One at Revel in Atlantic City

Regardless of my thoughts on Revel (extensive metal staircase to climb to the one-level-misrepresented-as-4-level club in a brandynew resort which btw $30 cover even for a bachelorette party staying there? Letting someone put their pool bar tab on our room???), our dinner was actually pretty good.  Interestingly, because most AC restaurants don't require a credit card to make a reservation, it seems like people just make a handful and choose last minute where to go.  How else to explain how our TOTALLY BOOKED, WE DO NOT TAKE WALK INS restaurant had plenty of room and ended up able to seat 8 of us 30 minutes early?   And yes, we had made a second rez.

My first choice in the hotel would have been Central, because helloooo Michel Richard.  Or the tapas place.

So, I'm not entirely sure that it must be the place.  But it's a place. A place with very loud music (since when am I 80? Oh wait, since about 2003).  But we screamed into our neighbor's ears and decided we'd talk more later in the comfort of our rooms, over the ringing of course.

These little baby breads (each roll was about half a thumb tall) were delicious and so cute, sprinkled with rocky salt.  But being there with all girls, we sort of left 1.5 hanging in each dish.  Things That Don't Happen With Guys Present for 1000, Alex?

YUM, tuna tartare with stacked taro chips with an avocado base.   Sorry about the iPhone pics--it was dark in there.  I'd definitely get the tuna again.

Mini Kobe sliders - DELICIOUS.  Pickles, the key to happiness.

The menu for One is nearly impossible to find. Unlike other restaurants in Revel, the menu isn't on the web site (note, it wasn't two weeks ago!  It is now. Damnit).  Instead it's on the Facebook page. But it's not immediately visible, you need to look at their list of crap (About, Photos, etc) and press "5 More" to see an icon for Menu.  When I called to ask about an online menu, whoever picked up then put me on hold said it was on Facebook.  When I told her I still didn't see it, she said she didn't know.  Then she said I could email a manager for it.  I did email, because I figured they might send me one with prices (good to know when you're with a group), but never got a response.

When I don't see prices on a menu, I worry a little.  I worry that it's VERY expensive.  This was not the case; it wasn't any more expensive than the other restaurants in Revel or other big hotels in AC, so why not cut a girl (or 8) a break and stop the worries?   Transparency is good--tell people what to expect.

The food was pretty good, it came out pretty quickly, the drinks were way expensive of course, but there were beers for $7, so I went that route.  It seems like they brought us a round of free shots, but then we were charged for them.  A few girls got the lobster roll appetizer and they were the tiniest little guys I ever saw, picture mini hot dogs but lobster in them instead.  And $19.  Just know what you're in for!  


Eating at the Track

It happened.  The track opened!  We went opening weekend with our friends from out of town (first-timers to the CapReg, and one of them had never been to a racetrack before).  You know you're in Smallbany (or the Smallbany area, at least) when you basically know a handful of people outside of work and manage to see 3 people you know at the Track opening weekend.  There were tons of people there, but almost immediately we saw a dude from work and two folks from the dog park.  Obviously we don't know their names--they are [dog's] mom and dad.

So, eating at the track has a lot of choices, but I'm still getting started.  See above - HATTIE'S!  While brunch there recently was a bit of a miss (chicken was a little off, eggs weren't cooked right the first time), you really can't go wrong with fried chicken.  They had some initial drama on the Facebook page and beyond about their new location, made a few threats not to be at the Track, but alas are still there.  And BTW it was very easy to find. 

The line for Hattie's was long and we'd been there before, of course, so we had some smoked meat poutine (with gravy and curds of course) from this joint. When Shirley's was sold to a Montrealian (Montrealite?), poutine hit the menu faster than you can say s'il vous plait.

