Food Pic of the Week

Cantina Taqueria and Tequila Bar

Yesterday, I accidentally fasted for 21 hours instead of my normal 16 hours, but I did not really notice until I left the office at 8:30 pm.

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After work, I dropped by Cantina. This is the first restaurant the BF and I visited after moving into our apt.

Although I had not eaten for 21 hrs, I was not super hungry, I only wanted an adult beverage, to be perfectly honest. I decided to go with the nacho appetizer with chorizo (for an extra 3 bucks) and a frozen beverage. Overall, the nachos were a delicious gooey mess, and the amount of guacamole was quite generous. I was expecting a little, struggling side container of guac. I was a little disappointed that the cheese was a velveeta esque cheese because I was expecting REAL cheese from a Mexicanish restaurant.

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How can you drink a frozen drink during a polar vortex? Ummmm, I’m not drinking it outside … duh.

At first, I was disappointed with the size of the beverage for the price of $14, but the Rum Punch definitely packed a punch (no pun).

Random:

I was bitching to the BF about the loudness of 90% of the restaurants/bars in this area of Harlem. He brought up a good point. The bars are super loud to keep talking to a minimum, making you drink more. That could be true. Yesterday’s visit to Cantina was an example of this logic. I really wanted to buy another drink but I was getting annoyed that the person sitting next to me couldn’t hear me. Oh well, I guess that I saved another $14.  Hey, that is almost the cost of a pack of cigarettes in NYC. Since I’m approaching 40, I typically leave after one drink in loud ass restaurant/bars. An exception – when I’m at a club/lounge-type of place because I’m expecting it to be loud as hell. (Not so) quiet as it’s kept, I’m usually the loudest motherfucker in a place.

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Fight, Fight, Fight

I’m gonna get in trouble
My ex will start a fight
Na na na na na na na, he’s gonna start a fight
Na na na na na na na, we’re all gonna get in a fight!
-Pink “So What”

In my 15 random things about me, or whatever I called it. I mentioned that I have been in two fist-fights, and a couple of folks (in particular, the Writing Runner) wanted more details. So here you go.

The first one’s story is a little dull. This is the one that ended up in a draw.

Before I begin, you ever have one of those friends who always seem to get into some BS? And, somehow you get dragged into his/her BS?

Ok, a female friend and I were hanging out (this event took place at least 12 years ago). She was being nasty mean to a couple of guys at the bar. She neglected to say that she was antagonizing the guys. Note: I no longer hang with her. She is one of those types who likes to throw rocks and hide her hands . . . or in this case, throw ice cubes from her cocktail. Long story, short (because the other story is more “interesting”). Somehow, I got dragged into her bullshit because I was trying to defend her. The way how she told the story is that the guys were being disrespectful to her, and one of them put his hands on her. I’m Southern, and you just do not touch a woman. Even though we were purely friends, I wanted to defend her. The fistfight did not get too violent because folks broke up the fight after a couple of swings. Over that year, I noticed that other folks said that she kind of did the same thing with them. It seems that pretty much is/was her MO to get attention.

Second one. This story is a bit embarrassing. Actually, I wrote the story, but I realized that I needed to include a back story.

For about a decade I was in this weird on/off toxic relationship with a guy. I would joke with my friends and call him my “fake ex-boyfriend” . . . actually, I guess “ ex-fake boyfriend” would be more correct. The pattern of this “relationship” was a follows: we’d hook up for a few months; I would get pissed that he was living with another guy with no intention of leaving; I’d start dating someone else for a couple of years; that relationship would fail (for any number of reasons); we’d start hooking up again; I’d get pissed off; start dating someone else; that relationship would fail; AAAANNNNNDDDD repeat. I think that happened for about three or four cycles. Deep down, I know that we were never that “perfect” couple. Sometimes, it’s easier to go back rather than starting anew. To be honest, we only had sex and booze as a common factor. Hey, both can be fun.

