Aria in Vegas: Serve me another Diet Coke, please

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The big thing in Las Vegas, and perhaps an extension of their trashiness, are these decadent buffets. There are <a href=”http://www.lasvegasdirect.com/topbuffet.html”>rankings and some serious competition among the hotels for the best food feast</a>. Access to the buffets is not exclusive in that non-hotel guests can go to the buffet. So, in short: You aren’t limited to the shitty buffet in your hotel and can easily head over to another hotel. It all sounds a little stupid because it is stupid.

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Though <a title=”Who said I had to tip room service?” href=”http://130Greene.com/2012/06/26/who-said-i-had-to-tip-room-service/”>I stayed at the LVH Las Vegas</a>, I quickly checked out and left to visit the Aria’s buffet. It was recommended through a friend and a self-considered “Las Vegas buffet expert” so I really trusted them. I ate the world, but literally: the buffet offered world cuisines with great sushi, naan, hummus, Italian pizza and pasta, and then an exorbitant amount of treats and crepes and wow magic bars. I was blown away and I couldn’t stop.

The sad and pathetic part is that, about an hour in, I was away from the table grabbing more food and the waiters had assumed, given all of the empty plates, that I was done and proceded to clean the table. They were shocked and sincerely apologetic when I returned – two big plates in hand – to the empty table and instantly served me another Diet Coke. I ate all of that and ended the meal with a strawberry gelato. I tipped very generously as I felt terrible that they’ve had to refill my Diet Coke and clean at least twelve plates over the two hours.

It was all so worth it.

Just a reminder…

Just a reminder that Diet Coke Diaries is now 130Greene.com! Check it out and subscribe there!

Check out 130Greene.com

Please go to 130Greene.com. That is the new URL for Diet Coke Diaries. I’ll post more about it within the upcoming days!

Lox, Nova, and more Yiddish

There is a right and a wrong way to eat a bagel. Actually, there are several wrong ways to eat a bagel. You can’t be in a hurry. You can’t eat it quickly. And you can’t pick it up on the way to work at some half-ass coffee shop. Eating a bagel has an aristocratic flare to it. You need to be lighthearted, embracing, and indulgent. (There’s seriously no other justifiable reason to starting your day off with that many calories.) It’s a simple pleasure and it shows a sense of careful carelessness.

You can have a plain bagel with cream cheese. You can have a cinnamon raisin bagel with cream cheese and jelly. You can have an sesame seed bagel with tofu vegetable cream cheese. Jewish delis have spent the past few centuries cultivating the bagel and its spreads. Wednesday was the only sunny day this week – every other day was ruined by thunderstorms – so I thought to take the day to relax and enjoy a bagel. I casually woke up around 11AM, toasted a bagel, smeared on chive and onion cream cheese, slapped on four ounces of nova (smoked salmon), and poured myself a big glass of Diet Coke. I spent the afternoon tanning, reading, and resting. It was a perfect day in the suburbs – couldn’t have asked for more.

A proliferation of sorts

I think it goes without saying that I’ve gained weight these past few months. I’ve mentioned to family and friends that I’ve ballooned, only to hear that I am crazy and that I haven’t gained any weight. I inform them how much the scale said I gained, leaving to be outraged and awestruck. (I weighed myself three times in twelve hours only to read three different weights in a range of ten pounds.) While I do not agree with scales – water weight, lack of accounting for muscle gained – I do have some dependable measuring devices, like a pairs of pants and shirts that used to fit perfectly but now are too small, to help quantify weight loss. Although I think that my gained weight is part of a greater problem, so I’m taking my time in the suburbs to jump start my health and hygiene. Here are a few activities that I am striving to accomplish and start again:

  • Exercise: I used to run a few miles every day in high school, but I stopped once college started. I went for a 45-minute bike ride and a 15-minute run today – I haven’t felt better! As long as the weather holds up, I would like to double the length of each.
  • Tan: Who doesn’t look better with a tan? I’ve been pale all summer. It’s time to change that.
  • White Teeth: I used to pride myself on my teeth. My hygiene has slipped a bit, so I am starting an intensive whitening treatment in efforts to be as white as they used to be in two weeks.
  • Reading: There’s nothing better than a good book. I’ve racked up quite a wish list over the year, so I’m going to try to tackle a few before the end of summer. I also annotated a few articles from The Atlantic earlier tonight. It’s astonishing how much reading comprehension increases when jotting down notes. (Ultimately, I’d like to establish a moleskine of collected notes and articles, but that might be too ambitious for now.)
Perhaps this sounds too idealistic. And perhaps I’ll wake up tomorrow feeling like a twig and forget the need to diet. (The latter always happens.) But I’d like to try to stay on this path for a while.

