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Posted on Jun 6, 2011 in Dear Diary, Food | 23 comments

The Big Apple: Part I

Really, I should be titling these posts “The Weekend That Gretchen Didn’t Eat Any Vegetables” or just “The Weekend that Gretchen Ate Her Weight in French Fries”, but I decided to go with something a little simpler. That’s right, folks! I’m back from New York City and had an amaaaazing weekend with Steve exploring the city, quenching my nerdtastic love for Harry Potter & Broadway all at once.


Oh my gosh, where to start, where to start… so much happened in this one little weekend. Phew! So I guess I start at the beginning, eh? Steve and I took Friday off of work to hit the road (we took the Bolt Bus – $17 each way!) We checked into our hotel (the Residence Inn Times Square) and immediately set off to explore the city a little before meeting up with some of Steve’s friends later on like we had planned.

We walked and walked, down past Union Square and into St. Mark’s Place. We had our eyes set on a couple of the restaurant recommendations that you amazing people gave me! First up: S’mac:


This tiny little hole-in-the-wall is dedicated completely and solely to mac ‘n’ cheese. Awesome, right? I opted for the Napoletana, which had fresh mozzerella, roasted tomatoes, roasted garlic, and fresh basil. Sound familiar?


It. Was. Amazing. Steve opted for the Cheeseburger mac, which was also delicious but I think mine was the star. They have sizes that range from “Nosh” to “Partay!” (love the names) and I’m so glad we went with the Nosh. It may be the smallest size offered, but it is more than enough cheesy goodness.


After sating our appetite a bit with that, we had to move onto the second place on our list, which was conveniently located right around the corner. Pomme Frites!


Like S’mac is a tribute to the great art of mac ‘n’ cheese, Pomme Frites does the same for the classic french fry. Belgian fries, to be exact!


They have a list of about a gajillion different dipping sauces for your fries, and various sizes you can get. Steve and I split an order of the smallest size and opted to try the sweet mango chutney mayo (my fave by far!), the roasted garlic mayo (Steve’s pick – good, but VERY mayo-y), and the horseradish mayo (super strong on the horseradish.)


There was some regular ol’ ketchup in there somewhere too, and I was a very happy bear.


And so began what would end up being an entire weekend of absolutely atrocious eating habits. And I don’t feel the least bit guilty! Well, I guess I feel a little bit guilty. But it was still totally worth it. 🙂

After getting our noms on, we met up with Steve’s friend Greg and his girlfriend Ellen to head over to Brooklyn for the opening reception of an art show at a sweet little studio, Cotton Candy Machine. Steve is friends with artist Brian Ewing, so it was really cool to meet him, as well as the other artists there!


I walked away with the following t-shirt:

Cotton Candy Machine T-shirt

And felt so cultured and hip! So of course, in order to balance that out, we had to go see a superhero movie afterward, hahaha.


For the record, X-Men: First Class was awesome. It was so well done. I think I may have liked it better than the first and the second X-Men movies, actually… and I obviously thought it was far, far, faaaar better than the third, haha. It was so good. The thing that wasn’t so good? Actually having to see the calorie counts of movie theatre food:


Nuts, right? Didn’t stop me from getting a hot dog anyway though… oops. I really think it’s great that they post this info though. Especially given this little nugget of informational gold in particular:


An additional 760 calories for extra cheese!? On top of an already ludicrous 1390 calories, just for nachos? The nacho servings at movie theatres aren’t even that big! Yeesh.

And after the movie got out at like 1:30 in the morning (staying out later than I have in a loooong time — in true New York fashion, haha!) we hit the hay, knowing that we’d have to have our energy for the following day. I had Broadway tickets to score, and Harry Potter exhibits to geek out over, after all! But you guys’ll have to wait until tomorrow for the next chapter in this epic weekend’s story.

Also, to answer the question that is probably forming in your mind right now, I have made the executive decision not to weigh in this week. Or at least, not to weigh in today. I might do a little spot-check later in the week, but I just really want to try to ride the high from my awesome weekend as long as possible, and I know it will only be bad news bears. So! Judge me if you want, but it’s happening. Or rather, not happening. Heh.

Okay, okay. So you will have to tune in tomorrow for the full update on our second day of New York adventures. But! I will give you the following sneak peek of exactly what said day entailed (in case you didn’t already see my Tweets and Facebook updates about it! Hehe!)


