My $0.02 on Cronuts

Cronuts
Based on exhaustive research in reviewing metadata obtained through social media channels and forums, I’ve birthed an opinion of this Cronuts Craze.

People wake up in the wee hours of the night to stand/sit/squat in line to make the 8am opening of Dominique Ansel’s Bakery so that they may acquire these croissant/doughnut hybrids. Much like Black Friday lines, craziness abounds, e.g., a passerby offered a line-waiter $100 for a cronut. For $5 and ~2 hours of discomfort at a most inopportune time of day, many say it’s not worth it. Of course, when you’ve gone through that much effort and inconvenience and when you’re starving/adamant about breaking your fast with a cronut, your brain will tell you it’s the best thing you’ve ever had.

So, what do you do if you don’t believe me/really want to try one/are afraid of missing out on a seemingly-necessary-experience-but-is-actually-not? There are 3 potential remedies to this:

1. Party the night before. Stay out till last call. Then head on over and wait in line.
2. Get a TaskRabbit to get it for you.
3. Read about it and convince yourself/others that it’s not worth it.

La Bouche Cafe

LaBoucheCafe

La Bouche Cafe, Hoboken, NJ –

They import pastries from Balthazar and Bouchon. They had me there.

I envision having brunch here every Saturday after walking my pet pig. We’d order the eggs benedict with salmon and mushrooms. Or on a hot summer afternoon, a cold homemade lemonade. People-watch while sitting in one of the cute tables outside, sipping a glass of iced latte.

I’ve had all the above + one of the chicken paninis. Quality food. Charming ambience. Friendly staff. Key ingredients to a happy customer.

The Daily Catch

The Daily Catch

The appeal of a place like The Daily Catch is something that befuddles me. People wait in line for an hour to get to a seat in the cramped little hole in the wall, which does look like someone punched a hole in the wall and stuck a restaurant in it. Maybe it’s the herd mentality or something like that. Everything is open. You watch the chef boil your pasta and fry your calamari, see him grab those chicken breasts from the fridge no more than 3 meters from your seat. So maybe it’s the performance piece of it.

When we decided to visit on a Monday night, there was a line of 7 or 8 folks waiting outside. Luckily, we came at an opportune time when a group of 5 or so was leaving the restaurant and an impatient couple in front of the line decided to leave right before the host called us in. The expectation of a 30-45 minute wait time was thus reduced to 5 minutes. The level of excitement then was irrationally high. We got in, sat down, and ignoring the wisdom of the venerable Anthony Bourdain*, ordered the shrimp with squid-ink pasta and fried calamari. It was good. Not good enough to warrant a 30-45 minute wait, but good. The calamari was good – batter was crunchy and not too heavy, the squid was soft, not too rubbery. The pasta was more than al dente, so was slightly disappointed. The  sauce and the flavor of the shrimp – they make up for it. I would come here again, though not sure I’d wait an hour on an empty stomach. But then on a full stomach, why bother?

 

*We learned from Mr. Bourdain that in the restaurant business, seafood is usually delivered on Friday morning and Monday morning. On Monday night, restaurants are most likely trying to get rid of the old seafood. So, you should never order seafood on a Monday night. Unless lower GI discomfort is your thing.

Weight Loss & Horror Films

There are very few things I like more than listening to the sound of water, gazing at the night sky, and being in good company. In the rare instances when they come together, I envision the metaphorical stars aligning in my literal night sky. The place is Surf City. A bar and restaurant on the coast of Jersey City. With a huge outdoor space of chairs and beach umbrellas and firepits and sand, things felt right. What truly touched my heart was that they had their own parking lot. Gone are the days where hours (maybe not hours) were spent circling the town looking for parking.

The night flew by. Being a weekend night, the parking lot was packed when we arrived, consequently, the car was parked quite a distance from the entrance. That 5 minute walk in the near-empty, questionably-lighted parking lot felt like an eternity and a week. Scenes from horror films flashed in my mind. The wind in the trees was a young girl’s scream for help. The rustle was the footsteps of a stalker moments away from landing his shank through my right lung, silencing my screams. Though it was in the 70s that night, I was sweating. Sweating from fear of being stabbed. Sweating from fear of being decapitated. Sweating from fear of being thrown into the water.

I learned something that night: sweating from fear is an effective way of losing weight.

psycho3
[image from here)