so on the back of Michael’s 1974 BMW R90s. Joining us was Mike, Bill, Jared, Wes and Christie. In total we were a crew of seven people, five motorcycles. We were the new and improved vibrations for long periods of time crew, we were a force to be reckoned with. And our force was indeed reckoned with, many, many times. The reckoning came mostly in the form of downpours and thunderous clouds and puddles. I’ll get to that later.

We started the trip by hopping onto 95N to meet up with Wes and Christie. I ripped the crotch of my jeans, realized I had forgotten my brand new camera battery and charger and that I’d downloaded the incorrect Howard Stern Show. And then 95N was detoured for a bit. Good start. Bill suggested I purchase a Canadian flag patch and sew it to my jeans making me Captain Canada Box. Nickname number one.

The trip got off to an even better start at Pj’s Pancake House in Princeton, NJ. The most amazing thing about this restaurant is that it owns the url pancakes.com. And that is pretty much where the amazement ends for me. They were good, don’t get me wrong. But they were way more expensive than pancakes should ever be. I indulged in $7.55 pecan pancakes, two of them. Well actually I only ate one but whatever. I also indulged in $4.55 “mashed browns”. They were sort of gross. Mashed up home fries with green peppers and onions in them. So with my coffee I managed to spend almost $20 on my first meal. Whatevs.

After enjoying the twisty roads of the Taconic State Parkway and the sites of Harriman State Park we stopped just past Hartford, CT for a pizza lunch. Jared’s bike died and luckily it had just run out of gas. The pizza place scared me and gave me the vibe that their bathroom must have a web cam in it. The counter guy asked eight million questions including, “Which state is Nova Scotia in?” Yup. We also learned the term aftertizer, it’s trademarked. It referred to deep fried chunks of cheesecake. No one indulged.

Back on the road we had a few stops for gas but we made it to Maine. I also made it about eleven chapters deep into the audiobook of To Kill a Mocking Bird. On the way we saw a wolf running full speed on the grassy shoulder/woods of 95N. It was badass. My Dad thinks it must have been a coyote, even so, I’m saying it was a wolf. I can’t remember when the rain started but it did. It was just a little preview of the days and weather patterns to come. And so we rode in rain.

We made it to Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park but couldn’t find the camping area. We followed some nice people, they were trying to be helpful but I think they were really just drunk. Finally we arrived at the check-in and were given a site to accommodate all five tents and bikes. Unfortunately our site had been pillaged already and we set up our shanty town on a much smaller patch of grass. After campfires, a hand carved pipe, picnic table conversations fueled by John Power’s Irish Whiskey, giggle fits and a few new nicknames we retired to our sleeping bags and let the exhaustion of 515 motorcycle miles wash over us.

And that concludes day one of our trip. I’m going to go pass out now.

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we named our children after towns that we’ve never been to.

June 10, 2008 at 12:40 am (foods library)

The Memphis Taproom. A review with pictures and words.

I am so very happy that the Memphis Taproom exists. It’s really lovely, it’s reasonably priced and it’s within walking distance from my home. I don’t dig on beers but the beer loving friends that I have tell me the beer and the beer selection is as fabulous as Patsy and Edina, absolutely that is. I am a huge fan of their Pear Cider. It goes down a little too easily and as my friend Sue says, tastes like what she thinks a Jolly Rancher would taste like. It doesn’t really though but it is very refreshing.

Check it all out for yourself here: Memphis Taproom

Since I’m veg I can only tell you what I thought about the veg dishes. One meaty dish was consumed by Jake and I made him tell me about it. I think I understood.

Please excuse the dodgy photographs as my manfriend Michael sure hates having flashes go off around him in public. He gets instantly aggro and embarrassed. Dork. He had the vegan version of Fish and chips, that being Miso Tofu and Chips. It was pretty darn tasty but I’ve been told it can be a little too greasy so make sure you’re in the mood for the fatness.

