Date Night Reflections

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Last post of 2015! I can’t believe this year has come and gone. Truthfully, the past 5 years have been a bit of a jam packed blur for me. In the past 5 years I’ve had 6 surgeries, 2 pregnancies which resulted in 3 wonderful children and we’ve moved apartments twice.  So the fact that my husband and I have had 2 date nights this month was truly a gift and made me reflect on all that’s happened.

I first want to give a shout out to my cousin (and NYC Soda Girl Fan) who is home from college and not only babysat for us – allowing us the opportunity for these date nights – but also for my first gift as NYC Soda Girl!  THANK YOU!

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The first dinner we went to was a last minute OpenTable.com  find: Aleo.

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We arrived and saw many actual open tables, which I guess is why it was one of the only restaurants available for a “day of” reservation. We soon learned why.  I’ll of course start with the Diet Coke…not quite sure it was Diet Coke, I even questioned the waitress as to what brand of soda it was – she said it was Diet Coke.  I raised my eyebrow and asked “Are you sure?” She told me it just tastes different because it comes from a fountain.  I had to hold in the laughter…as if “I” wouldn’t know what fountain soda tastes like…and yes, it does taste different from a can – in that it breathes new life into the soda – it doesn’t turn it into a different god-awful beverage.  Clearly didn’t ask for a refill.  I had the Caprese appetizer, which was bland. Then for my entrée, I tried the chicken parmigiana which wasn’t much better.

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Besides the food being so-so, I realized what bothered me most about both dishes is that there were dry flakes on top of everything. It was as if before every dish went out, they opened up a McCormick’s Seasoning bottle and shook on dry nasty flakes. They literally stuck to my tongue at some points!  Oh well, I was just happy to have some time out with my husband, so the dining experience (complete with a server who was always missing) didn’t bother me that night – although we will not be going back!

The 2nd night out we tried a restaurant we had “won” a gift card to at a school fundraising auction.  I say “won” because it means we were top bidder and basically paid the amount of the gift card – but still.  Anyway, the restaurant is called White Street and when you walk in it has a cool vibe – almost like it’s from another time in history – hard to explain, but I’ll link to it at the end so you can check out their photo gallery.  We were seated immediately and from the first second the service was top notch.  The server was knowledgable, prompt and courteous…management stopped by to check on us…and supporting staff was always on hand to refill a glass or clear things away promptly. They all did it in a way that wasn’t in your face, but available when needed – I love that!

The gift card amount was a little more than what we would usually spend at dinner, so we took a few chances and tried some “adventurous” things.  They have a mixologist there, so I tried a cocktail called “Rothstein” it had black bottle scotch, lustau px sherry, valrhona caraibe chocolate and whipped cream – now you all know I only picked it because it had chocolate in it…but I couldn’t drink it.

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I tried a few sips, hoping to take a liking to it, but it felt like thin mud going down.  Our server noticed I wasn’t drinking it and took it off the bill without our asking – so nice.  I did have a nice glass of white wine and 2 Diet Cokes. The soda came in glass bottles with a cup of ice. They were a solid, standard soda experience – no complaints.

I will remind everyone before going further, that I do not have the most adventurous palate. Having said that, my husband and I decided that this menu has inventive and bold flavors.  We can’t say anything was bad – somethings just may have been too interesting for us, lol.

I started with the pumpkin soup which contained apple cider and nutmeg.  All I tasted was applesauce, which I don’t care for. My husband agreed about the taste, but he didn’t mind it and finished the soup for me.  He had the short rib tacos which were plated nicely and that he enjoyed.  For my entrée I had the gnocchi which came with butternut squash, sage brown butter and ricotta salata – I LOVED IT! I devoured the whole thing. We shared an ice cream sundae (with dark chocolate cake, salt caramel & white chocolate crunch) and loved that too! (Note that we asked for just vanilla ice cream – I believe a chocolate mint flavor was offered as well.)

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Very happy to have had another night out AND to have found a new restaurant to enjoy.

Wishing you all a very HAPPY NEW YEAR! Looking forward to all that’s to come in 2016!

NYC Soda Girl’s Rating

Aleo

7 West 20th St., NYC

“fountain Diet Coke”

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White Street

221 West Broadway, NYC

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Freestyle Take 2!

Best NYC soda, beverages, mom, New York City, NYC, soda, soda fountain, Uncategorized

So my Coca Cola Freestyle App buzzed me again!  This time it was with a Star Wars mix called “Desert Scavenger”. While I have to admit I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a Star Wars movie, I thought maybe I’d give it try as my 2nd Freestyle attempt. Then I saw it was Coke Zero with both orange and vanilla mixed in…that reminded me too much of the Boo Brew I tried back in October which I really didn’t like.  I did want to try the Freestyle machine again, as I felt it defeated me last time, so back to Walgreens I went!

