Great Expectations

11Dec09

Happy weekend, babycakes! I’ve said it before and I’ma say it again: You’re all outstanding. Thank you so much for all the advice! What I’ve gathered: apply, apply, apply; network, network, network. And never, ever give up. No problem.

Thursday was a picturesque chilly day in the city:

En route to work. In love.

As soon as I stepped foot in the office, I made a decadent breakfast. I’d tried oats in a jar a few times prior with no success. I never understood the fascination. It also seemed gluttonous, but we all know that’s one of my sins and I’m OK with that. The trick to killer oats in a jar? Tons of peanut butter:

Oats in a jar, d*ck in a box, jizz in my pants, I'm on a boat. They all come to mind.

There was so much peanut butter that I couldn’t even finish this. Travesty.

The entire day was somewhat a blur. Co-workers and I had plans to dine at the incredible-sounding Angelica Kitchen. We chatted about the menu and how eager we were to eat there the way teenage girls talk about anticipation to see their crushes at dances. Oh wait, we still do that. Although, now it’s about adorable co-workers and company Christmas parties.

Lunch was what some may call sad. For anyone who loves bread, though, this was perfection:

All things good. Well put, Whole Foods.

Above is a mere representation of all the bread and hummus consumed. I mean, how can one stop at two chunks of bread and a baby turd of hommus? I certainly can’t.

I spent the afternoon fact-checking our Chicago circulation. This led me to view countless creepy MySpace pages, after which I felt I needed a good scrub-down. I reached for black coffee instead. You know, to fuel me through more terrifying MySpacers.

What seemed like 27 hours later, the crew and I headed to our dinner destination:

Thank you.

A cozy, warmly lit space welcomed us in from the harsh cold:

The lighting made for horrible food pictures. Consider yourself warned.

Cavernous. (Very different from carnivorous.)

Thrilled to see cornbread on the menu, we ordered a slice for appetizer, part one:

Looked pretty good.

We made a fatal mistake, though. Cornbread should never be gluten-free (sorry my GF mamas). Apparently there are two types of cornbread on the menu, which the waiter failed to explain. I’m blaming him. This was like a dense, dry nut loaf vegan nightmares are made of. I searched for the sweet corn flavor, but it was nearly impossible to decipher.

Next up was a hard-to-mess-up appetizer:

Hummus with, what, five pita chips and five pieces of veg? Do they realize how inadequate that is?

Riddled with garlic and lemon, this hummus wasn’t bad. I have high expectations if a restaurant makes its own hummus, as in, it must be better than Sabra. It was not.

I was hopeful for my entree, though, as the day’s special was described with such gusto:

The Late Glazed Townes Van Zandt.

With ginger, tempeh, coconut, sweet potato and cilantro (AKA my favorite flavors), I thought this was going to blow my mind. Muffin even said, “OMG! You’re going to have an orgasm.” To which I replied, “I know!”

It turned out that the special was not so special:

My photography was also not so special.

Clearly, the tempeh was not glazed, as the menu had indicated. It was fried. The udon noodles were mushy, the broccoli was awkwardly placed and the artichokes on the side (those balls) tasted like plastic. The highlight of the whole dish was the cilantro-lime sweet potato salsa:

Sweet potatoes taking one for the team.

To top off this bland, under-seasoned, sloppy meal, the service was also disappointing. Our server seemed impatient and slightly annoyed. He also did not ask how our entrees were after we’d been eating for a few minutes.Β  Had he asked, I may have sent back my dish.

Overall, I will not be going back to Angelica Kitchen. If you’re going to do vegetarian/vegan food, you have to do it perfectly with the best ingredients and loads of flavor. I left underwhelmed. Perhaps it was the great expectations I had going into dinner, but if Dickens taught me anything, it’s that all your high hopes can be stomped on and shoved in your face. Or mouth, in this case.

That said, I had a great time! I love my dinner companions/co-workers. Shooo, how’s that for a transition?

When I arrived back in Hoboken I knew I still needed something else to eat. I wasn’t satisfied at all. Chocolate called my name.

Sticking with the vegan, gluten-free train, I grabbed this $1.69 cookie:

Nana's No Wheat Chocolate Chip cookie.

The only reason I chose this cookie was because the Alternative Baking Company’s cookies were more expensive. The more I looked at the ingredients and stats, the more impressed I became:

Fab ingredients.

Less sugar in the whole cookie than in a Clif.

These giant cookies usually have two servings, but I always eat the whole thing. It would be absurd not to.

I adored the chocolate chips, the thickness and the cakey texture:

Thick. Spy my dead flowers in the back? Yeah, no one ever buy me flowers, please. I forget about them and then kill them.

