Friday, March 31, 2006


UPDATE re: missing Appetite.

Appetite was glimpsed at approximately 2:15pm. When FREE slice of sicilian pizza was forced down gullet, Appetite scampered away like a yellow-bellied wimp.

If you see aforementioned Appetite, don't make any quick or impulsive moves, as Appetite is clearly a Fraidy Cat of the highest order.

Personification: IT NEVER GETS OLD!

It just gets beaten to death.


My Appetite is missing. I think I need to post a picture of it on some milk cartons, stat. IT IS GONE! Oh, my hungry little stomach...why aren't you giving me the business? Where did your grumbles go? I MISS you, Appetite; you were my lodestar!

Yesterday I was so put off food that I could manage to chew and swallow literally three bites of a gross lentils and rice combo from Rocket Wraps. Then my friend invited me to get a drink, so I forced myself to sip on a Bud Light: The Serf of Beers. 3/4 into it I was ZOOTED. At least an empty stomach makes me a cheap date! A cheap and ZOOTED date who is able to laugh and cry at the same time! I AM AN EMOTIONAL MULTI-TASKER.

But I am not hungry.

And now it is today and I haven't eaten and I can't imagine eating and I'm so used to being a slave to my Appetite that I almost don't know what to do with myself. It's affecting the way I plan my day! Normally I spend a good 3.5 hours anticipating the day's meals, but because my Appetite RAN AWAY or WAS KIDNAPPED I don't know what to do with all this extra time!

I miss the hunger. I like being hungry. It forces me to do something about it.

I'm very interesting!

Thursday, March 30, 2006


I had a lady-date last night, and it was fancy! My friend Sue, knowing that I have enough of an interest in food to spend some real big bucks on it, invited me to a new big-deal restaurant that just opened up in the Meatpacking District: Buddakan. It is a "pan-asian" EMPORIUM and I enjoyed it very much. Here's my review, both of Sue as a lady-date, and of Buddakan as a restaurant.

I arrived five minutes before our reservation, and Sue wasn't there yet. So I waited in what felt like a cramped hotel lobby for Sue, who was about ten minutes late. No problem, as she looked very adorable. Our table, reserved for 9:45pm, wasn't ready yet, so we were made to wait in the giant bar. Why they hadn't told ME about the bar as I waited for Sue is beyond me, but okay, fine.

Buddakan, if you haven't heard, is a GIGANTIC restaurant; it is TWO floors with enormous vaulted ceilings, chandeliers, and low seating and lighting. The space was impressive and daunting. At the bar area, where people were both drinking and eating food, Sue and I ordered drinks. She had a glass of white wine, and I decided to try a cocktail called Heat, and it was one of the best mixed drinks I have ever tasted! It's main component was Tequila, a spirit of which I am normally not a fan, but Cointreau was also featured, and that is one of my favorite liquers. But the best part about Heat: The Drink was that it really did pack some spice! There was some chili or jalapeno oil in just the right amount, and this was tempered by little fresh cubes of cooling cucumber. Again, this drink: beautiful and delicious!

After waiting for thirty minutes our table was ready. We were led down a rather steep flight of stairs into another ENORMOUS room with ENORMOUS chandeliers and an ENORMOUS table packed with diners. In fact, even at that late hour, the entire restaurant was packed. Our table was just to the side of all the action, and Sue made me take the "guy" seat, facing the wall. She got to face out and look at all the hub-bub. That little bitch.

We perused the menu and decided to share three appetizers and each order our own respective main courses. Frog legs were listed as a starter, and I had no real interest in ordering them, having never eaten them nor ever wanting to. But Sue was VERY interested in them, and I was VERY interested in being interesting, so I went with it. We also ordered up the Chili Rock Shrimp and Deviled Tuna Tartare. So those were our appetizers. Then, as our entrees Sue got the Glazed Alaskan Black Cod and I ordered, after much deliberation, Shrimp and Lobster Chow Fun.

Okay, here we go:

Wok Hay Frogs Legs with Yellow Golden Chives: This dish? PERFECTION! Probably my favorite of the night, and not just because it was the first to arrive. The frog leg meat was deboned and rich but not oily, buttery and like chicken in color but much more palatable in taste. I wouldn't say the meat was chewy, but there was a firm springiness to it that made for good eating. The dish was super-garlicky, with whole cloves as well as crispy slices dotted throughout. The golden chives were slick and mild and totally delicious. I LOVED THIS DISH!

Chili Rock Shrimp with Pineapple Consomme: Another winner! The consomme was served in two separate sake-type glasses, which was a cute touch. I think, after my first bite, I said to Sue, "This is the San Gennero Festival of rock shrimp." What I meant was that it was just a real fry-up, and honestly, how bad is perfectly fried food? It's NEVER bad! It's ALWAYS delicious! There wasn't a lot of spice to these, but maybe because I kept drowning my nuggets in the consomme. Which was good. I LIKED THIS DISH!

