Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Clearview 23rd Street

Clearview 23rd street The Clearview on west 23rd seems like more of an independent theater and one would think maybe it has halfway decent popcorn. (It does not.)

It's got that unnatural yellow hue (not really evident in this cell phone pic) and an overly saltiness that makes my lips all puckery by the end of the movie.

I rate the popcorn at this theater Okay To Eat If It's Given To You For Free.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

You've been warned

I went down to Penn Station to get popcorn to sneak into Bruno this evening. I tell the guy taking orders and money that I'd like 3 bags (they're small and some was for Jeff) and a plastic bag to put them in. I hand him a 5 and he gives me back 50 cents.

The guy scooping the corn fills up one bag and hands it to me. I put it in the plastic bag and hold it open for the rest. While he is scooping the 2nd one the woman behind me calls out, "Lots of salt! Salt in the middle AND on top!" She calls out "in the middle AND on top!" again but no one is paying any attention to her.

The guy scooping the corn clearly does not know what's going on. He just scoops and hands it off. I said to him, but loud enough for her to hear, "I bought 3 bags. That one is mine."

"Oh I don't think so!" the woman says angrily from behind me.

He looks at me questioningly. "Put it in the bag," I tell him.

"It's got extra salt! It's mine!"

I calmly and firmly said to the scooper, "I love salt. Put it in the bag. And then the third popcorn I paid for. Thank you."

I never once looked at her. I got my corns and I walked away. Seriously oh hell no.

Do not mess with a popcorn addict. When we need a fix we need it BAD.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Traveling popcorn

Popcorn traveler Today's popcorn came from yet another stand in Penn Station. All popcorn lovers should be so lucky as to work near Penn Station. Certainly not all of it is good popcorn, but we can't be picky. Where else in the city, nay, in the WORLD, can you find at least five stands selling popcorn, all within a single building?

This particular bag of popcorn is from a stand on the upper level of Penn Station, across from the flower stand near the entrance on 7th Avenue. It comes in a movie popcorn bag, which means you get more pop for your buck. But! Get this! This popcorn cost $1.75! I know! It's highway robbery! You can bet that I said something. I said, "Gosh, that's more than the other places charge." The woman looked at me blankly and replied, "what other places?" I said, "the other stands in Penn Station all charge $1.50." She said, "oh." Boy, her feelings were really hurt, huh?

It was a little on the salty side, but still not bad. I had no trouble wolfing it all down. I then proceeded to eat the most ridiculous sandwich ever for dinner, which consisted of: mozzarella sticks, chicken fingers, tomato sauce and mozzarella. I couldn't eat all that bread, but I ate everything else. So I guess that kind of defeated the purpose of getting it as a sandwich.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Popcorn in hand

Full disclosure: One of the top reasons that I love popcorn is because it's salty. I guess that's why I'm not a huge fan of the sugar-coated popcorn. Kettle corn bridges the gap, but when I eat too much of it, I feel gross. But if I eat too much salt-only popcorn, I don't have that problem.

Jeff is out preparing for the first shoot of his movie, so, left to my own devices, I made simple Paloma Blanca on the stove.

My favorite part about eating popcorn out of my own bowl is grabbing the top layer with my tongue. In an ideal world, there would exist a bowl that would enable me to eat an entire bowl of popcorn in this fashion. I guess a popcorn plate would do the trick, but the drawback would be that it would not hold very much popcorn. Inventors, get on this, please.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Hidden gem in Penn Station

Penn Station tasting I'm still working my way through all the Penn Station popcorn stands. I'm doing this for you. Yes, I'm just that selfless. You're welcome.

Today I spied a popcorn stand that I had never noticed before and no wonder because it's half hidden behind an ATM. And just as well because the popcorn was pretty assy.

Hidden. For good reason.The guy behind the counter handed me the bag and two napkins and he smiled. The napkins are a rarity when it comes to the Penn Station popcorn. In this case, I definitely needed them since the popcorn was rather greasy. Not only that, but it was that distinctive color of subpar popcorn: bright yellow. What makes it that color? Popcorn is not naturally yellow. I don't think I want to know.

Despite its lackluster flavor, it was adequately coated in salt and therefore I went ahead and consumed the entire bag.

