Let’s get one thing straight: there’s cheesecake, and then there’s Junior’s cheesecake.
When it comes to dessert rankings, I place cheesecake at the top of the awards podium along with tiramisu and crème brûlée (because I like my calorie-laden indulgences in creamy format).
The best cheesecake I’ve ever had–without any viable competition– was at Junior’s, the casual dining restaurant in New York City with locations in both Brooklyn and Manhattan. If you’re looking to consume your weight in food in one sitting, this is the establishment for you. The entrees are Texas-sized and many budget-savvy travellers simply get a doggy bag and save the leftovers for dinner (because that’s two, two, two meals in one!).
But, the real attraction is the dessert menu. If you’ve achieved your bachelor’s degree in pop culture you’ll recall that Junior’s cheesecake had a small, yet pivotal role in a 2003 episode of Making the Band 2. In the reality show, music mogul, Puff Daddy (or P. Diddy if you will… he’ll always be Puffy to me though) assigned his rap star hopefuls the task of walking all the way from mid-town Manhattan to Brooklyn to get him a slice of cheesecake.
Anyone who has dealt with a sadistic egomaniac is cringing right now. I know I did as I watched the participants make their way off the island into the BK, starting with a sunny day and ending at dusk. Evil.
Now, having tasted the cheesecake, I see this incident in a whole new light!
It has been months since my taste buds were treated to this creamy, rich, and ridiculously smooth experience and I still salivate at the thought of it. Junior’s cheesecake is dense without leaving a brick in your belly. And they’ve clearly perfected some secret method of whipping this custard into the smoothest consistency I’ve ever had.
So, the next time I ask you to board a flight to New York with the sole purpose of smuggling a slice of cheesecake back to me, do not cock your head in confusion and stare as if I’ve lost my ever-loving mind (again). TRUST ME: IT’S SO WORTH IT.
“What kind of name is Anglin?,” said the official at the airport as I made my way back to Canada from the States. I already had my speech in my head, seeing as I’m sometimes asked about my last name.
When someone mispronounces it (which happens more often than you would think) I say, “Think Anglican church.” It’s an easy way to get the tongue to move around the Angli part. When someone pronounces it as though it’s a French name (Ang-line, which actually defies the conventions of French pronunciation) I say, “Non, non. It’s not French. Although I wish it were, I’m a bit of a Francophile!,” [insert awkward, phoney laugh here].*
And, when someone asks me about the origins I say, “I believe it’s Irish?”
“Irish?,” says the security official at the airport eying my chocolaty skin and looking confused.
“Well, I’m not Irish, but I think it’s of Irish origin!”
She laughs a big laugh. “You’re a funny one!,” she says and then calls over her co-worker.
“What kind of name do you think this is? Here, this one, An… ge… line?”
Her airport associate raises his arms and puts on a sort of Flamenco dancer stance while he offers, “Oh, that would be senorita Nadine Anglin!” (this is, of course, said in a sort of Spanish accent).
“No, not Spanish,” I explain and once again say, “I’m pretty sure it’s Irish.”
“OR British,” he says, looking obviously deflated at how boring and predictable that is. Run-of-the-mill colonialism ruined his fun.
Funny how it’s still doing that even today, eh?
*Note: It might be French after all…
A good blazer can bring authority to jeans and a t-shirt, or turn a simple dress into a power lunch uniform. Over the years, I’ve found that the boyfriend style of blazer works best for my body type, and I tend to gravitate towards dark, solid colours.
At the Smythe 10×10 anniversary event held at Holt Renfrew, the Canadian brand known for its coveted, luxe jackets presented an array of styles as part of their capsule collection in which they re-interpreted archival looks. From preppy tweeds, to disco gold (my favourite from the runway showing), the collection featured an array of cuts as well as coats and sweaters.
Design partners Andrea Lenczner and Christie Smythe count a number of celebrities and A-listers as fans, including Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge.
A few things I learned while dining at Fonda Lola, a Mexican restaurant in Toronto’s Queen and Shaw area: 1. Caesar Salad is a Mexican dish (at FL they plate it on a large piece of bib lettuce covered in guacamole and topped with parm-reggiano and maple-jalapeno bacon) 2. Tequila can be as smooth as cognac (we were treated to a shot of Sierra Milenario–I would recommend it, if you’ve got an extra $75 to burn) and 3. Grilled pineapple is a simple, yet absolutely delicious way to heighten a steak fajita.
If you’re someone who loves to sing, but isn’t looking to commit to joining a choir, then perhaps you’d be enticed by the casual bar choir option. In Toronto, Choir! Choir! Choir! fills this need. Twice a week you can get your singing kicks at a local watering hole and sing popular songs (classics and newer tracks) along with other patrons of varying degrees of experience (and all age groups). The night we tried it, we became experts at singing Hooked On a Feeling by Blue Swede. Not bad for a Tuesday night out and a cold pint.
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