On The Road

Ten games into the season and the Kings are #1 in the league (7-3-0)! Am I surprised? Yes, and no. I’m surprised because Doughty has been out for the past 5 games and Kopi’s performance has been lackluster. I’m not surprised because the Kings have great D (although it was missing for a couple of games) and Quick has been solid.

The Kings just finished up a 5 game road series (3-2-0) and now they’re about to begin a 5 game home series. First up? The Devils and Kovalchump. I would LOVE to see the Kings shut them out and for Poni to get a hat-trick. I really do have high hopes for Poni – hopefully he doesn’t let me down!!

I’m glad we’re playing at home for the next two weeks. It’s hard for me to catch games that start at 5:00PM or 5:30PM since I’m still slaving away at work. And I can’t catch the replay since I’m knocked out by then. Yea, #firstworldproblems.

[Source: AP]

Four Eyes

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My coworkers think I look better with glasses. Henry thinks glasses are sexy (on me of course :P) Me? I’m not so sure. I don’t think I’ll ever feel pretty in glasses because I’ll always associate glasses with the teasing I experienced in middle school… by the boy I had the biggest crush on no less.

Women Run The World, Obviously

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Waking up extra early, sitting in traffic, fighting for parking, waiting in line for half an hour, standing for the whole duration of the opening session. All this for the Women’s Conference. And I would do it again in a heartbeat. I am deeply honored to have had the opportunity to experience this convergence of amazing, well-spoken, dynamic women. I cried. I laughed. I listened. I learned. I came away inspired.

Here is a recap in pictures:

imageBeing the First Lady of California, Maria Shriver has been responsible for putting together this annual Women’s Conference. I attended a few years back and I have to say, my experience this year far surpassed the previous. Perhaps Maria wanted to go out with a bang? Whatever the case, she did a fantastic job.

imageMichelle Obama closed out the opening session by addressing her cause: military families.

imageAfter the opening session, we broke out into our morning conversation topics. I attended “It’s Time To Talk About Your Happiness” (with Deepak Chopra and Goldie Hawn)

imageLunch Session: Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Both women shared their trials and tribulations of being a woman during a time when it was truly a man’s world and Sandra expressed what it was like to finally break the glass ceiling of the highest court in the US. To me, these two embody the word empowerment.

imageThe Village! Free goodies and samples! ♥ ♥

imageGrand Finale. Oprah was presented with a Minerva award along with four other amazing women.

imageSarah McLachlan performed during the Grand Finale. I’ve always loved her music and I was already in awe when I saw her on TV during the Opening Ceremony of the Winter Games, but seeing her LIVE? Chills down my spine.

imageThe loot I came away with = 3 bags full. My shoulder hurt like hell throughout the day, but seriously, how can you say no to free stuff?

I’m not sure if I’ll get the opportunity to attend next year, but I wonder what it will be like without Maria at the helm…

I Make: Jerk Chicken Drumsticks

Yes, you read correctly. Drumsticks. As in dark meat. As in the kind of meat I said I didn’t like.

Why did I do it? I wanted to save money. I didn’t want to pay $3.99 for chicken breast, so I caved. $0.99 a pound for chicken thighs and drumsticks? Alright, I’m in.

(yields ~3-4 servings)
Ingredients:
10 thin scallions, coarsely chopped
1 habanero chile, seeded and coarsely chopped (DO NOT SUBSTITUTE)
2 tbs. distilled white wine vinegar
1 tbs. fresh thyme leaves
3 medium garlic cloves, chopped
1 1/4 tsp. ground allspice
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
10 chicken drumsticks (~3.5 lbs)
Cooking spray

Directions:
1. Add scallions, habanero, vinegar, thyme, garlic, allspice, pinch of salt and pepper into food processor. Pulse to a thick paste.
2. Transfer paste into large ziplock bag and add drumsticks. Toss to coat and let stand for about 15 to 20 minutes.
3. Make sure rack is in the center of the oven and turn the broiler on high.
4. You can use a broiler pan to ensure crispiness, but I used a regular baking pan and the drumsticks turned out fine. Foil the pan and coat generously with cooking spray.
5. Season both sides of the drumstick with salt and pepper. Arrange on the baking pan, skin side down.
6. Broil chicken for 10 minutes, turn over, and continue to broil until nicely browned in spots (from the paste) ~ 20 minutes total.

