So: I had my appointment with the specialist in Manhattan last Thursday. We woke up around 4:30AM, it was going to be a long day. My cousin, Tricia, and her friend, Shanova, accompanied us. Tricia went to college at St. John’s University and lived in Brooklyn and Queens during that time, so she knows the city inside and out. I lived in NY state almost all of my life and can name the five boroughs, but couldn’t navigate from one to another without Google maps and acting like a lost puppy, lol. No wonder the dude soliciting Empire State Building tours approached me out of the four in our group; obviously I look like I have no idea where the hell I am. I hate being a tourist to a place that I live so close to. I’ve never even been to central or western NY, either. That’s practically Canada as far as I’m concerned, LOL. I’m pretty good at navigating Pennsylvania, though. Close enough, right?
It took us about 1.5 hours to get to the city. Not bad considering it was rush hour. My appointment was at 10:30AM, but we arrived an hour early. It gave me time to fill out the paperwork, then they called me in right on time. For $500 an hour, that’s the very least I’d hope for, lol. First, we talked in his office and I told him about my symptoms. Then, he examined me—thoroughly —and we talked more in his office. My doctor is a gastoenterologist that specializes in Celiac Disease and I found him to be easy to talk to and knowledgeable. Dustin and I both liked him a lot! Obviously he couldn’t give me any sort of diagnosis without testing, but he said based on my previous negative blood tests and my other symptoms, he doesn’t think I have Celiac Disease, he said my symptoms suggest other things. He said the Celiac blood tests I had done in the past were very good, but there’s one newer one that he’d like me to take, plus he wants me to have the endoscopy and biopsy, plus a colonoscopy at the same time. That’s going to be a fun day!! He also doesn’t think I have generalized IBS because he said people that have IBS, their symptoms go away after they go potty and such, but my symptoms are always present. I told him how I was semi grain-free for the past month with no changes on days without gluten. He’s glad I didn’t go completely gluten-free, though. He said he needs me to be on a regular gluten diet for accurate test results. I already knew that, and that’s why I’d never do a total elimination diet before doing tests. I did the almost grain-free diet mainly just to see what it’s like, out of curiosity and for creativity purposes, like I said in my last post. If we can’t figure out what is wrong from tests, then I’d have to commit to a strict elimination diet. That means no cheats and being vigilant with labels and restaurants. It’s a tough road to go down, it can’t be taken lightly. I’m hoping it won’t have to come to that, though. I’m scheduled to see him again in December and have the testing done, so we’ll see what happens then!
After we left Presbyterian, we set out for a day around town. I hadn’t eaten since the day before, other than 5 crackers earlier that morning, so I was pretty hungry. We already planned out our lunch destination: Popover Cafe —I’m not sure which blog mentioned it, but ever since I read about it, I couldn’t wait to visit it.
Party of four…
We’re considering making this one our Christmas card
We started with a basket of popovers, of course…
They were HUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGE! They reminded me of Smurf houses, LOL
Ok, I admit: I’ve never had a popover in my life, so for some reason I was expecting them to be soft, like a croissant. Imagine my surprise when I realized they are basically like a big piece of crust. They’re hollow in the center, with just a little doughiness. I love bread crust, but I really didn’t care for them. I tried to love it, as did everyone else, but we all agreed that they’re not-so-great.
The strawberry butter that they came with tasted awesome, wish I was in the mood for crust and nothing but crust, lol.
If our waiter wasn’t such a wet noodle we might have asked him if we were eating them correctly, but he wasn’t Mr. Congeniality, if you get my drift, lol. So, we sent back a basket of broken popovers. I guess it could have been worse. We overheard our neighboring table say that they had been there for hours and haven’t received their food. Ours came pretty quickly, which I was actually surprised by.
They failed to turn me into a popover lover, but their sandwiches were AMAZING! They should really reconsider a name change, because the popovers aren’t nearly as impressive as their sandwiches. We loved them!
I ordered the “Sweet William” on ciabatta
It came with a side of pasta salad. I love peas with pasta, they’re a match made in heaven, or Manhattan, in this case.
I’m going to be craving this sandwich for years to come. It was THAT good!