Yeaaaaaah roooooooyyyy! See you tomorrow for all the deets! 😉


  1. Oh my gosh, the calorie count on those nachos makes me gag…but they’re so good! Crap. Looks like you had a fun trip, can’t wait for part 2!

    • Hahaha, riiiight? It’s ghastly. But… so delicious… you know, in that heart-clogging way! 😀

  2. I think it’s interesting that all the calories are labeled right there, front and center. I haven’t seen that yet, where I live, but I’m sure it’s heading my way. 😀

    What a fun trip!! Can’t wait to see more! 😀

    • Yeah it was interesting. Other restaurants weren’t doing it (although granted, I didn’t visit any national chains or anything while I was there) but the movie theatre had every food labeled with calorie counts! It’s something that restaurants in Maryland are required to do now, too, and I think it’s moving down to VA slowly. Panera posts the calorie info here, at least!

      • I love that they post the calorie info here in NYC. By law, if they have more than 10 locations (aka…all the chains), they have to post the info. If they have less than 10 locations, no info needed. I’m secretly hoping that changes though! 🙂

  3. Hey, you went to my recommendations–awesome 🙂 Glad you enjoyed both!

    I feel the same way as you, I went to Chicago this past wk and am so happy to be eating greens and things that are actually beneficial to me. I wish more places would post the calorie content right in front of you. I would definitely make better decisions if it were staring me in the face. And hello hot deal on bus fare!!

    • They were great recommendations! Sooooo glad we made the little trek down to try ’em. And yeah, I’m definitely in detox mode now!!

  4. I love love love NYC. Looks like an amazing weekend. I don’t weigh myself anymore but when I did, I always gave a week after vacations for things to stabilize and it was totally fine so I think you made the right choice. 🙂
    PS – tomatoes in that mac ‘n cheese count as veggies 😉

    • Hahaha! I like your rationale, Elina!

  5. Oh my gosh that mac and cheese looks awesome. And all those dipping sauces for the fries = heaven! BTW you look totally adorable in that fry picture. And I support your decision not to weigh in today. Enjoy the fact that you were out living life this weekend! 🙂

    • Aw, shucks. Thanks! And the dipping sauces were totally awesome, although I wish there had been more ketchup options and not all mayo-based sauces! Still fun to “go European” on those fries for an afternoon though, hehe.

  6. um i want to go to that mac ‘n cheese and fry place- duly noted for next time i hit the big apple!!

    • I totally thought of you at Pomme Frites, and how much you would have loved it! 😀

  7. That mac ‘n cheese place has officially made its way on my list of “things to do in life”. That’s one place where I really don’t care about calorie count, just pure cheesy goodness.
    The AMC movie treats are a COMPLETELY different story though. Wow! I want them to start posting that information here in Canada so I know what I’m getting into. When I went to see X-Men (yes, awesome indeed *nerding out*) I shared a medium drink with my friend. I had no idea that I probably took in close to half of my day’s worth of calories with that football sized paper cup. Ew!

    • Yeah, it’s ridiculous! I mean, obviously the drink stuff depends on whether you’re getting regular soda, and which size (small vs. superjumbomegalarge) but it’s pretty crazy. I’ll admit that the mac ‘n’ cheese was worth EVERY CALORIE. Sooooo nomalicious.

  8. Ok all of that food looks incredible!! A mac and cheese restaurant? I so wish I was there right now.

    I’ve heard X Men is really good and better than the other ones — I need to see it for sure. That is really interesting about the cal counts for the movie theater food — I mean, I knew that food was not low cal, but those numbers are crazy!

    • Go seeeeeeeeeee it. It was soooooo good! And yeah, I know… it really makes you rethink that bag of popcorn. But I still think it’s all part of the experience, so as long as you have someone to share with…!

  9. Wow new york looks like so much fun! The food alone is enough to make anyone go wild!

    • It was really fun! Glad to have you back blogging, too girl! I missed reading up on yoooou (hahaha that sounds so stalkerish) 😀

  10. I’ve been to S’Mac a few times and OMG it’s fabulous. I try to drag a few friends though and we get the huge sampler. Heaven on a plate! 🙂 MMMMMM!!!!

  11. So glad you had a great time in NYC! It makes all the calories consumed totally worth it 🙂


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