Monday, January 23, 2012

Welcome to New York

Cheesecake -- Junior's

Some people (you may call them "adventurous" or you may call them "irrational") go to Times Square on December 31st to ring in the new year.  The rest of us show up twelve hours later to eat cheesecake.
For Auld Lang Syne, My Dear
We have cautiously ventured to Times Square on New Year's Day in order to consume Rocco DiSpirito's chosen Best Thing I Ever Ate ALL AMERICAN dish, the cheesecake at Junior's.
Shubert Alley's Lowest Point
Rather than traipsing all the way to Brooklyn (we say this as if we'd be able to find Brooklyn in the first place), Vodka has suggested the theatre district location because she, naturally, is seeing Follies again.
Vodka Spots the Holy Grail from Junior's Patio
Finding the Junior's restaurant overcome with a throng of people waiting for tables, we decide to purchase our slice of cheesecake from the Junior's bakery next door and head into the Marriott Marquis hotel lobby to consume it.  In order to reach this lobby, we are challenged with scaling eight floors of escalators, a task particularly daunting for us, as Ginger keeps getting shocked by the handrail and Vodka knows of two-year-olds who board escalators more easily than she does.
Miles to Go Before We Eat
When we finally reach the lobby, Ginger whips out her juice box of coconut water ("I brought my own beverage") to soothe herself from her long journey upstairs and uptown (and, more importantly, from her lingering New Year's Eve libations).
Cheesecake, Meet Coconut Water. You'll Soon Be Dining Together
When we find a dearth of empty tables on which to plunk down our cheesecake, we hover in two armchairs until a middle-aged couple, who we would bet money are from Long Island, begin to vacate one.

"Are you leaving?" Ginger inquires, not-so-subtly plopping our Junior's bag next to the woman's purse.
Ginger Stakes Her Claim
"Yes," the man answers.  "But we're charging five dollars for the table -- welcome to New York!"  He chuckles, highly amused at his clever way of pointing out how expensive New York is to far-flung out-of-staters like ourselves.

Well, it wouldn't be a new year unless we were mistaken for tourists thirty blocks from our own residences, now would it?
This Is What We Get for Walking Around with These Scarlet Letter Tourist Mugs
Unphased (in truth, highly amused) by our tourist status, we break open our container of Junior's cheesecake and prepare to dive in (well, Vodka prepares to dive in as Ginger mimes frantically for Vodka to hand her a fork).
You're Welcome for Us Classing Up Your Lobby, Marriott Marquis
The cheesecake is thick and creamy, the ideal texture, and it features just a hint of sweetness which prevents it from getting too rich too quickly.
Blanche Devereaux Called - She Wants Her Cheesecake Back
Ginger remarks that she prefers a crunchy graham cracker crust, and unfortunately, this slice has more of a soft layer cake bottom.
Cheesecake Crust by Way of TastyKake Krimpets
We make our way slowly through the cake as Ginger confesses that while she was visiting her parents over the holidays, she had to wear her old marching band shoes to Zumba class when she found herself without sneakers (laughter at this anecdote takes up a solid five minutes of available eating time).
One Has to Attend Zumba When One Eats As Much As We Do
By the end, we can't quite bring ourselves to finish the slice, though whether this is due to the size of the cheesecake itself or our previous night's activities remains open for discussion.
A Portrait of Cheesecake on New Year's Day
As we not-so-easily make our way back down the escalators so Ginger can drop Vodka off at the Follies theatre, we begin to plan our January Best Thing I Ever Ate eating schedule.  Because it may be 2012 now, but this inquiry remains as relevant as ever: "New year, same question: when are we eating?"
We Apparently Share a Life Philosophy with Pigeons
Junior's Cheesecake: 4 stars

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