Drive-Thru Highs and Lows

Best NYC soda, beverages, Disney, Drive-Thru, Hamptons, mom, New York City, NYC, soda, soda fountain

Being a city girl I don’t often have the chance to experience the convenience that is the drive-thru.  About 5 years back a nearby McDonald’s had a walk up window which I LOVED.  Pushing a double stroller into a store, especially those stores that have a second set of doors is basically impossible.  Plus, waiting in line at a fast food restaurant with this ginormous tandem double stroller is a nightmare.  Please, of course I do it, but that walk up window really was a game changer for a while. Sadly it never seems to be staffed anymore.  “My God” you must be thinking, “how much fast food do you eat that this is an issue?”  I don’t eat it a lot, but I do need my fountain soda and I will battle a lunch crowd just for that large sparkling cup of goodness.

This weekend we took a trip out to Long Island. After an hour in the car, it was time for a soda. We pulled into a McDonald’s and got in the drive-thru line. There were about 3 cars in front of us, not too bad.  Finally it was our turn, so my husband (who was driving) lowered the window and ordered me a large Diet Coke. Now first everyone needs to get over the fact that, YES, I did and have done before and will do again, wait on a drive-thru line JUST to get a soda. I admit to it and I own it. Now back to the story. Husband Dear orders and right after is when my good fortune turned.  After thinking about it, the next minute or 2 played out exactly like the 5 stages of grief (please note that I am not dismissing real grief that people experience, I was just really surprised that what happened really did match!)

I hear some kind of garbled noise across the seat and my husband turns to me and tells me they are out of Diet Coke and would I like a Dr. Pepper?

Denial: “What? No? Ask them again?” Husband obliges and I hear the man tell him that there is no Diet Coke and the line is broken. Would I like something else? Unsweetened Iced Tea is close.

Anger: Are you kidding me – unsweetened iced tea is close – no it isn’t! Who told them to say that? Do they not know we’ve been in the car for an hour? That we waited in this line ONLY for a Diet Coke? Why the heck isn’t there a sign on the menu board alerting everyone to the fact that there’s no Diet Coke? What kind of operation are they running here? Ok- I didn’t say those things – I did leaned over my husband so that now I could be speaking directly to the voice box. “How are you out of Diet Coke?!” I yelled.

Bargaining: “Well is it going to be fixed soon? If we wait will it be running soon?” – No.

Depression: I sank back in my seat and we pulled out of the line. Husband offered to stop at the nearest place we saw. I told him not to bother. Whatever. It didn’t matter. I’m not gonna hold us up even longer by trying somewhere else. They probably won’t have Diet Coke either.

Acceptance: Thankfully my family always snaps me back. Kids were singing along to our Disney CDs, we only had a half hour left to our trip, I could manage.  All would be ok – plus I’d have something to write about, right?

We had a great weekend, which included some awesome pumpkin picking. I’ll elaborate on all that another time soon.  On our trip home, I didn’t want to chance it with that horrible McDonald’s, so we pulled into a Burger King after only 20 minutes on the road home.  I know it’s ridiculous, but I was slightly worried…would they not have Diet Coke too?…or worse, would they hand it to me and it be AWFUL?!?!  Thank the powers that be-Burger King did not disappoint.  It wasn’t really a noteworthy soda, but it did the job and I would go there again.  Phew, glad we ended out trip on a good soda note – thanks BK!

BK

NYC Soda Girl’s Rating

McDonald’s

560 County Rd 111, Manorville, NY

Large Diet Coke with ice, $I wouldn’t know

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Burger King

71 County Road 39, Southampton, NY

Large Diet Coke with ice, $2.29

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If you’re interested, these are the Disney CDs that keep us sane on long drives:

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Waiter Appreciation

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

Yesterday we had quite a morning. I woke up more tired than usual, and for some reason everything ached. I mean, even my teeth ached – what is that?! After getting the kids dressed and fed, I checked the weather, it said 70 degrees, with the “real feel” at 75 degrees. That brightened my mood.  The crazy insta-cold spell we just experienced here in NYC had gone away for a minute. I put on a springy/summery dress and thought I was all set.

