Sunday, February 15, 2009

NYC Birthday Blowout: Part Two

by Erin

After our ridiculously fun Day One in NYC to celebrate the Big 3-0 with Xani, we awoke and headed straight for the best hangover relief: Shake Shack! First great thing of the day: no line at the Shack! Apparently this is HUGE - there's always a line. So, we walked right up to the window and chatted up the friendly order-taker-guy. When we told him we were from Baltimore, his reaction was: "OMG are you on The Wire?!" Honestly, it's not the first time this has happened to us. Whatever, we LOVE The Wire, even if it doesn't paint our fair city in the best light... (Note that from this point on, Lauren called me Bubbles and I called her "McNutty.")

Long-time readers will recall that we first had Shake Shack during our August visit, and like last time, it was so good! We met up with Ann and Steven and enjoyed burgers, dogs, fries, cheese fries, sodas, and a shake. It wasn't too cold out so we enjoyed our goodies outside, watching all the fun puppies and enjoying the sights and sounds of Madison Square Park.

Great, krinkle-cut fries

This time in addition to getting a regular burger, we ordered the Shroomburger, which is, by far, the best portobello burger on the planet! Instead of some boring grilled portobello on a bun, the mushroom is filled with cheese and breaded and deep-fried until crisp - holy cow it's good!

Mushrooms + cheese + deep fried + shack sauce = hangover cure

After our Shackburgers, we went back to Ann and Steven's loft to warm up a bit with some tea and chat. Then we headed back out into the city for some shopping (we heart Anthropologie), and eventually made it back to our hotel to relax a bit before heading out for the evening.Where were we headed? We were headed to Panna II, also known (by us alone) as "Indian Disco"! This was also a repeat for me - we went on my very first NYC visit, back in October 2007. It is crazy in there - there is probably room for 30 people, and there were easily 50+ packed in. PLUS, there was the insanity of the many many Christmas and chile lights hanging from the ceiling. Let's just say, it's a lot to take in. Luckily, the food was great so we were generally content.

Help. Me.

We ordered many delicious dishes, including Shag Paneer (spinach and cheese), Alu Gobi (potatoes and cauliflower), butter chicken, chicken vindaloo (so spicy!), poori and naan, eggplant fritters, etc. etc. All were great and came out super-fast to match the pace of the entire experience. At the end Xani got a special birthday treat of mango ice cream!

Lauren and the Creach

Birthday ice cream!

After dinner we saw a show called Fuerza Bruta, which unfortunately, is INDESCRIBABLY AMAZING. It was unlike any show I've ever seen. It was a show with trapeze acts (the slogan of the show is "Look Up"), a treadmill, people bursting through boxes of shredded paper and glitter, choreographed dancing, and a gigantic clear plastic swimming pool of ladies swimming around which is slowly lowered from the ceiling to a point where the audience can reach up and touch the plastic of the pool. The whole thing ends with a gigantic dance party/rave! It was amazing. I must go back!! Here are some pics:

Girl is in a mini-pool, guy is suspended below her and they are spinning

Ladies in the pool!

Finale scene

Okay, so it wasn't the most food-centric day, but wait until Part Three!




  1. That shroomburger looks amazing!

  2. I'm is a problem

  3. I hear that "Wire" comment...last time I was in NYC and told someone I lived near Baltimore, they mentioned " The Wire" and were so frightened for me living here:) I thought it was hilarious that someone who lives in NYC is afraid of baltimore...we really need some good PR, don't we?

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