I forced Tako out of bed around 5:20 a.m. Our first stop was Starbucks — where I’ve never ordered two drinks for myself simultaneously before; new experiences, guys — and then we were on the road, heading towards Pennsylvania.
The original plan was to stop in Pittsburgh on our way to Brooklyn, but that didn’t quite work out.
The fog in Cleveland continued through most of Pennsylvania today, and it really reminded me of home. I cranked the AC, put on a sweater, and it almost felt like I was back in San Francisco.
The drive through Pennsylvania stayed pretty gloomy and, after skipping Pittsburgh, we got through to New Jersey way earlier than planned. Which was good because we didn’t see the sun until we hit NJ.
I thought I wouldn’t be to Brooklyn until dinner time, but we arrived by 3 p.m. even with a few stops to stretch our legs.
As soon as I arrived, I discovered that Molly has gone vegan (or, as she puts it “plant-based”) so those cheese curds are not going to cut it as a host(ess) gift. I have to find something stat otherwise I’m going to drive myself crazy.
My family is Southern for the most part. Southern people do not arrive at your home empty handed. (If they do, they kind of hate you, fyi.) If my grandmother knew I had, even accidentally…well, if she had a grave to roll over in, she would be.
After a quick nap, Molly took us on a walk on the way to an early dinner with Sean and my friend Alex. Brooklyn has always been my favorite part of NYC.
I think you all know at this point how much I love brick.
And street art!
We met Sean and Alex at a place called Bar Bruno in/around Carroll Gardens. They allow dogs at their outdoor tables, so Tako was ecstatic that he got to join us. I haven’t seen Sean and Molly since before they moved to New York (almost four years ago now!), and we had so much fun catching up.
Mexican food in New York is different. Bar Bruno is delicious, for sure, don’t get me wrong. But it’s different. If you’re not from California, I don’t think you would understand?
I don’t mean to say that in a pretentious way because, let’s face it, Mexican food is different in every region I’ve been to. U.S. Mexican food is entirely different from Mexico Mexican food. And Tex-Mex is entirely different from California-Mexican. And Northern California-Mexican is very different from Southern California-Mexican. And don’t get me started on LA-Mexican vs. SD-Mexican. And each and every one of those regions thinks theirs is the “right” American Mexican taste.
I like all of it, so I’m not trying to judge.
But there’s some aspect or taste-profile or spice mix in California-Mexican food that carries over across that mid-state boundary. And I don’t have the terminology to really describe it to anyone who hasn’t tasted it. But it’s not in Tex-Mex, and it doesn’t appear to be in New York Mexican either.
Regardless, I had some pretty amazing fish tacos in Brooklyn.
After dinner, we went on another walk. I love that about New York. You walk everywhere. This city lives in my comfort zone.
We wound up passing Milk Bar, which was very exciting for me as I am a huge fan of the crack pie. But I was too full to get any tonight, so I’ll have to come back in the next few days.
Molly posed for photos against the sign for me. It’s so nice to have models other than myself to work with.
Sean bought birthday cake truffles, though, and we broke into them back at the apartment. They are divine. Truffle cheers.
Tako begged for my truffle. As if I would ever share something this delicious.
I have many, many calories to work off tomorrow.
Seeing Molly & Sean again.
Having to miss Pittsburgh. But we were going through so early it wouldn’t really have been all that great.
Listening to: “America’s Sweetheart” Elle King