Note: I meant to publish this yesterday... but I passed out from NyQuil.
So what happened to me in 2011... a tl;dr version would be - I started out stuck in a grad program that I had absolutely no interest in and promptly bailed/failed(?) out, I ended up doing a buttload of interviews for an assload of jobs that I had absolutely no interest in, but somehow frauded my way into the sweetest gig ever, got hit by not one... but two cars while biking (all in the span of three weeks), moved from Philadelphia back to New York, and probably took 10 years off my life with half the shit I consumed (which include a ghost chili cheesesteak, a pie eating contest, and a hot wing eating contest). Now I know what most of you are saying - "Shut up asshole! I don't care about your life! I only visit this blog to see if you've developed diabetes or had a heart attack." Well jokes on you, not only am I still alive... um, I'm still alive? Well, I'm gonna cop-out a bit this week since coming up with new things to say about food is surprisingly harder than an 80 year old man who's accidentally swallowed a hand-full of Viagra. That's pretty hard. Instead of writing about new stuff I ate, I'm going to regale you with tales of the top five things I ate 2011, or a list I like to call "Five things I ate that are the tits."
Why five? Because I'm too lazy to think of 10 things that I enjoyed eating in 2011 and then summarizing them... but three felt like too few. I thought about doing eight, since it's a lucky number in Chinese and everything - but then I realized I was just thinking too much. Five seems like a good amount. Anyway, in no particular order (or so you think...):
1. Cheeseburger at Race Street Café - When I was growing up, cheeseburgers were pretty much the only thing I would eat (along with ham sandwiches and chocolate milk)... don't ask me why, I was not a very adventurous kid. After years and years of eating cheeseburgers, I consider myself something a cheeseburger connoisseur... or maybe just an average fat person. I prefer how the former sounds. Anyway, moral of the story - I've eaten a disgusting number of beef, cheese, and bun creations over the course of my lifetime, and very rarely am I legitimately impressed with any of them. That's not to say none of them are delicious, I just don't think there's anything special about most of them. The burger at Race Street Café completely wafflestomps the notion that all burgers are created equal. It's not so much that they do something completely out of left field (like frying the bun or something similarly stupid) - this is a burger built on the simple premise of bun, beef, cheese, onions lettuce, tomato, bun... in that order - it's just that they do everything right. I don't have anything to justify that statement, so you'll just have to trust me and get one.
2. Roast pork over rice at Wah Fung - Fuck. I've discussed this ad nauseam already. If you don't know why I love this little aluminum box full of carcinogenic pork, then you probably don't read my blog enough. Let me just put it this way - if you buy this pleasure box of porcine sensuality three times, you will definitely have explosive diarrhea at least once. There's no way to sugarcoat it. It will happen, and you will not like it. Has that stopped me from returning repeatedly? No, because contained in this small rectangular box of syrup-laden fatty pork is the smiles of a thousand children, double rainbows, and an endless loop of nyan-cat. Everything that is good to me. Plus it's only $3, so if you want to think about it a different way, it's really just a moderately effective laxative that also doubles up as a meal. Double win.
3. Wontons in chili oil from White Bear - I eat a lot of dumplings. Way more than the average Asian person does. Probably more than most Asian families do. So you should probably believe me when I say... I've fucked a mermaid, by which of course I really mean that the guys at White Bear have produced one of the finest interpretations of pork in carb wrapper that I have ever tasted in the world. You like thin snappy skins on your dumplings? Fuck yeah you do. You like little pockets of pork that explode with juices? Like a rhino with a raging erection. Do you enjoy having your lips seared with an ever-so-thin layer of sweet-ass chili oil? I don't know what gets more extreme than a rhino with an erection... but one level past that. That's what White Bear does with their wontons in chili oil. The dumplings themselves would be pretty fantastic alone - just dip them in some soy sauce vinegar and I'd be pretty stoked - but when you pour on that semi-sweet mixture of scallions, chili oil, and soy sauce? It's pretty much gg for every other dumpling place.
4. Ice cream doughnut sandwich from Frangelli's Bakery - Seriously? I don't think I really have to explain this one (it's a huge block of ice cream inside a freshly fried powdered doughnut for Christ's sake...), but I will anyway. Take the notion that Dunkin' Donuts and Krispy Kreme serve good doughnuts and throw that out the window. This is not something that's just an opinion, that is just plain wrong. Frangelli's Bakery makes everything OG style - as far as the powdered doughnut goes... the dough is made on premises, fried in-house, and powdered on purchase. You would be probably be hard pressed to find a finer doughnut in all of Philadelphia as it is. But what if I told you that I could fuck a giant block of ice cream in between there too? Piping hot powdered doughnut + giant block of ice cream = blown mind. Yes, I realize this is in the middle of assclown nowhere in the south of Philly, but it's probably worth visiting anyway.
5. Bulgogi cheesesteaks from Koja - Futurama got it right when Professor Farnsworth said "I'm sure no one's ever said this before, but I must get to Philadelphia as quickly as possible!" While the city of "brotherly love" is certainly not my favorite place to be accosted by homeless people, there are a few things that I hold dear to my heart about Philadelphia. One of them being Wawa, and the other being the food trucks at Penn. Especially Koja. What is obvious to everyone is that the old couple running the Koja food truck are the nicest people ever. What isn't obvious to everyone is that they're fucking geniuses deserving of MacArthur grants. Since they already make assloads of bulgogi per day, they inevitably realized the glorious business opportunity of extending their humble little truck into the sandwiching industry. Stuff some hoagie rolls full of sweet marinated beef or spicy-ass pork, charge $3 per, ???, profit. What was easy to foresee was the amounts of ass they would be getting from these dope as shit sandwiches (by ass, I mean money). What they could not have foreseen was that one Asian kid would single-handedly drive revenue by returning several times a day. Seriously, this shit is worth eating for multiple meals a day, several days a week. If there were ever a reason for me to go back to Penn to finish my PhD, it wouldn't be out of love for research... it would be because I miss these motherfuckers too much.
Anyway, enough about food, back to me. As for 2012, I don't think I have any good resolutions... ultimate first world problem: my life is too good, I can't think of any legitimate things I want to do. I guess one of them would be to not get hit by cars and my second one would be to continue blogging? Ha, we'll see how long I can keep this up before I just get insanely pissed off at food blogging in general. Also, dodging cars. Gonna get good at that too.
tl;dr - My 2011 for food (and I guess life) was pretty good all things considered (I didn't get a heart attack or diabetes). If however, those are two things that interest you, here's a list of five things that you might want to consider eating in large quantities.