Satisfaction was finally reached. Nana’s cookies, we shall rendezvous soon.

Well, pudding pops, I’m off to work my hiney off all day! Oh, also, my stomach is a hot mess after last night’s dinner. I’m hoping to forget about it this weekend with some friends, vino and dimes. Stay tuned for Monday’s recap, “Great Sexpectations.” Kidding!

Ciao for now,

Kailey

QUESTION: What’s the worst dining experience you’ve ever had?

This wasn’t my worst, by any means. It was super disappointing, though.

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56 Responses to “Great Expectations”

  1. So disappointing! I’ve heard such good things about Angelica’s. Have you been to Millenium in SF?

    I live, literally, 2 blocks away. No there is a vegan restaurant that will never be a disappointment.

    Have a great weekend!

    • 2 snackface

      OMG I have been to Millennium! It is OUTSTANDING! MamaJ and I went and had the most delicious, filling meals of our lives. You and I are going when I’m back there…whenever that is!

  2. I hate when I go out and am disappointed. 😦 I can’t even think of the worst, but once at a Mexican rest there was a HUGE black hair on my plate. Barf.

  3. 4 *Andrea*

    i love those nana’s cookies in the PB flavaaa

  4. I don’t know if this counts as a dining experience but I remember in elementary school I found a roach in my chocolate milk!

  5. I had the same poor experience at Angelica 😦

  6. I hate when I check out the menu of the place and know EXACTLY what Im going to order then it blows OR they have a new menu and havent updated their website.. ahh. At least that cookie made up for it! πŸ™‚

  7. So sad! There is really nothing worse than getting all excited for a supposedly amazing dining experience and to have it actually be filled with gross food and gross service.

    The worst dining experience I have ever had was at Applebee’s (no surprise there) like 9 years ago (it was so bad that it stuck with me this long). I had a chicken caeser wrap and instead of drizzling dressing on it, they drizzled MARGARINE. Ick. Silly little me didn’t think to send it back and just ate it. Ugh. I’m nauseous thinking about it.

  8. ohh i just went to angelica kitchen a few days ago hehe…i guess i played it safe and ordered the combo plate, with the grains, and veggies beans and carrot creamy sauce…couldnt go wrong with that! πŸ™‚ but i recall going there a few years ago and i got the chili or something..bhehh wasnt too keen on it! agreed the corn bread isnt very corn bready hehe…but ive really never had “real corn bread” before, so i liked it πŸ™‚ BUT nanas cookies omg ive been eating them so much lately πŸ™‚ amazing ! the coconut chip, die for…and the ginger is great..but the lemon, didnt like it…but n.stats are amazing..!

    xo
    maya

  9. 10 shell625

    sorry you had a disappointing experience 😦 i guess mine would probably be when i found as pider in my salad once…so gross!! i was disturbed. those cookies look really good πŸ™‚

    xoxo
    shelley
    http://findinghappinessandhealth.wordpress.com

  10. Oh no sorry you had a bad experience there! Now I feel bad for recommending the hummus lol. You are right, it was a really small portion. Oh well! I want to try those Nana cookies! I see them every day at my health food store!

  11. 12 Nadia

    Sorry you had such a bad experience! I went there with my boyfriend last summer and absolutely loved it! Although I thought it was a little pricey for the portion size. I got a roasted veg salad with hummus crostini and I really enjoyed it. My boyfriend got the chile (also very good) with the regular cornbread and although he’s not a fan of cornbread I am and thought it was the best cornbread I’ve ever had. I guess there is a huge difference between the regular and the gf one.

  12. are those cut flowers or planted? cause if they’re cut, technically you could say they were given to you, already dead. πŸ™‚

    and that cookie looks awesome. I have had some of the alt baking ones and really enjoyed them, but i’m impressed by that low sugar content!

  13. aw such a bummer about the bread — corn bread is my FAVIE! especially slathered with apple butter.. ah,’ tis a dream! sorry yours wasn’t up to par — stupid waiter! but it sounds like a delightful evening nonetheless πŸ™‚

    worst dining experience ever was when I found a hair in my salad at olive garden.. never go back there again. meh!!!!! I cringe at the thought!

    happy day, honey πŸ™‚ hope you have some NYC excitement on the agenda for Friday! love you love you love you!

  14. 15 tangerinesandmarmalade

    Aw babe, I’m so sorry about Angelica’s Kitchen. That’s a place I’ve been dying to try too! At least you made the most of your evening.
    Have a marvy weekend!

  15. ugh that is such a BUMMER! i saw ur tweet yesterday- i literally spent 30 min looking at that flippin menu!! haha.. i have a life i swear

    but you always make the best of everything lova!