I started the soda mixing process and when I saw this screen on the machine, I opened up the Coca Cola Freestyle App on my phone and selected “Connect”. Then I used my phone to scan the QR code on the bottom right hand corner of the machine’s screen.

 

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And what do you know?!…the mixes I had saved on my phone magically appeared on the soda machine!  I selected a mix called “Hoppin’ On One Foot” which is 50%  Vanilla flavored Root Beer and 50% cherry flavored Diet Coke.  I put some ice in the cup and pressed the push button…no worrying about percentages this time and…

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Viola!  The mix came out no problem!….

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…except for the fact that I hated it. First and second sip both left me with a powdery Necco Wafer taste in my mouth…remember these:

 

 

 

I was so bummed to not like it, which is why I gave it a second sip – but I honestly could feel a filmy coating on my tongue and it was so gross!  Not to say I didn’t like Necco wafers growing up – I did, especially the chocolate ones, but this soda was just not for me.  After my sips I looked back up at the screen and saw this:

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Do I dare give them a try?  We shall see!

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Too Early?

Best NYC soda, beverages, holiday shopping, mom, soda, soda fountain, Uncategorized

My kids are 4, 4 & 2(as of this weekend)…starting to look at ideas for Christmas presents.

IDK – just stumbled upon this…what do you think?

Too Early?

Lol 🙂

#SodaGirlsAndBoyInTraining

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You Can Take the Girl Out of Hicksville

Best NYC soda, beverages, mom, New York City, NYC, soda, soda fountain, Uncategorized

“You can take the girl out of Hicksville, but you can’t take the Hicksville out of the girl!” – Please someone comment below and name that tune!! (Hint I am a major lover of musical theater.)

No, I’m not from Hicksville, but I did grow up in the burbs, and while I’m NEVER EVER EVER NEVER leaving the city, there are a few things I sometimes miss. Malls for instance – I know – awful, but I do. Being able to go from store to store while staying indoors and then having my car available to take it all home really does speak to me.  I mean, back in the early 90s there was a mall by my house where I LITERALLY, not exaggerating, could have bought a shirt, a slice of pizza, car tires, a blender, Tylenol, a puppy and an evening dress all under one roof in under an hour – and yes I did say “a puppy”.

Malls aside, for a long time I also wished for particular stores to start hitting NYC, and lo and behold, one by one my list keeps getting smaller and smaller as they are all arriving. First came 7-11 and my precious Big Gulps. Next came Michael’s craft stores (my husband was especially happy about this as now I don’t ask him to drive us to Jersey periodically to get my fix as I’ve mentioned ). And more recently a MAJOR city addition has surfaced…we have a DQ!

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I rarely get over to West 14th Street, but I needed a few things from Party City for my daughter’s birthday party and just a few doors down is a Dairy Queen. It opened last school year, but I don’t remember exactly when. Anyway, since I was RIGHT THERE I couldn’t not go in.  The menu boards looked different than I remembered…the pictures of the Blizzards were upside down…hmmm?  I ordered a small Oreo Blizzard and a small Diet Coke.  For those who don’t know, a Blizzard is a cup of soft serve ice-cream with candy or cookie or other delicious treat mixed throughout. They handed me a buzzer and my soda cup. I went to fill up my soda and saw they have quite a variety of soda options:

 

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A minute later – BUZZ BUZZ – my Blizzard was ready.  I walked back to the counter, and what do you know – they hold the Blizzard upside down for a moment before handing it to you!  I looked it up, and apparently there used to be a promotion running where they had to prove that the Blizzard was thick and not runny so they held it upside down to show it. Some stores have decided to maintain the practice.  The Blizzard was delicious. A perfectly thick and creamy mix of vanilla ice cream and Oreo chunks.  The Diet Coke was pretty good too.  It had a nice first sip and didn’t get overpowered while simultaneously eating the Blizzard.

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So I guess all that’s left for my burbs/city dream to be complete would be to have a few Chili’s Restaurants, NJ quality diners – complete with extraordinary cheese fries – and perhaps a Walmart/Target type store that isn’t located on the outskirts of Manhattan!

Do you live in the city and crave some suburban comforts – comment below and let us know!

NYC Soda Girl’s Rating

Dairy Queen

54 West 14th St., NYC

Small Diet Coke

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Feeling Understood

Best NYC soda, beverages, NYC, soda, soda fountain, Uncategorized

It is literally DAILY that I read anti-soda articles and posts. I get it: soda isn’t good for you, and probably the quantity I drink isn’t good for me either…but it’s my one thing. Everyone has their one non-negotiable, and for me it’s Diet Coke.

So this week I came upon this post in my Facebook Feed by Gigi Engle and I smiled. Thank you Gigi, for understanding my love for the “juice of the gods” or as Gigi puts it “the fluid made from the tears of angels.”

Please read her article (here) and feel understood 🙂

 

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