Recently Cati and I loaded up the family truckster and went to visit our dear friends in upstate NY. We had a nice time visiting, chatting, and passing the multitude of babies around like Frisbees at the beach. While in the Capital District we took the opportunity to visit Chef Ric Orlando’s New World Bistro Bar for dinner. We were feeling cocky so we went with the kids– yeah, that was dumb. The girls were loud and tired and there was really nothing on the menu they could eat; it was all spicy. Even the bread is jalapeño bread. Don’t get me wrong; I am not complaining. Goodfellas is a great film that is not appropriate for kids, but great all the same, right? We had no business bringing the babies– live and learn. Anyway, we ordered the girls a little pizza from the menu and split a plate of the terrific blackened green beans with our friends. Man, those things are so good.
The girls started getting unruly so Cati quickly enjoyed an appetizer while I occupied the little ones. She then left to put them to bed at the hotel; I promised to bring her dessert. I was left with our friends to enjoy the Jerk Chicken. I guess I was still feeling cocky because I ordered the chicken at spicy level ’10/10.’ Let me walk you through how my first few bites went down.
Bite #1: “Mmmm, this is tasty. The chicken is perfectly cooked and moist and the allspice and jerk flavors really come throu…OH MY GOD, THE BURNING! BEER, HELP ME. PLEASE MAKE IT STOP.”
Bite #2: “HOLY COW, THIS IS LIKE GETTING SPRAYED IN THE FACE WITH GRIZZLY BEAR REPELLENT. THE BURNING!”
Bite #3: “Is that you Jesus? Yes, I will walk towards the light with you.”
Bites #4 – 15: More of the above with uncontrolled twitching and sweating.
My eye sockets were sweating– I loved it. It was an experience more so than a meal. I had to let the plate cool a little to take the edge off the spice. Once it was a little cooler I could taste more than just burning. It was really flavorful. Next time I’ll probably order the level ’7′ (with humility). Chef Orlando’s style really shines through in his food. His dishes demonstrate his confidence with bold flavors. What a creative chef. I am a fan of his food. It’s not easy to find a place like that anywhere, really. Albany’s dining scene has a unique gem with the NWBB. I wish I could go there more.
I did not pose for the photo below and I am actually fanning myself like an old woman in a Southern church service. I’ll have you know, I cleaned my plate. If I’ve had a spicier meal, I don’t know when.
Speaking of spicy, Cati and I have been enjoying some German mustard that I brought back on a recent trip. It’s called Lowensenf Extra Hot, which means “Lion attacking your face and sinuses” in high German [Incredible translation work there, eh?]. This also tastes like burning, but it’s that short intense nose-burn (like from wasabi). It is so good with bratwurst and greens.
Also, I recently received an order of the soon-to-be-world-famous Christopher’s pepper-sauce. Yup, upstate NY’s very own. I ordered three bottles and Chris shared a secret formula he is working on called ‘Lava.’ It was aptly named.
And now, for no good reason, here are a couple of photos of me and the girls. The first one was taken in Mallorca this year. That’s Nina up there.
And this one shows that Natalia can sleep anywhere. You might be thinking, “Poor thing, she wants to be in bed.” That’s what I thought until we tried to take her out of her seat and she was hanging onto it trying to ignore us and go back to sleep in it. She actually wanted to stay in it and sleep while I rode her chunky little bottom around the trail; we laughed. Ah, kids.