A Very Foodie Weekend

When guests are in town, that’s always an excuse to eat out, try restaurants you’ve heard about but have yet to taste, sample the new season’s dishes at your favorite restaurants, or revisit old, wonderful haunts.  This weekend Jess visited, and there was a little bit of everything, but what took it to the next level was the multiple cooking lessons received on two separate cuisines.  And then I had the gumption to make pumpkin bread and week’s lunch on Sunday night.

Aye me – a very wonderful, exhaustingly wonderful, foodie weekend.  Sorry, no photos – this shutterbug took a break to stuff my face with food.  Aye.

Jess and I ended our Friday night post-Nerd Nite at Galapagos with a stop at the famous Grimaldi’s, pizza til 11:30/11:45 at night – perfect.  We only had to wait a minute or two at most for a table, and in the good company of other late-night pizza eaters, we devoured three slices apiece of mushroom pizza.  The verdict?  Having been to DiFara’s, I prefer DiFara’s margherita – simplicity at its best.  Location-wise though, DiFara’s is not easy to get to, and far less easy is convincing someone else to go with me.  But having received a tip from a fellow Park Slope foodie this weekend, a trip to Luigi’s on 5th and 21st is in my future.

But let’s continue, this foodie weekend is only getting started.

We began Saturday with a rather obnoxious trip into Manhattan – all the train lines seemed to be suffering from work, yes suffering – to get to Bubby’s in Tribeca.  A wonderful place for brunch, all except the hefty price tag and hour-long wait.  Boo to you Manhattan.  Most expensive brunch I’ve had in awhile, but the buttery, flaky and hot biscuits they whet your appetite with is sublime.  I had the duck hash, Jess went for grits and eggs Benedict.  Classic brunch done up Tribeca style and all that it encompasses.

Celebrity spotting this time: ZERO.  Tyra Banks where are you hiding yourself?

Then off to Ger-Nis Culinary Center in Park Slope/Gowanus for me for the Tres Amigos cooking class, while I left Jess to fend for herself in the wilds of Soho.  Packed to the brim with cooking classmates, about 20 or so, in the kitchen of Ger-Nis, we learned to make pico de gallo, guacamole, rice and bean burritos, shrimp and crab enchiladas, and my personal favorite: fish tacos!  To be honest, fish tacos were the reason I took the class: after a summer spent chasing down the best and better fish tacos, the logical next step was to learn how to make them at home.  Success!

Ger-Nis is a wonderful place to take a cooking class; the kitchen is the stuff of dreams, the colorful tools, appliances  and setup are exactly perfect, whipped up by the Good Fairy in a combination of utility (knives hung on magnetic strip) and whimsy (teaspoons from Anthropologie).  Nissa prefaced the class by explaining her hands-on approach to teaching and her sustainable and fair trade food practice.  Everything was go from there.

It was fun and social, chaotic at times, but we were in the good company of other foodies and Leah and I enjoyed ourselves immensely.  Having a look ahead at Ger-Nis’ calendar, there are more than a few that tempt my culinary inclinations (including a Pretzel and Beer class and one on Pasta making that I will most likely sign myself up for).

From tacos, poblano chillies and enchiladas to kimchi, a variation of beef bulgogi and slightly sticky sushi rice, it was off to Supper Club: The Korean Food Edition at Priyanka’s apartment in Brooklyn, co-hosted by Pri and her roommate Pam (and co-cooked by Jen).  Unfortunately no photos, but our hands were busy in the prep, or while we pretended to be busy, because really there’s only so much that six girls can do in one kitchen.  That and the majority of us didn’t know what the heck we were doing.  No avail – Pam and Jen put together a wonderful meal spiced up with Pam’s mom’s homemade kimchi of cabbage, radish and scallion.  Wrapping the slightly spicy and flavorful beef, heaped with a small spoonful of sticky sushi rice, into a snug sleeping bag of lettuce and sesame leaf, made for one tasty bite.

Sunday Jess and I ended her trip with our usual dim sum, at Golden Unicorn, where we sat on the banquet stage meant for the groom, bride and wedding party during Chinese weddings, sandwiched between a large table of Chinese people and a large table of Japanese tourists.  Always busy and hectic, but always delicious, dim sum with Jess is a tradition, one we capped off (and capped off her visit with) a trip to Sugar Sweet Sunshine, my favorite cupcake bakery in town.  Venturing outside my Sassy Red Velvet box, I opted for the seasonal cupcake if you will – Spicy Pumpkin.

And if all that wasn’t enough, I went grocery shopping at Whole Foods and proceeded to cook lunch for the impending work week and a sweet loaf of pumpkin bread for the office, which turned out so well, I had three slices on Monday.  The end of a pretty wonderful weekend.

~ by drywoodburstingintoflame on November 17, 2010.

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