A Dean and Deluca Kind of Birthday

I used to hate birthdays, but now that I’ve started to acknowledge them a day to eat everything, I think I like them now. I went to bed at 2 AM disappointed because no one wished me a happy birthday, but when I woke up the next morning, I had dozens of missed calls, voicemails, text messages, and Facebook alerts. I went to bed thinking the day would suck, but woke up thinking it was promising.

I started off the day with homemade scrambled scallion and asiago eggs, turkey bacon, orange juice, and a Starbucks coffee. (I don’t really like bacon, but I figured it’d be nice to have with eggs.) I opened all of the windows so there was a beautiful breeze flowing through the apartment. The air in the apartment is usually thick, but the mix of the fresh air from outside and the smells from breakfast lingered for hours. It felt like a refreshing summer day in the suburbs.

I made my way down to Dean and Deluca in Soho to pick up a macaron and an iced coffee. I’ve been dying to try their coffee, but I don’t know how to make my own coffee, so I never bought it to avoid putting my own sugar in. I figured today was the day to try it. I just bought a coffee macaron from the bakery area and I glanced up at the menu – iced mocha, iced this, iced that, Strawberry Italian Soda. It has been years since I’ve had Italian soda, but it so delicious that I instantly ordered one. I turned around and my friend surprised me with a red velvet birthday cake.

Of course I picked Cafetasia for my birthday dinner. It is my favorite Thai restaurant and one of my favorite restaurants of all time. The food is always delicious. The service is always fast and excellent. The atmosphere is trendy and awesome. Even if I could, I wouldn’t change anything about Cafetasia.

We ordered Mango Batita drinks, which were described as a mango and pineapple drink. I expected them to be yellow, or even orange, but they came out green. Weird. (On second thought, it is green because it is mixed with blue liquor.) They didn’t taste too strong, but half way through the drink, I was drunk. I quickly drank the rest as I saw the appetizers coming over, so I turned into drunken eating mode and just devoured it all. It was the best food at Cafetasia that I’ve ever had. I don’t know if it was because the chef was especially amazing that night or because everything tastes better when drunk. Leaning towards the latter, but I devoured BBQ beef skewers, chicken satay and toast, gyoza, extra spicy chicken basil udon, and then some of my friend’s pad thai.

We didn’t eat the cake until later that night, but it took us two minutes from start to finish. It was the most dense and delicious cake I have ever had. It was such a rich and dark red velvet. I seriously wonder what Dean and Deluca can’t do. When it comes to food, especially bakery treats, they are truly the best of the best.

I laid down for a bit to recover from dinner and the cake and then made hard lemonade with Belvedere. Turned on Iron Man, and passed out somewhere within the next hour. I didn’t expect my ship to sink that quickly, but it was the perfect end to my birthday.

Hard Lemonade Recipe

Hard Lemonade is a refreshing and sweet summer drink that will maintain a nice buzz throughout the night. This recipe is a mix between Mike Hard’s Lemonade and Long Island Iced Tea. (The former being entirely ineffective and the latter being the easiest way to sink your ship.)

Ingredients

  • Country Time Lemonade Powder
  • Fresca
  • Vodka (brand of your choice!)
  • Water, preferably cold
  • A container or a bowl, depending on your class
Directions
  • Pour 4 cups (1 quart) of water into the container
  • Use the Country Time container to measure 1 quarter’s worth of powder, pour into container
  • Pour 2 (or 3) cups of Fresca into container
  • Pour vodka – a lot of vodka
  • Shake well and serve with ice cubes
Of course, take the liberty to adjust certain steps. I personally like to use a little more of the powder so my drink is sweeter. The powder and soda shouldn’t cost more than $5 and they make well over ten drinks. This recipe is cost effective and delicious!

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