Friday, August 07, 2009

The highest cholesterol in the whole wide world

I've been around, just not around the blog world lately. I've been here and here and here though not so much here of late. So many places to go on the internet, how does a girl choose the right place to talk about food?

Professional eating is getting a bit weird for me, though, since some medical issues have forced me into a world of oat bran and away from my beloved pork buns.

My doctor told me that I have the highest cholesterol count he's ever seen. And my doctor, though acting as my regular GP, is a pulmonary specialist, so I am assuming the man has seen some cholesterol in his day. You want to know my cholesterol number? 423. Yes, that's right, 423; no, I did not transpose the numbers. (Anything over 200 is considered not so great. Over 400 is off the damn charts.) These numbers are so bad that it is surprising that I am sitting here typing and not actively dying of a heart attack.

(But take solace, friends. This is all part of a recently diagnosed thyroid-related issue, one that is currently under control through some serious medication, so rest assured that I am fine and will only get better each day.)

Overall, this is not good news for a food writer. But I understand that my diet needs to change, drastically, and that puts me in a strange position. I am having a very difficult breakup with my dear friend butter. Me and butter love each other very much and it is sad that we have to part. My relationship with butter is like that sexy ex-boyfriend you know is no good for you but you keep sleeping with him anyways because he's so hot. It's heartbreaking. Literally.

So what do I do when put in such a dire medical position? Terrible terrible things, it seems. I checked out the new Brooklyn outpost of street carters Calexico on Union Street the other night, where I had a great torta with carne asada. No, not cholesterol-friendly, but damn delicious. A good torta is very hard to find on the east coast, so that was an exciting development. Great array of salsas there, too, with the super verdant green sauce as my favorite.

And last night, thanks to my friend Brian Smith and his newly formed PR company, I went overboard at the opening of the new Bark Hot Dogs on Bergen Street in Prospect Heights. Nothing like a dinner of hot dogs (loved the chili relish), ridiculously crisp onion rings, chili-cheese fries and a peanut butter shake to get the blood moving properly. It's no good for me, but I will be back there for sure, especially since those onion rings fit my perfect onion ring fantasy (I'm picky on onion rings and don't like the giant, over-battered donut-esque ones. I like 'em in a kind of shoestring style, and Bark gets that very right).

I'm avoiding a number of new restaurants that I am otherwise dying to try. The steak and burger at Minetta Tavern is calling my name, but I keep ignoring its siren song. The whole menu at DBGB draws me in with its intense pork bounty, but I demur. I'm trying to make some healthy choices, and eating in NYC is more and more fatty and fried and offal-rich every day. My arteries are fighting back, and it's getting in my way professionally.

Today I am off to lunch at Locanda Verde, a restaurant I haven't been to yet that I've been anxious to sample. We'll see how I do with my healthy ordering, though the duck meatballs [sorry, lamb sliders, rather] look awful good...