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The Day I Ate Too Much Part II: 12pm-4pm

October 26, 2007


If you haven’t already, read Part I first :)
I ate a LOT last Saturday. And while I normally eat more than I probably should, I went kind of nutso on Saturday. But it was all in the name of delicious fun and adventure. And learning too! Cause you know, eating is always a learning adventure. At least that’s how I view it :)

So Saturday started off with Justin and Shann first at Russ & Daughters where we had raisin & prune bread pudding, a chocolate halvah bar and dried figs. Second, we moved to the Greenmarket for Concord grapes and ginger-cayenne tea. After the Greenmarket, Shann and I parted ways from Justin who had to catch an early train back to Yale (we’ll see you soon again, Justin! :) and went back to our apartment to meet Robyn…

Cause we had an adventure planned! Hooray, I LOOOOOOOOVE adventures! Okay. So Robyn met us around noon, where we hung around the apartment for a bit because I managed to cut my finger sooo deeply it gushed out blood like a fountain. Crazies. But don’t worry, my finger and I are okay now. The sight of blood scares the jeebezues out of me! After I tissued and bandaid-ed up my finger quite nicely, Robyn presented me with the gift of Nocciolata, brought back from her recent trip to Italy! Oh man. It is sooo delicious! Pretty similar to Nutella, only less thick, less sweet and a whole lot more hazelnuttttttyyyy. By the spoonful, over toasted slices of ciabatta or alternated with handfuls of cereal, I’ve yet to discover a way I don’tlike it. Thank you Robyn!! =)

Bags and cameras in hand, we headed on the F train for the Red Hook ball fields in Brooklyn! I’ve been meaning to go for a while, but it took the push of Robyn’s reminder that this was the last weekend of the season, before we finally took action and sprung our okoles off this island of Manhattan. We had a great plan and action in mind. Since there was three of us, we figured we could eat (most) everything and split it all. That way we could eat a lot without actually eating a lot! Or so we thought…Whatevers. The point remains that we somehow ended up eating far more than we ever intended to by the end of the day :)

Since this is a long post, I thought I’d break down our agenda for you!

Stop #1: Liquids
Stop #2: Huarache
Stop #3: Fried Ball of Glory
Stop #4: Corn
Stop #5: Atol de Elote
Stop #6: Pupusas
Stop #7: Churros

Here we go!

Stop #1: Liquids

Upon arrival at the ball fields we were somewhat bewildered by the options. What do we eat first? Where do we eat? Ooo, that looks good! Oooo, that smells good! Wait! So does that! That! annnnd that! It was hard to decide. So Robyn and Shann got stuff to drink. Cause Robyn clearly had her heart set on horchata. And Shann had the watermelon juice. All those colourful fruit juices in the big plastic jugs – so festive looking, it makes you want to smile and dance…and eat more and more!

Robyn + Horchata = Sooooo Happpy!
Oddly enough, I never took a great liking to horchata, because the idea of drinking cinnamon-ny milk was never intriguing…until Robyn noted that it was like drinking liquid rice pudding. And anything which ends in ‘pudding’ I LOVE. So I took a sip of her horchata. Thought of pudding…and suddenly, I really liked horchata. Funny, how the human mind works.

Stop #2: Huarache

I had never even heard of the word ‘huarache’ up until the moment I saw this sign. Ahhh. Okay. That’s what we must eat then! You never know till you eat it!

I saw someone carrying a huaracha, and simply asked, ‘what exactly is a huarache?’
He responded with glee, “THE WORLD’S BIGGEST TACO.”
And indeed, it was something along those lines, hehe.

Huarache in the making…

Meat! Lots of it! It’s all devoted to the huarache! Pork, beef, chicken…you could always opt for it vegetarian style and get no meat…but why? :)

The final product! It’s really is like a giant (soft) taco…only better! A thin soft tortilla with a secret layer of beans between the dough is grilled and topped with pork, cheese, red and green salsa, tomatoes, onions, a sprinkle of parmesan and perhaps a lot more. But I don’t remember. I just recall us going, “mmmmm” and “sooo mmmm,” and polishing it off too quickly. Cause it was delicious. And delicious things tend to go fast.

Look at these innards, that’s a slick smear of refried beans between the tortilla layers. Nice, eh? ;)

Shann and I were very happy with the huarache! Robyn took this picture, but I can assure you she also enjoyed the huarache quite a bit! It was rather messy eating with three people trying to share it and no knife…but we made do…

All pau!

Stop #3: Fried Ball of Glory

We then made our ways to a stand that sold nothing but loooooots of fried foods. It appeared to be the most exciting heart attack one could ever experience. But one item in particular caught our eye. It was the size of a baseball, maybe bigger…

…so golden, so fried. SO AWESOME. What is it? A giant potato orb! Filled! Filled with what?

Lookie here! We split the baby, right through it’s crackly fried shell and nubbly potato innards right down to the treasure of shredded pork, rice and peas. Truth be told, this was my least favourite of the all that we ate at the ball fields just cause the potato part was completely bland…I wanted gravy, or a super spicy sauce. Something to give it life! Energy. Like if they mashed in chilies with the potatoes. Or cheese. More meat even! Something, anything!

