Tuesday, January 28, 2014

nyc food marathon part 1.

it all started with this buzzfeed article. my friend steph[anie] read the article & was inspired to concoct the amazing scheme of a food marathon (a tale as old as time: those buzzfeed articles inspiring thousands of people *daily* to go & attempt, & ultimately achieve, things of a grandiose nature that might not have even conceived of otherwise. you do you, buzzfeed). but i digress. what is a food marathon, you might ask? 

26.2 restaurants! 5 boroughs! 1 day! 

steph set up a giant facebook event, invited one & all, created a complex itinerary & planned every last detail of the day - down to what buses & subways we needed to take, how long travel time would be between restaurants, what time we would be eating at a specific place, & checking in at every location through foursquare, which was connected to her facebook, which let anyone know who wanted to join us midway through where we would be. in other words, SUPERWOMAN.

for most of us, the strategy was take turns paying at every place, buy one or two things & EVERYBODY shares it. so by place #20 (which is where ben & i called it a day), even after sampling tons of things all day long, i was nowhere near full or feeling fat. it was great.

i started the day off at number one, which meant heading out to staten island bright & early. have you been to staten island in snowy january at 8 am??! spoiler alert: it was freezing & grey & deserted. but had some good food for us to sample!

early morning ferry ride over to staten island.

steph printed out the itinerary & transportation info & carried it around all day on a clipboard. she used it all day long, to the point where by the end of the day, not only did everyone call her "clipboard," but we all came to view the clipboard as the text of all texts, the text to lead us & guide us to safety all day long. basically it was our bible. that clipboard held all the power. the one clipboard to rule us all...so you'll be seeing a lot of the clipboard in these marathon pictures. it surrounds us, & binds us.

the brave, the few, who sailed to staten island.

RESTAURANT #1: taco azteca. i thought it was delicious & rated it about a six or a seven on a scale of one to ten. but perhaps that is because there isn't very good mexican food in nyc. this other guy on the marathon is from LA, & he knows a lot of great mexican places so he rated it, like, a 3 or 4 i believe it was? moral of the story: taco places all depend on perspective.

spot the clipboard?? :)

while waiting for our food, a few of the guys went ahead to the next restaurant up the street to put in our order, & the plan was we were going to eat our tacos & meet them up there. so steph wrapped up their to-go food & kept them warm in her armpit. observe:

say this word "dembner" three, no, FIVE times fast:

ladies & gentlemen, i present to you...staten island. but then again, staten island gave the world danny castellano, so how bad could it really be?!...in the summer?!

walking up this hill from restaurant one to restaurant two in the early morning & the snow felt a little, no, a LOT like this. i even started singing the lord of the rings theme music at one point. my companions in the fellowship may or may not have joined in with me (hint: they didn't).

RESTAURANT #2: new asha sri lankan food. we got a roll with meat inside (i can't remember? it was spicy, that's one thing you do remember eating at 8:30 in the morning) & then this other bread with lamb inside it, i believe it was?

RESTAURANT #3: dairy queen (in the staten island ferry station). going to a dairy queen might not seem like a big deal to anyone outside of the city reading this, but believe me - it's a huge deal! there is NO dq in manhattan. i therefore have not been to a dq in several years - the last time i had it was when ben & i lived in provo! so going to dq totally deserved a spot on the food marathon list. i was so excited.

we bought just a few mini blizzards here & shared. it was so funny to me that all day long i was sharing spoons & forks & taking bites out of stuff other people had bitten out of - & several of the people there i had met just a few minutes earlier. we all just accepted that's what you gotta do during a food marathon!

friends on the ferry back to manhattan:

steph & the marathon bible also known as her clipboard.

i never quite figured out the reason why shoe tying happened in the subway, but it couldn't not be documented:

RESTAURANT #4: golden steamer in chinatown (this is also where ben met up with the marathon the first time around!)

the thing to get there was pumpkin buns. you guys. THE PUMPKIN BUNS ARE DELICIOUS. definitely cracked my top five, even top three, favorites of the entire day. soft, just barely-baked-enough dough, creamy & sweet pumpkin filling. yum.

steph (in the white hat & blue denim one-shoulder bag) forging ahead out in front. notice the red "stop" hand...people hardly ever pay attention to the sign telling us whether to walk or not...if there are no cars coming, you walk. 

RESTAURANT #5: yonah shimmel knish bakery (relatively) deep in the lower east side. this was a fun one to go to - i've been wanting to get some good knish from a legitimate place in the LES, so today was the day!

"send knishes to your mother in florida"!

we got an assortment of sweet potato, potato, & chocolate & cheese knishes.

parts 2 & 3 coming soon!...yes. this is a three-part series. THAT'S HOW WE DO AT THE FOOD MARATHON.

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