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If you have a ginormous food processor like me, then cleaning might be a pain in the ass, but trust me, this recipe is totally worth it! You can make these babies for parties, bbqs, tail-gating, etc. The heat is not as intense as you would think since the habanero is seeded, but if you want more heat, just coarsely chop the habanero with seeds and add to the food processor.

Bon Appetit!

Foodcation 2010: Flip Flip Flipadelphia!

Stop #1 was NYC.

Stop #2? Philadelphia.

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Three reasons propelled me to visit the city of brotherly love:
1. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is one of my favorite shows, EVER
2. Iron Chef Jose Garces’ restaurant, Amada
3. Tony Luke’s cheesesteak

Philly is about a two hour drive from NYC. Instead of flying, which would have cost a couple hundred dollars PER PERSON, we took the Boltbus. The price of a one way ticket usually ranges between $8.00 to $20.00, however Boltbus offers $1.00 fares for whoever purchases the first ticket for each time slot. My ticket cost $1.50 ($1.00 + $0.50 service charge) and Henry’s cost $10.50.

We took a taxi from the Best Western Bowery Hanbee Hotel to the New Yorker Hotel (34th St and 8th Ave). For Boltbus trips to Philadelphia and Boston, the meet up location is right outside of Tick Tock Diner, which is located on the ground floor of the New Yorker Hotel.

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The bus was right on time and to my surprise, we basically shared the entire bus with 10 other people! We had ample leg room and though we didn’t take advantage of it, WiFi was available for us to use. I ♥ Boltbus!

Two hours later, we arrived in Philly and checked into Penn’s View Hotel. Besides having jacuzzi tubs in most of their rooms, the location of Penn’s View was a huge selling point for me. There is a bus stop literally right outside and the subway station is just around the corner. The historical sites AND Amada are only a few blocks away and the hotel has a great view of the Ben Franklin Bridge. Though the decor might not appeal to some (I didn’t mind it at all), our Standard King room (w/ jacuzzi tub) was a delight to come back to after a long day of walking and eating. Continental breakfast was included with our stay and we certainly took advantage of that. And even though we did a great deal of walking each day, we also took advantage of the fitness room on the 4th floor to burn off some extra calories.

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During out first day in Philly, we checked out Reading Market Terminal. I instantly fell in love with the place right as I walked inside. If you think the Farmer’s Market in LA is cool, well, you ain’t seen nothing yet!

The meats and seafood looked so fresh…

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… and so did the produce.

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There were also vendors that sold sweets and various home products…

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… and the intoxicating aroma from the prepared food vendors lured us to one in particular: DiNic’s.

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We sat down at the counter and ordered their famous Roast Pork w/ provolone and broccoli rabe. My excitement for this popular sandwich quickly faded when our server told us that they had run out of broccoli rabe AND spinach (at 1:00PM) so only sweet peppers were available. I found it ironic that they ran out of produce and yet, they are located in a public market where fresh produce is sold.

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After taking one bite of the sandwich, I was confused as to why so many people swear by it. The roast pork was not only tough, but flavorless as well. I’m not sure if the broccoli rabe would have made any difference.

At least the coffee from Old City Coffee didn’t fail me 🙂

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Since our hotel was located near the historical sites, we decided to tour that area before our dinner at Amada. So deeply rooted in history, Philly reminds me a lot of Boston. I love that there is still a small town feel to both cities, even though they are among the most populous cities in the United States.

