Next Week On, “My Life After Purchase”

I sort of can’t believe it’s February. So much has happened, so much is happening, so much is probably about to happen in the world that I just have no idea about cause it’s happening to people I don’t know or care about. Gosh, so much to take in.

Since my last post in *gasp* December, I’ve clearly moved up in my job. I’m not saying I’m any better at doing things, but I’m more confident about telling people what I think and having my opinions promptly rejected. Hey, whatever, at least I’m trying. I’ve been invited to two, that’s right, TWO, big, important, boss-type meetings. To take notes, mostly, but I was there! And I cracked some jokes!

Even on break, the room still looks important.

Even on break, the room still looks important.

I’M SO IMPORTANT, PEOPLE, HOW CAN YOU EVEN STAND TO BE AROUND ME.

In what I guess is bigger news, I’m moving. Like moving out.

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Fantastic French Fry Forage of 2013, pt. 2

We bring you this program already in progress… As promised, round 2 and the conclusion of mine and Chelsea’s french fry journey.  Read part 1 here.

Deli King of New Hyde Park, hiding in a shopping strip.

Deli King of New Hyde Park, hiding in a shopping strip.

Next up was Deli King in New Hyde Park.  Not a deli – definitely a diner.  I made the mistake of saying we’d sit and eat when in hindsight we shoulda grabbed and ran.  The place was very pretty, and the service was very prompt for there being a whole two other customers in the whole place and the waitress was abrupt in a way I only thought waitresses in movies were.

But we rolled with it, sat, took our menus, were given coleslaw, pickles and glasses of water like you would expect in a diner, and ordered, “just a side of fries to split.”  They didn’t come in the cool standup container like the article we’d read promised they would, and dude I’m all about presentation.  Also, no side of mayo, so I was sad.

And like I said, we don’t really like huge chunky fries, and unfortunately that’s what we got.

Don't mind sour puss over there.  She just hates me taking pictures.

Don’t mind sour puss over there. She just hates me taking pictures.

We were feeling silly already because we didn’t want to sit and eat a meal, and then we didn’t even really enjoy the fries.  There was something about the skin of the taters that was really delicious, but once Chelsea and I have both polished off all the tiny, crispy ones, we were ready to bounce.  We asked for a box and a quick exit with a, “So sorry, something unexpected came up and we really have to leave.”

I don’t think I’d give the place a negative review, because we had very specific expectations that were just wrong for the setting.  But having had the fries, I wouldn’t go out of my way to come back for them like we certainly will for some other places.  Just realized I didn’t even take a picture of those fries.  Whoops.

I'm just such a good photographer.

I’m just such a good photographer.

Cut to Waterzooi of Garden City, a place I really didn’t think I was going to like and was sorely mistaken.  The exterior and decor were just gorgeous in an almost intimidating way, but the atmosphere was inviting and we were greeted happily when we walked in.  Also a sit down restaurant, we ordered at the bar to avoid the hassle of our last mistake – though we knew we would also have to include a tip.

Mine had champagne in it!

Mine had champagne in it!

Determined to get our monies worth, Chelsea and I both ordered a beer with our frites.

Having spent too much time together that day, we both independently came to the conclusion that we should sample the namesake drink.  Chelsea doesn’t even like beer, so when she said she would get the Waterzooi Pilsner, both the bartender and I made sure she knew what she was getting into with such a particular lager.  But she stuck by it, and I got my Waterzooi Grand Cru, and we both loved both drinks.

Fanciest fries of the day.

Fanciest fries of the day.

We weren’t NOT gonna try each others.  Then the waitress made a little placemat for us (FAAANCY) and our fries came out looking handsome.

I would give the frites high praise, but the homemade mayo had some kind of garlic in it, and that combined with the delicious drinks outshone our main dish.  But we were in another town we fell in love with, we felt comfortable chillin at the bar, and the food and drink were good.  All-in-all very satisfied.

Caught ya!

Caught ya!

With two more names on our list… WE GAVE UP.  We were so very full of potatoes, it was after 7, we were about an hour from home, and we’d spent quite a bit of money and gas.  It was such a lovely day though, as we didn’t want it to end, so we decided to gorge ourselves a little longer on dessert.  Not to end an extraordinary day with ordinary ice cream, we googled some local dessert places and decided on the closest one, The Witches Brew in West Hempstead.

Excuse my french, but holy sh*t this the best place we’d ever been in our lives.  I’ll post some pictures, and tell you that Chelsea got a slice of pecan pie, and I got a slice of Reese’s cake and a drink called an Autumn espresso – everything was phenomenal.  I’ll tell you it was my favorite stop of the day, and that I’ve used too many words on this post already to do it justice.  So I end by telling The Witches Brew will be its own adventure another day with some friends we just KNOW will go crazy for it.

