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Sweat and the City

July 8, 2012

See, some people think it’s supposed to be Sweat in the City but they are woefully mistaken.

If you happen to follow me on Twitter, yesterday you were berated by a slew of check-ins throughout Manhattan. But even those don’t fully outline all the things my little sister and I were able to squeeze into a 12 hour day in the city.

And this wasn’t any day either. This was a day when the thermometer was pushing 100 degrees. I’m sure that with the reflective heat of the sidewalk and all that cement that it actually felt even hotter than it was.

Cooling treats were the order of the day. Well, that and pizza cooked in a 1,000 degree oven. But Grimaldi’s was at least air conditioned. Luckily this city is well prepared for a heat wave. As it turns out, my regimen to stay cool was filed with an excess of dairy. Good thing I sweat out all those extra calories.

Shake Shake always has a tremendous line. People mysteriously want burgers even in the oppressive heat. But they also have a “B-Line” for frozen custard, cooling beverages, and something called a concrete. It’s like a blizzard, but only with better quality ingredients. In the spirit of the heat of summer, I opted for one made from vanilla custard and “fresh seasonal fruit.” How could that be bad?

Well this is the second out of two times that Shake Shake has disappointed me. Granted, I think the problem is partially my fault for ordering wrong. But at a certain point, the hit rate becomes a problem for the establishment.

Ask my sister. In what I thought should have been a light, bright and fresh ice cream treat, we found nothing but cloying sweetness. At one point the fruit was fresh. But then it was stewed in sugar (or at the very least poached). The texture of the stone fruit blended into the vanilla custard was soft and unctuous, and it was lacking the refreshing acidity that I wanted. The two of us couldn’t even finish it. So sad.

Soon after that I sent my sister on a recon mission in Eataly looking for a soft drink that was refreshing, flavored, and not too sweet. She came up empty.

The next stop was Eisenberg’s for a chocolate egg cream. Little Sis and I sat at the counter, right next to the soda tap, and watched the guy make egg cream after egg cream. The best part of the experience was watching him pull the near frozen whole milk from the cooler and build a head of white foam in the glass.

The egg cream wasn’t perfect. They have a way of lopping off a good bit of foam from the top, to make room for more soda. I’m not old enough to consider this blasphemy. So let’s just say, it makes me very concerned. Not to mention that I think the stirring of the chocolate syrup might be a hair too vigorous. But that’s just me.

What I really wanted was an Italian Ice. The problem was that when I wanted one, I couldn’t find a vendor nearby who was using the appropriate cups. Those would be the paper pleated ones that you can smash in the center and suck the melted ice from the channels on the sides. Sucking on those paper cups until the rims unfurl and start to disintegrate in your mouth, is part of the Italian Ice experience. Somebody has to tell the kids today that eating them out of workaday waxed paper or plastic cups is just plain wrong.

So instead of an Italian Ice, the most refreshing treat of the day was a snow cone in Central Park. That really hit the spot.

Before I head back to Albany later today, I’m getting my lard bread and some more coffee. After that, it’s anyone’s guess. I’m in my sister’s hands. But so far this has been a great adventure. The best way to have a two pizza lunch and not gain any weight is to sweat it off over the course of the day.

I could get used to this heat.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Mr. Sunshine permalink
    July 8, 2012 12:44 pm

    The Concrete was taken from Ted Drewe’s in Saint Louis, Danny Meyer’s home town. There they hand it to you upside down! Awesome shake.

  2. July 8, 2012 2:23 pm

    Awww man I miss Grimaldi’s! Love their pepperoni pizza. Is there anything like it in the Capital District?

    • July 8, 2012 2:37 pm

      Sadly, no. If I am wrong, please tell me so I can take my husband and make his YEAR.

  3. July 8, 2012 2:35 pm

    Well, that and pizza cooked in a 1,000 degree oven.. Yes, but that’s a staple.

    The last time I toured Manhattan on a hot, sticky day I mistakenly wore Tevas and my feet were covered in NYc smog soot. I hope you made better footwear choices than I did.

    Have you ever tried Pinkberry? I went there in March to get a gift card for my niece, and while I think the pile-on of garbage toppings is ridiculous, I was impressed with the quality of the frozen yogurt. rBGH-free to boot. If I had more time/it wasn’t so crowded, I would have tried all the flavors. I settled for the tart, delicious vanilla. With NO toppings. In a waffle cone. :)

    • July 10, 2012 7:26 pm

      A new yogurt place opened up last month in Crossgates. I’ve never had pinkberry, but what I sampled was pretty good.

  4. enough already! permalink
    July 9, 2012 6:22 pm

    Mmmmm….chocolate egg cream….used to love eating a large pretzel stick with one. Seemed to be the perfect combo. (slice of marble cake good too!)

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