Page 3 of 3rockstar consumption diary c
7:00pm It's Friday night and some people are popping pills, but I'm popping dumplings—eight of them, to be precise—and they are totally getting me high. I raise one to my lips and push it to the back of my mouth, then swallow hard. Everything goes still. The planet briefly ceases its path of rotation around the sun. Then, all at once, garlic and ginger explode in my mouth. Bang! There are bok-choy-shaped fireworks! I am nearly knocked over onto the floor of the B train. Soy sauce drips down my wrists. My eyes roll back in my head. Yes, when it comes to food, I am a junkie.
+ vegetarian dumplings are a healthy and satisfying dinner.
8:00pm I've arrived at the Roseland Ballroom in Midtown, where my tour buddies, the band Free Energy, are opening for Weezer. But try as I might, I can't convince any of the army of guards to let me backstage to say hi to my friends, even though I've got this enormous, goofy sticker on my jacket that says "I work here." Eventually, I give up and retreat to the bathroom. It seems pretty posh in there, and there are some free lollipops sitting in a basket. Apparently, this is one of the other perks of an arena rock show: Candy in the restroom. Gnaw on a lollipop and plot my next move.
- lollipops are full of refined sugar, but also kinda of fun. they may give her a small burst of fleeting energy and a few minutes to feed the oral fixation.
9:00pm By some stroke of luck, I've run into Free Energy's ex-tour manager wandering around near the ladies room. He escorts me backstage and I meet up with the guys. We haven't seen each other for months, and there are sweaty hugs and high fives all around. We go out into the crowd and headbang inappropriately to Weezer, who are in fine form tonight, blazing their way through all the hits. I decide that this calls for a celebration and grab a beer. On second thought, I also grab a bottle of water for purposes of hydration while dancing. Get drunk after half the beer but nevertheless soldier bravely on until the end. I have basically the same tolerance for alcohol that I have for Weezer's more recent albums—which is to say, not very much at all.
+ it's a great idea to drink water while consuming alcohol. it helps keep you hydrated and hangover-free the next day.
Saturday 7:30am Why is this weekend different from all other weekends? Because, for the first time since I moved to New York, I'm actually going on vacation. No, I don't mean I'm going on tour with my band. I mean a real vacation. So, for my first, real adult vacation, I've chosen to go to Montreal—a city which New Yorkers have recently heralded as some kind of pristine, French-speaking, snow-covered, pacifist, gay-friendly foodie wonderland. Smoked meat! French fries with gravy! Government that actually makes people happy! Pregame my descent into caloric hedonism with a good, hearty breakfast: Yogurt and honey, one cup of tea.
+ yogurt and honey is a delicacy dating back to the ancient greeks. heralded as a digestive aid, the pro-biotics in yogurt paired with the sweetness of good quality honey are a fantastic way to start your day. tea included.
9:30am So, I'm terrified of flying. I'm only actually taking an airplane one way, and the plane ride to Montreal is only four hours total, counting a transfer in Philadelphia, but none of this seems to matter when it comes to the state of my anxiety. Luckily, I planned ahead for this, and have brought along an Ambien.
- ambien has no nutritional value. [-2 years]
2:30pm I'm here in Montreal, at the first stop on my culinary tour. It's Schwartz's deli, the lunch spot that has been serving its world-renowned smoked beef brisket sandwich all but unchanged for the past 90 years, feeding generations of loyal customers.
Perched atop a swively seat at the old-fashioned lunchcounter, I devour a small mountain of tender, briney, peppery meat piled high up on slices of soft rye bread and laced with spicy mustard. I find myself using my fingers to raise the slick, velvety morsels to my lips. Nom nom nom. Now time for a bite of this garlicky pickle!
+/- smoked beef brisket: full of saturated fat, cholesterol and a lot of love. exploring culinary landmarks while on vacation may be as important as visiting, the downside of course is that "oh why did i do that?" feeling after the meal.
8:30pm The smoked meat actually put me in a coma for most of the day and prevented me from doing any sightseeing. It's time for some corrective measures. More vegetables, Amy! Remember the food pyramid! With this in mind I head out to a vegan cafe with my boyfriend, who, I should mention, has been my traveling companion for the past twelve hours. We walk to Aux Vivres, where I order the special, a combination plate of two Indian curries (chickpeas!) with chutney, raita, brown rice, and naan bread. Top it off with a mango lassi; I'm starting to feel better.