One night we had a lovely time at a comedy show. After the bar, we went to another bar and probably had way too much to drink. Well . . . we probably had way too much to drink at the comedy show. Those whiskey cocktails were very delicious, and you know what they say about that dark liquor. Anywho, we are the second bar, and he starts accusing me of “cheating” on him. Ummmmmmmmmm, don’t you live with another man? Last time, I checked, I did not have a commitment to another person. Yeah, Yeah, Yeah. I was a side piece and I was perfectly fine with it at that point in my life. My thing was, I was perfectly fine with my side piece role; he wanted to make it more aka control me. So we are going back and forth in raised tones over my “cheating”. I was sitting on ready, and it was bringing me to a dark place. Rather than concede to his bullshit, bust him upside the goddamn head, and be seen as an angry black man (that comes later). I simply left his ass at the bar.

Since I had a nice buzz going, I went to another bar alone. You know that fucker followed me to the other bar. Since I was chatting with the bartender and a couple of folks at the bar, the accusations of cheating were hurled once again. To be honest we were discussing America’s Next Top Model and Days of Our Lives (the bartender was an extra on Days). Random, I wonder if that soap opera is still on the air? 

Once again, we are arguing about some bullshit. I took a sip of my beer and I remember feeling a pain in my mouth. I thought I had swallowed a piece of glass from the beer glass. NOPE. He punched me in the face, and my fucking front tooth was in the damn pint glass. It was like a cartoon reaction. I looked at my tooth. Looked at him. Looked at my tooth in the glass. Then, his ass tried to run. I remember hurling him against the wall. When I told my friends about this, one of them said “Oh so you Uncle Phil’ed him”

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Immediately, the folks at the bar threw him out and made sure he was off the street letting me leave. The bartender and the guy at the bar said that they would be witnesses if I needed. Later, I learned that he “threatened” the other guy at the bar for talking to me when they were in the bathroom together.   

Man, this is long. I may have to do a part two. 

Now this is where I fucked up. He’s gone, and I hailed a cab to go home. I tell the cab driver that I’m going to “Fifty-ninth street and Second Avenue; Roosevelt Island Tramway.” Trying to say that phrase is what made me snap. Since I did not have one of my front teeth, I had a really weird lisp when saying F’s, S’s, and R’s. I think that I was more enraged with not being able to say the address than getting my tooth knocked out of my damn head.  Then, I remembered that I had to give a lab meeting in a couple of days.

Yeah, I definitely need to do a part two.

Long story, long. I made the cab drive me to his apt. building. We had a fist fight up and down the street. That same friend was like Y’all were figting like Peter Griffin and the Chicken from Family Guy?”

Basically, the fight ended at a Dunkin’ Donuts (the workers at 3am were probably not expecting an “exciting” Tuesday night. Eh, maybe they are used to riff raffness at 3am); the police were called; and I was super lucky that I was not arrested. To be honest, he had a LOT to do with me not getting arrested, because the police were quick to believe his story. Then again, he looked like he was on the losing end of the fight.

I can admit that I made A LOT of mistakes that night. There were so many, I wish I dids and I wish I would haves. All I do is never let someone every get me to that place. In my small defense, I did extract myself from the first situation, but I was followed to the other place.

Oh, he did give me the 3000 bucks for the new tooth. I should have told him that it was going to cost 4000 bucks, then I could have had an extra 1000 bucks to play with. My scamming ass.

Phew!!!

One more thing. I a few months later, I was celebrating my birthday at a bar with my new beau and a few friends. Actually, I think my friends scared him away. He flaked on our next day to see Jurassic Park in the Park. I even made a fun sangria for the stupid date. Anyway. Eh, he was kind of boring anyway. One of my friends was like let’s go to the piano and listen to the guys sing. This bar is notorious for cabaret type nights when random guys oversing with annoying over the top vibrato runs. I was all like “I don’t want to go the damn piano and hear those howling whores”. Eventually,  we went over to the piano. . . they did sing Happy Birthday to me. The next day at work, my friend let me know that “ex-fake boyfriend” was across the bar, and she was trying to diffuse the situation before there was a situation by going to the piano. She was like “You think I wanted to hear those howling whores sing?” Now, THAT is someone having your back. 

