I decided at the last minute to make some adorable Easter treats for Chéo and my colleagues at the office- I seem to work well under pressure. My local Michael’s was a madhouse! The line wrapped around the store, but I was on a mission.
Missing my dad a little more than usual: I never stop missing him, so one can only imagine the intensity.
Life’s been hitting me kinda hard lately, somewhat knocking the ability to sit down and write right out of me. No worries, I’m still eating and documenting, and I’ve become more active on twitter as an attempt to compensate. I‘m actually quite random on twitter…
I have so much to write about, I just need a bite-sized break. I’ll definitely be back soon with the shenanigans.
Snow storm Stella was supposed to hit the our area pretty hard. Like, NYC subways shut down, hard. I don’t know if it was me knowing I’d be working from home, or just my random cravings- but I woke up wanting bakes.
Bless my little Americanized Trini heart.
Mom must have woken up with the same craving: my phone rang and “come get bakes” was all that was said.
Remember the bake and shrimp from Pearl’s? Yea, those- they’re just a little bit different when my mom makes them.
Typically, bakes are like a blank canvas so you really get the flavors of the fillings. My mom adds a pinch of cinnamon and freshly grated nutmeg to her dough before frying. It transforms the bake from a type of sandwich bread to a ever so slightly-sweet pastry I can eat alone.
Yes, my parents had their involvement, but Brooklyn taught me how to live life. And it’s only right as a Brooklynite that I observe Biggie Day.
The only Christopher we acknowledge is Wallace.
Born and raised in Brooklyn, Christopher Wallace/The Notorious B.I.G./Biggie Smalls/Biggie is easily ranked on of the greatest and most influential rappers of all time. In the 80s, he attended Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School before transferring out to attend George Westinghouse Career and Technical Education High School—where DMX, Jay-Z and Busta Rhymes also attended at the time. His rapping started as a teenager; he entertained people on the streets and performed with local. In the early 90s, after spending some time in jail for a crack cocaine charge, Big made a demo tape under the name Biggie Smalls. It got into the hands of Hot97’s Mister Cee and heard by the editor of The Source. Throughout the course of his career, he worked with artists and industry professionals like Sean Combs (Diddy), Heavy D & the Boyz, Mary J. Blidge, LL Cool J, Craig Mac, and Faith Evans—they were hitched in 1994. March 7th, 1996: Big was in Los Angeles for the Soul Train Awards. The following evening, he went to a Vibe Magazine party. Leaving the party the morning of March 9th, Big stopped at a red light. A dark colored Chevy Impala pulled up, the driver’s window rolled down, and four shots were fired and struck Big from a 9mm blue-steel pistol. he was pronounced dead at 1:15 a.m..
If you don’t know, now you know…
Biggie was a foodie! With his food references, he touched on struggle meals to fine dining, telling stories of his childhood dinners in comparison to splurging on dishes.
“Born sinner, the opposite of a winner, remember when I used to eat sardines for dinner”- Juicy, 1995
In “Sky’s the Limit,” he strikes a nostalgic nerve:
Here comes respect: his crew’s your crew or they might be next
Look at they man eye, big man, they never try
So we rolled with ’em, stole with ’em.
I mean loyalty: n**gaz bought me milks at lunch.
The milks was chocolate; the cookies, buttercrunch.
“Sky’s the Limit” is Biggie’s rags-to-riches life story. This part of the song is about his school days. He was hard, tough, and his classmates were loyal to him out of fear and respect—so loyal, they bought his chocolate milk and buttercrunch cookies.
Buttercrunch cookies will always be a hood staple.
In “I Love The Dough” he contemplates seafood:
Country house, tennis courts, and horseback
Ridin’, decidin’: cracked crab or lobster?
Who says mobsters don’t prosper?
In “Unbelievable” Big talks a little about gun-play:
Hunt me or be hunted: I got three hundred fifty seven ways to simmer, sauté.
Letting go a full magazine of his .357 handgun, that heat will cook you!
