A Visitor.

Last week Andrew came to town. Video games were played and meals were had. On paper it doesn't seem like much, but what really, what more is there? 

I would go to work and Andrew would play video games. He beat Firewatch, Uncharted 4, and about half of Metal Gear Solid V. Pretty impressive.

Wednesday night we met at Shake Shack for dinner. I tried ordering the Chicken Shack without all the lettuce and the intense dill mayo to try to ease off on the strange greenness of the sandwich. It's better that way, but could be better still. Andrew got the immaculate Smoke Shack. And then we split a Smoke Shack. What a life!

Thursday night we went to the Momofuku Noodle Bar. We ordered no noodles.

But here is our wild scallop crudo with corn and chicken skin dish getting finished up.

Pea shoots with kimchi vinaigrette. I realize now I've had these before, but didn't recognize them on the menu. They're good, though. I'm not complaining.

Shaved fennel on ricotta. To me this tasted a little like corn dogs. Andrew didn't think so.

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Rice cakes with hozon and roast corn and lots of black pepper. Nice.

Gigantic slice of bacon with molasses and blackberries. Compelling.

Here's Andrew.

And, well, this is me. Look at that rainbow reflection.

Wrapped up the night's outing at Big Gay Ice Cream. You know I keep it simple with a chocolate dip sprinkle twist cone. A Berlin or a Merlin, depending on who you ask.

Ok, Friday. Friday I didn't have work. We went out to Queens to try a cemitas place ("Cemitas El Tigre) that sounded interesting.

Saturday, though, we did put up the controllers and spend a lot of the super hot and sweaty day out of the house.

We met up with Patricia at Fuku. Andrew and Patricia hadn't seen each other for 11 or 13 years, but they got right to talking.

Then we went over to Superiority Burger and they talked some more

Meanwhile I ate my yuba sandwich and blanched broccoli rabe

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Look at this great doggo we saw on the street! 13/10, would stare at all day!

And check out this Masters of the Universe window display. It's like they've got everything in there! Lots of toys I haven't thought about for a long time, but recognized right away.

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Then we met up with Victoria and saw this movie Hunt for the Wilderpeople. OH MAN! What a movie!! You guys, you've GOT to see Hunt for the Wilderpeople. Best movie I saw this summer I think, I mean, what a summer full of lame garbage movies we've had, but Wilderpeople makes up for it all.

After the movie Andrew realized he had cut his finger. But guess what? Patricia comes prepared.

Then I took everyone down to Soho because I had a surprise treat for Andrew. But it's harder to make surprises happen on blogs, so let me tell you what it was: We went to the Magnum Bar pop up store where you make your own fancy Magnum bar because Andrew loves Magnum bars, that's nearly the first thing I learned about him in London back in 2000.

This is mine. Dark chocolate over vanilla with mint chocolate chips, sea salt, chile flake, butterscotch crunch, and milk chocolate drizzle. I picked my toppings like a madman and it was good. Fun treat. No big need to do it again, but sure, do it once. 

Sunday supper, absolutely killer meal at the Ssam Bar. Dude, it had definitely been way more than a year since my last dinner at the Ssam Bar, which is crazy. Think back to 2008/09 when I was eating there, uh, 2-3 times a week? Times have changed! But the wait was worth it, food was out of control. Pictures aren't the best, but please, don't stop reading now.

Heirloom Tomato Salad and Plums with buttermilk and shiro dashi. This dish was like the restaurant saying "Yo, what's up? We mean business."

Little Gem Lettuce salad with beets and radishes. Great.

Benton's Country Ham is a must.

Shishito peppers with the yuzu mayo they used to serve along with the Jonah crab claws. So simple, so good.

And finally, Smoked Seven Spice Brisket with carrots and white barbecue sauce. Ask Andrew how this was and he might faint at the memory.

For dessert we went to Oddfellows, no pics but listen: Best ice cream of the summer? Forget Morgenstern's, forget Ample Hills, Oddfellows is quietly getting the job done. (I had carrot cake cream cheese and buttermilk honey blueberry after sampling nearly every flavor. So patient, the Oddfellows workers).

In the wake of so much heavy eating, Andrew and I wrapped up his visit the next day with salads at Sweetgreen. Just trying to take the edge off a little bit. Little tiny bit.

This post is dedicated to Andrew's sister, Sarah, who likes seeing his picture on the internet. Sarah, come on out to New York, bring Barry, you will have fun.