Day Two started, yet again, without any proper plans except for finding good eats. My friends/fellow gastronomic adventurers Mariquit and Nick are quite the coffee experts, so the majority of our excursions today revolved around some form of espresso. To start, we hit a couple of coffee shops for some light fare.
We started the day at a “coffee and eggs” shop called All Day, which served up cozy breakfast fare such as tartines and various cooked-eggs. Off to the background was a special drink: cold-brew rosemary limemade. While it was initially tart and sweet, the cold brew kicked in after a while and provided a dark, almost smokey bite. I also ordered a pan con croqueta, which featured pork croquetas on cuban bread and gouda cheese. The overall atmosphere of the place was both expertly modern and vintage, which is something that, in my opinion, is very difficult to pull off. Definitely a standout from all that I’ve eaten thus far.
Nick works at a small but cute café that serves up some amazing drinks, including a shake made with Milo (an Australian-originated chocolate drink that has since spread around the world) and espresso. Pictured above is their pan de bono, a Colombian bread filled with cheese. Their version includes guava paste, providing a tropical flavor to balance out the slight saltiness of the cheese.
After taking my cousin to her first Shake Shack experience (pro tip: try their SmokeShack, which is arguably the best burger I’ve ever had), we headed back to the apartment, and after being indecisive on which Asian cuisine we should take out, the executive decision was made to cook dinner instead.
Nick made some latkes while Mariquit reheated a chickpea curry stew – and, in some bougie attempt at a Chopped challenge, I tried plating the latkes and ultimately went for an Asian influence on the dish. The latkes rested on a bed of slaw-style veggies, drizzled with a ginger-mango-mirin dressing, while a mirin-sour cream sauce and basil chiffonade went on top.
The only caveat was that, ultimately, we craved something sweet, so Nick and I went through a series of inspired desserts until we arrived on churros. Due to a lack of oil, we decided to just bake the churros on a greased pan, which sadly caused them to spread into ladyfinger-like cookies.
In an attempt to compensate for the cookies, we tried to repurpose them into a ladyfinger sandwich with caramel crumbles, cream cheese, and blackberries, though nothing seemed to pull together at all. Perhaps it was the lateness of the hour, or perhaps it was a sign that we just shouldn’t be in the kitchen together. Still, it left an open invitation for culinary redemption – stay tuned…