Jumping back to Juicy: “Juicy”:
The Moet and Alizé keep me pissy
Girls used to diss me
Now they write letters ’cause they miss me
I never thought it could happen, this rappin’ stuff
I was too used to packin’ gats and stuff
Now honies play me close like butter played toast
From the Mississippi down to the East Coast
“Hypnotize” was a childhood favorite, cussing and all:
I can fill ya wit real millionaire shit: escargot.
My car go
160, swiftly. Wreck it, buy a new one –
Your crew run run run; your crew run run.
And the forever favorite “Big Poppa”:
We can rendezvous at the bar around two.
Plans to leave, throw the keys to Lil’ Cease.
Pull the truck up front and roll up the next blunt,
So we can steam on the way to the telly. Go fill my belly –
T-bone steak, cheese eggs and Welch’s grape.
Conversate for a few, ’cause in a few, we gon’ do what we came to do.
Ain’t that right, Boo? (True.)
From a freestyle with DJ Mister Cee:
All it’s taking, is some marijuana and I’m making
MCs break fast, like flapjacks and bacon.
Handy dandy Google got a break for our last dinner in Atlanta. Instead of searching for a restaurant, we decided to ask the few people we know where to eat, and Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse was recommended. After Chéo checked out their menu, we were on our way to Phipps Plaza.
Starting on Newbury Street in Boston, Steve DiFillippo bought the locally-owned Davio’s in 1985, and at the age young age of 24, he flipped the menu, space, and wine list, and made Davio’s a brand-new hit. The idea behind Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse was simple, regional Italian foods with a focus on the grill.
Since we looked at the menu before leaving, we already knew what we wanted by the time our waiter came around. We started with the Philly Cheese Steak Spring Rolls, served with spicy homemade ketchup and spicy mayo. They were exactly what we expected them to be—a little smaller than I anticipated, though. Salmon was available, but for the first time ever in our relationship, Chéo didn’t order it- he had the Yellowfin Tuna, served with vinegar new potatoes, asparagus, and pistachio pesto, while I ordered the Grilled Prime Flat Iron, served with broccoli rabe, sea salt fries (substituted with the creamy potatoes), and Davio’s steak sauce. I also ordered a side of mac & cheese with white truffle oil.
Of course, I tried his entree- the tuna was well-cooked and moist, and the vinegar potatoes reminded me of salt & vinegar chips. My medium-well flat iron steak was cooked perfectly and the creamy potatoes were thick and smooth. No complaints from either of us.
I don’t know if Davio’s serves the best mac & cheese in Atlanta, but it was certainly the next mac & cheese we had*. Tasting hints of cheddar, fontina and gouda, it was so creamy and so good!
As we were coming to the end of our meal, I asked our waiter to doggy bag me and Chéo asked for the dessert menu. A few minutes later, he walks out from the kitchen, places the doggy bag on the table, and keeps walking.
At this point, I’m looking at Chéo with, what I can only describe to those who don’t know me personally, a look of confusion. We asked you for two things, and you only brought back one? As I was about to ask what’s up, our waiter came around the corner pushing a cart.
That was the dessert menu! As he went over each dish and it’s ingredients, it was great to see what your dessert would look like. Chéo had the gingerbread cheesecake, while I had the crème brûlée, of course.
When I think of Atlanta, I will certainly think of Davio’s mac & cheese. Luckily the side order bowl was humongous so we had the rest for dinner the following evening.
Dinner at Davio’s was amazing. The food and service were impeccable, and the ambiance was so romantic! Their kitchen was open pretty late, which is always a plus- Davio’s is a must if you’re in Atlanta.
Our Airbnb was located in a conveniently central area, there were a lot of shops and markets around that we could easily get to. Right off the main road was the Irwin Street Market, the home of several vendors, including a diner type restaurant, some local artists displaying their work, and Jake’s Ice Cream.
A random chocolate craving hit me, so I ordered a scoop of rockiest road on a waffle cone. Yummy marshmallows! Chéo had a scoop of the strawberry cheesecake.
After we got our ice cream we decided to walk through the market to see what else was there. We stopped at the restaurant to see what baked goods were in their display case. My eyes scanned across stacks of brownies and danishes and cookies and all the way at the end, there was something oblong shaped and immediately knew what it was before reading the label. Chocolate covered bacon! Unfortunately, I didn’t try any. Definitely on the next trip!