Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Back from the Wilds

Pastis, NYC

So, after my seemingly 40 days of wandering in the desert, I am back!

I had a college friend in town for the past 4 days so I fell far behind with the blog and was tested with my healthy living - but in the end, I came out stronger for it.

The weekend started off poorly. I was invited to a party Friday Night that started at midnight down in the Meat Packing District - that is just a recipe for disaster with me, and so it was that I was eating foie gras at 3 AM at Pastis. Not only a horrendous food choice, but ethically, my vegan friends are cringing!

Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden

I straightened myself out on Saturday. One of my closest friends from college came in from L.A., and when he is in NYC he loves to eat hot dogs from the street vendors. Now, when my friend arrived, I served nothing but water and my delicious vegan wrap. He was depressed about no hot dogs, and convinced himself that he needed more "sustenance" other than a vegetable wraps, so he also grabbed sausages out of my fridge. I didn't tell him they were vegan sausages from VBites!

He enjoyed the meal thoroughly, and he realized that he was full and happy without eating junk food. He is a former rugby player too and is 275 lbs.

We are very similar in that we were both lean in college, and just ballooned after our playing days throughout our 30's and early 40's. We lived together for a short time in Hermosa Beach, and I remember one night the two of us ordered in Chinese...they sent along plates and utensils for four people!

The guy is larger than life in personality and love of food and drink. To be caught up in this whirlwind was very dangerous for me! He came into town over Christmas, and marveled at my strict eating and drinking habits. But he was with his fiancé so his out of control behavior was in check.

Bohemian Beer Garden
Now, it was just him and me. And when you get two old college buddies together they start to act like, well, two college buddies. Think tornado. Now, I ignored his suggestion to start the festivities early, i.e. lunchtime, as he powered down a couple of 7 & 7's and I stuck with can see what I am dealing with. But then I decided it was a good idea to visit Bohemian Beer Garden in Astoria, Queens. Celebrating its 100th Anniversary this year, Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden is still a mecca for the Czech community of NYC. In fact, my great grandmother played there when it first opened, and my family has drank in the beer garden over the past century. I feel very comfortable there. Wanting to eat some traditional Czech food I ordered the sweet and sour red cabbage...not nearly as good as my grandmother's. The beer garden is a large enclosed area surrounded by a brick wall with many picnic tables. There is also a stage for traditional music and dancing. Needless to say there are giant pitchers of German and Czech beer on all the tables, but it is still a family environment. Yeah, we had a great time meeting lots of people -- Saturday night was a toned-down version, and luckily jet-lag caught up to him so he ended the night early.

I knew that I was going to have to get a firm handle on my lifestyle since my evil companion was in town for the next few days.


Anonymous said...

Seems like you came out reasonably well. Having grown up in a Czech family I know that Czech is hardly 'light' or vegan. Not many vegetarian options and often where ham is not considered to be meat.
You may also note that Czechs consume more beer per captia than any other nation in the world approx. 160 litres each! Vegans in the Czech Republic are even rarer than vegans in the U.S.A.


Peter or Petr

Terrence said...

You are quite right, thanks Petr!

Vegan Epicurean said...

I have my share of those types of friends too. Congratulations on keeping the lid on things.

Ahh...foie I miss thee. Though I don't think I could eat it anymore for many reasons. I hope you enjoyed it enough for both of us. ;-) I am surprised you didn't "feel it" later.

Wow an adult beverage at lunch, that is a tough act to follow. Congrats on keeping your nose clean through that temptation.


Carol said...

Even when not vegan I couldn't stomach (literally)the thought of eating foie gras but well done for 'fessing up and putting your head above the parapet; you could have gone for an easy life and kept it quiet ;)

Terrence said...

Thanks carol - as you well know, I never take the easy route!