I’ve been in New York just under three weeks and in that brief time, I’ve managed to slot a number of American sayings into my vocabulary and simultaneously sound stupid and like a wannabe. I get lost a lot less. And I’ve made some great friends who I love dearly in spite of their horrendous imitations of my British accent.
Things are moving along nicely and do you want to know how? Food. One of the things that’s made this journey really incredible is the food.
Food is art, food is philosophy, food is the reason why my leather shorts don’t fit me but I’m complete denial about it. I thought I’d walk you through my food journey and share the deep (fictitious) lessons I’ve told myself I’ve learned as a result of my gluttony.
Chicken and Waffles
This was my first brunch in NY and the moment I embarked on the slippery slope towards blocked arteries and thighs that rub together so hard they spontaneously combust during a light walk to the park.
I don’t know who decided a marriage between chicken and waffles would make a beautiful union, but I’d love to thank them. Fried chicken is essentially the holy grail of poultry, cholesterol and brilliance -- three things that when they intersect make life better. In my next life if I’m someone square it’d have to be a waffle.
Lesson: Just because things are seemingly incongruent it doesn’t mean they can’t work when blended together.
Nondescript free beer
This isn’t technically a meal, but I drank so much it felt like one. Albeit one that made my vision blurry.
Lesson: Free experiences are always richer.
Pancakes with fruit (lathered in syrup, oh and butter)
My apartment building is a bohemian paradise in a concrete shell. It’s filled with kind artists with giving hearts and unconventional outlooks. One of the lovely ladies who lives upstairs knocked on my door bearing good news in the form of pancakes. I will forever love her for this grand act of altruism.
This is probably the most balanced meal I’ve had thus far.
Lesson: It automatically becomes healthier if there’s fruit involved. Even it’s vodka.
Plantains (often accompanied by eggs)
Plantains are the Janelle Monae of fruit - so underrated and uncelebrated it makes my heart break. Never tasted them? Well imagine heaven fried and dipped in angel dust. That’s plantain. I was missing home and stumbled across some being sold in a grocery store in my neighborhood. Shout out to the culinary gods for placing ethnic food in unfamiliar places.
Lesson: Home will always find you.
The greatest burrito to have ever been fashioned by human hands
I spotted a van near the Barclays Center with a long queue of people and figured if people are lining up the food must be good. My thinking is basic like that.
I’m glad I followed the flock. I didn’t even like Mexican food until this point. This burrito is responsible for forever banishing any residual xenophobic tendencies my palette may have had. The burrito was a gift that kept on giving. I take a bite, good grief it’s cheese. Another bite…Bloody hell, beans too? I kept on going…the most succulent piece of chicken I’ve ever had the privilege of devouring. AND THEN THERE WAS RICE TOO (YES I’M SHOUTING).
Lesson: Be open to having your mind changed.
Collard greens, sweet potato fries and macaroni and cheese
I tend to preempt my greed by walking to the restaurant instead of catching the subway. Plus there’s a mismatch between Brooklyn’s topography and subway system, ergo it often makes more sense to walk. I could get a bike, however that would mean wearing a helmet, and I had conference call with my weave and she decided that’s a bad idea. Where was I? Yes walking. I walked to the restaurant, so having three sides with the meal made complete sense.
Lesson: Keep walking even when you feel like giving up (because your ankles can’t sustain your weight)
I’m off to do 3.4 sit ups and gorge myself some more. Friends don't let friends eat and get enlightened alone, so can you tell me about a recent meal that made your heart sing and the lesson you learned?