+ great thinking to counterbalance the heavy with the vegan! although very heavy on the starch (chickpeas, brown rice, bread) and dairy (curries, raita, lassi), indian meals appeal to your senses and leave you feeling satisfied and needing a long walk.
12:00pm A new day, a new start. My boyfriend and I are at Bagel St. Viateur, the home of the distinctly Montreal-style bagel. Boiled in a bath of hot water and honey, the golden, doughy coronae are subsequently tossed into a brick oven, where they are cooked a second time. The results are startling: A bagel so sweet it's almost a doughnut—soft on the inside, but with the crust of a perfectly cooked pizza. The other thing that makes these bagels unique is that they're really small, so you can actually eat more of them at once. They're also remarkably cheap. You can purchase six bagels for three bucks. This is what I do, along with some cream cheese.
+/- although i am not a fan of refined flour and sugar, i couldn't help myself from looking up this place for the next time i visit montreal.
12:15pm My boyfriend wants to stop for a coffee at Patisserie St. Viateur, a cute little bakery down the street. I buy a tiny juice box, which makes me feel like a kid. We sit at the counter with the bag of bagels staring us down, the steam seeping delectably out of the top and carrying with it the odor of fresh bagel and honey, and so I sample the poppyseed bagel, which turns out to be even more delicious than the sesame seed bagel was fifteen minutes ago. Encouraged by this, I decide to try the cinnamon raisin bagel as well.
12:30pm Between the two of us, we have now finished all of the bagels in the bag. We go back to Bagel St. Viateur and buy another half dozen for later.
4:00pm I am at the Biodome, a sort of indoor zoo housed in what used to be Montreal's Olympic Stadium. I have seen a lot of very cute animals and have learned a little bit about conservation and endangered Canadian wildlife. I reward myself with another bagel. Oh god I love these bagels.
5:00pm I'm visiting the Insectarium, a museum of creepy bugs and butterflies. The contents of the glass cases look strangely beautiful, alluring, appealing. I consume two scarab beetles and a moth.
+ i hope this isn't true, but if it is—this meal sounds very high in protein and very low in saturated fat.
6:00pm What I'm out to eat tonight is nothing short of Montreal's most artery-clogging comfort food—the greasy, crispy, soggy, cheesy mess known as poutine. For those who aren't familiar with the dish, it's basically a heap of French fries sprinkled with cheese curds and drenched in brown gravy. Unlike actual cheese, the curds don't melt, and retain their chewy texture even when heated. To the connoisseur, this slight distinction marks out the difference between true poutine and its lowbrow, American cousin, disco fries.
I eat my poutine at La Banquise, a 24-hour diner that serves 25 varieties of the stuff, ranging from poutine with three meats (whoa!) to poutine taco style, topped with guacamole. I tuck into my poutine with gusto, but soon, I have to alternate it with bites of salad. The salad becomes more and more appealing as I make my way towards the bottom of the plate of poutine, which never seems to get any closer. My final verdict? The gravy was some of the best I have ever had, but I don't think I'll eat poutine again for another twenty-five years.
+/- poutine is necessary for one to survive frigid montreal winters. seemingly the master of balance, amy's decision to include the salad harmonizes the heavy, artery-clogging poutine experience.
8:00pm I'm at a bar called Bily Kun, which has candlelight flickering softly on the walls, a violin and piano duo playing melodramatic music, and a long menu of beers with foreign names I do not understand. I decide to try absinthe, which I have never tried before, in hopes of having a real adventure, perhaps one more exciting than my twin Ambien- and smoked meat-induced comas of the day before. Hey, it's vacation! What the hell!
The absinthe turns out to be a remarkably poor choice—but for reasons entirely unrelated to its alcoholic content. It turns out that the stuff not only looks creepy, but also just tastes really bad! What's a poor foodie to do? I drink an amount consistent with my usual alcohol tolerance—about five sips—then put the drink down, and give up. Little green fairies? Romantic, subversive, and probably quite hip, but really, who needs 'em. Besides, I can't stop thinking about breakfast. Maybe I'll party my own way—like a true New Yorker. Yeah, I think I'll have another bagel!
+ enjoy the bagel and enjoy the vacation. this is what life is about anyway.
amy doesn't really seem to indulge in excessive consumption when it comes to alcohol or drugs, and even when she does so with "junk" food, she tries to balance it out with healthy eating, a tendency toward moderation that could add five years to her life.