Dear Food Diary:
Couldn’t wait to get there today, this work week’s lunch could possibly be one of the most exciting ones of the year. I rushed there by 2 trains, ran out of the 57th street station like a mad woman, I must of been “tailgating” the young guy in front of me, he looked back with an annoyed glance a couple times, but hey! I was on a mission, and I can’t stand people who walk slow. Anyways, thankfully I entered the much anticipated cafe at 12:30 sharp without any problem, there were lines by the different stations, but no lines at the door, 10 minutes later, my friend was stuck outside, waiting in a line that went around for 20+ minutes.
There was free wine, not sure if it’s the best idea to take a loooong lunch and come back blushing, but whatever, cheers to extra exciting lunches!
We were actually taking my friend Julia out for her belated birthday, and everything seemed to move smoothly, until the pay line stopped moving. I was holding my tray for at least 15 minutes, people were eating their sandwiches while on line, major chaos. Seemed like the credit card machines broke down, and they didn’t act quick enough for a cash line to flow, this is lunch time, people were getting upset, plus my food was getting cold, extra annoyed. They started giving out free biscotti, it was ridiculous.
Not only that, but once we finally made it upstairs (over 30 minutes have gone by), I was happy to see lot of seating by the end of the dining area, so we walk all the way to a table near the window, only to be greeted by RESERVED SEATING SIGNS, and some gals came over and pointed us towards the “regular folks” tables, which were a bit crowded. Give me a break! It’s lunch time, and all these tables were empty, urrghhh irritated. Then I saw they had table service for these reserved people, whateva’ *rolling eyes*, it’s lunch time, not some fancy dinner event, anyways…
MOVING ON TO HAPPIER THINGS:
Of course I had to have Mario’s Insalata, who doen’t *heart* Mario’s food!? Usually I don’t go for salads with no meat, but for him, I was willing to give it a try, plus hen of the woods is one of my favorite mushrooms.
The mushrooms were very well seasoned, meaty and earthy, which was an awesome choice for the spicy arugula and the salty parmesan. The dressing was bland, seemed like just olive oil, but since the mushrooms were very flavorful already, I guess it was better to keep it this way, so you could savor the natural flavors of all the ingredients.
Jose Andres’ meatballs and peaches, the flavors were good, but since we waited on line for so long, it got cold. I would of never thought of peaches with meatballs, but the sweet and savory worked nicely together.
Chubby’s RATING: 3/4
Rick Bayless’s Creamy Corn Soup with Ham was absolutely wonderful, creamy but not too heavy, with sweet, tender corn and pieces of ham, plus there was a kick at the end, hot chili I’m guessing. Really liked him on Top Chef Masters, finally got to try something, yay.
Nancy Olson’s Pumpkin Whoopie Pie tastes just like fall. It’s very moist and the filling is light and fluffy, good but wasn’t blown away by it.
Chubby’s RATING: 1/2
Alex Stupak’s Yuzu Tart, was a fragrant summer day in a japanese orchard. The citrusy aroma penetrated all my senses. A little bit sweet and a lot of tartness. Very light and melt in your mouth. I’ve never tasted a tart like this. Perfect if you like a giant splash of refreshing yuzu in your mouth to end a wonderful meal. Mmmmm, I could almost taste it, if I go back this week, I’m so ordering it again.
He’s such a pastry genius, I believe he’s at WD-50, which is on my must try list.
By 1:30pm as we were leaving, the lines were still out the door, by now they’ve moved on from giving out biscotti, to some berry treat, so I guess the pay lines were still having issues.
There’s still time if you want to make it, I totally recommend it, food was great and prices were very reasonable, just make sure you have enough time, to taste part of this yummy and chaotic week. Bon Appetit!