Finally found a place in Hoboken that reminds me of Philadelphia. Pretzel bread, BBQ ranch salad with fried chicken, and creme brulee french toast with bacon. The caramelization on the surface of the toast perfectly mimicked the hard caramel on the surface of actual creme brulee, and the inside was just as creamy and custardy. Kinda a miracle of physics. Molecular gastronomy ain’t got nothing on this french toast.
It was supposed to be date night last night, but after getting off to a late start after work, that quickly turned into an hour together at the gym, massive indecisiveness about what we wanted to eat, then me watching boyfriend eat two blue cheese wedges after realizing it was too late to be hungry. We made up for it today, though, starting with a two-scoop ice cream cone at Ben & Jerry’s: 1 scoop Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, 1 scoop Late Night Snack, in a chocolate-dipped sugar cone with sprinkles. (Many tasting spoons were sacrificed on Chocolate Therapy, Coconut Seven Layer Bar, What a Cluster [miraculously too peanut buttery even for me!] and the impressive new Bonarroo Buzz.)
Then we headed to a Hoboken sports bar we’d been wanting to check out, mostly because of a long-ignored wings craving. These were worth the wait: half buffalo and half root beer BBQ, with really excellent blue cheese. The root beer was too sweet for me; boyfriend ate all but one of them.
After debating main course choices for literally about half an hour, he settled on a classic burger (medium, no cheese, ew, BORING) with onion rings and I got the 1Republik special: sherry roquefort fondue, ale-battered thick-cut bacon, caramelized onions and mushrooms.
Their handcut fries are absolutely fantastic: salty and golden on the outside, fluffy and creamy on the inside, like the very best of fast-food french fries. The combination of the roquefort fondue and the caramelized onions and mushrooms was superb. It was an amazing burger. So, I did something I never, ever do at restaurants.
I sent it back. I’d asked for medium rare, like actually, really, on the pink side of medium rare. I know it’s bad to order burgers that way. I know I’m being a jerk. I don’t care. I don’t see the point of eating them gray and flaccid all the way through, as this one was when it arrived.
Ten minutes and one apologetic waitress later, I had my burger just the way I wanted it. Having helped myself to the onion rings while I was waiting, I ditched the top bun, cut the burger in half, and made a giant double-stacked burger sandwich. Yum.
not pictured: coffee & a bloody mary with copious blue cheese olives.
We woke up early with the sun in our eyes. Every year I forget how little sleeping I do in the summer, the long light making dinnertime feel like mid-afternoon and the sun high in the sky at six a.m. like it’s ten o’clock. Without fail, these drawn-out days somehow make it harder to fit things into them: the warm air gets under my skin and all the extra energy makes me want to stay at work well into evening, then go to the gym or for long walks by the water and fall asleep past midnight only to find myself wide-eyed again hours later.
This morning at seven, awake already anyway, we headed to the Bagel Smashery, one of my favorite breakfast joints: they’ll put basically anything you want on a bagel (really, anything, including cherry pie or meatball parm), wrap it in foil and pop it in a panini press. We ate them warm, sitting on a bench in the sun by the water.
poppyseed bagel smashed with sun-dried tomato cream cheese, provolone, bacon, and broccoli
cinnamon raisin bagel smashed with scallion cream cheese, lox, onion and extra tomato