Welcome Home. Now Eat.

Yesterday, I returned to the States for a two-week visit. I’m home for a wedding and to catch up with family, friends… and food.

Although Panajachel has a great supply of foreign foods—you can find everything from steel cut oats and Israel couscous to fish sauce and walnut oil—there are certain things you almost never see, like (oddly) pretzels.

While in New Jersey and New York, I’ll have plenty of time to fill up on the foods I’ve been missing. I’ve actually already started. As I waited for my connecting flight from Houston to Newark yesterday, I had a diet A&W and a bag of Snyder’s mini-pretzels. Boy, oh boy, it was good to be home.

Shon and I each came up with a checklist of edible items that we’re going to hunt down while Stateside. Here’s mine:

*A plain (or everything… can’t decide) bagel with lox, onions, and cream cheese from Russ & Daughters on East Houston.

*Cheese. Creamy, crumbly, smooth, stinky—anything goes (so long as it’s not queso fresco).

*A fresh spinach and arugula salad with goat cheese, beets (or dried cranberries), onions, bacon, and walnuts–not to get too specific or anything.

*A juicy, fat, charred burger from—god, there are too many places—but maybe Black Iron Burger on East 5th St.

*My mom’s macaroni and cheese, plus flounder. She used to make it for my Russian Orthodox grandfather on Fridays, when he wasn’t allowed to eat meat. This meal, for me, says home.

*Pints (#TBD) Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. Flavors: vanilla heathbar crunch, mint chocolate cookie, cinnamon buns,  oatmeal cookie chunk,…

*Ramen. Fat bowls with plenty of pork belly and soy sauce eggs, preferably from Momofuku, Totto, or Ipudo in Manhattan.

*BBQ from Fette Sau or Fatty ‘Cue in Brooklyn or Blue Smoke in Manhattan.

*A pepperoni-and-mushroom pizza. In Princeton, from from Pizza Star or Conte’s; in New York, from any no-name place that sells by the slice, has plastic tables, flimsy napkins, and high pizza turnover.

*10-cent wings, plus a football game. Croxley’s Ale House on Ave. B.

*A slice of cheesecake from Junior’s in Brooklyn. It was our regular dessert spot when we lived in Fort Greene.

*GOOD Italian food. Babbo on Waverly Place…. so long as someone else is paying. : )

*Dumplings. Pork. Dozens, steamed or fried, from any place on Eldridge St. on the Lower East Side.


What foods would you miss the most if you left the States? What are your must-eats?

7 thoughts on “Welcome Home. Now Eat.

  1. I am so late in reading all these but I’m loving them! A couple of comments/questions…
    1. You checked the salad off your list w/ me!
    2. I read “#TBD” as “hash tag, to be determined.” I don’t even have twitter.
    3. Now that I understand #TBD, how many pints of Ben & Jerry’s was it in the end?
    4. Did you check everything off your list? Babbo?!

    1. And I am late in responding to you! You’d be a Twitter star–join! I’ll follow. Those fruit floes my mom bought kind of got in the way of the Ben & Jerry’s; seriously the coconut ones are awesome. And, sadly, no to Babbo–but I did get some Mexican food in Philly that was about as good… ; )

  2. that’s a good list Melissa and funny because bagels are always at the top of my list when coming back to the US from Guatemala! I hope you get to check off every item on your list during your stay 🙂

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