Deviled Tuna Tartare with Eggs and Siracha Mayo: My least favorite dish of the night, but only because I thought it bland. It was fresh and presented beautifully, with the spicy mayo smeared lightly on a clean white dish and the bright red tuna cubed over a light green egg salad, but I could take it or leave it mouthwise. I APPRECIATED THIS DISH!

Here is a review of sharing these appetizers with Sue: DELIGHTFUL! She is a GOOD sharer, and even though it was our first time eating together we had a nice give and take and I never felt nervous about her hoovering all the food before I could get to it. And when a piece of yellow chive fell out of my mouth for no reason, Sue was polite enough to pretend not to notice. I LIKE THIS SUE!

Onto the mains...

Shrimp and Lobster Chow Fun: TOO SWEET! WAY WAY WAY TOO SWEET! Epic-sized shrimp, three of them (cooked perfectly for being so large -- they were not at all tough), and generous amounts of lobster meat (a little overcooked), but this dish...ah, it was cloying and rich and I couldn't finish it. I ended up offering Sue one of my Gagunga Shrimp and some lobster too, and if you know me you know that I am NEVER that generous with shellfish, so I must really have had enough. The broad noodles in the dish were super-soft and super-sweet. I think this dish almost gave me instant diabetes.

I only had one little tiny bite of Sue's cod, and I didn't love it. Neither did Sue, who felt it was undercooked and/or its texture was off. My review of Sue during the main courses is as good as it was during the appetizers: she was charming and candid and made me feel comfortable and relaxed. NOT TOO SWEET, AND NOT AT ALL BITTER!

Oh, and though we were STUFFED, we decided to split a dessert and order up some dessert wine. Sue chose Port, and I went for the Harvey's Bristol Cream Sherry because I AM LIVING IN 1953! I LOVE Harvey's Bristol Cream, and for a time last year I always kept a bottle around. It is a cherry of a sherry; you may quote me on that.
Even though Sue said she's not "a banana person," we went for the Chocolate Mille Feuille with Banana and Spiced Chocolate Ice Cream. HOLY MOLY DELICIOUS AND GORGEOUS TO LOOK AT! A PRINCE of a dessert! The ice cream seemed spiced with star anise or Chinese five-spice, and it was intensely delicious. The Mille Feuille was a crisp dark chocolate biscuity layer with a fresh, condensed banana layer with some super-rich chocolate mousse topped with a sleek and crackely dark chocolate rectangle. Hard-core yum!

Again, throughout dessert Sue remained a remarkably enjoyable dining partner. Our bill came out to be under $100 each, and I didn't feel ripped off in the least. Buddakan is fun and good, and I bet it'd be more fun and good if you've got yourself a corporate account.

Hooray, right?!

Tuesday, March 28, 2006


I have a weakness! I have many, actually, but I think my most adorable weakness is that if a purveyor of food has the words "yummy" or "yum" in its name, I am helpless to resist it. Case in point: Yummy House Chinese Food in the East Village. Now Yummy House's food isn't the MOST yummy of all Chinese foods but WHO CARES, RIGHT?! I am a loyal customer because when I read the word YUMMY I immediately start thinking, "Mmmmmm...YUMMY!" and then my stomach immediately starts going, "Mmmmm...GROWL!" and my mouth immediately is all, "Mmmmmm....SALIVA!"

This is how it works with me. I am a simple machine.

So last night I was working late as I am wont/FORCED to do. After 8pm Viacom throws its employees twenty bucks for a meal and, to me, that is A LOT OF MONEY FOR DINNER! But we can't just spend those monies anywhere; we're made to order from, so choices are somewhat limited. I won't say that working in a box with NO WINDOWS or SOUNDPROOFING whets the appetite but I won't say that it DOESN'T whet the appetite, either. So I'm scrolling through menu options, thinking about my Evening Crave, and I come across a Thai place called Yum Yum 3.


Now I'm savvy enough to know that Yum means something different in Thai than it does in English. Hell, Yum means something different in Megan than it does in English. What's interesting, though (and there is an interesting point here, I promise), is that even in Thai, Yum kind of resists definition. Taken most literally, Yum means "to mix by hand," and often connotes salad dishes. But, and I did a little research, folks, Yum also describes a unique balancing of four flavors: spicy, sweet, salty, and sour. Now I'm starting to rationally understand why Thai food is so delicious to me; it's this Yum-infused balancing act.

