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.
Tell us about your Halloween costume.
I would tell you but then I would have to kill you…..JUST Kidding!
I was a very poor impersonation of the Fabulous Lady Gaga. I looked more like Harpo Marx but without the horn.
Now I can’t stop thinking about Martinis
Just REMEMBER to keep them to a minimum and drink responsibly.
The first one is good going down but the second one can sneak up on ya.
How much weight you have lost?
Alas, dear sir. During my 5 day self imposed challenge that began last Monday and ended on Friday, October 31st, my NET weight lost was 4.5 pounds. I had every intention of trying to get to an even 5 pounds however, as reported I HAD to eat the Nathans famous french fries and HAD to consume the amazing Old School Italian food and pasta at Garguilos. When in Rome…(or in this case Coney Island)…
I need to STRESS to you (and myself for good measure) that this is NOT a fad-type diet that you follow for a couple of weeks, lose the weight and then gain it all back. Rather I hope that this becomes a “lifestyle” change where one reduces their carbohydrate intake, but permits occasional cheating and carb splurges to satisfy all cravings and urges. Its the I LOVE FOOD DIET after all. 🙂
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 Italian family ancestors. This place, in the ”guidette” accented words of MTV’s Jersey Shore’s Snooki was “claaaasssy”.
“Mafia”, is that your way of classifying anyone Italian. How dare you!
Having been a long time patron and friend of the restaraunt and the owners of the restaraunt named in your article, I am offended by your callous disregard for the restaraunt and therefore the owners of the establishment. Are you a brooklynite and do you frequent this establishment often, if not I deem it in your best interest to keep your comments to yourself. Your offhanded defamation of the Italians you seem to think make the Jersey Shore cast look classy, shows you are not welcome in Gargiulo’s again.
I appreciate your feedback. I am proud to say that I was born and raised in Brooklyn New York. My parents owned a business in Sheepshead Bay for over 30 years and I am a proud alum of Mark Twain Junior High School (just a stones throw away from Neptune Ave). I have been to Garguilos dozens of times while growing up and as ALWAYS, top quality cuisine with excellent service has been their hallmark and well deserved reputation.
Clearly I have offended you Joey and clearly that was not intention. My intention was to highlight the “Old School” classic italian fare that Garguilos is famous for. My description of the restaurant as being classy was, I felt, appropriate. Dont you think the place is classy? I do.
Hey Joey B. meet me at Marco Polo, tough guy. What your real name Cheryl.
I love food diet, I see from your post that you are owning up to your insensitivty to the patrons and owners of this great establishment. I take your apology as being sincere, and I wood like for your blog to go and be a place for great ideas and collusion between the cultures..and I do not mean yogurt cultures ether!
Haha! Joey from Brooklyn has a sense of humor after all.
Hey Joey! I am sure you hear this all the time, but would your last name happen to be Buttafucco? JUST KIDDING!!!!! Ha ha funny. Its just a joke!
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