Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Such a Classic Girl

You can't measure the benefits of a good friend. Sitting and talking in person, in the flesh.  Being free to say how you feel with no laws, rules, or judgement.  And with that, being open to hearing how they might disagree. A genuine civilized conversation! This is something we've lost with becoming more closed mouth (by law at work) and socially isolated in general.  I was lucky to have that chance with a dear friend visiting from Los Angeles.  One of the many bonuses is that this gal is a foodie.  One that not only can articulate what is good, but what is wrong with a dish preparation and presentation in an appreciative manner.  She could teach a MasterClass.  The best part is she respects food and people, so even though I could not wow her with my choices of dining spots, she found the good in every dish.
Forma Pasta Factory
This appetizer of shishito peppers, garlic, lemon and possibly anchovies was for me, spectacular.  I am a cheap date and easy to please but that may be because I mainly eat my own cooking.  

Another benefit of a visiting friend is trying places you've passed with wonder but never tried.  This was one, the Forma Pasta Factory.  I was curious about this neighborhood eatery but my mate is not a pasta lover.  I watched young school kids going in groups and yet, there were people rolling out pasta in the windows in white hats.  Was it fancy? or casual?  Turns out it's a little of both.  You order in a line, and they bring it. The back patio area is dimly lit with fairy lights and is welcoming for a date night.  The pasta is all made in house and is inexpensive.  My eyes rolled back in my head with my amazing spaghetti pomodoro and for a moment, I detached from reality.  The meatballs were not as tender as you might expect, although after eating 5 of them (some hidden), I appreciated the whole dish so much and the pasta was perfectly dressed and al dente. My pals dish was not the creamy dream advertised and we agreed, it needed something to cut the richness.
She is a fellow lover of trees, dogs and flowers
This was Walter's, a place across from Fort Greene park that P and I walk by and say, nah, but in my head I say, hmmm, maybe yes, for another time.  This was that time.  Unfortunately, her Shrimp tacos with what was supposed to be salsa verde, looked sad and Not vibrant! WTH Brooklyn! You're embarrassing me!  Plus, the side choice was fries or salad.  Um...that's not cool, (although they were good, I had many).  If you're going to serve tacos I think you need to have either rice or beans, or make it three tacos.  Just sayin' Walters!

We both wrestled with this choice but I took my shot and it was absolutely delicious!  The salad dressing was on point and those eggs were soft and luscious. 
I still don't know if I like fennel after this but I did love this salad as well as the beet salad below.  
Junior's Original Restaurant Brooklyn
I should mention had I made actual food plans, and we didn't talk our way through the morning, better eateries would have been visited.  But there were reasons for visiting the original location of Junior's.  On a previous visit, she ate at the Times Square revamp, which for me is like trying to reinvent Katz diner.  You couldn't.  Plus the clientele and workers are key.  She had an adorable, kind server that took time to answer all questions in her sweet way.  Her brisket melt looked like a winner but she was more impressed with the coleslaw, which is great here.  I stuck to a traditional grilled cheese with bacon and tomato.  Comfort food that needs no introduction and seldom disappoints. 
She had an ongoing argument with a beloved colleague about the value of Chicken and Waffles.  She was not convinced of their wonder.  She felt as though sweet and savory should never mix, nor breakfasty foods with dinner items.  I'm a lover of mixing, and my Chicken and Waffle experience in LA will never be forgotten as one of the best meals I've had.  Coincidentally, I was also leery of this coupling so many years ago.  I insisted she order the fried chicken on the bone and not as tenders, but again, she was not impressed and stays with her original belief that C&W is not a thing. 
Loaded fries (btw called Disco fries at Junior's which is genius!) from Sweet Chick, a Chicken and Waffles joint.  Another major after school hangout.  Super loud and crowded but with the most delightful staff of young men that made the experience special.   

I loved this and hope to revisit although my only complaint but understand why it wouldn't be affordable is you need real maple syrup and it should be warm, and soft butter which these were not.  However, for the price, and the time we live in, you can't have these nice things anymore unless you pay big bucks. 

All in all the visit was a dream and it didn't matter that the food was subpar in all cases.  The most important thing was to spend the time to share those more intimate ideas and thoughts, take walks, enjoy laughs and discover new ways of looking at the world.  

A side note, once she left my humble abode (I was the opening act) where my biggest amenity was plush bath towels, she was treated to a stay at the Carlyle in Manhattan, in a two bedroom suite featuring 4 decks!  A version of New York that many included me have not seen.  Here are some pics to admire of her room.

side note: as a seller of kitchens, I love how even thousands of dollars still gets you a drop-in sink and no frills fridge in New York, nor was the bathroom impressive.


  1. Limoncello tart sounds delicious!

    1. Hi stranger! You're ears musta been burning, I was just talking about you. Yes, the tart was 'good'...we both agreed the texture was a bit off, the curd was grainy. But that sounds petty. It was delicious and I ate it. Write me!

  2. I've never had Chicken and Waffles. I can't see it being a bad dish though as I have had them both separately and liked them both. I'm guessing it depends upon who makes them. I imagine that it's gotta be killer at some spots in L.A.. I'm going to add that to my food bucket list.

    1. Rodney, I'm so disappointed! So, I admit, I did have them in LA for the first and best time but if you come to Alamo, there is a spot down in the food court that also serves them and we will deflower you. So one more quickie, what is your take on sweet and savory?


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