Shake Shack.  Whether you're a burger and fries person or a straight up milkshake person (raises hand), you are covered.  The line moves fairly quickly.  The straws aren't extra big, which is a little sad for someone who likes to drink milkshakes as fast as possible.  The Sloppy Track shake sounds up my alley but really the black & white is my favorite.  I'm a fan of salted caramel (including the Starbucks salted caramel hot chocolate...swoon) but it was too salty, and mine was on the meltier side.  I like my shakes frrrreezing and hard to drink, preferably out of an extra wide straw.  Thanks.

For now, these are my only eating experiences at the track after exactly 2 visits and 2 summers as a local.  I have a feeling we'll be back a few more times this season and maybe I'll branch out.  To homemade picnic sandwiches that I brought with me...(PS that's a thing, you can do that.  We brought a small soft cooler with beer in it. CHEAP! YUM! CLASSY!)

Go, have fun, eat food (bought or brought), and don't lose all your money.  I ended up $2 up after 5 races, but with admission at $3 and my shake at $6, I guess I was really down $7.  Pretty reasonable for 3 hours of entertainment and the chance of the thrill of winning.



When you live in the Capital Region and run the Boilermaker, you have two options: Stay over in the Utica area (and book well in advance--at least 6 months), or get up at an ungodly hour and head west for the 8am start.  In both 2011 and 2012 I chose to stay the night nearby. 

In a two sentence race review/recap, I can tell you that I love the Boilermaker 15k, the people of Utica are gracious with their colanders of ice, icicles, orange slices, and garden hose showers, and my only criticism/suggestion is that they do a pace-related wave start.  Because Super Elite followed by Everyone Else does not make for a comfortable first few miles.

ANYWAY, we had dinner at Symeon's, recommended by a friend who goes to Utica for work often.  It wasn't super crazy, despite the thousands of people in town for the run.  They also have a lot of tables.  The souvlaki was so flavorful and piping hot, and those pieces of well-seasoned meat contrasted beautifully with my antipasto plate (basically Greek salad with dolmades--grape leaves--on top).  My only criticism is that the bread to wrap the souvlaki in wasn't warm, which made it unappetizing.  I ignored it.  My mom (who ran the BM15k in 1:34!) really enjoyed her salmon with grilled vegetables and rice pilaf.  Light and healthy, getting ready to run.

We were pretty full, but baklava ice cream sounded very interesting.  We heard it was especially made just for them by Roc Star Ice Cream.  We decided to get one to share, and our waitress put it in three mini dishes (unnecessary but SO SWEET), and it was delicious.  Baklava or ice cream, WHY CHOOSE when you can have baklava IN your ice cream?  Really. 

3 mini sundaes for the price of one.  Thank you!


5 Years Later

A lot can happen in five years.  Someone who joined me for my first meal to be blogged is engaged and currently living in a state with equal marriage.  I went from an unpaid intern (at a place with this guy's mug on the entry wall) to a full time employee with a salary.  My first cousins (22 in total) produced 14 children, so I got fourteen new first cousins once removed.  Eight boys and six girls, but I feel compelled to tell you that 4/6 of those girls arrived in the past 18 months.  So it was raining boys until recently.  Our schools got new presidents and the law school has a new dean.   

ANYWAY.  We moved, then moved further.  And moved again, albeit not as far.

We've got 380 posts, a number that includes a handful of drafts I'm not sure whether I should delete, even still.  These are "all time" stats, which are really from May 2008.  I guess I didn't have analytics enabled before then.  Because I didn't know what analytics were. 

So thanks Emily. Because you wrote the #1 viewed post by far.  HARRY POTTER HARRY POTTER.

I see a pattern here.  Postcards are popular.  People are traveling where I'm traveling (or maybe they live there) and they want to know where to eat.  If you live in Albany and I'm the 17th person to write a blog post about City Beer Hall, who cares?  Besides my mom? Just kidding, my mom doesn't read this blog.

Thanks for joining me (or searching for "where is the real hogwarts" and ending up here).   Have an awesome day, and don't forget to tip your server.