Saturday, November 04, 2006

I Smell Sausages

Culinary Anecdotes from New York City...

Last Sunday as we were leaving New York City, we drove around lower Manhattan for awhile. Every so often I would smell sausages. I assumed it was the odor wafting from the various hot dog carts that dot the street corners in NYC. When I smelled it again on the highway, I was confused.

“I smell sausages,” I told Rock Star, who had no reply other than to remind me that I always smell stuff. True, but can I help it that I was blessed with exceptional olfactory prowess?

Only later did I tie in Rock Star’s previous comment about what a bargain hot dogs were in the city. Only a buck each from vendors on the street he found, so he gobbled down two on Sunday before we left. What a bargain, indeed. Just a dollar and they keep repeating on you all day.

I hit Starbucks all over Manhattan, of course. I was less than impressed. NYC Starbucks seemed to be of the not-ready-for-prime-time, super-slow variety that generally are found only in the suburbs. What’s up with that, barista people? You can’t expect me to pay $4 for a venti latte (more than in Boston!) and be patient, too. Seriously, if not for Colleen's Maple Alfajor (a deliciously yummy, albeit overpriced, little cookie inexplicably only available at NYC-area Starbucks and only for a limited time), I would have had to stop visiting Starbucks multiple times per day during my trip. Well, maybe.

My friend from NYC (yes, the gay one) recommended Mars 2112 in Times Square as a fun place to take Rock Star to eat. I think Rock Star’s comment when we got there was something along the lines of, ‘What does he think I am, 10 years old or something?’ I, however, saw his little comment for what it was, a ploy to impress his camp girlfriend from the city who we invited along for dinner. She was nice, but oh-so quiet! Scared of the mother-in-law already, I guess.

Mars 2112 itself was delightfully cheesy, complete with a Disney-esque, barf-inducing ‘space ship ride’ to the dining room and costumed ‘aliens’ meandering about and posing for photo-ops. (Rock Star declined a picture with an alien. Party pooper!) All in all, Mars 2112 was a decent and interesting dining experience. The only thing I objected to was the $2 per person entry fee. At a restaurant? What the hell?

By far the best food I ate in the city came from a semi-skanky corner store with a massive to-go buffet table in the back. (Not either of the places pictured above, but close enough.) Truthfully I was a bit worried that I would get sick eating the food from this place, so I didn’t get that much. What a shame because it was soooo good when I ate it back at the hotel room. And, no, I didn’t get sick. I guess New Yorkers eat that kind of stuff all the time. I’m so jealous.

When I was a kid I visited an uncle in New York City. I remember he took me to an automat. This was a restaurant not unlike a giant vending machine. There was a wall of little windowed cubes, in which hamburgers, pizza, drinks and whatnot were displayed. You stuck your money in the cube of your choice and the door popped open so you could get your food. Tons more fun that a happy meal at McDonalds! Alas, the last of the NYC automats closed in 1991.

But, as we know, everything old is new again.
Bamn! opened in NYC’s East Village earlier this year. Yippee! The automat lives!

No real story to go with this picture. Other than that I'm a nut. But that probably goes without saying.


Isabella Snow said...

I miss Starbucks hot chocolate!

Mairin Verthandi said...

I was also disappointed in the coffee I had at a Starbuck's in NYC a few years ago.

Lizza said...

I love your NYC pictures! Your descriptions of the sites are great, but the photos help me picture the places a bit better.

By the way, you're a nice nut. :-)

austere said...



Isabella Snow: No Starbucks where you are?? How is that possible? I thought Starbucks was everywhere.

Mairin Verthandi: Starbucks NYC better shape up or they will only make $$$$$ in profits this years instead of $$$$. :)

Lizza: Glad you enjoyed them! Also glad that to hear that I am a nice nut. :)

Austere: Hi there!

Crankster said...

These pictures are awesome. I love the way you focus in on the little things.

Unfortunately, though, you're making me hungry. I wish we had street vendors in Christiansburg. Unfortunately, though, they'd probably just serve road kill. With dumplings.