Everything is red because the lighting in there was super cool.

Everything is red because the lighting in there was super cool.

Fantastic French Fry Forage of 2013, pt. 1

This Sunday I tried to get a group of friends to hike a section of the Greenbelt Trail, which spans 32 miles across Long Island from the LI Sound to the Great South Bay, following the  Nissequogue and Connetquot Rivers.  Scheduling group things with high school chums is getting increasingly difficult though.  Some of our us are back at school, finishing a degree or starting a new one, some have jobs, full or part time, and SOME moved all the way out of the state (you know who you are.)

When the hike didn’t happen, my girl Chelsea and I did not want to give up on a day of adventure.  Thus was born the Fantastic French Fry Forage of 2013.

(I talk, and write, a lot.  But I like that about me.  So I’ve broken this post right in half.  Come back again for the second part, and the glorious end to our escapade!)

With the help of Newsday.com, we picked out six establishments to sample.  We eliminated the chains we already knew (Bobby’s Burger Palace and Five Guys Burgers and Fries,) and we know we’re not particularly partial to wedges with lots of potato, so we also dropped Toku in Manhasset from the list.  With a little more research, we had to also remove Roots Bistro Gourmand in West Islip, as it was more of an upscale restaurant and we were looking for grab-and-go places.  This was disappointing, I was most looking forward to trying those fries pictured in the slideshow.  But I have family in WI, so I will make my way there one day.

And we were off!

The lovely Chelsea

The lovely Chelsea

First on our list was the only location east of us, Hot Diggity Dogs in Medford.  Hot dayum, those were some delicious fries.  On the side of a very busy road, Medford Ave (route 112) it’s the tiniest looking stand alone shop from the outside, but the inside was brightly colored and welcoming.

Hot Diggity Dogs

Hot Diggity Dogs

With funny quotes on the walls, and rolls of paper towels instead of napkins, it was a very comfortable stop, even for Chelsea who sat on what looked like a seat taken from a church pew.  It had the number 69 on the arm rest, and I’m a child so I thought that was funny.  I actually inquired on their Facebook page, cause I really want to know where it’s from.  As of yet, no response.

But the fries were fantabulous, lightly seasoned, and they came with three sauces.  The green one belonged on a burrito.  Chels and I usually can handle spicy, but this dip didn’t fit the fries.  The yellow one tasted like a creamy honey mustard, and the last, we discovered, was HDD’s signature Boom Boom Sauce.  It was good, just like any version of Mac Sauce is, but spicier, which I love.  All-in-all a great experience.

Left to right: ...I'm sure you can figure it out.

Left to right: …I’m sure you can figure it out.

We felt kind of full when we left, which was a bad sign.  I made the mistake of ordering us two small fries.  Chelsea, genius that she is, decided we should split an order at our remaining destinations.  Good thinking, girl.

So we made our way to Huntington, which we decided is a grownup’s Patchogue.  That’s a very weird thing to decide, and would take a description of perceived Long Island stereotypes, so I’ll leave that for another day, because I hope to visit Huntington again.

Huntington's European Republic

Huntington’s European Republic

We entered European Republic, a small place squished up between a jeweler and an awesome looking burger place called Top Bunz.  I’d also like to mention the next shop was the Village Creperie, and it took a lot of will power not to just end my journey there.

2013-09-15 17.04.01

Omnomnom

But we shuffled to the back and ordered a not-so-small small fry, which didn’t take long at all.  The wraps we saw all around us looked very good, but we forgot about them when we tried our dish.  Served in a paper cone, they were thicker than I normally enjoy, but it didn’t matter.  Crispy and delicious, we dipped them in the two sauces we picked.  There were tons of crazy combos of sauces, but I’m not much of an adventurer and Chels isn’t much of a decision maker – so we ended up with Barbecue Cheddar (unusually delicious) and Blue Cheese (expectedly delicious.)

It was at this particular location we decided to be more adventurous when it came to our going out experiences.  Chelsea and I want to be those people who go, “Oh, I know a great little place to eat there!”  But for like, everywhere we go.  So, here’s to you, European Republic, for being the eatery that opened our eyes to how blind we were.  And for having outstanding fries.

Our journey doesn’t end here, but unfortunately this post does.  If you enjoyed this, read part 2 for culmination of the Fantastic Fry Forage!

Other fun pictures from the day –Collage