Sunday, December 10, 2006

Thanksgiving Trip - Part Two: The Food

Ah, the food! Moving from the NJ/NY area to Phoenix has been a traumatizing experience for me, in terms of food. I cannot find any of the foods I'm used to, not in the supermarkets, not the same kind of restaurants.......a forced diet if you will. So this trip back home had to involve food - heck, I had an itinerary involving the kind of restaurants I would visit and what food I would bring back home - yes, I did bring food back home and it travelled well, even though it took 12 hours to get home this time.

Let's start with Thanksgiving Dinner at my cousin Maritza's house - oh, she made these traditional dishes in a different way, and it was just fantastic. For those of you not aware yet, I'm Hispanic, and we have a dish called "Pasteles" which is similar to Mexican Tamales, but totally different flavor. They, as the Mexican dish, are made in individual portions, but my dear cousin is a genius! She decided to make a whole pie thing instead and it came out great! I ate that all week! I also took the opportunity to make Cranberry sauce for the first time in my life, from scratch, and it was delicious....and so easy to make! My boss gave me the recipe for a glorious cranberry w/figs and port, she got it from at, you must try it sometime.

Now let's talk about one of the things I went purposely to NYC to get, Tres Leches doughnuts from the Doughnut Plant - oh, it was worth waiting for!! You must go there, the place it's not anything out of the ordinary, it's very, very small, but God! Those doughnuts are to die for! The combination of flavors, it's amazing!! A must if you're ever in the tri-state area.

I also went to a restaurant in North Bergen, NJ, called "Mundo Latino" - doesn't really look like much, but the food is very good at a very reasonable price. My favorite thing though, was the Cafe con Leche - a Latte, our style. Oh, I've been dreaming about it since!! Which I could find a place that makes it here in Phoenix!!

But I'm saving the best for last!! My first day there cousin Michael took me to Rockland Bakery in Rockland County NY - right on the border with NJ. If you're in the area, this is a must!! Check out their website,, it's an experience suitable for the whole family! The storefront is only for desserts and for paying, you get your bread directly from the racks in the back! For those of you not familiar, Rockland Bakery supplies all the bread for all the restaurants and stores in the tri-state area. When you go into their "store" you get to pick your own bread right from the racks, fresh from the oven........and they have so many different kinds!! I was able to get Irish Soda bread, which it's quite impossible to find here in Phoenix - needless to say I brought some home and it made it okay! Great concept, great bread, lots of fun! A must see!

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