So getting back to Yum Yum 3. You understand now why I, having no knowledge of this restaurant, immediately trusted that it would be inherently delicious. Time two. I ordered up some good stuff with great haste. I started with Yum Duck, a salad with crispy duck (the salty) pineapple (the sweet), cilantro, lime juice (the sour), chili (the spicy), tomatoes, cashews, and a little bit of lettuce. I was given the option of Mild, Spicy, or Extra Spicy, so I went with Spicy, thinking it would be tolerable. I mean, I LOVE spicy food, and can generally take a little heat. Even a lot of heat. I am one tough little bitch! But this salad? Can I say? It DESTROYED me. Yum Yum 3 put my Westernized palate in its place with its "Spicy" rendition of Yum Duck. I simultaneously ADORED this salad and was also BRUTALLY PUNISHED by it. In fact, I physically experienced Yum: I began to sweat (the spicy), my mouth watered (the sweet), my nose ran (the salty), and I started to pant (the sour). GOOD JOB YUM YUM 3! You did it, guys!

I couldn't even finish my second dish: Basil Noodle with Chicken. This dish, comprised of wide flat rice noodles stir-fried with broccoli, onions, red peppers, holy basil, and chili, SMELLED delicious. But I experienced such physical trauma over the Yum Duck that I had to postpone my noodles until today's lunch. I said it before and I'll say it again: GOOD JOB YUM YUM 3! I asked for it spicy and YOU MORE THAN HONORED MY REQUEST! Once again, at my desk, in front of my computer, I basically looked like the victim of some sort of chemical attack. I was literally shouting "OoohGaaah! OooohGaaah!" and waving my hand in front of my mouth. Yes, if you can picture a red-faced, sweating lady with spaz hands spazzing out all over her face because of some spicy Thai noodles you will have an accurate representation of what I looked like five hours ago. Oh, and I was able to finish the entire portion, but no, I'm not sure yet what the repercussions will be or if there will be any but what I'm saying is I uh, yeah, I don't know how this is going to, uh, you know, go down. Like, Go Down.

But I do know it was delicious! And painful! And YUMMY!

Monday, March 27, 2006


If you share a dozen meals with me, you will discover that I am oftentimes like a ninety-year-old woman when it comes to how I dine out. For example, I adore the concept of The Early Bird special. Also, I am not afraid to order a fish dish and ask the waiter "is it a nice, fresh fillet?" as if the waiter would answer anything other than yes. I also will automatically fall in love with any restaurant which includes a soup AND salad course with its entree, because, like an old woman, I am fond of bargains and am frought with a subliminal fear of starvation that compels me to overfeed myself or at least order with the notion that I can take leftovers home.

And one of my best friends is like a ninety-year-old woman, too. That's WHY she's one of my best friends! I used to think it was hard to eat with her because her appetite is so much smaller than mine; she's a picky ninety-year-old, the kind of senior citizen whose appetite has diminished and can be satisfied by a mere bowl of soup.

But last night we had dinner together on The Upper West Side and something about her was different. It started when she greeted me, excitedly presenting a red velvet cupcake pre-split down the middle as little gift for us to share. We chimmy-chomped the cupcake outside a Sephora in the middle of the sidewalk. Don't doubt yourself: that IS the definition of CHARMING.

Then we couldn't decide what to eat. As I said I'm usually the hungry one, but last night my friend's appetite exactly matched mine. She was HUNGRY! And, like me, she couldn't decide if she wanted a burger or red-sauce Italian. But we wanted a place with AMBIANCE. This was a priority for both of us. Because we are old ladies. So we decided to get burgers, red sauce, AND (a little bit) of ambience at, conveniently enough, Big Nick's Burger And Pizza Joint.

Like the red velvet cupcake from an hour before, we SPLIT a chili cheeseburger, an antipasto salad, and an order of fresh-baked bread with a side of marinara sauce for dippage purposes. Big Nick's did something AWESOME and served the chili in a big bowl on the side, allowing us to sauce up for ourselves. And sauce up we did. Even though the chili was more like a can of baked beans with some meat in it, I was won over by the generosity of its portion. I would take a scoop, and then my friend would take a scoop. And then I would scoop some more. And then my friend would. And then I realized that my friend, the old lady with the teeny-tiny appetite, was actually FINISHING her portion of the meal and completely Clean-Plating it. Antipasto: GONE. Chili cheeseburger: DECIMATED. Bread and sauce: she left off the crust but mostly TERMINATED!

I mean, she was giving me, The Finisher Of All Meals, a major run for my money.

So I looked at my friend. My married friend. My happy, HUNGRY, married friend.

"So...are you...guys...trying?"
"That's so exciting!"
"Yeah. Actually, my period's late."
"Whoa! How late?"
"Like, late."
"Huh...Wow. HOW LATE?"
"...A couple of...weeks."
"I've only told a couple of people!"

We are not ninety-year-old women. Not even close.

A chili cheeseburger. Some salad with meat and cheese in it. Bread and sauce.
Thinking of it now, I can't imagine a more delicious dinner!