If 50 is the new 40…
So as they say these days, 50 is the new 40 (largely thanks to advances in “wrinkle cream” cosmetics, botox shots and plastic surgeries galore). Also it is commonly said that 40 is the new 30, due to 40 year olds being more active and looking younger these days (which is largely thanks to the recent explosion of 40 year old “hot” female stars, like Madonna, Teri Hatcher, etc. Read this article for more details)
Drilling down even further, it’s been also widely said that 30 is the new 20. In that case, happy 20th birthday to me! I’ve been waiting sooooo long to turn 20. I mean thank god I can finally put those dreaded teenage years behind me and sound much more “adult-like”. People take you so much more seriously when you say you’re “20 something” rather than being a “teenager”.
To celebrate my “20th birthday” this past weekend we went where any responsible “20 year old” would go: Charlie Brown’s Steakhouse. Being that it’s also my mother’s birthday (yes, I was born on the same day as my mother. And please no more jokes about “that’s the best present she’s ever gotten” or “wow, what a birthday present for her”) we made a group decision to go out to eat. Instead of picking anything in Brooklyn or going to a “chain” like Cheesesteak Factory or Olive Garden, we decided to take a trip out to Staten Island to eat at the good ole’ family fun destination of Charlie Brown’s. I personally had voted for Burger King so I could get a crown, but I was overruled.
That bitch stole my Burger King crown
Before you make fun, let me just tell you there’s no knockin the Charlie Brown’s. The fun atmosphere, good food, and fair prices make it the ideal location to celebrate a birthday, as evidenced by the “Happy Birthday to You” songs that seemed to be sung every 5 minutes by the staff (of course we got ours too...but we didn't get a balloon so I was disappointed about that). But fun atmosphere aside, for a family of 5 to eat dinner, which included appetizer, salad bar, steaks all around (filet mignon’s, porterhouses, prime rib, sirloin and shrimp, etc), two hulking pieces of dessert (including the world’s biggest piece of carrot cake) and 2 rounds of drinks, the total bill was $150 bucks. That’s it. $150. That would have cost like $500 in the city. Our first round of drinks, which included 2 beers, a martini and a jagerbomb only cost $20. That’s like highway robbery right there. They even advertise a margarita night, with $1.50 margs. They also advertised a new “Carlito’s Taco Salad” for just $9.99. Which prompted me to say “Say hello to my lil’ salad”. Although I guess you had to be there to appreciate it. It’s much funnier after a few beers – trust me. But all in all, if I had a car or lived on S.I. or in N.J, Charlie Brown’s seems like the place to be!
The other highlight of the weekend was going to Tea & Sympathy with Juliana and Bridget. Tea & Sympathy is located in the “Little Britain” area of NYC, down on Greenwich Avenue. If you’re not familiar, some of the stores, along with Virgin Atlantic want to rename this area of the West Village “Little Britain”. Albeit there are only a few British shops such as Tea & Sympathy and A Salt & Battery on this one block stretch, so it’ll be interesting to see how that pans out.
Since we had to wait over 30 minutes for a table at Tea & Sympathy, I was starving so decided to get some Fish & Chips at A Salt & Battery. I was especially after craving them after devouring Fish & Chips in London last week (plus I was curious to see what all the hype was about, after seeing Bobby Flay challenge them and lose on one of his Bobby Flay Throwdowns. I got a small order to go with a coke and the total price was over $10. Pretty hefty but there’s not too many places to get authentic Fish & Chips in the city so you’re definitely paying a premium. The fish was deep fried and crispy and the fish was tender. Although it definitely paled in comparison to the authentic British version. The “chips” or fries weren’t that good and we threw half of them out. On a scale of 1 to 10, I’d rate them a 6.5 (with the fish getting a 7/8 and the chips getting a 4/5). The one cool thing was all of the beers they had available to drink, including several British favorites such as Kronenburg, Old Speckled Hen, Boddington's and Carlsburg. So that's a bonus. But overall, definitely disappointing as a package though and if I wasn’t starving I probably would’ve been more disappointed.
Even if the fish & chips were "so-so", A Salt & Battery had quite the beer selection
Anyway, it whet my appetite for some tea, scones and tea sandwiches at Tea & Sympathy. After the wait we were crammed into a small area that neither of us could really fit into. I mean I was practically sitting on both Bridget’s and Juliana’s laps at the same time. Plus my ass was practically on top of the table behind me. Definitely not the place to be if you’re over 200 pounds. Especially since their seating capacity is only 23 seats and they use every square inch of their dining area. Plus everything is so delicate, so if you’re clumsy please stay away. The food was ok, although it may have been more enjoyable had the space not been so confined. The scones were delicate and tasty and the claddaugh cream and jam were a good compliment. The tea sandwiches were good too, although a little disappointing compared to the afternoon tea was had at the Ritz Carlton in London. The dessert was good as well, but the pieces of cake were huge and rich and definitely put us over the top as far as fullness is concerned. Overall, I'd give it a 7 out of 10. If they gave you more room to eat the experience would've been a lot more enjoyable.
Tea at "Tea & Sympathy" couldn't hold a candle compared to tea at the Ritz Carlton
The other food related highlight of the weekend was seeing a Captain Softee truck. Yes, Captain Softee. Not Mister Softee (as Juliana wittingly said, perhaps he was promoted from Mister to Captain). Anyway I would have taken a picture of the truck but I was told that “I’ve beaten the whole Mr. Softee thing to death on this blog already” – which I begrudgingly admitted too. Although I wonder if the ice cream at “the captain’s” tastes superior? I guess I’ll need to find out someday.
Anyway, it was a good "20th birthday" weekend for me. My favorite present was from my lovely girlfriend Bridget, who bought me a trip to Dallas to see my beloved Cowboys play the Patriots in October. Thanks Bridge! Although maybe this time Romo will hold onto the ball.
Speaking of sports…if the Yankees don’t come out with a “do or die” attitude tonight against the Red Sox I’m gonna be pissed off. I mean, 2 or 3 losses against the Sox can pretty much bury the season. Even though it’s “only May”, mentally its tough to come back being 14 games down. I know its been done before but this team needs to take at least 2 out of 3 from Boston this week, especially with Anaheim coming to town, a team they never beat. So I’ll be there tonight…don’t disappoint me Jankees!
Monday, May 21, 2007
If 50 is the new 40…