TCS NYC Marathon Training – Week 13

Theme of this training week is a bump in the road. 

Since I have been dealing with (and bitching about) my hip injury, there really is not much of an update.

I no longer feel a dull pain in my left hip and I am going to go out on a limb to say that I may be injury free. Of course, we shall see how that turns out after I go for a run today. We all know that running is very different than walking, when one is in recovery mode.

I really did not do anything with regards to training. I have this weird thing if I am not 100% (or near 100%), then I do not want to do anything fitness related. Clearly, I could have done strength training while injured. Well, I was supposed to run New Balance’s 5th Avenue mile on Sunday but I went out and drank a little too much on Saturday night.

One thing that I can say about my social life is that I sure can be random as hell. I started out in the West Village with the belief that I would have one to three drinks, MAX. Next thing I know, I am in Jackson Heights, Queens drinking and shaking my booty at a Latin bar, then eating random Korean food at a 24-hour restaurant (a place where I have gotten food poisoning in the past). The next morning, I woke up in time to prepare to head into the city to for the race. However, I was like “let me sleep 10 more minutes.” Yeah, I woke up again at 9 AM and there was no way that I could make it into the city for uh-ohthe race. Then, I was like “oh let me sleep for another 30 minutes.” Yeah (again), I woke up at 11:45. Keep in mind that I teach a biology class on Saturdays and Sundays at 12:30. So, I had to haul ass in a $16 dollar Uber (I did not have time to use Uber pool) to teach my class. Hell, I did not even have time to bathe. 😦 Although I had a lot of fun socially, I kind of had a disaster of a weekend, regarding my training commitments.

Even though I did not really do anything fitness related, except take anti-inflammatory medication and ice my hip, I did eat like a damn pig. Oink Oink. So, I guess this training update will be a week of food.

Wednesday: Grandchamps (Brooklyn)

I have been wanting to try this Haitian restaurant for MONTHS, and we finally pulled the trigger and went. I never tried Haitian food before, but I really did not taste anything different, compared to West African cuisine. Do not get me wrong, my goat and rice plate was good, but I did not notice anything different than what I’ve eaten in the past Perhaps, I will get something that is “more” Haitian when I revisit the restaurant. All I remember is that the food was really spicy for no damn reason, and I am someone who loves spicy food. . . in moderation.

Thursday: Astoria Seafood Market (Queens) and Sunrise/Sunset (Brooklyn)

Thursday typically is date night for us and we hit up one of our favorite seafood restaurants in Astoria. The restaurant has been on “vacation” for the past 5 weeks. Astoria Seafood Market is a hole in the wall type of restaurant, but the seafood is delicious and quite cheap, compared to Manhattan prices. On the way home in Brooklyn, I was really craving a Frose . . . or two, and we stopped off at Sunrise/Sunset (a hipstereque bar).

Friday: Brooklyn Baby Cakes (Brooklyn)

I had a sweet tooth and was still sulking over my injury, so I got some cupcakes. Do not judge me, but I got the cupcakes after having “breakfast for dinner” at IHoP. Although they were not mind blowing, the cupcakes were really delicious, especially the Strawberry n Creme cupcake. One thing that I appreciated with my purchase was the amount of frosting was just right. I have been noticing that many bakeries put so much freaking frosting on the cupcakes that the cupcakes are more frosting than cake. The frosting should enhance the flavor of the cupcake, NOT be a proxy for it.

Saturday: Bolivian Llama Party (Manhattan)

After picking up my race materials for a damn race that I did not run (more wasted money), I picked up some grub in the Turnstyle, an underground conglomeration of somewhat bougie shops and restaurants (basically an underground food court/mall). I will say that I really enjoyed these saltenas from Bolivian Llama Party. Actually, I do not think that I’ve had Bolivian food, per se. I have eaten Pervian and Ecuadorian food, whose cuisines are similar to that of Bolivia. However, the restaurant made a point of emphasizing that saltenas are NOT empanadas, but they sure as hell tasted pretty similar. I really do not understand the difference between the two, if any. The mac n cheese with smoked brisket, which I do not think has a Bolivian origin, was absolutely delicious. I could eat that all freakin day.

