We were on our way up to Massachusetts for Diana and Abel’s wedding. I was going to officiate. My first time. We stopped at Burgers, Shakes & Fries in Darien, Connecticut. The running joke in the car was “I wonder what they have there.”
Pretty decent food here. The tator tots had cheese. The chicken sandwiches were good. Although, I don’t understand why Rebecca’s BBQ chicken sandwich (fried chicken strip on a bun) was totally different from my Buffalo Chicken Sandwich (grilled chicken strip on toast). It was under the same “Build Your Own Chicken Sandwich” section. If it was up to me, I’d get it fried on a bun like Rebecca’s. If it was up to her, she’d probably ordered grilled on toast like mine.
So during our meal, I confessed to everyone that I just looked up the other night what a officiant is supposed to do and realized that weddings and marriages were all bullshit. I didn’t get it. I felt like a fraud going into this wedding.
Rebecca told me how when her and Ross got married recently, they took different parts of weddings from different religions. One that was a Jewish thing with a blanket …and somehow that symbolized that a marriage is between two people and a wedding is about the community (your friends and family supporting your bond). Then it clicked. I got it. That makes a lot more sense. For some reason, I thought weddings were a selfish thing. But it really is more about your family and friends witnessing and supporting two people’s bond, promise and vow to each other. I buy that.
When I took the stage the next day, I threw away the script at the last minute and my speech was mostly about our trip to Burgers, Shakes & Fries. How up until then I thought weddings were bullshit, but now I get it. This wedding is for you guys, the family and friends in attendance. Also now I get that even though I can’t understand the idea of a marriage vow for myself, I can understand that Diana and Abel must be strong people to be willing to stick it out with each other till death do us part. The kids liked it when I cursed.
Day 6 of the Shonali Bhowmik tour: Ran into Shonali coming back from the Drive-In. It was late and we were bored, so we went to Majestic Diner. I’m not sure we were even hungry.
I thought this place was made to look like a classic diner. But it’s really been around since 1929.
I got the Ponce De Le Orange Shake. Tasted like a Creamsicle. Shonali got a Deluxe Burger.
I thought the two other customers in the restaurant were probably food bloggers. They kept asking questions about the food, taking photos and were Asian like me. But in the end, I think they were just drunk …like me.
One of my bosses just told me last night that he saw Shamrock Shakes at two different McDonald’s in the city. I went to see if he was pulling my leg. It’s true. They’re there! …6th Ave between 22nd & 21st Street, Manhattan.
Every year, we always wonder where we can find Shamrock Shakes. Now they’re back almost everywhere I see. I guess it’s like the McRib. They’re bringing back those rare McDonald’s items that people are always searching for. Why not? Although it’s interesting that I haven’t seen any promotion for this.
I haven’t had a Shamrock Shake since in maybe 28 years. It’s weird saying that. I thought it was going to taste like green flavor. It’s more like mint and the cream on top makes it almost like a sherbert. But all together, it’s almost like Chocolate Chip Mint Sherbert Shake.
550 calories for a small shake. I think it said a large is over 1,000. I also ordered 20 McNuggets (over 900 calories, plus sauces). I don’t think I’ve eaten like this in 28 years.
I met Shonali in the city Sunday night to be a guest on the syndicated show, The Edge with Jake Sasseville. That guy was hilarious. It reminded us of the time we were on the MTV Desi countdown. Afterward, we met up with Jasper at BRGR around the corner for a shake. There was a sign that said they were rated the best shake in the city, per New York Magazine. I thought the Black & White shake tasted like a sweeter Wendy’s Frosty.
We had to go back to the studio to sign some release forms and there we saw the MTV Desi guy who interviewed us in the guest seat. It really confused me.
Then we walked over to the World Financial Center where there was a Bang on a Can Marathon. We were thinking it was a drum marathon. We couldn’t find it, so we sat down at SouthWestNY for some dinner. My Blackened Salmon BLT was really blackened. Ash sandwich. Eating outside was really nice though.
Shonali looked up the Bang on Can Marathon on her phone again and discovered it was indoors. Then we found it. No drums, but World Music.
BRGR – 287 Seventh Ave (btwn 26th & 27th St) New York, NY 10001 SouthWestNY – 225 Liberty St (2 World Financial Center) New York, NY 10281 Bang on a Can
I tried out the new Indian restaurant that took over Tamil Nadu Bhavan, where I had one of my favorite lunches last year. It was a shame Tamil closed shortly after I first ate there. This new fancier place, Bhojan, is from the owners of Dhaba only a couple doors down and has the same level of trendiness in its decor. There’s a nice looking Indian sweets & chaat counter in the front. In the back, the dining room is dim and lit like you’re eating in the Temple of Doom.
Luckily they have a lunch thali ($8), which is what I loved at the former restaurant. It was quite good. Maybe one or two more sour things than I wanted. I wish they had more of a variety of thalis like at Tamil, even though I didn’t know what the hell any of it was.
The rose lassi shake is awesome. Fragrant and with a bit of a burn, similar to how spicy chili hot chocolate burns the back of your throat like you just vomited a little …this rose lassi has a cooling fragrant burn, rather than spicy.
Even though I wish Tamil still existed, I’m no hater of Bhojan. They are really nice. I was greeted five times on my way to be seated and my glass of water was refilled nearly after every other sip.
Jumped on the bus in front of my apartment to head north to Woodside, Queens for some Filipino food at Engeline’s. The restaurant has a diner feel to it, with all-male waiters in white polo shirts and a bakery to the side. I almost picked this huge platter of food (Summer Bilao Special) with crab, clams, meats. But sadly I knew I’d get fat if I ate it by myself. So instead I settled with a plate of deep-fried pork belly (Lechon Kawali). It came with liver sauce, which tasted sweet like duck/plum sauce. It was delicious. Without the sauce, the pork belly had that fatty buttery taste. Some of the outer crispy lean parts were a little dry and chewy. But overall, really good.
And I got a Avocado Shake that Chowhounders were recommending. Sweet avocado & milk mixture with crushed ice. Sounds gross, but tastes great. It’s sweet. It’s green. It’s like the Filipino version of the Shamrock Shake.