A Monday Romp: Mikey Likes It, Japan Fes, Sons of Thunder, The West End, & Court Square Diner
We definitely started backwards, which might be why I'm writing this with a hangover today. What was supposed to be a visit to Japan Fes (festival) turned into a great big food hop.
The original plan was to try all the ramen at the Japan Festival, which was supposed to be a big block party in Midtown. But with one text of, "Are you working today," we decided to meet earlier for ice cream. After all, Indian summer arrived in NYC yesterday with a high of 80 degrees.
What we did stick to was the plan to wear our yukatas. And these we wore to Mikey Likes It, a neighborhood ice cream parlor frequented by the kids from the local school. And with good reason. We had the ice cream sandwiches, and they were divine. I had the plain waffle ice cream sandwich with Brady Bunch ice cream, a banana pudding flavor. Did I mention it's a 90's themed ice cream place? With 90's music playing in the background, educating the youngsters. Divine.
The dessert only made us hungrier, and off we went to our second destination: Japan Fes. First of all, the website said it was a free event. Admission was $10.00 for what amounted to a school fair in a small gymnasium near Grand Central. I still held hope that the ramen would be good, because the line was so long.
We had the regular tonkotsu flavor. No garnishes, just a good broth and noodles. I liked it, as it reminded me of the Filipino, garlicky batchoy noodle soup. However, we came across a picture today of that same ramen, but it came with the regular trimmings of an egg, pork char siu, etc. Did they just run out of everything before we got there? Bad planning on their part.
It was dark, hot, humid, and we were in yukatas. And we had ramen. We couldn't wait to get out of there.
On to our third destination: Sons of Thunder! According to Jennie, this is the only authentic poke spot in NYC. "What is poke," you ask. It's a marinated raw fish salad, originating in Hawaii.
The place is cute. A wide glass window front, clean wooden floors, and a dining area in the back with stringed lights framing the sunroof. The décor and feel are everything one would expect from this generation's style of restaurants.
It was definitely time for some refreshment, and we ordered two pitchers of IPA's, along with ahi tuna poke, salmon poke, and tako octopus poke. I got to try my first cauliflower rice. Amazing. I didn't know I was such a fan of cauliflower until yesterday. Honestly, you can't go wrong with marinated raw fish, salad, and rice. Plus, it's healthy! FTW!
Actually, Jennie, Francine, and I had an ulterior motive in ordering two pitchers of beer. It was to help us persuade Andrew and Chris to come watch a gig at The West End in the Upper West Side, all Broadway music. It worked!
Drink choices were limited, and I had two Brooklyn lagers. I ordered fries. Even in my inebriated state, I still knew the fries weren't salted at all. Ketchup saved the day!
Can you believe we were still hungry?
So, we went to our new end-of-the-night go-to place: the Court Square Diner in Long Island City. I had a meatball parm, and a chocolate shake. And I was finally sated.