Nick and I spent a much-needed weekend away and it wasn’t even wedding related. We had booked the trip in February to see one of Nick’s brothers, but life happens and said brother no longer lives in NY. We made the best of it and boarded a plane with no real plans, other than a concert on Saturday night. No plans = the best plan, even for a Type A INTJ like myself.
We successfully conquered what we could of the food scene and took a few epic naps. Which speaking of naps, our hotel had the genius (verdict still out) idea to put one sheet on the bed, another sheet on one side of the comforter and then ANOTHER sheet on top of the comforter. This led us to coining the term ‘sheet sandwich.’ We had more conversations about this concept than necessary, but it boggled our minds. If you’ve ever had to put a duvet cover on a duvet, you understand the frustration that follows. Now you know there is another option. Disclaimer: I cannot guarantee that both the sheets in the sandwich will remain in place. Sleep at your own risk.
Now that we’ve covered bedding, I’ll get to the food. We arrived late Thursday night and immediately got into bed to mentally prepare for our only mission for Friday: find the closest Shake Shack. I won’t bore you with another post about this amazing establishment, but you can find my copycat recipe here. Let’s just say the cab ride there and back cost more than the actual Shake Shack meal. We were committed.
That night we met one of my friends and his fiancé at Casa Enrique near our hotel in Long Island City. It was some of the best Mexican food I have ever had and it was relatively inexpensive for NY. The menu had what appeared to be a Wheaten Terrier in a sombrero on it, so I liked the place even before we ordered. We split the guac, I ordered the fish with sweet corn, and Nick got the chicken mole. Winner, winner, chicken dinner. The mole was the way to go and I commented that it would be the first thing I’d Google how to make when we got home.
We were both pleasantly surprised by how much we liked Long Island City. It’s close to Manhattan and Brooklyn, but it did not seem as crowded. MOMA PS1 is within walking distance and my Indianapolis Museum of Art membership was reciprocal, so we got in for free! We also found two cute restaurants nearby: Jackson’s Eatery for brunch and St. Anselm, which serves lunch on the weekend (an inexpensive way to experience their menu and was highly recommended by Nick’s brother).
The highlight of the trip was seeing Vulfpeck at Brooklyn Steel. It was an amazing experience to see them perform in person with 1,800 other fans. Their music is described as funk R&B and Nick played it in the car on one of our first dates. I loved it instantly. It’s not for everyone, but if you have 3 minutes and 12 seconds to spare, do yourself a favor and watch one of the members bust a move in a field with a drone overhead.
The following is my chicken mole attempt and an assortment of random photos from the trip!
Martha Stewart’s Chicken Mole
- 4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 12)
- Coarse salt
- 1 can (28 ounces) whole tomatoes
- 1 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
- 2 dried ancho chiles, stemmed
- 1 large chipotle chile in adobo sauce
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (1/2 cup)
- 3 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Fresh cilantro leaves, for serving
Season chicken thighs with salt and place in a 5-to-6-quart slow cooker. In a blender, puree tomatoes, onion, ancho and chipotle chiles, almonds, raisins, chocolate, garlic, oil, cumin, and cinnamon until smooth.
Add tomato mixture to slow cooker, cover, and cook on high until chicken is tender, 4 hours (or 8 hours on low). Serve chicken and sauce topped with cilantro.