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Many of the popular sites in Philly are located within Center City. The boundaries of Center City are South Street to the South, the Delaware River to the East, the Schuylkill River to the West and Vine Street to the North. Like NYC, Philly (Center City) is very walkable. Also like NYC, Philly’s public transportation system (SEPTA) is very efficient as well. We bought a One Day Convenience Pass for $7.00/pp – valid for 8 rides on any bus, trolley or subway route in one day. For those who want more flexibility, there is also a One Day Independence Pass available as well ($11/pp for unlimited travel in one day). With our pass, we visited many locations where It’s Always Sunny was filmed…

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Love Park fountain: Anti Smoking Rally in “Charlie Goes America Over Everybody’s Ass”

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Philadelphia Java Company: where The Waitress works (and is stalked by Charlie)

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Swann Memorial Fountain in Logan Circle: “Walking in Charlie’s Shoes”

From Logan Circle, we walked passed the Rodin Museum as we made our way to the Philadelphia Museum of Arts, where we ran up the steps like Rocky.

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As for food, Tony Luke’s was my favorite of all the places we ate at in Philly (I’ll write about my bad experience at Amada in another post). When I was planning Foodcation 2010, I thought about going to Geno’s or Pat’s, but I was less than thrilled to see that reviewers gave them 2.5 and 3.5 stars, respectively, on Yelp. I was interested in Tony Luke’s, but didn’t jump on-board initially because I was short on time and Tony Luke’s is farther away than the other two. However, after reading Gastronomer’s take on the whole cheesesteak battle, I changed my mind. I’m so glad I did because she was right, Tony Luke’s is the real deal.

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After 20 minutes on the 57 Bus and a 5 minute walk, we were standing in line at Tony Luke’s.

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We ordered a cheesesteak with whiz, roast beef italian (broccoli rabe w/ sharp provolone) and curly fries. I would have ordered the roast pork, but I was still traumatized by DiNic’s. Both sandwiches were DELISH, but I actually liked the roast beef more than the cheesesteak (Henry thinks I’m crazy).

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I wish we had more time in Philly; I felt a little rushed at times. So much to see, so little time! I didn’t get a chance to check out UPenn Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Eastern State Penitentiary or the Mütter Museum . What this means is… I’m going back to Philly, Philly, Philly…♥

Oh yea…

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HIIIIIYAHHHHH 🙂

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Night time shot FTW!

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Philadelphia Eats (+our verdict):
DiNic’s, 2/5
Tony Luke’s, 4/5
Pho 75, 3.5/5

I eat: Le Bernardin

Le Bernardin wasn’t part of our original plan for Foodcation 2010, but when I called to make a reservation at Alinea and was put on a 20+ person waiting list, I immediately made a reservation at Le Bernardin as plan B. I knew I wanted to have one fine dining experience during Foodcation 2010 and if Alinea wasn’t meant to be, then Le Bernardin would have to work… I guess 😦

I know, I sound like a spoiled brat, but who likes settling for “second best”? I was never truly excited for Le Bernardin. Even while I was dining, I was just reminded of why I was there in the first place. Le sigh.

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In all fairness, we had a fantastic meal at Le Bernardin and I would recommend it to anyone visiting NYC. My favorite dishes from our 4 course tasting ($112) were the Lobster (warm lobster carpaccio; hearts of palm, orange vinaigrette) and Langoustine (seared langoustine; mache and wild mushroom salad, shaved foie gras, white balsamic vinaigrette). Delicious! I’m glad we didn’t go with the more expensive 7 course tasting ($138) since only the Lobster was on that menu. And besides, I liked having a choice too.

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It’s easy for me to compare Le Bernardin to Providence since both restaurants specialize in seafood and both Chef Eric Ripert (Le Bernardin) and Chef Michael Cimarusti (Providence) are strong advocates for sustainable seafood. Foodwise, I think they’re pretty much neck and neck. As for service, based on my recent visits, I would have to say that I experienced better service at Le Bernardin.

It would have made my night to meet Chef Ripert. Unfortunately, he was not in the kitchen; he was on vacation for the week. Little did we know, this chefs on vacation thing turned out to be the theme of Foodcation 2010.

Verdict: 4.5/5
Le Bernardin
155 W 51st St
New York, NY 10019