I ate half of it, plus some of the pasta salad. I couldn’t eat another bite, way too full!! I wish our car wasn’t parked so far away, I wanted to take the other half home. Alas, I came to the conclusion that walking around Manhattan with half a sandwich wasn’t the brightest idea, so I left it behind. I’m definitely going to try to recreate this at home. Loved the sweet pear and salty ham; the bread was fresh and crispy yet soft, and the melty cheese and dressing perfected it. YUM x a jillion!
We’ll definitely visit Popover Cafe again; not for their popovers, but for their unforgettable sandwiches. I highly recommend stopping in for one if you’re in the area. Thank me later.
After lunch, we walked a few blocks to Central Park. It was very windy out, not the best atmosphere for picture-taking. We walked around the park a little, dodging the path of runners, and admiring the views.
After the park: more walking and train hopping. Urban life is a workout! I think if we lived in an urban area I’d probably lose weight without even trying from all the extra walking and stair-climbing. Not sure if the plethora of delicious food places would cancel that out, though. We stopped at Starbucks so Tricia and Shanova could get some much-needed caffeine. I had a tall lemonade, which was 80% ice, lol.
I’ve been envying bloggers that have had Pinkberry frozen yogurt for months now, so of course we had to stop and try it when we ran into one (on just about every corner, lol).
Dustin and I ordered a “SMALL” original with pineapple, strawberries, one mammoth blackberry, and chocolate chips to share:
It was SO GOOD! We only had a few bites, but I liked it. Hopefully they will open one by us soon. Loved all the fresh fruit options, yummyyyyyyyyy
We walked around for a few more hours, hopped on and off the subway, stopped in several stores, but bought very little so we didn’t have to carry it around. We stopped in this kitchen and cooking store called Sur la Table —OMG! So many awesome things! I wanted to buy the whole store. Yep, just put it all in a bag, I’ll take it, LOL. I bought 4 white porcelain dessert/appetizer spoons and a pastry bag. I could have done some serious damage to the bank account if our car was close by. I love cooking stores, they’re so much fun.
We also went to ground zero, Wall Street, the Empire State Building (not up to the top), and finally, we ended our day in Little Italy. Our favorite restaurant on Mulberry Street: La Mela’s ! I’ve been going there for 20 years now. *gasp* I feel sooo old referring to things in decades, lol. I drank a lot of water throughout the day, so I was pretty full all day long. There’s always room for family-style at La Mela’s, though. Always.
First up: the bread basket of doom!!! AAAAAaaaahhhh
Dustin can hardly contain his excitement.
Then came the first course: fresh mozzarella and tomatoes with olive oil
Then the hot antipasto and an extra order of spendini alla romano (fried mozzarella, fresh mozzarella)
I think spendini alla romano at La Mela’s is one of my favorite foods in the whole world. It’s amazing!
Then came the pasta course Gnocchi, cheese tortellini alfredo, and rigatoni
We couldn’t go on, we declined the meat course. Well, we had just a teensy bit of room for dessert.
I don’t even know everything that I was in it, I had just a small bite of everything. Tiramisu, ice cream, cheesecake, cannoli, mixed fruits. So rich, a bite is all you need to satisfy your taste buds. Despite the feast that was in front of us, I had less than a plate of everything combined. A little spoonful of everything, not a full serving of anything besides the spendini alla romano, which is worth indulging in 2 or 3 servings, lol. Being we were going back to our car in a taxi, we took a lot of leftovers home with us. I’m actually getting full right this second just remembering how rich and creamy this meal was. Yeah, it’s probably for the best that we live quite a few miles away from all of this, LOL.
We got home around midnight and I groggily took a shower despite being dead on my feet. I felt soooo yucky from using public restrooms, walking through stinky subway terminals, and walking in and out of clouds of smoke from people smoking cigarettes on the street. I put my clothes right into the washing machine and took a hot, soapy shower. It felt good to be home. I fell asleep in a nanosecond as soon as my head hit the pillow. It was a long day, which we’ll probably repeat in early December when I go back for my tests. I love the city. Dustin and I agreed that we’re going to have an apartment overlooking Central Park or another spectacular city view one day. I’d love to live there part of the time, but definitely not all of the time. Now, just to come up with the few million a year needed to accommodate such a cushy nomadic lifestyle, hah.
Question: What is your favorite city and what do you love the most about it? I vote for NYC, but I’m a little biased.