Pao De…What?

It seems that there is never enough time in the day to do everything I want to do, and I know I am not the first person to make this observation. It just amazes me how true it really is. On top of not having enough time to do everything I want to do, I seem to have A.D.D. lately because I have so many things I want to do.

It’s Friday night and I am exhausted.  I just shut down the TV after watching an episode of Good Eats on one of my favorite things to eat, the avocado.  That Alton Brown is just a fountain of knowledge.  I think I’ve got a bit of a crush on America’s favorite kitchen nerd…(I know he’s old but whatever).

Tonight, I was treated to a free burger by my friend G, who, upon learning that I never had the burgers at New York Pao De Queijo (and damned if I knew the correct way to pronounce “queijo” — “kway-ho”? “kee-yeh-ee-ho”? — I don’t know, you tell me), insisted on buying me one (ok, I didn’t really put up any protest) because they were just so good that I had to have one.  So I stopped by his apartment this evening to have my burger, which he picked up for me after work since he was picking up a bunch anyway for his friends who were staying over.

Before I unwrapped my burger, G told me that my burger was packed with all kinds of things especially since I requested he have them add onions, cheese and pickles.  Now, I did not know that the burger ordered for me (I asked him to surprise me with whatever our other friend J, who moved back to LA a little under a year ago, recommended that I get) would look like, and I quote, “layers of the earth’s crust.”  I was innocently expecting your regular hamburger, made with ground beef and whatnot.  I was not expecting a science project model of the earth’s crust using food as the medium.  But it was soooo good.

The burger pictured above is the “X Brazil” (I don’t know why their menu has several burger names prefixed with “X”).  It has — bread (obviously), beef (which is what they call thin sliced cuts of beef resembling Steak-Umms — remember those??? — as opposed to ground beef), mozzarella, bacon, egg, Brazilian sausage, corn, potato sticks, lettuce and tomato.  I can’t think of anything else one could possibly throw onto a burger.  Of course, I added on my onions, pickles and cheese (which meant I had 2 kinds of cheese on mine) because I had no idea it would be so loaded already.

I quite enjoyed biting into this gargantuan I’d like to say “mess”, but the layers were so neatly differentiated from each other that I can’t.  Anyway, I enjoyed biting into this hunk of a sandwich because it was so big that as the layers fell apart, every bite brought my mouth a different layer to discover with my taste buds.  I especially loved catching bits of the fried egg with the Brazilian sausage — it was like breakfast, lunch and dinner all rolled into one sandwich.  Breakfast one bite, dinner the next, and then lunch the next!  Though what you eat for lunch/dinner is pretty much interchangeable.  But I digress.

As great as this sandwich experience was, it’s still no In-N-Out, though it comes very close.  I would still choose to eat a soggy, defrosted In-N-Out burger smuggled to the East Coast by any friend returning from the West Coast, but I don’t know if I’d eat this sandwich in the same form.  But you never know.

The restaurant’s name is actually a Brazilian cheese bread that looks like this (picture not my own):

The real pao de queijo.  Cute, aren’t they?  Maybe I’ll try to make them myself one of these days.  I might even head down to the restaurant myself and pick some up and try one of their smoothies that G said they’re known for.  Oh and maybe try another of their burgers…

On my way home, I stopped at a pastry shop that I saw on the way to G’s apartment.  I don’t know what it is about black-paned French windows and their ability to draw my attention (it’s what made me stop and look at Locale‘s brunch menu), but when I saw Bakeway’s shopfront, I stared from across the street, trying to see inside.  Upon further searching on the internet, I see that Bakeway is a chain (at least in Astoria).  The branch I went to was the one on 30th Avenue.  Anyway, I walked in and looked through the pastry cases, which didn’t have that much in the way of variety (perhaps because it was the end of the day), but I went ahead and purchased this —

The girl behind the counter said that it was a soufflé, but I don’t think that was entirely accurate.  Besides, when I pointed to something else, she just said, “I don’t know.”  So I don’t think she really knows her pastries. Anyway it had more of the consistency of a flourless chocolate cake filled in the middle with a chocolate ganache, and it was a little too deflated to be a soufflé…

Technicalities aside, it was pretty good.  In fact there’s only half in the picture because I dove right into it before I even thought to take a picture.  I’m actually thinking of eating the other half now…

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