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Monday, October 10, 2011

Serendipitous Saturday

You have to love those days that just sort of unfold, without any real plan. Saturday was one of them. Travis and I met up in Chinatown and walked to the Hester Street Fair on the Lower East Side.
We ordered "just the balls" at Mighty Balls -- a trio of vegetarian, beef and pork meatballs with various sauces (jalapeno, cranberry and and a spicy onion) and a sprinkle of parmesan.
Travis got us a currywurst sausage, which ended up being our favorite. The meatballs were tasty, but the sausage -- and the tomato sauce on it -- was outstanding!
 For dessert, we split an ice cream sandwich: molasses cookie and pumpkin ice cream.
We realized we were close to the Williamsburg Bridge, which would lead us to Smorgasburg, another outdoor food market. That had been my original plan, but the L train wasn't running, so getting to Williamsburg seemed like too much of a headache. But it was a gorgeous day for a walk, so we set out to cross the bridge.

It's very pedestrian-friendly, but somehow we ended up doing a little median-hopping to start our journey. (This gave us flashbacks to the sketchy walk we made along Durham's downtown streets returning to our freshman dorm in 1994 after the Kappa Kappa Gamma "Safety Dance" at the Power Company...the experience that cemented our friendship.)

By the time we got on the bridge, our ice cream sandwich was soft enough to enjoy. It was an absolutely perfect day to be on the bridge...pleasant temperature and great views in both directions.

After exiting the bridge, we learned an unfortunate lesson about the way Williamsburg streets are numbered and the importance of the "north" and "south" designations. Oopsie...
 This was the less scenic part of our stroll, obviously...
 But then we arrived at the waterfront for postcard-perfect views of the Manhattan skyline.

Smorgasburg was even bigger than I'd expected, but we had worked up quite a thirst with our long walk and were ready for a frosty beverage. It appears the foodie fest is alcohol free. So, we walked a few blocks and stumbled into an absolutely darling restaurant called Sweetwater. We each had a beer, and the bartender's bloody mary mix looked so great, we decided to have one of those too!  

Sweetwater looked like a great spot for brunch or dinner...I would definitely go back.

Revived and refreshed, we strolled back to the market and went straight for the fried anchovy tent that I'd seen in Bon Appetit's photo spread on Smorgasburg.
Since it was the end of the day, they were sold out of the headless version, and we had to go for "Jersey Style" with the heads on. I didn't mind a bit and polished off my tails too. More crunch! We also got a $4 order of patatas bravas, which were crispy and perfectly spiced.

We washed those down with Arnold Palmers made with lemon verbena lemonade...perfect refreshment!
Then we decided we'd ride the East River Ferry back over to Manhattan -- a perfect solution to the subway outage.

The ferry was $4 each -- such a deal! When we exited the ferry, there was a cross-town bus waiting. I had actually not yet ridden the bus, even though it's included in my monthly transit card, so we rode the bus to the west side and walked to the Frying Pan, an outdoor bar on a barge. I'd been meaning to make it there all summer for happy hour but never got around to it.
We ordered a pitcher of beer, and thanks to Travis's friendly interaction with our neighbors, we eventually got a table and watched the sunset.
We weren't done yet! We ended up having dinner at Barbuto, the Jonathan Waxman restaurant on my street. I stroll by there every time I go jogging on the Hudson and always thought it looked like such a fun place.

We started with a selection of four cheeses  (two sheep, two cow -- one was pecorino and one was blue, and the others were unknown but delicious). Then we split shrimp risotto, roasted chicken and roasted cauliflower and brussels sprouts. I took pictures, but I didn't use my flash, so they didn't really turn out.

What an awesome day! Travis went to meet friends for drinks, but I just headed home and collapsed into my bed. I can't imagine a better way to spend a lovely fall Saturday!

1 comment:

Dee Stephens said...

Sounds like my kind of day! funny you spent time in 'Williamsburg' this weekend and so did I :)