Monday, March 11, 2013

From Georgia Peaches to The Big Apple

Cocktail hour in the room!
Girls weekend!  Since Jen and I were both attending our stepsister's bridal shower in New Jersey, we thought we'd head to New York City that night for a little girls weekend away from the husbands.  The times we can do this are few and far between so might as well take advantage of the great circumstances.  Jen and her husband Jason solidified their love affair with NYC by even getting married here last May.  With her knowledge of the city and my excitement for a new adventure with my sister, I knew I would be in an awesome time. 

Jen's friend, Cailtin, (check out her amazing food blog here) recommended an awesome taqueria called Empellon.  Since our reservations weren't until 7:30, we decided to pop into one of the many cool bars we passed on our way to the restaurant.  We settled on One If By Land, Two If By Sea.  After chatting with the bartender, I discovered he was a fellow Penn Stater (we truly are everywhere) and was given his personal concoction on the house.  You have to love that Nittany Lion Pride.  Finally, it was time to eat!  We headed over and entered the bustling and tight waiting area of Empellon.  This place was packed and popular.  Everywhere we went we seemed to be making friends and Empellon was no exception.  While waiting for our table where 'two minutes' turned into twenty, three gentlemen going to dinner with their wives boasted how wonderful the food was and how they've been there a dozen times.  With the food selections in NYC, I knew being such a repeat customer was a good sign. 

Sweetbreads on the left
Once we were seated, I decided to do a very brave thing.  I gave my ordering privileges to Jen.  Before you scoff at how unoriginal and ordinary this is, let me preface this by saying Jen and Jason are what could be considered outside-of-the-box kind of eaters.  While on her honeymoon in Thailand there was no street meat vendor unvisited even if the food at hand was unrecognizable.  In fact, while perusing the menu, she casually told me how Jason had recently eaten fried chicken hearts.  Yes, chicken hearts.  We decided to get 3 appetizer portion tacos, guacamole and, of course some liquid courage, homemade margaritas.  Jen ordered the pork cheek, sweetbreads (explanation of sweetbreads here...not for the faint of heart) and skirt steak tacos.  I nearly fell on the floor.  When our food arrived she gave me quick instructions of 'shut up and eat it'.  Let me tell you how surprised I was when I actually loved all three.  The sweetbreads reminded me a childhood treat, scrapple (explanation here... again not for the faint of heart).  Everything was delicious and flavorful.  I was in fancy meal bliss!  Plus, I gave myself a mental pat on the back for being so adventurous.
Guacamole and 7 salsas

After our meal, we continued into the night with more drinks, fun times which even included some dart playing, and memories of our weekend together that will last a lifetime.  We are already planning our next girls getaway!


Sisters reunited in NYC!

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