The morning flew by. The kids each had a 15 minute piano lesson and then our cleaning professional (aka Our Savior) came and next thing you knew it was time for school…but oh yeah, we didn’t eat lunch yet-oops. Through all of this, I began shivering. I became convinced that it was actually still freezing outside. So during the 4 hours from when I woke up until the time we left the apartment, I started adding clothes.  When I finally realized what I looked like, there was just no time to change my outfit…so yes, my dear NYC Soda Girl Readers, I left my home in this get-up:

tired outfit

 

 

We raced towards school but first stopped for a quick lunch nearby.  I can only imagine what the staff thought of me. My crazy outfit, my face in a perma scrunch because I was so tired I could barely keep my eyes open and because of my teeth aching and my expression of “Help Me” as I looked into the hostesses eyes… The 4 of us quickly sat and ordered and I downed my first diet soda.  To be completely fair to this establishment I will not review it today, as I was too tired and stressed to really pay attention to the drink…but I do want to give a shout out to the waiter. When he passed by and I asked for my next diet soda, adding “it’s just that kind of day”…he came back with these:

double soda

THANK YOU DEAR MAN, THANK YOU! There is nothing worse than being stressed, then finishing your drink and needing another with no waiter in site…I now wouldn’t need to worry. I think that brought my stress down a bit – it’s the little things, you know? Oh- and we miraculously made it school only 2 minutes late – other students were still filing in through the door – phew!

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My Holiday Wish List Begins

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

I’ve mentioned it before, but in addition to soda, I love Disney – like REALLY love Disney.  I grew up watching the Disney Afternoon, old VHS live action movies and new animated releases in the 90s. We took 2 trips to Walt Disney World, first when I was in 2nd grade and then later when I was in 8th grade. It was something we looked forward to for YEARS leading up to each trip.  Now that I have a family of my own we go every year, lol 🙂 .

Anyway, I also have a serious Amazon Prime one-click addition.  Maybe it’s a city thing – if something can be delivered and I don’t need to lug it home with children and a stroller, I’m sold! Thankfully for my bank account, every October I somehow find the strength NOT to one-click and instead start an Amazon Wish List in the hopes that someone else will buy me these things!

Today as I was surfing Amazon I came across the perfect item that reflects 2 of my passions – soda and Disney!

 

Can you believe it even exists?  It’s a Disney Couture Dr. Rx Romanelli Soda Can Necklace

  • Gold plated mixed metal chain necklace with a soda tab, soda can, and crushed soda can featuring Disney vintage artwork.
  • Disney Couture has partnered up with innovative designer Dr. Romanelli, a.k.a DRx, to create a limited-time collection that reconstructs our most beloved Disney characters from junkyard materials, while keeping their iconic designs. The Dr. X for Disney Couture collection uses artistic reconstruction to create truly unique pieces.

 

…and my finding this necklace led me to discover that Amazon has its own Disney Shop which you can check out HERE. I will be wish listing away over there for my kids AND for myself!

Do any of you have a love of Disney or Amazon? Tell us about it in the comments!

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Fountain Stream Pressure

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

I tried to get a fountain soda at Subway the other day…this video can give you a pretty clear picture as to what the stream of soda looked like coming out. Watch when they turn on the cold faucet (right side).  You don’t need sound for this video as it’s actually about plumbing, lol.

Even still, I gave the soda a try. UGG. Not “throw away disgusting” but worth a shot at getting something better. I immediately walked back to the cashier, explained that there’s something wrong with their machine (mind you, there’s 10 other people happily drinking fountain sodas at the tables in the restaurant) and that I need to take a 20 oz instead.  They agreed. I dumped the drink, refilled the cup with ice and poured the bottled soda in.  Phew. Complete crisis averted. Never be afraid to ask for a better soda!