Sunday: Hill Country Chicken (Brooklyn)

Since I was fighting an extreme hangover from the previous night’s booty shaking, I decided to get some fried food – one of the best things for a hangover (at least in my head).

I do not think that this place has the best (or even good) fried chicken, because I find that the chicken could have more seasoning. Since I was starving, I made the mistake of getting the pimento mac n cheese, which was recommended by one of the workers. The mac n cheese tasted like Velveeta-inspired nothingness. I should have saved my fried food craving for Popeyes, at least a $5 two piece, two sides, and a biscuit meal would have been $13 dollars cheaper than the weak chicken tenders combo at Hill Country Chicken.

A few blogs ago, didn’t I say that I was not going to eat out so much? There goes that goal. Although I did not do any training for the marathon, I think that I put in some ground work for training for an eating contest. 😉

Random throwback:

Facebook reminded me that I was preparing for my half-marathon racecation (a word that I have seen on the blogging universe) in Montreal, Canada. I remember being so excited running this half-marathon . . . even though I was supposed to do the full-marathon.

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What was the best or different thing that you ate during the past week?

(Late) Random Thursdays

I got so busy at work that I did not get a chance to post my entry .

I got this “Random Thursday Thoughts” idea from thedancingrunner’s blog (***) and I thought that I would follow suit. Maybe it’s a WordPress thing.

Latin Stuff

For some reason, I really wanted to listen to Latin pop music from the early 2000’s (pre-reggaeton). Luckily for me, there is a Spotify playlist made for that.

I never really used Spotify before, because I have a massive amount of music on my phone and  I did not want to use extra data streaming music. Now, I have an unlimited plan, so this may change my music streaming experience. Who knows? Maybe I will become a premium subscriber.

Why this random interest in Latin music from the 2000’s? I have been watching the telenovela, Amigas y Rivales, that was very popular in ’01. During my Spring 2001 ecology program in Ecuador, I remember watching this telenovela almost everyday at lunch. I was so sad when my study abroad program ended and I could not finish the entire episode. I do not know what searches I was doing on Youtube, but this show was a suggested video. Then, I found a youtube channel that has the ENTIRE telenovela – all 187 episodes.

Long story short, this show is about a group of 4 friends in their early 20’s who are sometimes friends and sometimes rivals. As the theme song goes “siempre tan amigas, siempre tan rivales. Ellas solo quieren amar”. The telenovela kind of reminds me of a early adult version of Real Housewives of ____.

 

Running Stuff:

I finally ironed out all of my 9+1 NYRR races to qualify for next year’s TCS NYC Marathon.

Sunday, September 10, 2017 | Fifth Avenue
Sunday, October 1, 2017 | Central Park
Sunday, October 29, 2017 | Central Park
Sunday, November 5, 2017 | 5 Boroughs
Sunday, November 19, 2017 | Central Park
Saturday, December 9, 2017 | Central Park

 

Since I missed the Percy Sutton race last week, I am  a little pissed that I had to pay for another race. If I miss another race, I’m going to have to run a race on New Year’s Eve at midnight, which I really do not want to do. One other thing, I’m still debating if I want to run the Staten Island Half-Marathon in October. That half does not really sell out, so I have some time to think about it.

Running in Prospect Park

I think that I like running in Prospect Park more than running in Central Park, because

  • it has more of a natural feel.
  • it’s less crowded than Central Park
  • no cars really drive through this park.

Weather

I know that some people are a little sad, but I am enjoying this cooler weather. “It’s about time” is all I have to say about this.

DRAAANKSIMG_1554With the change of season, I will miss Frose cocktails. I’m not a huge fan of rose wine, but I like something about rose wine in a slushie form.

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There’s a Presidente Light beer? I kind of thought that Presidente was already a light beer. Is Presidente Light just plain water?

Have a great Labor Day weekend, y’all.