SD#7: Multiple Layers of Fail

It’s been a while since we serially dined, so tonight we consulted the list and headed off to get some grub.  We’ve learned to go out prepared with the addresses of at least a handful of places, as we often encounter surprises.  According to our Yahoo Yellow Pages list, these were the next few places:

Arirang Restaurant, (718) 446-0482, 6512 Roosevelt Ave
Arnold’s Pizzeria Rstrnt Inc, (718) 424-3660, 6703 Woodside Ave
Azuay Deli Grocery, (718) 426-5233, 6715 Woodside Ave
Baskin-Robbins, (718) 507-1999, 3956 61st St
Blagio, (718) 779-7300, 7225 Queens Blvd
Boston Market, (718) 533-1389, 5124 Northern Blvd
Boston Market, (718) 779-3700, 5001 Queens Blvd

We headed out for Arirang, which we were pretty sure had tanked and been replaced by something else.  We were right.  In its place is La Nueva Perlita:

La Nueva Perlita con El Bouncer Grande

Note the very large bouncer outside the door.  At first we thought hey, maybe he’s just a dude out for a smoke.  Then we noticed not only that he wasn’t smoking, but also that he seemed to be conducting entrance interviews.  We figured a couple of dorky looking gringos with a camera might not be on the VIP list, so we decided to move on.

Next on the list is the unfortunate Arnold’s Pizzeria, which was just down the street from our apartment and died a very well-deserved death more than a year ago, before we even generated the restaurant list.  (Note to Yahoo:  this is why you’re losing market share.) In its place is a cute little Bolivian place we’ve wanted to try:

Cumbre, a Taste of Bolivia!

Score!  Or so we thought, until we actually got there and discovered there was a private church party going on inside.

Our attempt to eat Bolivian food, foiled by Bolivians having a private party.

So that gringos-with-camera thing?  Probably applies there too, at least for tonight.  Here is where Yahoo screws us once again:  The next alleged “restaurant” on our list is the Azuay Deli Grocery, which is not only not a restaurant but also no longer called the Azuay Deli Grocery.  It is now called the Austro Deli Grocery.  But it’s on the list, so we went there.

Austro Deli Grocery

Allan heads inside our favorite neighborhood bodega

We LOVE this bodega.  It’s right around the corner from our apartment, and we’re in there almost every day for one thing or another.  I have purchased enough Coke Zero in this place to put the owner’s kids through at least one year of college.  They also sell a lot of awesome Mexican sodas and beer, and they’re the closest place to go when we run out of milk in the fridge.  The people that run the place know my face, and they know Allan a bit better than that.  The wife apparently does a spot-in impression of how Allan reacts when she totals up his purchases and quotes him a price.

So.  Time to plan strategy.  Are we going to try to forage for a full meal in here?  The next place on the list was Baskin-Robbins, so we’d have dessert lined up right afterward.  But Boston Market was next on the list after that, and we were really hungry, so here’s what we decided to do:  Score some drinks and an appetizer at the bodega, head to Boston Market for dinner, and then finish off the evening with ice cream at Baskin-Robbins.

Austro carries tons of Mexican and other Latin American stuff, such as a full range of Bimbo products.  I voted for Bimbo because it always looks funny in photographs, but Allan didn’t want something sweet before dinner, so we went with a bag of Barcel Churritos in chili lime flavor.  We scored some drinks to go with:  A Jarritos lime soda for Allan and an El Mexicano guava yogurt shake for me.  Since Mexican Coke contains real sugar and comes in real glass bottles, I picked up a bottle of Coke as a special treat for later in the weekend.  The whole haul cost us under six bucks.  We grabbed it and headed for the car to munch out before heading for Boston Market:

Mexican snacky goodness from Austro

Like Mexican Coke, Jarritos lime soda contains real sugar and comes in a real glass bottle, so of course Allan had good things to say.  It’s not his first Jarritos, to say the least.  Also, those little Mexican yogurt shakes are like crack.  Guava was a new flavor for me, and it was completely heavenly just like the other ones they make.  The churritos, on the other hand, sucked as no crunchy snack food has ever sucked before.  They basically look and taste like unfortunate little Chinese fried noodles sprayed with some brightly colored, mildly spicy powder.  We ate just enough to realize we hated them and headed off for Boston Market.

The rules of Serial Dining say that if there’s more than one of the same restaurant on the list, you try one and skip the rest.  There are two Boston Markets in Woodside (which is weird, because there is a LOT of competition from other chicken joints with much better chicken).  So we picked the one on Queens Boulevard and headed over there:

Boston Market on Queens Boulevard

The people at the counter were extremely friendly, efficient, and professional, which is not always the case at chain restaurants.  A lot of the containers on the steam table were empty, so our choice of sides was pretty limited, and there were no salads at all.

