In following the sage advice of the I Love Food Diet, I adhered to the “Three Steps forward, Two steps Back”, weight loss approach (See the aforementioned titled post for explanation ) by cheating on the low carb diet and consuming carbs all weekend. And what better weekend to cheat than Halloween. Cookies, Candies and treats with an emphasis on “treats” made for a very happy, content (and not too big tummy). 🙂
I like to consider Friday as part of my weekend. Although technically it is a “school day” as the clock passes 12:00 noon, I start humming TGIF. On this particular Friday, there was a big and I mean BIG Bakesale at my children’s school. Always willing to lend a helpful hand, I volunteered to “work the sale” during the morning shift.
I am very happy to report that even though hundreds upon hundreds of cakes, cookies, brownies, and cupcakes passed through my hands, nary a one was consumed by moi. I exercised extreme restraint and kept the carb laden sweets in the children’s hands, not in my mouth. In all honesty, it was not that hard to do. I don’t have a major sweet tooth. Given the choice, I much prefer savory and salty snacks like chips and cheese doodles. Had there been a selection of chips, pizza, or Cheetos, I would have been in trouble.
Feeling very proud of my self-restraint, I skipped home to gear up for our family outing. We were going to Coney Island’s Halloween Themed amusement park – Luna Park – After Dark . All of the roller coasters and rides were shrouded in cobwebs and the like, while ghosts and ax-wielding goblins ran amok among the patrons trying to frighten us all. After a couple of hours in the amusement park, we stopped at Nathans where we HAD to order a large order of Nathans Famous Crinkle Cut Fries. Nathans has been in business in that same place since 1893 and is ALWAYS a requisite stop when going to Coney Island.
After the fries were polished off, I dragged my family down the street where I insisted that we dine at Garguilos. A Coney Island institution since 1907 (!), this massive restaurant and catering hall is the sole business on the quasi-decrepit block. Entering the gilded doors of Garguilos is like entering a set of Martin Scorsese film “Goodfellas”.
Most of the patrons (except us), were dressed to impress. Large Men with slicked back hair sat at the bar while a bevy of Big haired, Italian American Princesses huddled together under the awning puffing away on their Virginia Slim’ exclaiming every so often, “Oh my Gawd!”. All of the tables were dressed in white starched linens with ornate chandeliers illuminating the interior. The walls were covered with arched mirrored windows and large oil portraits of what I can only assume were the owner’s family ancestors. This place, in the “guidette” accented words of MTV’s Jersey Shore’s Snooki was “claaaasssy”.
I used to go to Garguilos when I lived in Brooklyn a gazillion years ago. Although there clearly were some renovations and upgrades, the place remains relatively unchanged over the years. There is nothing nouveau nor nouvelle about the place and its food and that is just fine with its very many loyal patrons…Thank you very much.
However something did change, and that was my appetite. Where I used to dive mouth-first into the bread basket, I found that while on the I LOVE FOOD DIET, (even though I can and am supposed to cheat), when the still-warm, fresh, crusty italian bread came to the table, I pushed it aside. I am so conditioned to NOT eat carb filled bread that quite frankly I had no appetite for it. (Yeah for me!) 🙂
I proceeded to order a bevy of mostly low carb dishes with the exception of the requisite pasta. To come to an “Old School” Italian restaurant like Gargulios and NOT eat pasta, would be a sin. However where as the “old me” would polish off the entire bowl myself, the “New I LOVE FOOD DIET me”, shared it with my older son.
Instead of shoveling the pasta wrapped tines in my mouth, I slowly and carefully twirled the perfectly cooked spaghetti around my fork and savored every bite. Afterwards I finished off my meal with an amazing cup of cappuccino with a very large dollop of fresh whipped cream.
Dieting never tasted so good. Buon Appetito I LOVE FOOD DIET
Chow for now.