The Iron Tomato, White Plains

Yesterday morning Mister had an appointment in White Plains, so I made plans to meet him for lunch.  Looking online, there were a ton of options, so I consulted Yelp and found great reviews for The Iron Tomato.

It fit all of the criteria: (1) walking distance from Mister’s appointment (2) quick/not too fancy (3) good reviews

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Walking in can be a little over whelming, with the shop set up more like a market or cafeteria than a standard restaurant or deli.  The shop has a great flow to it, just make sure you go to the right when you first enter to prevent fighting the procedure.

To the right of the entrance is a bakery, continuing straight there is a salad station, cold prepared foods, and some refrigerated desserts. Once you make your next right (the layout is a rectangle, more or less), there is a smoothie counter.  The next section has the deli counter, lastly a pizza counter and you’ll then return to the register area across from the front doors.

We ordered a sandwich to share, neither of us being too hungry.  You grab a number from the dispenser, and wait to order.  It was organized and efficient, even with the crowds waiting for food.  Menus are clearly displayed in several spots, so there wasn’t that moment of dread waiting to be able to see the menu and hoping that happened before it was your turn to order.

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Splitting the Iron Tomato Special was the perfect amount of food.  Crusty bread with a fluffy, oil drenched interior.  Cold chicken cutlet, savory roasted red peppers, fresh mozzarella.  You can see the line of balsamic soaking into the bread on the lower half.  It wasn’t the best sandwich in the world, but it hit all the good flavor and texture points for sure.  I would definitely try an italian mix next time.

There is a seating area in the front corner, and we were given a plate at the register to help us share more neatly.  Its clearly a place that’s popular for lunch, with quick turnover.

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After the sandwich, we couldn’t resist the glowing bakery case.

We walked for a bit and ate our dessert outside, an eclair for Mister and a nutella tart for me.  It was like a melty hershey bar atop a crumbly crust, but in a way that’s way better than that awkward description.

 

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New Years 2014

New Years is a time of resolutions, reflection, maybe regrets. Instead of looking too hard at the past year, or swearing to some strict resolutions, this year I wanted to just appreciate the moment. That very moment when it’s midnight, delirious from trying to stay up; for that one second anything is possible.

The entire year of missed opportunities, failures, accidents, burnt dinners, forgotten workouts; all gone in a second. That one very moment where it’s just happiness and champagne, that’s why New Year’s Eve is special. That’s what I wanted to celebrate.

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While our dinner at home was a celebration, the afternoon felt heavy while I mourned the ending of a phase in my life. This new year brings a new job, and I can’t believe my work family from the ship can’t come with me. It hasn’t quite settled in yet. My Monday lunch crew, the volunteers, interns, ladders, portholes. They will always exist as my Albany family, and I already look forward to visits as much as any holiday.

Mister sweetly brought me flowers towards the end of my last day, sitting with me for my last coffee. Reminding me of all the reasons we have a great year coming.

To close out 2014 we had a perfect dinner. It was on point, including new recipes and standby flavors.

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Steaks from Cardonas.

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My first attempt at from scratch scalloped potatoes.

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Brussel sprouts with balsamic and pancetta.

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Mushroom-Beef gravy.

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We even managed to have everything ready for the plate at the same time. A year or so ago, that wouldn’t have happened. Who knows what I might pull off next year.

Weekly Tradition

Like a Shabbat dinner, the Mister and I have adapted a weekly tradition of a nice meal; we prepare, we expect, we enjoy.

It’s never a full meal, nor is it eaten at the table. It’s almost always involves Brie.

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Every Sunday, we prepare an appetizer-like assortment of finger foods. Cheese and crackers, vegetables and hummus, pastries have all made appearances.

This weekend we seemed to have perfected our newly installed tradition. Creamy Brie was layers on baguette slices, topped with juicy pears. These delectable bites were alternated with sips of wine and forkfuls of cake from Crisan bakery.

There wasn’t an overflowing gluttony, it was a few bites between sentences while watching our favorite show. It has no deep seated meaning and is usually served on a paper plate, this week we even shared a fork.

But it’s our tradition, something to expect and look forward to; our moment to treat ourselves in a small edible luxury before another week arrives.