My mouth feels like it has been coated in grease and overall I'm not at all satisfied with today's $1.50 snack. Two thumbs down for the popcorn stand hiding behind the ATM at the Taco Bell and the Columbo stand on the lower level.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Penn Station movie-style popcorn

I'm sorry that I have been remiss in updating this site, my dear popcorn fans. I wish I could say that I have been busy traveling the world in search of the best popcorn, but sadly, that is not the case. Someday I hope to realize that dream, but for now I must settle for toiling away at my desk job and ordering popcorn online.

Movie theater pop from Penn Station Jeff broke one of the cardinal rules of being a Star Wars fan and insisted that we see Star Trek on opening day. I was fine with this as I was not breaking any of my own crazy rules by doing this.

We used to see movies all the time on Friday nights until we started going to Brooklyn for the delicious sushi on Friday nights. And even though the little theater in Brooklyn Heights has excellent popcorn (and decent movies, too), somehow we always wind up waddling home after dinner instead of going to a movie.

Anyway, the best thing about going to the movies on a weeknight is that I can pick up popcorn from Penn Station. This is especially beneficial when going to the Battery Park theater as their popcorn is particularly horrible. (Note: I will eat it anyway if I must, but I will scowl the entire time.)

There is one stand in Penn Station that sells popcorn in a movie style bag. This makes smuggling the 'corn into a theater even easier, since in the dark it is not obvious that you are eating smuggled 'corn.

The movie style popcorn stand is right next to the lower level entrance to K-Mart and it costs $1.50, just like at all the rest of the popcorn stands in Penn Station.

It's not the best tasting 'corn down there, but it has its perks. One: the bag is considerably bigger than the long, white bag sold at most of the Penn Station stands. Two: the movie-style bag is easier to eat out of in the dark.

The popcorn from this stand is a bit more yellow than nature undoubtedly created it and it's a bit too salty for my taste. After the bag is empty, my lips are puckery. That is not a good sign. But, it has a nice toothsome quality. And it's not nearly as horrible as the popcorn sold at Battery Park, nor as expensive, so it was still the better option.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Popping at home

pop with parmesan On Sunday, because it was dreary and we had nowhere we needed to be, we caught up on movies from Netflix and TiVo'd shows.

For the viewing of Caprica, I made us a big bowl of popcorn. I do not need a movie as an excuse to make popcorn at home. But it's nice to have popcorn while watching a movie in any location.

I do not require a fancy apparatus to make popcorn. I used to own a contraption for making popcorn on the stove that would stir the kernels around inside the pot. The best part about that contraption is that it had a little dish underneath the lid where I put butter to melt.

That contraption was a royal pain to clean. After leaving it uncleaned on top of the stove for a week one time (due to not wanting to deal with it), I decided to throw it away.

I don't need no fancy popcorn machine. All I need is a non-stick pot with a lid. Depending on my mood, I add a little olive oil or a little butter to the bottom of the pan, let that heat up a bit, and then add enough kernels to cover the bottom of the pot. I put on the lid and shake the pot vigorously back and forth every 30 seconds or so. It's certainly not an exact science. I keep shaking it periodically until the kernels have stopped popping.

Then I add salt and freshly grated parmesan. Sometimes I add some spicy red pepper powder. On Sunday I was feeling mellow, not spicy, so I kept it simple.

Of course it was perfectly popped, so there is no need to list those details this time.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

AMC Village 7

Yesterday, on our staycation, Jeff and I went to see a new movie produced by a friend of mine. TiMER premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival on Sunday. Unfortunately for us (fortunately for them), tickets to the premiere sold out very fast and we did not act quickly enough. Anyway, I highly recommend this movie and I know it will get picked up and widely released, so keep an eye out for it.

But I digress. This blog is not about movies. It's about popcorn -- the wonderful movie-watching snack.

Before we arrived at the movie yesterday, Jeff reminded me that AMC is not known for its stellar popcorn. True, I agreed. And I was full from the dumplings we had just stuffed in our mouths (from Dumpling Man). But then I remembered this blog! So, I took one for the team and ordered a small popcorn. (You are the team. You got that, right? There is no team here writing this blog. It's just me.)

