I am sad to say that I am about to start… a cleanse. I hate the idea of cleansing, and people who cleanse. It’s for obnoxious yogini chicks who wear mala beads and talk about chakras all the time or for fitness weirdos who get joy out of push ups. I hate it. But. I need it. I think. My intestines are telling me so. In the past few months I’ve somehow developed the oddest eating habits ever. Actually, no, they’re not that odd; all I want is bread and sugar and coffee. Specifically cinnamon rolls. From Tall Grass Bakery. So I crave that, crave that, crave that, try and be virtuous and gag down some greens, then crumble and have half a cup of nutella then just feel all remorseful about it. Not good. And I’ve convinced myself that this is not my fault, no, I do not just have the palate of an eight year-old, but there is something wrong in my organs and stuff that it making me such a crazed sugar and peanut butter hound, and once that gets all sorted out I will be back on the quinoa bandwagon. So here is me, cleansing. But I’m not about to go quietly into that dark night. No sir. My last day of real life, real, vibrant, gluten-sugar-joyous life, was amazing.
First, I woke up at 6:30 in order to be first (or second) in line a Crumble & Flake, the bakery that got a James Beard nod before it opened, that sells out before the clock strikes ten. It’s tiny and seat-less, perched up high on a hilly corner in Capitol Hill. I met my partner in pastry addiction Amanda and her energetic, adorable pup Hadrian there and we got: a cinnamon roll, an apricot blue cheese scone, a kouign amann, a macaron, a cream puff, and a huckleberry financier. Though the cinnamon rolls were touted as some of the best in the city, we had to disagree. Made of croissant-y, flaky dough. Yummy and buttery, but not warm and soft and comforting, like Wonderbread sprinkled with spice and twisted into a knot, as a cinnamon roll should really be. Scone; tiny and understandably so, as it was purely butter and sugar with maybe a tablespoon of flour to hold it together. Macaron tasted like a Pez. Financier was dreamy, the sweetness countered by the tart berries. (Plus I already love financiers and huckleberries.) A filled-to-order with banana-caramel-cream cream puff, which neither of us coulg really gag down more than a lick of, so creamy and intense. (Good, but lordy…. intense.) Kouign amann, who couldn’t love what’s basically a croissant with sugar caramelized around the outside? And coffee, at a hip little place you may have heard of.
Then lunch. Obviously I have to rid my house of anything worth eating (there are boatloats of beets and gallons of green smoothies in my future) and how else wold one do that other than eat it, really. Not too hard of a job, seeing as all there is in my fridge is ten pounds of apples, a thousand condiments, bubbly water, and a ton of fancy cheese. And then bread and tomatoes. So: blue cheese and tomato grilled cheese dipped in Sriracha ketchup.
And then just more blue–Cambazola, my love–on crackers, with honey. I am allowed to have honey on this frickin thing, thank god.
Ok, now dinner. Remember, I’m about to live on ruffage and mung beans for a couple weeks here. Randomly, Madison Park Conservatory–whose name makes you imagine white tablecloths and stodginess and is truly like a cozy delightful friend’s house, a friend who can cook–was doing 50% off everything. Say the code word and shazam, bill cut in half. So Madeline, Jessica and I toodled down to Madison Park (in the gawd awful downpour) for dinner. Bread and divine butter, the best deviled eggs ever made ever (with crab and everything good), beef tongue (as good as taco truck lengua and that is saying something) with pickled veg and awesome mustard, salads peppered with herbs and pears and giant hunks of creamy blue cheese, tagliatelle with octopus ragu (fo’ real, with aioli and cilantro, an odd and perfect counterpart), and risotto bolognese with a fried egg. Yes. Okay, yes. Bitterbitterbittersweet farewell. On cleanse I could have eaten… the greens in the salad. That is seriously it. Wah. AND. Dessert, of course. Panna cotta, OF course. With sour cherry compote. Bay leaf panna cotta, just ever so savory. And a cheese plate, a beautiful melty cow cheese, that same salty blue, a boring goat cheese, and come jams. Yum. Ran into two of my favorite fellow yoga trainees at the restaurant, which was beyond delightful. Coming from a cozy town, I miss knowing folks, and running into people in this big ol’ city is my favorite thing in the entire world.
Okay then. Goodby sweet world. I will be back in two weeks, with a revived digestive track and a hunger for bread and coffee the likes of which this world has never known.
Anna Cotta needs more people pictures: