Whenever an exciting food event hits NYC, we tend to feel a funny mix of ‘I’m dying to go’ and ‘I think we should skip it’. Don’t get me wrong – on paper we always want to join in the fun, but the most compelling events tend to – surprise, surprise – attract a huge crowd. Which is great for the vendors I’m sure but doesn’t necessarily make for a pleasant dining experience. Maybe I’m just getting old, but I don’t so much enjoy the possibility of waiting on long lines, getting to the front of the line only to find out that they’re out of what we want, eating while standing in a confined space and dodging passersby while trying not to drop our delicious and expensive grub.
Hm, that does make me sound a bit old, doesn’t it? Anyway, yesterday was the last day of the month-long food fest Madison Square Eats. Sure I wanted to go, but I also figured it’d be packed to the brim on a gorgeous Friday night. After shlepping in, would we even get to taste anything?
Our expectations were pretty much all on par. The food was great. The weather was beautiful. Dining outside was mildly inconvenient in the tiny crowded section of Madison Square Park, but the great food and people-watching made up for it. We pet some cute dogs, placed bets on whether or not a woman who walked off with two gorgeous pizzas purchased them both for herself and ogled other people’s fare as they simultaneously ate our food with their eyes. And the vendors were out of a lot of things – in fact, most of the things we wanted.
However, there’s a benefit to venturing out of your culinary comfort zone (and yes this is coming from the girl who writes about the same two ingredients all the time!): you end up eating things that you otherwise may not have ordered and end up discovering new delicious foods. Fried fish on a skewer with fried potatoes and olives never would have been my first choice, but it was fracking delicious. Of course it’s easy to put your tastebuds in the hands of the fates when the fish-fryer is Eataly. It was crispy, flavorful and amazingly tender. Wow. This marked my first time tasting something from them and I was not disappointed.
We followed that up with a stellar spicy sopressata pizza pie from Roberta’s. If you don’t know this, Taste Tester is to pizza what I am to CPB. Roberta’s has been on our list for a while so pizza in hand, he was quite happy.
Delicious as it was, pizza is not dessert and I wanted me somethin’ sweet!
I did poke around a bit for chocolate and peanut butter, but given that most of the vendors seemed to be Italian or Asian, there wasn’t a lot of it to go around. Seriously if there’s one beef I have with my heritage it’s that they don’t really do peanut butter. But at least they know how to do gelato. I ordered a cup of half chocolate and half strawberry from Piccolo Cafe. It was perfectly palate cleansing after a fried dish and a spicy dish.
That about sums up the weekend’s first food-related adventure. The second adventure was taking the leap to finally creating a CPB facebook fan page! This blog has now been going strong for 3+ years. First it made it’s way to flickr, then twitter and it’s finally hit the social media trifecta. Woo! I hope you’ll like my page and use it as a means to post your own experiences in the world of CPB, baking and food in general. I’m interested to hear what you have to say and whether you know it or not, so are the companies that are out there producing your favorite chocolate and peanut butter treats. The more fans I get, the more giveaways and fun stuff I’ll do. So tell your CPB-lovin’ friends! :)