For our last day on the east coast, it got even colder.
I had brunch plans in the neighborhood, but it was absolutely arctic out there so I did something I never did when I was a New Yorker – I took a taxi.
I’ve mentioned Darbi and Roz’s podcast numerous times as an outstanding resource for actors – they’ve also guest posted for us – I’ve been listening to them for a few years now but this was my first time meeting them. They are as delightful and charming in the flesh as they are on the show and I’m so happy we finally connected.
The place was packed with a Sunday crowd – we ordered and paid at the counter, then they brought the food out to us.
I asked for something that wasn’t on the menu – an egg and tomato sandwich on a whole wheat bagel, which came with a side of extra crispy hash browns (almost like a clump of shoe string fries).
I dipped them all in various condiments – hot sauce, ketchup, and spicy brown mustard. Terrific stuff, especially the potatoes, which I finished half of. It’s hard to get a decent bagel in Los Angeles so I was happy they allowed me to customize my breakfast.
I also sipped on some chamomile tea…
…that they gave me a refill of, in a to-go cup – which I thought was sweet until I realized that was their way of saying “Get outa here” since the place was getting ridiculously crowded. We took the hint and left.
Roz walked me halfway back up Eighth Avenue and right after we said goodbye I ran into my friend (actually, one of Christy’s best buds) Brad! Such an unexpected treat. It was too frosty out to exchange anything more than a hug and a kiss. I booked it back to the apartment for the next few hours, watching bad romantic comedies on HBO and reading blogs until my friend Eboni came by for some afternoon tea.
I put on a pot of Ginger Orange.
I haven’t seen Eboni in almost 5 years! We used to be members of the same theater company that Christy and I met at. We had a wonderful hour and half chat. Some friends you can just pick up with right where you left off.
Around 5pm I still wasn’t hungry from my brunch so I sucked on a Pomegranate Tootsie Pop and another cup of tea to keep my mouth occupied before dinner.
Can you see the Empire State Building in the background? I actually used to work in that epic building.
It was very cozy, intimate, and dark in there, which is why all my pictures look like garbage.
I ordered the Phyllo Roulade (French Lentils and Root Vegetables baked in a phyllo crust, served over carrot-cream sauce with caramelized onions and swiss chard):
I’m pretty sure that was spinach under there, not chard. No matter. Still incredible. I parted with one of my Phyllos and shared some bites of the appetizers Kate/Abe had ordered.
Seitan Skewers in a rich hickory sauce with Jicama Slaw and Parsnip Cappelletti (ravioli stuffed with whipped parsnip and potatoes, finished with shitakes and truffle oil):
Cape Cod Cakes (a blend of hijiki seaweed, tofu, herbs and spices, served with a vegan tartar sauce) and Blossom Rolls (phyllo stuffed with porcini, almonds, and ground tempeh, served over a cashew pesto and finished with pomegranate seeds):
This was a truly divine experience; perfect for our last vacation dinner. My one complaint is I could’ve used some dinner rolls – it was expensive (about $30 a person) for a meal that didn’t come with some bread. But it’s still easy to see why they were Time Out New York’s 2009 Reader’s Choice Award for Best Vegetarian-Friendly Restaurant.
The walk back was brutal. I didn’t think I would make it – I’m pretty sure I went through temporary insanity as I speed-walked with my hands over my mouth the entire time. I’m definitely ready to go back to Los Angeles, where it was close to 80 degrees today. But we’ve had a really incredible two weeks – I’ve had a lot of fun sharing my east coast adventures with y’all. I’ve spent quality time with family, caught up with a lot of old friends, met a bunch of new ones, and, of course, eaten a lot of supremely delicious meals.
This is the very first year in a long time that I haven’t made a resolution that has to do with food because I haven’t had to – I think I did a great job this year of listening to my body, not depriving myself, and keeping things balanced – the best that I can. Hmmm….now I have to figure out WHAT my New Year’s Resolution IS.
See you on the plane tomorrow!