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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Rock Center Cafe

A quick overnight trip to Manhattan which was centered around a lovely dinner at The View led us to needing breakfast the next morning.  We had strolled Times Square the night before, so venturing in the opposite direction led us to Rockefeller Center and Rock Center Cafe.

Like good tourists we watched the ice skaters for a few minutes before searching out food.  A bit of wandering around in the maze under Rockefeller Plaza until we finally found Rock Center Cafe and it seemed like a good choice.

After scanning the breakfast menu posted by the door, it was a surprise to receive a printed menu that only offered "Brunch."  Nothing against brunch, but if that is the only option the menu in the waiting area probably should have been removed to prevent confusion.  The tourist couple seated next to us were audibly distraught over the lack of hot oatmeal available during brunch.

Seated by the window, we were warned it would be cold, but the view of the rink was impeccable.  A basket of room temperature breads and muffins were placed on the table.  I am always disappointed when they are not warm so cold butter can melt in and spread easily.

The Mr. is happy with the coffee and this is a major potential deal breaker for him.  He prefers a smooth and mild blend and was quite unsettled with the $5 cup from the hotel before we left.  Good coffee = happy Mr.

All hopes of breakfast were not lost with the brunch menu.  The Mr. orders the American Breakfast which included 2 scrambled eggs, bacon, toast and potatoes. Again, happy Mr.

For me, well, I confess I am madly in love with Eggs Benedict. When I saw the Cafe's version included home-made kielbasi, I was quickly sold.  Though the English Muffins serving as the base were a lovely and crispy golden brown, I push them aside and enjoy the rest of the plate.  Breakfast potatoes are lightly crunchy skin and fluffy center that I realize I did not have to add salt or pepper to enjoy.  The kielbasi is flavorful, leaner and deeper in color than the mass market links sold in the grocery store. My only slight critique would be of the pudding like consistency of the Hollandaise. 

Provided with table side entertainment, we watch as the Zamboni operator power slides the machine through the turns on the ice and takes two complete laps over the entire rink.  Skaters are released on to the ice and the pack is quickly divided by levels of experience.  Some clutch the hand rail and are simply determined to not make fools of themselves while others zip in and out of the masses with ease and finesse.  One lesson is given in the middle of the ice and our server shares that at least one marriage proposal occurs about every 2 hours.

Again, in true tourist fashion we asked our lovely server to take our picture and she not only did so with a smile, she asked us to check and offered to take a second in the lobby since the lighting is "not quite right" when you sit by the window.  Lovely offer but we were fine with our less than perfect souvenir.  

It took a little while longer than expected to receive our check and pay.  One thing we noticed on our receipts in NY this weekend was a tip chart at the bottom that listed what 15, 20 and 25% of our total would be as a suggested gratuity.  Many thoughts about this and wonder what you think?

Back on the street and off to St. Patrick's Cathedral which is clearly under going a renovation.

Yes, it is Sunday and mass was being said when we ventured inside and stood behind the red velvet ropes.  Lines of visitors wound through the aisles and people were being seated based on their desire to receive communion.  It may sound sacrilegious, but I couldn't help but smile and think, "Smoking or Non?" as if the ushers were asking, "Communion or Non?"  Oh boy.

Back outside and though the day is cold and windy, the lack of snow falling makes walking around far easier than the previous night.

In a matter of minutes we are back in front of our hotel.  I may become a traveler that brings their own pillow in the future.  Does that make me old, fussy or simply practical?  

A bit more waiting as the car is brought to us, about 90 minutes later we are back in our own territory and I suggest a pit stop.  One last Valentine's weekend treat - the Dunkin Donut cookie dough filled donut.  While pretty to look at, I could have lived without.

Yes, it's cliche and true, the best part about going away is coming home.  Our family and our Yellow Lab, Maddy are happy to see us.  We will cherish these memories of a little time on our own, some great food, tourist experiences and best of all, we feel Fed Well.

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