NYC Soda Girl’s Rating

Subway

120 4th Ave., NYC

21 oz.  Fountain Diet Coke with ice, $1.60

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half cup

 

 

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Hillstone Awakening

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

Do any of you have a restaurant that feels like home?  I do – it’s Hillstone (formerly Houston’s).  Anytime I visit any location I feel as though I’m walking into the den of my youth (well, ok, a fancy den) and sitting down on my couch for a comfy meal with friends.  Sort of like when everyone used to come home from college around Thanksgiving and we’d get together at the same friend’s home and hang out like no time had passed at all.  This most likely has to do with the fact that I worked for the company for about 4 years after graduating college-but still – it has been MANY years since then.  It’s the kind of experience where you know what to expect and you love it.  You have no expectations of anything extraordinary happening…but sometimes it does…and that, my NYC Soda Girl readers, is what happened during the last meal I enjoyed at Hillstone.

It had been a long and tiring weekend so I took a little mommy “time out” and took a trip to Hillstone.  When I got there the wait was 20 minutes, but I was seated in about 15.  My table was by the bar, which usually isn’t my favorite since it can get a little noisy and sometimes the bartenders get busy serving the bar crowd and don’t check in on the tables as much, but this day service was amazing.  I think the bartender could read my mind.  To start I ordered a Diet Coke, a Stuhlmuller Chardonnay (doesn’t everyone order a soda and a glass of wine at the same time?) and their, to die for, Chicago Style Spinach & Artichoke Dip.  That is my usual first round order and I was mindlessly checking email and Facebook when it arrived.  I don’t even think I was looking as I took my first sip of soda, but one second into drinking it all that changed. I stared wide eyed at the glass – how could this drink, that I drink all day everyday jolt me into consciousness this way?  I wasn’t even interested in eating the dip – which happens to be at the top of my indulgent food list. It’s like all of a sudden, parts of my brain that hadn’t seen the light of day were awakened, I felt somehow empowered, enlightened, I don’t know…it raised my spirits and I just wanted to keep drinking it…which I did.  Hillstone used to serve fountain soda and recently changed to serving individual 12 oz. bottles with a glass of ice, which I had been disappointed about – but not tonight – what was different?  Then it struck me.

chilled

The glass seemed to have a slight frost on it.  My bartender/server magically appeared at that moment and I asked her if the glass had been chilled.  She said ‘YES”! She didn’t think the bottle was cold enough, so she brought me a chilled glass with ice instead of the standard glass. Ummm…this seriously changed everything.  I will forever have to order my Diet Coke from Hillstone – if not from everywhere – in a chilled glass. It’s never even crossed my mind to do that before!

I got back to the business of ordering my dinner and eating my spinach dip. That dip is ridiculously good.  It’s probably the best way to get me to eat that many green vegetables in a sitting. The cheese is always creamy and perfect and the homemade chips are warmed and salted to perfection.  I personally don’t eat the picante sauce and sour cream, but my daughter does and loves it.

dip

I ordered the Dutch Country Chicken without the apricot glaze and substituted whipped potatoes as the side (yes, I’m one of those long list modifying patrons).  It was cooked to perfection; it sliced beautifully and was full of flavor.  Right when I was finishing my wine, my mind reading server arrived to see if I needed another drink and without hesitation I asked for another Diet Coke in a chilled glass. I needed to see if the magic could be replicated.  It was.

I finished my meal with a Ghirardelli hot fudge sundae.  It’s my favorite dessert there. You get a full boat of chocolate to pour on your vanilla ice cream (it usually comes with whipped cream and pecans, but I don’t love whipped cream and my son is allergic to nuts, so I just pass on both of them).  The Ghirardelli chocolate makes this sundae stand out to me.  It is thick and indulgent.

fudge

I always expect quality at Hillstone, but I never expected such a wonderful soda experience.  That first sip really got to me – even sitting at a loud bar table it made me take pause. How could it be? In a 12oz plastic bottle? For $3.50? With no free refills?  It’s something you want to hate – but it elevated my whole dining experience and that is what I want to expect from a soda because I know it’s possible – it should make whatever you’re doing only that much better.  I can’t believe I’m going to do this, but I am giving this CHIlLLED glass, 12 oz. bottle (not fountain) with ice, Diet Coke a top 5 cup rating!

NYC Soda Girl’s Rating

Hillstone

 

12 oz. Diet Coke with ice, ask for CHILLED glass, $3.50

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