    • haha, i think i also spent quite a while looking at the online menu! there’s so many things to chose from, it’s crazy!

      πŸ˜€

  16. 18 Megan

    Besides the food, best dinner ever!!! πŸ™‚

  17. ahh i LOVE the view you have when going to work every morning!! absolutely to die for πŸ™‚

  18. I fully appreciated the reference to all the Andy Samburg songs. My fave songs everrrrr. But you did forget “Mother Lover” πŸ˜‰

  19. hahahahaha great sexpectations…that’s why i love you.

    i am SO disappointed to hear angelicas kitchen was such a letdown. ugh, it sounded like it had such potential! okay, we are not going there when i come visit. at all.

    love you mama – go flirt your brains out and have a fabulous weekend! LOVE YOU!

  20. Yuck! I’m sorry to hear about your terrible dinner experience. I hate it when that happens…you get so worked up and excited for something then it leads you to disappointment! Def make up for it tonight with some vino! πŸ™‚

  21. Totally know what you mean about let-down restaurants. I find it totally anti-Tom Caliccio (how the h@*% does one spell his name anyway?/clearly Im too lazy to google it) and “shrimp nest”-style to spend more time and effort making a dish sound/look interesting and creative rather than investing themselves in the actual FOOD. The food should taste good. Period. The aesthetics, while certainly important, should be the after-thought-not the food itself. I talk as if I am an expert, but alas, I am just a 23 year old Vermont lass with a taste for straight up, texturally pleasing and flavorful eats. Is this wrong? Am I ol’ fashioned? Perhaps. Whatevs. Maybe this is why I’m in love with Kevin and was a little crushed that Michael (as attractive as he may be) was deamed Top Chef. Alright, finally going to cut off my ramblings….. NOW.
    MA πŸ˜‰

  22. I’ve always wanted to go to Angelica’s, but never have. I’m glad to know it’s not worth going! You will love Candle Cafe, I can’t wait until we go some day:)

  23. I love nanas cookies, you gotta try the lemon one its tooo goooooood! xx

  24. aww sorry the restaurant didn’t work out! that sucks 😦

  25. i could survive off bread alone. so yeah. perfection para mi. sorry about the bunk dining experience. i have had my fair share of those. ya win some ya lose some! i hope you and your pink umbrella and your faux furry boots have a raging good time this weekend. i love you.

  26. How sad! I love love AK! And it’s BYOB which I am always a fan of for saving money. I wish you had a better experience there. At least the cookie made up for it in the end

  27. “Although, now it’s about adorable co-workers and company Christmas parties.” Tru dat.

    Ew – Myspace. I shudder at the thought of that website and the fact that I may have had one years ago. Sorry about the let down at dinner!! Cornbread is so good that I can’t even fathom someone messing it up – they should be jailed!

    Have a hap-hap-happy weekend, pooks!! MUCHO LOVE!

  28. 30 dorothy

    aw im sad you didnt enjoy angelicas!! i loved it when i went, but mayb its cause i havent had any of the things you ordered.

    and the service was good when i was there too. my friend and i didnt know they only acccpted cash and we only had credit so the manager said wecould mail them the money ordrop it off next time we were in the neighborhood- i thoguht taht was so kind of them

    anway, at least that cookie looks wonderouss
    true, sometimes all you need is a chocoalte chip cookie πŸ˜‰

  29. Great point about your less than stellar dinner out. It’s all about the company most of the time! πŸ™‚

    I’ve seen those Nana’s cookies, they do sound great!

  30. 32 monica

    Sucks about angelica’s! But on a high note I AM SO GLAD YOUR A NANA FAN!!!! My favorite cookie in the world is nanas sunflower-and I’m not even that big of a sunflower seed fan at all…..you have to try it and let me know. soon. i mean it. like now. then come tell me whatcha think, oh yeah I’d buy more than one if you can and then a few extra (maybe one pb cause those pretty much rock my socks too, but I dream about the sunflower cookies!) (and it blows bc my wf doesn’t stock them anymore and I can only get them online and you can only buy them in bulk and that would be a dangerous situation-so if you get some and hate them I’ll take one for the team like the sweet potato side dish.:) Sorry this is so long but I can’t rave enough about these things-enough out of me!-:) Monica:)

  31. 33 amsterwill83

    Lurker here! Just wanted to say that your blog and sense of humor literally makes me laugh out loud. You’ve become one of my daily reads… hope you don’t mind my adding you to my blogroll!

    The first thing that comes to mind when I think about horrible dining experiences happened way back in elementary school…. I was dying of thirst after recess and ran to the fridge for a carton of milk. I ripped it open and started chugging. Half way through, I realized I was chugging chunks. Still makes me gag!