Here’s the problem I had:  As it happens, not realizing I’d be eating it again for dinner, I happen to have had Boston Market for lunch today.  Some of the guys on my staff were going there for lunch and they brought some back for me.  We very specifically had a conversation about why on earth anybody would ever order meatloaf at Boston Market.  Meatloaf isn’t really restaurant food– you really only eat meatloaf if somebody in your family cooked it.  But I JUST had chicken for lunch THAT DAY, so I figured what the hell.  I ordered the meatloaf.  Allan, of course, ordered chicken like any sane person would do.  Here’s our food, along with two unsweetened iced teas in the ginormous new plastic soda cups they have a BM.  (Doesn’t it just tell you all you need to know that the initials of Boston Market are BM?):

Meatloaf! Noooooooo!

Before I could begin to eat, I had to properly prepare my corn and mashed potatoes.  The entire time I was growing up, my mother would raise holy hell if I attempted to mix my corn into my mashed potatoes.  I thought this was nuts, as that is CLEARLY the ONLY proper way to eat that stuff.  It’s awesome.  You can disagree with me if you want, but you’d be wrong.  But now I’m an adult, and I have my own money, and I buy my own food.  And when the food I buy is corn and mashed potatoes, the corn is going in the potatoes, period, end of story.  Sorry, mom.  Suck it up.

Step One: Create a big bowl

Step Two: Load corn into potato bowl

Step Three: Mix corn and potatoes. I cannot imagine why my mother found this objectionable.

So.  How was the food?  You’ve been to Boston Market.  You know what the chicken tastes like.  The meatloaf, on the other hand… All I can say is, keep ordering the chicken.  Perhaps I judge too harshly, because my grandmother (and later, following her example, my mother) made the rockingest meatloaf ever created on this earth, but suck is suck.  I don’t even know what to compare it too, because I cannot remember ever putting something that felt and tasted quite like this in my mouth ever in my life, except maybe when I was a toddler and I was teething.  Toddlers will put anything in their mouth when they’re teething.

The corn and mashed potatoes were awesome, though.

Total cost for two meals:  $19.34

After Boston Market, we headed to Baskin-Robbins for dessert.  This particular Baskin-Robbins is inside of a Dunkin Donuts that is  run by Hindus, and they don’t seem entirely comfortable serving up frozen dairy products to people.  I think they just don’t get why people eat that stuff.  We were there several months ago, and when it became clear to the guy who was helping us that we wanted ice cream and not donuts, he actually sent somebody else to help us.

Baskin-Robbins. You can also see the green awning of our favorite diner, Stop Inn, across the street.

Cows are not sacred to me, but ice cream is.  I try not to eat it very often, so when I do, I want something that is going to kick much butt.  In this instance, I had a single scoop of New York Cheesecake in a cone.  Allan had a cup of pralines and cream, a B-R classic.  Here they are, just before being gleefully consumed:

Mmmm, ice cream!

Total cost for ice cream:  $4.77.  So while the ice cream was definitely a win, I am forced to conclude that tonight’s Serial Dining adventure is just not a fail, but contains multiple layers of fail:

1. Arirang is gone

2. Arnold’s is gone, and deservedly so, but the yummy-looking Bolivian place that replaced it remained tantalizingly out of our reach all night

3. Boston Market is, alas, still there, , and I could pave a driveway with its meatloaf

4. Upon arriving home, I realized WE are also a big pile of fail, because we TOTALLY SKIPPED Blagio, which falls between Boston Market and Baskin-Robbins.  I guess we know where we’re going next time.

Boston Market on Urbanspoon

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2 Responses to “SD#7: Multiple Layers of Fail”

  1. SD#8: False rabbits and cow tongues: down home food from way up high « The Fat Chick Diaries Says:

    […] False rabbits and cow tongues: down home food from way up high By thefatchickdiaries On our last Serial Dining adventure, we went to the address of the deservedly defunct Arnold’s Pizzeria, 6703 Woodside Ave, and […]

  2. SD #17: Yes, This Is About Food We Ate In August. « The Fat Chick Diaries Says:

    […] for El Mariachi, almost nothing on this list is as it seems.  That Dunkin Donuts?  Surprise!  We’ve been there before, because it’s also a Baskin Robbins!  It does, however, appear twice on the list, and rules […]

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