Stop #4: Corn

While I held our spot in the ever growing pupusa line, Robyn and Shann dashed off for corn. I took this picture as they were walking back, isn’t incredible how happy good food makes people? Grilled corn on the cob, brushed with mayo, sprinkles of parmesan cheese, lime juice and chili powder to tie it all off. I think the ‘brushed with mayo’ is my favourite step, hehe.

Stop #5: Atol de Elote
While I was in the pupusa line, three thought ran through my head:
1. What is that steaming white liquid in the orange jar next to the pupusas?
2. I want to eat that huge dish of everything the girl in front of me is carrying.
3. Why is it taking Robyn & Shann so long to get corn?
Thought #3 was solved when they returned, joyful faces and corn in hand a few minutes later. Thought #2 just required brief inquisition and a kind request to snap a shot of the girl’s food.

For $9 you get plate of literally everything. EVERYTHING. It was sooo packed she had to hold it with two hands and grip the bottom of the plate, lest it sink in the middle from all the weight, snap and fall to the ground. Rice, beans, tons and tons of golden plantains, just lifted from the fryer seconds ago, mounds of beef, pickles, and cabbage. Surely a feast for more than one!

But it was with Thought #1 that I firmly acted upon. This is the jug I mentioned. The jug is filled with a thick, milky white liquid. Hot liquid. And I was curious. The sign says, “Atol de Elote.” The only Spanish I know is: tengo hambre.

So I asked. And was told that it was a corn-oatmeal-pudding. I really had no clue. But I heard the word, PUDDING, and I was sold. I’m such a sucker. If a stranger across the street looked and me and screamed PUDDING!!! I’d probably run across the street, and over to the stranger in a flash.

I’m just joking!


But back to the pudding/drink.

$2 buys you the perfect sized cup. You don’t want a too big cup, because this fills you up very quickly. I imagine that some people could make a meal out of this cup. It’s like drinking a super creamy, hot, comforting pudding. It wasn’t as corn-y as I anticipated, but also not too sweet, really just like smooth oatmeal with slight corn-y overtones. But I would prefer intense-cornnesssss. If you know what I mean. It was a very stick-to-your-bones, warm you up kind of a drink. I wanted it to snow when I took the first sip. It would be the perfect winter drink. Ignoring the fact that it was in the mid-80s that day, heehee. Too much cornstarch was used in this particular drink, given away by the flavour and the frequent lumps and bumps encounter with sips. I could just imagine how delicious this would be if you made it at home on a cold day, stirring the warm liquid on the stove, made from cobs and cobs of fresh corn.

Stop #6: Pupusas

Barely into my cup of atol de elote, I realized we had finally moved our way from the very end to the very front of the pupusa line. The last time I had a pupusawas waaay back in the spring at the Grand Central Market in LA. Pupupsas, as far as I know, do not exist in Hawaii, so you imagine how happy I was to find that pupusas are in relative abundance in this city! *Smiles all around*

The pupusa stand was getting the most business, with lines stretching out far. We were in line for about half an hour, but that was all hunky dory cause there was plenty do and talk while we were in line. There was also plenty to see. Like the lady making the pupusas! Pupusa making fascinates me. Like the way xiao long bao making does. I could just watch and watch for hours on end. Watch the lady expertly nab off just the perfect size round of dough, pat and push in the fillings, then tie it off with a sort of confidence acquired only after a making a bazillion pupusa, flatten the baby on the table and pop it on the griddle. Awesome.

We got two pupusas: a loroco flower & cheese combo on top, and buried underneath is the meat & cheese pupusa. Bright pink = pickled cabbage (which I loved just as much as the pupusa itself!) Green = jalapeños that set Robyn on fire. Oh man. I really, really love pupusas. A lot. Like a super ton. You bit (or in the case, tear with a fork) straight into the heart of the golden dish and you get corn, cheese, and meat/veggie – all in one bite! What more could you ask for? I just like soft things, especially when the exteriors are griddled crispy. And the innards involve some creamy dairy product. And meat! And veggies! I like veggies too. I love hand-held foods. I love dumplings. And the pupusa, in more ways than one, seems to me like what dumplings are to Chinese food. But you know what? I just really like to eat everything :)

Stop #7: Churros

You don’t dare think we’d call it quits without dessert right? hehe. We found the churro man!

At $1 for two pieces, these were the best deal of the day.

The churro man in action, bagging up our order :)

I snapped the shot just a second too late, but you get the idea! These leggy sugar dusted fried glories were far from excellent churros. But when you got the sun warming you up, the relaxed outdoors and the scent of deliciousness all around you…well, everything seems to taste better!

This photo is compliments of Robyn’s Flickr :)

A few bites into the churro, I mumbled something about how much better it would taste if we had some creamy, very dark hot chocolate to dip the churros in. Silence. Then stares. Stares at my cuppa atol de elote. And then…DIP! It wasn’t quite hot chocolate, but it was a warm, sweet, pudding-esque liquid, and it went together quite wonderfully.

Happy bellies, and sticky fingers, we were (near) done at the ball fields…and that’s where this post comes to an end.
We were far from done with our day in Brooklyn and dinner back in Manhattan. Check back for what we did/ate the hours following this visit. I promise you SWINDLES of chocolate covered key lime pies, two takes on brownies, two shades of marshmallows, a brief fling with diet coke, pork chops, curry rice, noodles soups and ice cream in the next post!

Hope you all had an awesome Friday! :)

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