    Amanda
    http://amsterwill83.wordpress.com

    • 34 snackface

      Amanda- Awww thank you, schnookums, for the sweet words! I’m so glad I can be a bit of humor in your day! You can add me to any blogroll πŸ™‚ Thanks bunches.

  32. Oh Snackface,

    you never cease to make me laugh! Worst dining experience? I don’t know if I have one!

  33. I always have such high expectations when trying out a new vegetarian restaurant, it is such a shame when the food is not up to par. I hate going places where I feel like I could have made better food at home. I’m sure you will find tons of other veggie places in NYC that will make up for your bad experience. πŸ™‚ Good call on the Nana’s cookie, love those!

  34. 37 Danielle

    I don’t know if you’ve ever been or not but one of my faves in NYC is Kate’s Joint at Avenue B and East 4th. If you’re looking for non-glamorous but cozy, relaxed, vegan comfort food then go! The unchicken cutlets with vegan gravy and the vegan cheesecake are delish!

  35. 40 elise

    soooo, up until now angelicas has been on my must-try-before-i-leave-nyc list. maybe not so much anymore. or maybe others just got placed higher up…either way, that sucks. i hate getting stoked for good meals and then them sucking. good english elise. im too tired. i need to go to bed and stop reading blogs.

  36. 41 hopeinpeanutbutterandoats

    HAHA funny story:
    I text Miss Veggie(God)Girl and told her I wanted to go in to Angelicas Kitchen tonight for dinner while I was in the city and she said NOOOOO!!!! GO TO PURE FOOD AND WINE! SO…that we did. I’m sorry you had a rough experience…kinda a bummer, their menu looked bangin’ when I looked!

  37. Thats so dissapointing about the resturant! There is nothing worse than cranky servers or icky food. Im trying to think of my worst experience, but none come to par with yours – and its not even your worst!

    Enjoy your weekend!

  38. Aw man I hate when restaurants suck! I always feel so bummed that I spent all that money and got nothing good in return. At least you had a delicious cookie right?!

  39. Ohh it’s sad when cornbread isn’t good–because it usually always is!! My worst dining experience was when my mom, grandma and I roadtripped it to Wisconsin and we got stuck in a rain storm. We had to eat at this little off-road diner and everything was sitting in gigantic piles of grease. ICK! I think I was sick for a week.

  40. 45 Cassie in Madrid

    Ugh I hate when a dinner can be ruined by bad service! I don’t know if this was the WORST dining experience but recently I was in Sevilla and the waiter purposefully cheated us out of over 30 euros by lying about the prices and sizes of the portions! The food was really good but it was too bad the whole experience was soured by his rudeness!

    Your myspace reference inspired me to go look at my old one… Oh goodness, the horror!

    http://www.cassieinmadrid.wordpress.com

  41. the Nana’s No Wheat Chocolate Chip cookie—LOVE those things. I havent bought them in a long time but yeah, for the GF vegan crowd, they are PEFECT and IMO also better than the Alt Baking Co’s. πŸ™‚
    xoxox

  42. lame that your meal wasn’t as good as you were expecting. I hate when restaurants disappoint like that! I have come to terms with the fact that no hummus is as good as Sabra’s. And who the hell serves hummus with 5 pita chips anyway? WEIRD.

  43. ahh your making me miss the city!! so glad im going home in a week! i love ur city pics and of course awesome food pics! i havent been to AK but after that review i probably wont be going…thats disappointing but sometimes the best meals are those coming out of our own cupboards hehe yay to vegan chocochip cookies!

  44. 49 Jennifer

    Hi Kailey, Were you working at vegnews this last summer? I think i met you when we came for lunch one day. Drop that other cookie and get a Sun Flour Cookie! Love your blog-Jennifer

    • 50 snackface

      Jennifer- Yep, that was me! Were you the one who baked the amazing cupcakes!?!? AKA the best cupcakes I’ve ever had?

      • 51 Jennifer

        There were no cupcakes that day but plenty of pie! Hey we have a new product coming out soon I’d love to send you a sample to review/blog. You can get my email from our website http://www.sunflourbaking.com

  45. Oh man…too bad about the bad dining experience…this is why I always try to avoid health food restaurants if I can, particularly vegan ones…no offense to vegans!

  46. Haha… I love The Lonely Island!

  47. 54 homegirlcaneat

    Where art thou SnackFace?

    AKA: I WANNA HEAR ABOUT YO WEEKEND SUGAPUFF!

  48. Try Whole Foods’ gluten-free Corn bread!! I promuise it’s amazing!

  49. Oh by far the WORST experience I ever had was a few years ago I ate at TGIFs and pulled a huge piece of hair (long black, I’m short blonde) out of my food!

    Ick ick ick!


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