Honey and
a food journal

Sunday, 20 May 2018

Ugly Baby

Two visits to the same restaurant in a matter of months for us two who don't eat out all that often, means it must be worth sharing with you. So today you get my chili-filled ramblings about a new favorite: Ugly Baby

This tiny restaurant's about the same size as our very small living room. The walls are covered in bright, warm paint, a line of tables is squeezed down one side, and a minuscule open kitchen is squished in the back. Combined with the waiters' colorful—often fruit-themed shirts—and upbeat music, it's clear that Ugly Baby is here to entertain you. And you soon learn you'll be doing that in the sweatiest, noisiest way (Did you know certain chilis make you temporarily lose your hearing?). 

Between two people you'll get through about three dishes from the neon menu (we tried to order more on our first visit and left with enough food to keep us going for a couple more days). The waitress will talk to you about how much spice you think you can manage, and what you should order based on that. Don't try to impress her with your heat-tolerance: she won't believe you, and you'll regret it. That dish which begins with "stay-away spicy" really is stay-away spicy. 

Tue Ka Ko (little coconut milk cakes)
Our two favorite dishes which are still on the menu are the sweet, definitely not super spicy, Tue Ka Ko (little coconut milk cakes with black bean and taro), and Kao Tod Nam Klook (curried rice, pork skin, peanut and ginger) served with a mountain of fresh leaves, herbs, and raw veg, to make the most magical lettuce wraps (pictured up top!). The green chicken curry was the spiciest thing I've ever had. I couldn't hear. My eyes were watering. Wine didn't help. Water didn't help. Thankfully, the remaining coconut milk cake did. But it was fantastic and worth every burning mouthful.

Rice vermicelli & spicy green chicken curry.
Try to go early: those tables fill up fast. Listen to the waitress: she wants to help you. But be prepared for pice: you're not going to walk out of there without a hint of heat tingling on your lips.

Ugly Baby, 407 Smith Street, Brooklyn, NY 10002

Sunday, 6 May 2018

Roxbury Snapshots

I started writing this post as soon as we got back from our (very) long weekend upstate almost a month ago. But then I stopped and cried: my camera had somehow deleted all the photos I'd taken during the last half of the trip. I've tried everything, but they're gone. So it's only now that I've kind of recovered from that, and I'm here to share the photos I do have.

This springtime trip was far from, well, spring-like. It was more like the depths of winter (read: many, many inches of snow). Once it started snowing, it didn't really stop. Blue sky days were followed by snowy nights. Dreams of hiking to beautiful viewpoints and picnicking overlooking the mountains were dashed. Instead, we discovered (and gave up on) snowshoes, spent an afternoon at Storm King, played scrabble, sat in the hot tub at our Airbnb for many hours, ate amazing meals at Brushland Eating House and Phoenicia Diner, fell asleep at 8pm, read all the books, and discussed who had the wettest feet (mum won). Even in the unexpected snow, the Catskills were as magical as ever. But next time, I think we'll push this trip back to May.

Sunday, 11 March 2018

Killington Snapshots

The lack of vacation days in the US means we've become experts at maximizing every second of time off we have. Driving 6 hours through a snowstorm for 3 days of skiing is now a semi-normal thing to do. Is it worth it? Yes.

Three full days of amazing skiing, a trip to our favorite Vermont pizza restaurant, evenings napping in front of the fire, many hot chocolates heaped with marshmallows, lots of moguls, early mornings on the slopes, exhausted legs, and deep sleep. I couldn't have been happier.

Monday, 12 February 2018

A Day at Hunter Mountain

Living in New York isn't easy, but there are many benefits. One of them (for us ski-lovers): being able to escape for a day in the mountains. Last year, we didn't perfect the ski day trip, but this year, we think we've got it right.

Our tips:

1. Don't take the ski bus. It's a super early start and then you take a stupid route through Manhattan so it takes forever. By the time you get there the queues are terrible and you won't be skiing until late morning (last year we weren't skiing until after 11am having caught the bus at 6am). It will also take a painful amount of time to take home (over 4 hours, with a journey that went through Times Square). Instead, rent a car, or better yet, borrow a friend's (thanks G!).

2. Get up early. Yes, our Saturday morning alarm went at 5:15. But we made it from Brooklyn over the George Washington Bridge in 25 minutes. And we were on the slopes by 9am.

3. Bring your own lunch. Hunter Mountain isn't a culinary hotspot. And it isn't super cheap either.

4. Ski early to early. It only gets busier as the day goes on, and the snow gets worse too. Plus, after the 5am alarm, you'll be exhausted by 3pm.

5. Stop at Phoenicia Diner on your way home. It's 10 minutes out of your way and those pancakes are worth driving far more than 10 minutes for.

6. Order the pancakes at Phoenicia Diner. Plus whatever else you fancy. But don't forget the pancakes.

7. Get a good playlist ready for the drive home. It won't be as smooth as your journey out.

One more close-up of those pancakes. Just because.

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