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The Party Before The Verdict

February 29, 2016

Vanity protects me from Gluttony. We’ve talked about this before. So I can’t quite say that I’ve let myself go. I still fit into the blue jeans I bought two years ago. Which are the same size Levi’s I’ve been buying since college. Over the years I’ve changed my choice of styles, and I’ve most definitely changed my preferred washes. But I’ve been able to keep my weight and my waist relatively constant for two decades.

Still, I’m not eating like I should. There’s still too much butter, too much popcorn, too much ice cream, too much chicken skin, too much challah, too many beers, and too many fried foods.

On the flip side, there’s not nearly enough exercise, not close to enough sleep, too few dark leafy greens, too little water, and almost a complete lack of stretching.

Amazingly, my body isn’t a complete disaster. Perhaps if it were, I would take care of it better. But it seems to be doing just fine. Seems to be is the key phrase there. And in just a few hours, I’ll know for relative certain. Because I could no longer run from my long-delayed physical examination.

I figured, regardless of the outcome, I’d want to make sure to eat a few delicious things. Although the first thing I ate after having my blood work done was more about science and facing the unfaceable.

The phlebotomist couldn’t see me until 10:30am on Tuesday. That meant an extended fast. And it was also the day of my big Yelp event. So there’s always a bunch of last minute work to do. I was famished and had no time for a proper lunch. Which suggested to me that it was the perfect time to face one of my longstanding fears: the double quarter pounder with cheese.

It was not good, but not nearly as awful as I expected. Sitting down to a half pound of McDonald’s ground beef always seemed like a terrible idea. When a small bit of that meat is drowned out by special sauce, pickles, and onions it’s fine. But there’s no hiding from the stuff when two thick hamburger patties make up the majority of the sandwich.

Oddly, it wasn’t the beef that was the problem. The meat is still better than the oddly spongy and completely tasteless patties at Burger King. What made the experience unpleasant was really two factors, the sheer quantity of food and the toppings. I love raw onions, especially on hamburgers. But the thick slivers of white onion were just too much. And I’m not a fan of yellow mustard, except maybe on an occasional hot dog.

Anyhow, I’m glad to have crossed that monstrosity off my bucket list. It was bad, as expected, but in unexpected ways.

Fortunately, I got to wash that taste out of my mouth on Tuesday night at Next Level at The Ruck with bone marrow, fried brussels sprouts, and parsnip bisque. At the after party downstairs I enjoyed a of kickass wings. And before I went home, I popped into the Lucas Confectionery for a quiet dessert of chocolate mousse cake in a jar. Man, that hit the spot.

Wednesday I rested.

Thursday was soup dumplings and peking duck at Ala Shanghai. It’s been over a year since I had that duck. It’s a different thing entirely from what I had in Beijing, but tender steamed buns filled with rich duck meat, tender duck fat, and crispy duck skin just make me so happy. In an effort to be healthy that was accompanied by bright green bok choy nestled among dense and savory mushrooms. Those soup dumplings were on fleek too.

Friday I treated myself to lots of chicken skin, plus mass quantities of challah with butter. There are days when I shouldn’t be trusted to carve the chicken. I’ll eat every last bit of crispy skin and greedily gobble up both oysters for the sake of my own pleasure.

Saturday I took the boy to Memphis King. He got just a half pound of pure meat. His favorite is the pulled pork, and the he got a gorgeous mound of the stuff. I mean seriously gorgeous with great bark and a deep smoke ring. You know it’s a serious BBQ place when they don’t sauce the meat so you can see the quality of the smoke. Me? I got the brisket sandwich on a hard roll topped with cole slaw. Memphis King makes its own hot BBQ sauce which is the perfect thing to cut through that tender fatty, smoky beef. So smoky. So good.

I’m sure you’ll have a hard time believing this, but by Saturday night I was actually craving a vegan sandwich. Maybe that had something to do with walking by Brakes on Lark Street before the Albany All Stars Roller Derby. I had the Bacon Bad fake bacon sandwich. It hit the spot, although it may not be for everyone.

After the bout I grabbed a Nine Pin Ginger Cider at CSP. After I popped into Soho Pizzeria for a slice of buffalo chicken pizza. The good news is that the bottom crust is much better than I expected. The bad news is that the pizza shop uses tomato sauce on this pie, when everyone knows that the best buffalo chicken pizzas are made with buffalo sauce.
But the eating didn’t stop there.

