October 7, 2010 § Leave a Comment
….courtesy of Daniels Bagels, NYC.
As promised, here is Part Two to round out the deets on my classic New York food extravaganza ( ‘deets’ as in the short version of ‘details’ – does it need an apostrophe someplace?).
So we were on the hunt for a proper New York Bagel. I had done my interweb research prior to the trip and had identified a few choice options. I was very clear about one thing, though, I wanted a very specific type of bagel as I understand there are at least two kinds that New Yorkers go for: 1) the larger, doughier kind; or 2) the smaller, crustier, and chewier kind. I was up for the latter because I like tasty crunchy stuff.
What makes a New York Bagel so special? Well, apparently not only is it the way they are prepared: first, hand-rolling the dough; then boiling in water (the very fact that they are bathed in New York City water is the key, evidently); then finally baked to a perfect blend of crusty outside/chewy inside.
We headed for Daniels and I asked for what was hot out of the oven – Plain came the resounding response…
Now for Protein Polly to spring into action. “please could I have plain turkey breast with that warm bagel?”
(I should quickly mention a typical New York Bagel Rule of Thumb – do NOT ask for the bagel to be toasted. Though not every establishment adheres to the principle, New York Bagels are intended to be served untoasted (as they are already oven-warmed and inherently crusty) and with a Schmear of cream cheese or something).
No toasting for me either and the turkey quota I received was amazing.
I quickly scooped all the turkey to one side as I was determined to experience the bagel itself in all its crusty, tangy marvelousness. And it was – marvelous.
Protein Polly rounded out the meal by inhaling all the turkey – again, to make it abundantly clear to my digestion that blood-glucose normalcy is the name of the game for the afternoon, please. Which is was. I was not hungry nor shaky; the protein appears to be the current solution.
All in all, the Friday of our NYC trip ended up being a day of the letter ‘B.’ Sesame Street would be proud.
B was for Breakfast (in my case 2 large tubs of Whole Foods Irish Steel-Cut Oatmeal from the hot food buffet with a handful of walnuts to keep me sustained throughout the morn)
B was for Birds (in Central Park which, in spite of the downpour that was occurring at the time, were out in abundance)
B was for Boat (as in the Staten Island Ferry at sunset – a fantastic, FREE, and lovely experience – definitely a highlight of our trip)
B was also for Book (and a Tote Bag) Buying (courtesy of Strand Books – 18 miles of independent bookstore loveliness on Broadway – I recommend going to there in lieu of other chain bookstores that happen to begin with the letter ‘B’ too)
then, of course, B was for Bagel!
October 5, 2010 § Leave a Comment
…. courtesy of Grimaldi’s in Brooklyn, NY.
Finding ourselves in Brooklyn on the first full day of our trip (and specifically the Dumbo area which stands for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass); we meandered the very quiet, pretty streets for a spell. It seems to be a developing artist community with galleries, theaters, and posh-looking lofts. We popped into an art exhibit and strolled down the Brooklyn Heights Promenade for super views of the Manhattan skyline.
Then we started to get the ‘I could go a Pizza about now’ feeling….
Now, Pizzas and Bagels typically include a stop at Carbohydrate Central (which for those of us who need to actively control our blood-glucose levels is a place to be choosy when residing). With their likely combination of simple carbohydrates (such as sugar) and the refined type of complex carbohydrates (such as white flour) the effects on my blood-glucose could be speedy and negatively dramatic; thus, I knew I would need to source a healthy chunk of protein with my pizza and bagel selections to help keep me sustained and out of reactive hypoglycemia land for the afternoon.
Happily, we arrived at Grimaldi’s Pizzeria just after the main lunch-time rush. I had yelp.com-ed this establishment beforehand and it had come as a highly thought-of New York Pizza icon. My very lovely husband agreed to go with my no-cheese option (which elicited only a slight eye-brow raise from the waiter). I also quickly scanned the menu for a possible protein to enjoy on top of the tasty classic – there wasn’t much choice – it would have to be the Ham. Since 2002, I have eaten pork only 3 times and all because they were the only protein source available to me. This is one of those times and I promise to explain why (it relates to my former Vegan years and current intention to avoid those unhealthy of fats: the saturated variety).