Jake, the table carnivore, consumed the BBQ Pork Sandwich. This also comes in a seitan, vegan version. I have not tried this yet but everyone advises to get the sauce on the side because it is sooooo friggin hot and not so much in a good way. Apparently it’s all heat, not enough flavor. But still someone always orders it when we’re there so it can’t be that bad I guess. The pic was total crap and I didn’t want to embarrass Michael anymore than I already had. Sorry. It looked like pulled pork on a roll with a side of fries. Use your imagination.

Sue ordered the special vegan version of the Caprese Salad. Total appetizer so she had to get fries too. It looked so pretty. I didn’t taste it since there was so little of it on her plate. I feared she’d stab me with her fork. Kidding, of course. But for serious it’s friggin tofu and tomatoes, a few more would’ve been more to my liking for the price tag of $8.

Orsborn had the ALT, avocado, lettuce and tomato sandwich. It also has some weird brown sugary smokey mayo on it. It’s pretty tasty.

I’ve tried others a few times but never ordered it on my own because I am soooo addicted to their homemade veggie burgers. Usually I am so unenthused by a veggie burger but I am so very much enthused by this flavorful, perfectly burnt on the outside burger. It’s served on the fluffiest roll too. It’s like eating perfection on a little cloud. Or something. It’s by far my favorite thing that I’ve sampled from the menu. I definitely and wholeheartedly suggest it. You might want to ask for extra pickles too because the Patriot Pickles that they serve are top notch as far as pickles go and I know a thing or two about a pickle or two. Go get some pickles.

They usually have two vegan desserts on tap as well. I’ve yet to try them but I’m told they’re quite good and provided by a local Fishtown bakery appropriately called, Baked.

In short, get your ass on over to the Memphis Taproom.

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The New York minute really is a country mile if you add up all the travel time.

May 19, 2008 at 11:35 pm (foods library)

I have a wedding to plan, I procrastinate a lot. Here’s another form of it.

I figured I’d start the blog that I signed up for over a year ago with a food and photo essay of New York. This way it sort of looks like I’m interesting and do interesting and fun things instead of napping to recorded episodes of The People’s Court.

Michael and I went to visit the Orsborn in Brooklyn because he threatened to wear a bathrobe to our wedding if we didn’t come and see his new place. Mind you, he has lived in his new place for almost two years now. Doh. So we hopped on the Chinatown bus and went a traveling. We fucked up and got off the bus early, who knew that was even a possibility. We usually drive. We are dumb. It was raining. The train we wanted didn’t come. 3 hours and 45 minutes later we arrived at the new apartment and now Orsborn has to wear a suit. Ha.

We trudged back out into the rain to partake in pizza and two bars. I didn’t photograph the pizza but it was good. That is all about the pizza.

The next day after enjoying coffee and bagels we traveled into the city for a day of walking, window shopping, real shopping and massive amounts of food. Good thing I have a wedding dress purchased already, recently quit smoking and kind of hate the gym. My mother has already offered that my father can use the wheelbarrow to get me down the aisle. How sweet.

We walked around a bit and then had lunch at Candle Cafe and it was yummy. It was also insanely expensive. A good example of this is the guacamole appetizer that was shared by the table. Twelve is about seven dollars too many for a plate of guacamole if you ask me. Yup. Anyway we ate it up, but not before I took a picture so everyone would know what $12 worth of guacamole in Manhattan looks like.

I had a really hard time choosing an entree because dear god in heaven everything sounded amazing. I finally decided on the Cuban Seitan Sandwich. I had no idea that it would deep fried seitan. Soooo good. It came with some coleslaw and an ancho chile aioli. I would suggest eating this at least once in your lifetime.

Michael opted for one of the specials, the Mexican Style Wrap. He was also very happy and cleaned his plate.

Orsborn went with the Tofu Club. I thought it looked alright, he thought it tasted yummy. He was coveting my ancho chile aioli. In retrospect I don’t why I didn’t give him some since I didn’t even use half of mine. Oops.