The popcorn's yellow hue was a bit more dayglo bright than popcorn should be. I turned down the buttery topping (as usual), although the popcorn was still on the greasy side. It was not too salty. In fact, near the bottom of the bag, it started to seem downright unsalty. I received very few unpopped kernels and no burned pieces.

Maybe it was because it was the afternoon and the popcorn had not had a chance to go stale or maybe the popcorn at AMC Village 7 is not as bad as Jeff claims. Could it be that they uppped the qualitly for the Tribeca Film Festival?? I doubt it.

Overall, I would definitely buy the popcorn from this theater again, despite the pricetag of $9.75 for a small bag and a small icee. The price of popcorn has never, ever stopped me from buying it.

AMC Village 7 is on 11th St. and 3rd Ave. The 7 refers to the number of screens, not the cross street, a fact which I always forget.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Penn Station popcorn lunch

Penn Station pop This is my go-to popcorn stand in Penn Station. It is the popcorn stand closest to the 8th Avenue end of the lower concourse.

The guys who run the stand are always incredibly polite and nice. "Hello! Would you like salt?" they ask. The one serving up the popcorn shakes on a little salt and then follows up with, "is that enough?" Often he will shake on some salt after filling the bag halfway and then again when the bag is full.

The popcorn at this stand is consistenly good. It doesn't taste buttery, nor does it leave much grease on my fingers. This is an impressive feat because I have spied them pouring the butter-flavored grease into the popping machine. I believe that popcorn should be flavorful, but the taste of butter should not be apparent. If you can taste the butter (on whatever you're eating) there's too much on there.

Since the salt is added as the bag is filled, the salt distribution can be inconsistent, but it's nothing that a few shakes of the bag can't fix.

In the bag were a couple slightly burned pieces, but no more than three of them, and not badly enough burned to bother me. There were only a few completely unpopped kernels that I could not eat. There were about eight slightly popped kernels, which are probably not a good idea to eat, but which I do, happily.

Unforuntely, despite its so-called "king" size, it is not quite enough popcorn to satisfy me for lunch. Two bags might be pushing it, though.


I have had this idea for years to start a popcorn review site, but that may never happen at the snail's pace that I move. And then today I happened upon Frites Fan and I realized that starting a popcorn blog is the way to go until I can manage to stop being so lazy. Maybe one day I will start that popcorn review site. Or, more likely, someone else will beat me to it and make millions off of it.

So, this is the deal.

I adore popcorn.

I am not a huge fan of adding too much to it besides salt, but I am open to toppings. I am less enamoured of the sweet toppings, although I will not turn down some good caramel corn. I do like a good cheesy popcorn. For a while there in college, I was eating several bags of Smartfood popcorn every day. The little bags were only a quarter, which is pretty much free, in my book.

When I make popcorn at home, I make it in a non-stick pot on the stove. I like to add salt, freshly grated Parmesan, and a little chili powder.

I have and will continue to gorge on popcorn until I feel sick, even if it's bad movie theater popcorn. It has to be really, really bad popcorn for me to not finish a bag of it that I buy at the movies.

I consider myself very lucky to work near Penn Station (NYC) as there are multiple popcorn vendors there. There are many reasons to hate working in this part of town, but the popcorn vendors (and Korea town) are the highlights that make it worthwhile.

I am incapable of going to the movies without buying some popcorn, even if I know from past experience that a certain theater has horrible popcorn. It just smells so good! I am unable to resist.

This blog is dedicated to my mother, who is a fellow popcorn lover, and who has taught all her dogs to appreciate popcorn as well.

Popcorn is so delicious

I could eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Every day.

Of course I do not because my mama raised me right. Which means that I feel guilty if I don't eat vegetables and fruit every day. (Full disclosure: I fail on some days.)

Today I will eat my favorite lunch. You have a hunch what that is. Stay tuned in case you are stumped.

About Me

My photo

Has very definite opinions about: popcorn, beer, sushi, traveling, air conditioning, undergarments, tourists in Manhattan. 

I've been calling myself "a writer" on and off again since I was 6 years old. I'm currently using this space to practice doing more of that, even if it's just spewing junk at you. But  you've been forewarned!

Attention beer people: As much as I love beer, I don't post very much about beer. I prefer drinking it to writing about it. 

I post photos quite regularly to Instagram and sometimes to flickr and I don't usually cross-post them here.