Guest Post: Bacon Dinner Club

Everyone enjoys a little stalking, right? So when I saw on Facebook that my NYC-based friend Kyra (of the dating blog Gotard City) had posted pictures of a Bacon Dinner Club, I immediately demanded the story. So here goes the first ever Stalking Sarah guest post! Thanks, Kyra!

A little over a year ago, my friends and I decided to start a Dinner Club based on our mutual love of the Food Network, cooking, and most importantly, eating. We choose a new theme or key ingredient (basil, citrus, the color white, tapas,  desserts, etc) and we get together once a month to cook and eat together. It’s usually an all-day affair.

Dinner Club’s important to me for a number of reasons: It’s an opportunity to make socially acceptable bad decisions in the form of food. I like to eat. I love to eat. Tasting delicious food is one of the best pleasures in life. It’s fun to see all my friends together. We get to play board games and catch up. I get to play hostess and show off all my materialistic crap that I’ve acquired from Crate & Barrel. And, I get to learn more about cooking and try new foods.

A few years ago, I started dating someone named Movies. After a while, he got to be a part of Dinner Club, too. None of my friends were particularly amazed by him, but none of them really disliked him either. And at the end of the day, though, I’m the Kim Jong Il of Dinner Club, so if I wanted my boyfriend there, he was gonna be included.

Unfortunately, Movies’ picky eating habits had never been squashed by his parents, so he often violated the “try new foods” mandate of dinner club. On numerous occasions, he’d make a passing comment about not wanting to try someone’s dish. Whenever we circulated the tentative menu before the actual Dinner Club date, Movies would send a note reminding us that he didn’t like certain foods.

The biggest point of contention among us Dinner Clubbers was bacon. Continue reading

Fill ‘er up

Club Passim, that well-known haven of folk musicians, shares its space with Veggie Planet, a restaurant that can be described by adjectives ranging from vegetarian, vegan, organic, gluten-optional, socially responsible, and ecological.

And, of course, ridiculously tasty.

If the creative and delicious pizzas don’t grab you, do your mouth a favor and grab a drink. Their homemade Italian sodas are absolutely to die for– full of flavor, not full of sugar.

And at $2.76, they’re a heck of a lot cheaper than your extrashotlowfatnowhipdecaftallinagrandecup latte.

Gordon’s Cup (cocktail)

Summer’s coming. You’re gonna need this.

Gordon’s Cup
adapted from Bon Appetit
makes about four servings

* 3 limes, cut into small wedges
* about half a peeled cucumber, blended until pulpy (or cut into thin slices)
* 3/4 cup gin
* 4 tablespoons simple syrup (recipe below)
* 2 cups cracked ice (or, you know, ice cubes)
* big pinch of sea salt

1. Place lime and cucumber in cocktail shaker and MASH until lime is juiced.
2. Add gin and simple syrup, then ice.
3. Cover.
4. Shake vigorously.
5. Pour into glass with ice.
6. Sprinkle with salt.
7. Garnish with cucumber stirrers.

Optional: To cut down on the amount of alcohol in a serving (because, let’s face it, you’re going to want more than one), add liberal splashes of tonic water or unflavored seltzer.

To make simple syrup: Stir one cup sugar and one water in small saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Boil for one minute. Chill and use!

Cubbyhole: Your Rainbow Neighborhood Bar

Don’t go to New York City’s Cubbyhole expecting to pick up a date. The mostly female clientele, of varying ages, are having too much fun laughing with their friends or picking a song out on the jukebox to pay attention to lustful wallflowers. Do, however, grab your favorite t-shirt and pair of jeans, a few good friends (gentlemen welcome– as long as they like Madonna), and prepare to kick back a few at one of the coziest, friendliest drinking holes around.

The decor at the aptly-named bar is… colorful. Windcatchers, umbrellas, chandeliers, fake flowers, and marionettes hang from the ceiling, making you feel as if you’ve entered some strange underground dungeon where the lone female bartender pours drinks faster than the crowd can order them. Which, after 10 pm on a Saturday night when the place gets quite crowded, is pretty impressive. Despite the close quarters, no one seems to mind the lack of elbow room.

When I visited, people were happy to share opinions and credits around the jukebox (playing songs such as Kelly Clarkson’s “Since You’ve Been Gone” and Madonna’s “Die Another Day”). I even saw one woman hand another a dollar bill, saying, “Take it! I’m not going to use it!” Everywhere I turned, people were laid-back, having fun, and wearing whatever was comfortable. Speaking of which, bring the cliched practical shoes, because once it gets busy, it’s standing room only. It’s too loud to do proper talking, but the good spirit is palpible at any decibel.

Overall: YYYYY (out of five)
Prices: Reasonable for NYC ($6 for a potent G&T)
Atmosphere: Upbeat, friendly, fun
Dress code: Casual
Great place to bring your… Friends for an after-work drink & catch-up session
The place is easy to spot at the corner of West 4th and West 12th, as long as the intersection of those two streets doesn’t confuse the bejesus out of you.