Still, girl gotta eat and a New York Pizza was not going to be an experience I was willing to forgo. And it was marvelous. Truly scrumptious with just the right amount of oven-fired-burnt-deliciousness. I will remember it for some time to come. I scooped the last cubes of ham off the pizza and ate them at the end just to make doubly sure my digestion got the point about keeping my blood-glucose in the normal range. And it worked! No hypoglycemic reaction for Polly all afternoon. Quite refreshing.
October 4, 2010 § Leave a Comment
My current belief is that protein is my solution to stave off the symptoms of low blood-glucose (a.k.a low blood-sugar or hypoglycemia; a.k.a those pretty scary symptoms of confusion, shaking, nervousness, light-headedness, etc.). I came to this concept by way of a run in with a spoonful of apple-sauce sweetened oatmeal (due to a communication breakdown while ordering breakfast in a hotel restaurant). In the five minutes I was waiting for the replacement bowl (being made with only water) I had already begun to feel the start of the shakes as the high sugar content of the applesauce had worked its blood-glucose/insulin-prompting magic. It was actually a very alarming moment as I had not experienced such a fast hypoglycemic reaction before. Not so much fun.
In the years since, I have tested out a variety of approaches to blood-glucose management and in my normal weekly routine, I have it down.
Then we take a trip somewhere and I have to figure out, on the fly, how I am going to cope. Enter Protein Polly to the rescue….
Though a mini bag of walnuts was top of my packing list; this recent NYC trip has proven that conscious protein intake will keep me sane and out of the blood-glucose blues for extended periods; even when burning lots of calories by walking around and having fun.
Stay tuned for the next installment of our NYC trip review for how Protein Polly handled the two ‘classic New York’ food experiences that she was determined to have: 1) the New York Style Pizza; and 2) a proper New York Bagel. For those of you in the blood-glucose-management “know” the words pizza dough and bagel are synonymous with the perils of simple carbohydrate intake and its effects on the metabolically-challenged among us. I will provide all the scoop-worthy details tomorrow.
Before I go, please remember that I am not a nutritionist, nor a medically trained super woman like my doctor. What I describe is purely my understanding of what I have discussed with medical professionals and nutritionists; read on the interweb; and garnered from my own experiences. Please take a few moments to check out this article on Hypoglycemia from the Mayo Clinic (its definition, causes, effects, etc.); a terrific source of information for all things health wise.
October 3, 2010 § Leave a Comment
Apparently, in my family, hotels are rated on the Polly scale. My Dad and brother travel for business-purposes and in order to improve the cost-benefit analysis of their trips always opt for THE least expensive locale they can find. Just a clean bed and a bathroom will suffice; fancy add-ons like posh soaps and a TV are not essential. Such hotels rate very low on the Polly Scale. I am completely different. Give me a night in a cute boutique hotel with Egyptian linens, a flat-screen TV and a giant King size bed and I am a happy one. Such hotels rate highly on the Polly Scale.
Lest you think me too posh; I am also VERY content to spend nights in the great outdoors camping. We camped as a family every year that I was growing up. I love cooking on make-shift stoves, walking miles to wash the dishes after dinner and walking miles to the loo.
I just happen to have an appreciation for accommodations at the other end of the Polly Scale. Case in point – the winner for us in NYC was The Empire Hotel. This definitely rates high on the Polly Scale. It was very VERY nice. I have a tendency to feel a tiny bit out of place in such establishments – well, I ain’t famous, nor do I have a yacht tied up in the Harbour. Add to that the fact that I ‘bid’ for this room on Priceline so was probably paying a chunk less than some of their other guests. Even knowing that I had done that (because I contacted the Guest Relations Manager ahead of time) they were so welcoming and kind. We were even granted a free upgrade and a welcoming bottle of champagne in honour of my birthday – what can I say; I was smitten with the place.
Though the main focus of any trip to the Big Apple is surely the sights and sounds of the city itself – it sure helps to sleep well and be able to relax before gearing up for the next NYC adventure.
Quick health-related note: I did not partake of the free bubbly as I do not drink (those pesky metabolic issues once more…). Not to say that I haven’t in the past (yes, a story or two for another day) but these days, the immediate headache followed by the sleepless night just ain’t worth it. That said, my husband sure appreciated the gift!
NEW!: Check out my TripAdvisor.com review here for more details.
September 29, 2010 § Leave a Comment
Just a quick post to say that my hubby and I made it to New York City! This trip is my birthday gift from the man in my world. ‘Tis rather neat. I will be posting a more thorough review of our mental and edible NYC nourishments ASAP. In the meantime, suffice to say, it is lovely to be here.