“World’s Best” Birthday Dinner?

Today is my birthday and I had a fun time doing stuff in NYC that I never get to do on a normal working day there. I am going to see some friends later on, but I didn’t make dinner plans as I wasn’t sure when I would be home. So, I decided to go to the store and splurge on a few items that I’d never allow myself to buy on a regular day.

The new grocery in town stocks plenty such of these treats. I had previously eyed the twice-the-normal-price frozen entrée of Beecher’s “World’s Best” Mac & Cheese. This seemed like just the thing to get today. I took it home along with a pint of McConnell’s ice cream, another splurge. There was an unintentional West Coast lean to my selections; perhaps I’m hankering for a return trip out there? Anyway, this is what came out of the microwave after 10 minutes of cooking.ctmy113-bday-dinnerCan I make my own mac & cheese? Yes, and I have before, but um, who wants to do dishes on their birthday?! So, this lazy option worked just fine for me. In addition to a blend of Beecher’s Flagship and Just Jack cheeses (the former of which I’d previously tried, on an airplane) there was a chipotle puree and a few other spices giving the pasta a little kick. Oh, and they’d used penne instead of the traditional macaroni noodles to “adult” it up a bit.

Was it the “world’s best”? Well . . . I certainly enjoyed it and there’s enough leftover to dine upon it a further two times, but I can’t say I’m going to break my “no excessive splurging” rule to have it again on any other day than a b’day. I’d also be curious to try it at Beecher’s restaurant in NYC and see if it was particularly different when fresh vs. frozen. Somehow, I also think it’ll also be a little easier to pay the upcharge for it when I’m dining out.

And tomorrow, I’ll head off on some adventures upstate which will undoubtedly involve cheese. Watch this space for another post chronicling them soon . . .

Where There’s a Will, There’s a Whey

A while ago I’d heard about the cheese-focused restaurant, Lucy’s Whey, and knew that there was a branch in the general vicinity to where I work in Manhattan on the Upper East Side. Unfortunately, the trip there and back again would mean a rather rushed lunch hour, so I had postponed visiting it. Today was a quiet summer Saturday though, so I asked my pal Menage Cheddar if we could make the journey to it after work. She agreed and we were greeted with this lovely chalk drawing of a farm and its bounty.

ctmy110-cheesy chalk drawing

Tonight, there was a happy hour special running which enabled us to try some drinks–Menage got a wine and I a beer–with two cheeses featured on their board of daily specials. Now, I thought I took notes, but they’ve gone missing–doh! So, I’ll try to recall what we had: one of the cheeses was Spanish and had a name that hinted at its Basque origins, i.e. meaning x’s where an Anglocentric brain doesn’t expect them. The other, hmm, I can’t say. I think we liked them both and do recall especially loving that honey with a chunk of the comb still in it. I wanted to buy some, but was told the kitchen had used the last of it on our slate. 😦

ctmy111-happy hour cheese slate

Menage ordered Lucy’s Mac and Cheese made with her last name, Gruyere, & feta, and topped with burnt herbs and breadcrumbs. She inhaled it which is always the mark of something being really good. I got Lucy’s Favorite Grilled Cheese made with Prairie Breeze Cheddar and fig jam. Though I’m not a huge fan of radishes, I was pleased by the peas in the colorful small salad that accompanied the sandwich. I could only finish half and though we looked at their desserts and they seemed amazing, we simply couldn’t bring ourselves to order one. Yeah, we were that stuffed.

ctmy112-lucy's favorite

But I expect that we will be back. It’s hard to say if I will be able to resist this wonderful sandwich again or perhaps be tempted by the mac cheese or another dish. I do know I’m going to be more careful next time and take better notes and not.lose.them. And also pace myself more steadily so I can try one of their fabulous desserts. Here’s hoping we find the will to get back to this whey soon!