Jaime Eat World
Friday, May 25
I grab some blackberry sage ice tea and mangoes for breakfast. I have been eating a lot of mangoes lately.
Is this the Indian in me? Are mangoes the new succulents and millennial pink? Hari Kondobolu has a bit about it on his new Netflix special.
No. I think they're just delicious and I know they're considerably better for me than downing a bagel slathered in veggie cream cheese.
My morning is a pretty great one for a Friday - a meeting, some editing and some reading on the opioid crisis in Palm Beach County and the sober homes task force. I snack on wasabi peas while I'm working. Why isn't the wasabi pea model applies to other flavors? Like, I could fuck with a coconut curry pea and a chili-lemon pea and oh my god, a parmesan-parsley pea.
Why isn't this a thing? Let's make this a thing.
Lunch is leftovers from yesterday's lunch at Alaina's Bakeshoppe - half of a truly excellent sandwich with white bean puree, a giant hunk of fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, cucumber, like, half an avocado, carrots, sprouts, arugula and green goddess dressing.
I'm a fan of the leftover sandwich - the bread gets a little mushy and the last couple of bites basically fall apart in your hands, but it's comforting.
A few soggy salt and pepper potato kettle chips and pickles complete the meal. The pickles were supposed to be hot but really, they're just garbage bread and butter pickles with Tabasco in the brine. It's the worst of all things. Basically, the food equivalent of Limp Bizkit performing at the Trump inauguration.
I've got high pickle standards. Howley's or go home.
I come home, cuddle with my pups and catch up on Last Week Tonight with John Oliver until we meet up with friends for dinner. A rainy night is perfect for a little quality time at The Melting Pot.
I know that fondue used to be a thing back in the 70s but I've never figured out why it went out of vogue.
If one of my friends texted me to say, "Come over and eat a pot of cheese with me," my response would be, "OK and now, we're married."
We arrive early and grab a drink at the bar. The lemon berry mojito is a great summery drink but I think it needs way more mint. My perfect mojito is basically a planter of mint, a lime tree and rum with a piece of sugar cane as a swizzle stick.
Four couples share three pots of fondue - the classic, cheddar-bacon and the spinach artichoke. The classic is my hands-down favorite. Cheese is a perfect food and doesn't need any more than a little wine and some fresh nutmeg to make it magical.
I pick at a salad with gorgonzola and candied walnuts and eat some veggies (mushrooms and cauliflower) boiled in bubbling mojo.
This is the useless part of the meal. No-one goes to Melting Pot for this nonsense. We go to shove our faces with cheese and chocolate. And that's exactly what I do with dessert, dipping entirely too many strawberries into a chocolate fondue made with caramel, peanut butter, butterscotch schnapps and Baileys.
All meals should end this way. Why hasn't fondue replaced cake as the dessert of celebration?
Saturday, May 26
Wake up, walk the dogs in the rain and help my buddy write web copy for his new business venture. He gives me a bottle of red as a thank you and I immediately start thinking about cheese to pair with it. Obviously, I didn't get my fill last night.
Liverpool is playing Real Madrid in the UEFA championship so we head out to O'Sheas to catch the second half of the match. I spend the next 50 minutes, snacking on overcooked onion rings and sipping on Diet Coke while surrounded by a bunch of Real Madrid fans talking shit in Spanish about an English team's German goalie in an Irish pub in America.
Welcome to America. It's diverse and fucking awesome here.
As is their custom, the English lose and the gaggle of rowdy Real Madrid fans soak the joint in beer during their exuberant celebration. I'm drenched in beer and by the time I make it to the car, I'm soaked in rainwater.
We've got plans to see Deadpool 2, so I need to get home, shower and jackass out to the movies.
Movie theater food sucks. That's not a hot take. It's the truth. Movie theater popcorn is trash and their nachos are an affront to every Mexican effigy ever created. I sip on Diet Coke, I nibble on Twizzlers and I have a great time because holy shit, Deadpool 2 is brilliant - surprisingly emotional, dark and riotously funny.
Also, Zazie Beetz is a perfect human woman and I love her and she definitely needs to be featured more in the sequel.
Yeah. It is.
Anyway, woman cannot live on candy and soda alone. Mostly because she's not 22 and a goddamn idiot anymore, so we head to Flanigans - a local chain with killer wings (hashtag world's worst vegetarian).
I am starving. All I've had to eat today is like, four onion rings and six Twizzlers. My brain obviously isn't working and I order angel hair pasta.
At a sports bar.
Why would I order pasta at a sports bar? Because they don't have a veggie burger? Because I'm an idiot? Because my brain ceases to function cogently after excessive amounts of sugar?
I don't know.
The dish is exactly how you'd expect angel hair pasta from an Irish-named sports bar to be.
One day, Flanigans will have an Beyond Meat burger on their menu and on that day, I will eat myself into a food coma. Especially if I get the thing with caramelized onions and cheddar.
Sunday, May 27
We sleep in on Sunday mornings. It's been more like Seattle than South Florida around these parts lately, so bed is a particularly cozy place to be. Especially when Indy snuggles close.
John discovers The Fourth Estate - Showtime's new documentary series on reporting for the New York Times in the Trump era - and puts it on for me.
He knows his girl.
I went to j-school and I've hold a special reverence in my heart for reporters. Good journalism is hard. Good investigative reporting takes time. It's not sexy. It's calls and rifling through pages of notes and staring at a blinking cursor.
I am besotted and I watch while eating leftover pizza. It’s from West Palm Brewery and a week old, but it’s still decent. I eat a piece and a half and share the bones and a few choice globs of ricotta with the dogs. They love Mommy when she feeds them and Daddy the rest of the time.
Story of my life.
We run errands in the rain and John decides he wants pizza for lunch as well. We swing by Cucina where he picks up a spinach, garlic and fresh mozzarella pie and I have a glass of Cab and a cookie. I use this term loosely because the cookie is more like a ball of sweet pizza dough with chocolate chips shoved into it.
We head to home and I make myself a cocktail with lemonade, tonic water and amaretto. It tastes like a lemon bar. John and the dogs nap and I devour more of The Fourth Estate and consider upping my donation to ProPublica.
The sun shines briefly and I take Indy outside to shake off the cabin fever and chase a ball around the yard while I sing early 2000s hip hop songs to him.
He has no clue who Mystikal is. None.
We meet up with John's parents for dinner. The sun is still out and so is pretty much everyone in Lake Worth. Bars are packed and people are milling in the streets, enjoying a respite from the wet weather.
I love this town - it's got such a great vibe. I always say I'll never move out of West Palm but if I did - it would be on one of the alphabet streets in Lake Worth.
We head to Suri Tapas where bartender Kerry makes my night with a giant goblet of sangria that is the same exact color as sunset on Islamorada. It is perfect - refreshing and not to sweet. And she tops me up. I love this place.
We share a shitload of tapas - calamari two ways, roasted Brussels Sprouts with a wasabi foam, caprese salad, the house salad with arugula and apples in a pomegranate vinaigrette, butternut squash ravioli, grilled octopus and elotes.
Everything is delicious and I am reminded again of why the Spanish are geniuses. Food is social and meant to be shared. I get a weird little satisfaction out of sharing my food and going, "Right? Isn't that the fucking best?!"
What was that Julia Child said? People who love to eat are the best people? I agree with that but I think people who love to share their food are even better.