A Girl Eats in Brooklyn

This past weekend, boyfriend and I journeyed back to Brooklyn for his mom’s birthday surprise party. For the first year of our relationship Matt was still living in Brooklyn, so I was usually there about twice a month. Since he’s moved to Boston I’m lucky to get there twice a year, so I was super excited to visit friends and hit up all our favorite haunts (mostly food/drink related…).

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All the Brooklyn Beers

Sadly, we were only there for a hot second. He had to work Friday until 2am, I had an orientation Monday at 7:45am, so we had roughly 24 hours actually in the city. Not to worry though – while we didn’t get to all of our favorite spots, I still managed to eat about 3x my body weight in those 24 hours. Because I’m not a quitter.

pizza

Dating a born and raised Brooklynite is an interesting experience. For one thing, people who live in New York City always seemed like kind of a myth to me. You know, kind of like how nobody actually goes to Harvard undergrad (turns out they do), nobody actually commutes via bicycle to work or has a standing desk (yup, this is real too), unicorns… you get the idea. People really do grow up and live in New York City. It’s true. I’ve learned it’s totally normal to take the subway to school and to be able to walk to the end of your “block” (because that’s also a thing in NYC, the use of “blocks” as a unit of measure) and see the Statue of Liberty.

I grew up in the sticks, in case that wasn’t clear by now…

Another thing I’ve learned is that nobody does excessive amounts of food like New Yorkers.

Last year I attended my very first New York wedding (also my first wedding in general), and by the end of the cocktail hour I was pretty sure I was going to die. The walls were lined with food – stuffed clams, prime rib, pasta, shrimp, meatballs, pizza… you name it. Not to mention the giant display of cheese & crackers in the center of the room. Apparently this wasn’t the dinner, which was news to me. In New York, dinner isn’t served until you’ve already eaten enough to feed a small village and hate yourself for a week.

And then you have dessert.

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I’ve since learned to manage my expectations, but the self-control piece is still a real struggle. The party was a lunch ordeal, 1:00-5:00 sort of thing, so I imagined that true to form there would be a lot of food, but maybe slightly less absurd amounts since it’s lunch. I imagined wrong, as you may have guessed.

We sat down to our own, personal hot antipasto. Eggplant rollatini, clams, shrimp, mozzarella in carozza, and stuffed pepper. In case the personal, full-plate appetizer wasn’t enough there soon appeared calamari, fried zucchini, pizza, and bread. This may very well be a full day’s (or weeks..) worth of calories, but don’t get mixed up, it is not your lunch.

diet

Next, you got a bowl of pasta. This too is not your lunch. My understanding was that pasta is an entree in and of itself, but evidently it is not. Pasta comes before your meal, but after your pre-meal meal outlined above.

Now we’ve reached the actual meal.

I got the chicken. I’m pretty sure it was bigger than my head but I also might have been hallucinating from the massive food coma. It came with green beans. I took 1 bite because it was stuffed with prosciutto, mozzarella, and mushrooms and smelled amazing, and then had to take the rest home.

Matt crushed all of the above in about 8 minutes flat. Probably lost weight doing it, too (not that I’m bitter).

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Oh, then there was cake. Because, you know, birthday. And just in case you didn’t think you were going to vomit yet.

It was really fun, and so delicious beyond words. I often tease Matt about his New York superiority complex (I like to think I’ve put a good dent in it over the last couple of years), and so I don’t give him a lot of wins in that department. I maintain that New England has the better seafood and CERTAINLY the better sports teams, but even I have to admit that the pizza and bagels in NYC are untouchable. And by untouchable I of course mean that you won’t be able to stop touching them. With your mouth. I mean that in the least weird way possible. Whatever, you get the point.

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Bagel game strong

When I was visiting Brooklyn more frequently, I often found myself wondering if it was possible to be there and not eat 900 grams of carbs a day and/or gain weight in daily increments of 5 pounds & up. Observation of people who live there would indicate that it is, but case study of 1 shows otherwise. It’s just baffling to me that you could have such abundant delicious bagel access and not take advantage on a daily basis. With great power comes great responsibility. I miss the frequent trips to Brooklyn, but it’s probably for the best that Matt moved up here. My midsection is endlessly grateful.

And he’s alright too I guess.

So, after the day of marathon eating, even I was pretty much spent on food. We skipped out on dinner and went straight to drinks. I did get bagels to bring home though and that has made my week infinitely better. Starting your day with amazing bagel-goodness just sets right tone. Or I might just have a problem. Either way.

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This weekend we have a wedding in Texas. I’ve never been to Texas and I’m so excited to see what it’s about! I’m also curious to see how the food stacks up, mostly quantity-wise. Southern BBQ & New York pizza seems like an unfair apples/oranges comparison, but I’m betting that the Texans also know how to party. I can’t wait to judge, I’ll be stretching my pants all week for the occasion. May the best buffet win.

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