As we become increasingly health conscious when it comes to dining out, the concept of fast food that can be prepared on-demand from fresh ingredients has been popularized by chains like Chipotle, and Moe’s, among others. It’s no accident that these restaurants feature southwestern flavors, because — let’s face it — Mexican food is awesome, and the variety of preferred-ingredient combinations is almost endless. Who misses a Burger when you can do a Burrito Bowl dozens of different ways? What’s really fun and exciting for a foodie like me is to see the Chipotle model emulated to expand beyond Mexican into tasty Mediterranean and Latin cuisines. Recently, I was invited to visit Cocina Del Sur, a midtown fast-casual restaurant specializing in Latin dining that is both healthy and indulgent. Let’s check it out!
This weekend was Gay Pride here in NYC, and Geoffrey and I celebrated by having a ridiculously fun Sunday adventure that will heretofore be known as “The Gayest Day Ever.” Just because it sounds more fun that way!
First, I picked up Geoffrey at his apartment and we traveled uptown by train and bus (experiencing excellent Mass Transit Karma) to 5th Avenue and 82nd street, arriving at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Unless you have ADD, you might recall that I have already blogged about The Met at least three times in the past week, because it is so awesome. Our first stop at the Met was to hit the roof garden for my second viewing in three days of the Jeff Koons sculpture exhibit, Koons on the Roof.
We spent a few hours in the museum until we became comatose from over-exposure to too much rad art. I highly recommend the Superhero Costume exhibit, which was just insane.
Geoffrey took some great pictures, even though you weren’t supposed to, and he kept getting yelled at. Go Geoffrey, you wild Rebel, you!
After we tired of looking at art we went back down town to dine at our very favorite Cuban restaurant, Havana Chelsea, or Chelsea Havana. Whatever it’s called, the food is beyond delicious! We stuffed our faces with fried chicken cutlets, red beans, yellow rice and fried plantains – pausing occasionally to grunt at each other – until we could barely waddle back out on to the street to mingle with the happy gays celebrating their pride! Yay!
But we were not done yet! Next on the agenda of rad fun was my friend Larry’s birthday party! Larry is a record producer and developer of Reality TV programming who I’ve known for about five years. (Trivia: Larry also lives in the same building as John Waters.) Except for there being way too much reggae on the mix CD, Larry’s party was very fun and gay, but Geoffrey and I were so full of Cuban food that we could barely lift our glasses of over-strong Vodka and Cranberry juice and we snuck out after about two hours. What a fun day!
Happy Gay Pride, Everybody!
Last Week was certainly quite far from being the best week of my very long life. Between the stress of my father being on death’s door out in California, the thundering re-occurrence of my chronic jaw pain and the continually-evolving myriad of daily problems afflicting Worley gig.com, resulting apparently from
1. Moving host servers
2. Updating to the latest version of WordPress (Recommendation: Avoid if possible)
It occurred to me off and on during the week how awesome it would be to just go to sleep and never wake up. But of course, I had trouble sleeping as well, compounded by having to get up at 6 AM for my day job. Also, I lost two and a half hours of my life that I’ll never get back watching a completely terrible movie, The Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford (I should have guessed from the overlong, pretentious title that it would suck ass). It was just a shitty week in general.
Fortunately, I was distracted from shuffling off this moral coil by a few of life’s simple pleasures.
Tracy and I spent an evening polishing off a bottle of wine and a large bag of Nacho Cheese Doritos. And that was fun.
Seeing Dethklok at the Nokia Theater and having a table upstairs so I didn’t get killed by all the moshing idiots.
Drinking a “Balloon Dog” Martini while enjoying the Jeff Koons sculptures and stellar views of Central Park from the roof of The Met.
Eating a steak with my friend Christine.
Spending a couple of hours on the phone with my BFF Sue always readjusts my perspective.
This new CD by LA metal band Blacklist Union, Breakin’ Bread with the Devil, really takes me back to the good old days of lost weekends and dressing up like Nikki Sixx for Halloween!
I enjoyed spending Saturday cleaning The Chickpad.
The sun is out at the moment, and my plan for today includes picking up Geoffrey, heading back uptown to the Met to see the Superhero exhibit, getting delicious Cuban food for dinner and then going to my friend Larry’s birthday party. I don’t think you could ask for a better day than that.
“Oh, oh, I love it so…”
When Havana Chelsea closed last summer for “remodeling,” Geoffrey and I mourned and pouted for months that our favorite Cuban food diner/dive was lost to us forever. During our extended grieving process, we dined several times at the also-good-and-considerably-more-gay-friendly Cuba Cafe just a few blocks up the street, but the trade-off in ambiance/gayness/liquor license versus super low cost/actual taste of the food just didn’t cut it. We were ever so saddened.
Fried Sweet Plantains. Oh, So Delicious
One time, many years ago, I did a phone interview with Ian Astbury, lead singer for the Cult. Ian is a fascinating but super long-winded guy and he can talk for hours. That can be a blessing and a curse in itself, but that is another story. While I was on the phone with Ian he started telling me a story about his trip to Cuba (Aside: Ian is OBSESSED with the late Cuban Guerilla leader Che Guevara). He said to me at one point that “The food there was so fucking good, I wanted to eat the plate.” I thought that was a pretty funny quote, but of course he’s right. Cuban food rocks.
Last night, I went with my rad friend Geoffrey to this little Cuban restaurant in Chelsea called, appropriately, Havana Chelsea. Bluntly put, this place is the fucking bomb. I don’t even want to print the restaurant’s address because I want to keep it as secret as possible, so I can always get a table when I go there, which from now on will be OFTEN!
Continue reading Gail and Geoffrey’s Excellent Cuban Food Adventure!