Some people go out for booty calls on Saturday night. Me? I went out on a foodie call. Albany Jane was still up, and she had food. Specifically she had a couple containers of broth and noodles with my name on them. But I wasn’t expecting that she would have Rochelle’s maja blanca.

Maja what? It’s a phillipino dessert that’s kind of between a coconut pudding and coconut fudge. It’s studded with pieces of corn, and topped with toasted coconut. While it may sound a bit unusual, it was fantastic. Even though I was already full from the pizza, I shoved as much of that into my mouth as I could, and then stole off with the rest.

Sunday was another roast chicken, with more skin, and both oysters. But this time I made stuffing on the side with homemade chicken stock, plenty of grassfed butter and locally made Italian sausage.

Even with all that gluttony, I couldn’t make it over to The Cheese Traveler for the sawtooth. Maybe it’s all gone. I missed the opening of Troy Kitchen and K-Plate. There was no time to go to the gathering of farm cideries at Nine Pin. The new rye at Yankee Distillers will have to take a rain check. I missed out on the whiskey barrel aged Satan’s Gut at Rare Form. And I’m sure there’s more that i’m leaving out.

I can’t eat all the things. It’s a tragedy.

Regardless of how the doctor’s visit goes, the wing tour is happening this Saturday regardless.
And then it’s followed up immediately by the New York State Craft Brewers Festival at The Desmond. I hope you have your tickets.

However, after that, it’s very possible that I may have to slow things down for a spell. As luck would have it, spring seems to be in the air. So maybe I can just say I’m working on my swimsuit body. Mrs. Fussy wants me to take up running. I was thinking something more like yoga.

But let’s not jump to any conclusions. I’ll keep you posted.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. February 29, 2016 12:08 pm

    A reminder that yellow mustard is a key ingredient in In-N-Out Animal Style burgers.

    • February 29, 2016 12:09 pm

      But there it’s grilled.

      • February 29, 2016 5:08 pm

        How can you say you don’t like yellow mustard? That is so silly. A decent brand of yellow mustard is a fine expression of the mustard seed. I keep about 3 or 5 squeezy bottles of Plochman’s around at all time. Yellow mustard is really just vinegar, turmeric, and mustard flour (plochman’s might have onion if I remember correctly). In general, yellow mustards are a bare, stripped down flavor that is perfect for all sorts of things.

        People say they “don’t like yellow mustard” for the same reason they say “I don’t like American lager.” Because the stuff is cheap, common, and associated with a frumpy generation that has past. We want to have picnics with country loafs and things in mason jars now. White bread and yellow squeezy bottles are déclassé. Saying “I don’t like yellow mustard” is like saying “vote for Bernie Sanders” or something. Social signalling.

        You can’t go writing off ingredients wholesale. You may deflect with, ‘its just my opinion, everyone has personal preferences, blah blah blah.” But I stand firm. Saying you don’t like yellow mustard is like saying, “I don’t like vinegar,” or “flour really bothers me,” or “I am not to sure about that salt stuff. Seems suspicious.”

      • February 29, 2016 7:02 pm

        We’re on the east coast and In-N-Out’s vastly overrated “secret as the dime sized mole on your sister’s lip” menu is irrelevant here.

        Now, put some yellow mustard on a Five Guys burger, and we’ll talk.

      • February 29, 2016 8:55 pm

        I was replying to Mr Dave and Steve N. As Dave says, still figuring out this internet thing.

  2. February 29, 2016 8:54 pm

    I do and I have, and I am happy to talk about it. I will tell you that when you execute the 5 Guys small burger with “lettuce, tomato, double onion, mustard and pickles” then you’ve got a reasonable facsimile of my preferred burger (though the sad bun gives it away).

  3. llcwine permalink
    March 1, 2016 9:58 am

    I’m not a fan of yellow mustard either…but it does have a purpose in my household…as I use it as a glue when putting a rub on my ribs or pork butt…rub them first with yellow mustard and then liberally apply my rub…wrap in plastic and put back in the fridge for overnight……seems to make a better bark…otherwise…I’m a Gulden’s girl all the way!

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