Saturday, December 4, 2010

Georgia's On My Mind

It was dark in the room - about 4am - when LK semi-woke up. "Where are we?" she asked. "New York," I said, and she went back to sleep mumbling something about too many beds in too many places.

We arrived in New York late yesterday afternoon. The sun was shining, but the temperature was chilly as rode the cab back to the Blue Moon Hotel on the lower East side, where we stayed a year ago.

And once the sun went down, the air chilled enough for LK to say, "It never gets this cold in Hobart." Actually it did get this cold about 13 years ago and it set the record for the lowest temperature ever. But for the northeastern US, this is just the beginning of winter and it will get much colder.

Or, as LK also said, "Every time we come in the winter, we say we won't come back in the winter. Why can't we remember that when we book our trips?"

With only the night to do anything - and a chilly night at that - we decided to walk a few blocks to a restaurant LK had found on the web. It looked exactly like the sort of place we would love. Small and casual (that picture shows you all of its tables), it's called Georgia's, and it features that classic New York cuising - barbecue.

OK, maybe it's not classic New York fare, but it was really, really good food. The highlight of their menu, which I've copied at the top of this post, is really their side dishes. We both ordered the pulled pork dinner, which gave us both more meat and coleslaw than we could possibly eat.

Especially with the two side dishes each. I got collard greens and green beans cooked with bacon. LK got pickled beets and brussel sprouts. Without going all vegetarian on you, I've got to report that we couldn't stop eating the veggies. They were absolutely delicious - and after a couple of weeks of tourist buffets in Egypt and Jordan, it was heaven.

We had a great New Orleans beer with our meal. And, get this, in New York we had a fantastic dinner for two with a drink for under $50. I didn't think that could be done. And you can guess where we're going back before we fly to Peg's on Monday.

After dinner I stopped at a wine store to pick up a bottle for the room. And it is the perverse nature of buying what you know that I got a New Zealand sauvignon rather than experiment with stuff I didn't know. Besides, it was only $13 in our night of culinary bargains.

Actually, the culinary bargains didn't last long. While I was buying my wine, LK was looking in the window across the street. It was a shop that specializes in macarons.

That's not macaroons, the cookies, but the French confectionery, which is actually two wafers of flavored meringue with a filling in the middle.

That's a picture of their salted caramel, which is described as "Smooth golden caramel salted with flakes of French sea salt."  LK insisted it was delicious and that I would love it, but I gave it a pass. Although it probably says something about my taste that the salt part sounded better than the caramel part.

But, as you can imagine when things are described with words like smooth, golden and flakes of foreign sea salt, this was not the cheapest snack in the world. In fact, half a dozen cost more than the pulled pork dinner with two side dishes we had just eaten a block away or the bottle of imported wine I bought across the street.

Oh well, it's New York. I knew the bargains wouldn't last forever. And at least everything we had rated a big thumbs up from two tough foodies.

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