So yeah totally go get yourself some grub at Candle Cafe. Just hope that you don’t get stuck next to a screaming baby like we did. My ovaries were shuddering at the sound. Seriously, it was the most high pitched “I fucking hate being at this restaurant because I’m a fucking baby” scream I’ve ever heard.

After lunch we walked and walked and walked some more. I stood in line at Whole Foods so I could pee. I stood in line for almost 1/2 an hour. Stupid. There are too many people in new york city. It’s official. I overheard some lady in the stall next to me with two young girls tell one of them that her pee was too yellow and she needed to drink more water. It made me feel weird.

The boys had a beer while I played I love standing in lines and stood in line for another 1/2 hour to try on clothes at the biggest Forever 21 (yeah I’m 30 and in denial, suck it) I’ve ever seen. I was lucky enough to stand behind five teenage girls. Jesus Christ. That’s all I’ll say.

We walked and walked and walked some more and I purchased some all black chuck taylor high tops, and a few bridal magazines. This makes me feel better about not being around this weekend or doing wedding related things. Yup. We worked up an appetite and headed back to Brooklyn to dine at Red Bamboo

I think it is possible that the old Johnny Brenda’s shitastic waitresses trained the waitress at Red Bamboo. She was definitely dumb and definitely bad at her job. That being said the food was pretty damn good. Oh and I saw Santino Rice of Project Runway fame there. Woot! Last time we went to New York we saw Scarlett Johansson. Santino is no Scarlett but I sure did love watching him on the tv.

Anyway, back to the food. We ordered drinks and appetizers but got our appetizers first because our waitress was the awesome. I got a white guava sangria. Tasty. The boys had boring beers. I don’t really drink beer so don’t expecting any beer reviews up in here.

Orsborn ordered the Jerk Spiced Chicken skewer things. I thought they’d be different than they were. He let me taste one and I thought it was hot but not flavorful, and it was a little rubbery. It was the only thing I didn’t like, besides the waitress. Suck it waitress!

I had the Sweet Potato and Broccoli Tempura, the two best things about Tempura, in my opinion. Mmm.

I’m new to food blogging so I forgot to take pictures, hence the bites and missing food. Doh.

Our entrees were also super yum. I had the Bourbon Chicken Dinner. Here it is in all its glory.

I have to say I liked it quite a bit but would have done a few things differently. Some more mushroom gravy would have been nice and some sort of seasoning on the steamed veggies was really needed but the bourbon “chicken” was perfect.

Michael opted for the Taco Trio. You get to choose between beans, veggie chicken or veggie steak. Stress the OR. You cannot have one of each. You cannot have two steak and one chicken. This did not make Michael very happy. It came with this insanely weird and yummy but too hot sauce. It definitely had some truffle oil in it. It definitely had a little too much heat and needed to be cut with something. I definitely could not stop eating it.

Orsborn went with the “chicken parmesan hero” It did not photograph very well. It was about as big as my forearm. He ate it all.

We went back to the “you can’t wear a bathrobe to the wedding” apartment and enjoyed our food comas.

The next day we continued our gluttony at one last restaurant, a tex mex place on 19th St and 5 Ave. I don’t know what it was called. It was good though. Michael and I had margaritas to celebrate our awesomeness. Orsborn enjoyed at pineapple soda.

The food was huge and tasted great. I had a combination platter so I could try a little of everything- one cheese enchilada, one veggie burrito and one guacamole taco.

Michael thought he was being healthy by ordering the Avocado Salad. He was wrong. It was kind of insane.

Orsborn got a big old veggie burrito. What makes these veggie burritos so spectacular is that they are not just filled with tons of green pepper and onion. They actually have tons of veggies in them- cauliflower and green beans galore. Sweet.

After lunch we popped into an overpriced vintage store that held this:
I would’ve bought it for my friend Bill but it was stupid expensive. Sorry Bill.

Today I barely ate any calories because it is time to get that no ciggy weight off so I can fit into my wedding dress. I’m cheap, not vain. Okay, I’m a little vain too. Whatevs. Suck it.

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