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Cyndi Allison - Grill Girl

What's New with Weber Grills
Had a Grand Time at the Weber Media Event

New York City Top of the Rock
New York City From Top of the Rock

 

NYC Central Park Boat House
Central Park Boat House

 


Chef Tripp Rion and Cyndi Allison

 

Weber Planked Grilled Trout Fish
Weber Plank Grilled Trout

 

Weber Kitchen Outdoors
Weber - Build an Outdoor Kitchen

One of the highlights of the past year was getting to go to the Weber media event last fall where the Weber Grill company rolled out their new products. While I’ve gone to quite a few media events, I’ve not been to a roll out in New York City. And, I’ve never had a chance to see the brand new Weber products before they landed in stores. Whew boy. I was excited to put it mildly.

Getting Ready for the Weber Trip to the Big Apple

I am always a stress poodle when I’m headed off on a big trip, and if it’s more than a couple of hours, I count it as a big trip. Back in the day, I thought nothing of traveling all over the world. After 15 years here in this small town, a trip to the bathroom is an excursion.

After packing and then packing again (since I couldn’t zip my backpack) and then digging through to make sure I did pack my toothbrush (which I had), I was ready to head to the Charlotte Douglas airport. It was dark when I left, since I had a fairly early flight and since I always allow a half hour of so to get lost or confused.

All went well, and I arrived at the airport. I was not even selected for the pat down like I was when I went to Chicago a couple of years ago. I do not look like a terrorist one bit, so I think I make a good pick to prove that no profiling is going on. Even the big old guard who tried to look mean had to crack a smile when I showed him all the stuff in my big red carry bag.

Off to the Double Tree Hotel

My original itinerary had me staying at the Waldorf=Astoria which gave me the big head until the travel agent called about a little bed bug problem (now solved). I don’t care if it’s the White House, I’m just not down with bugs and especially ones that crawl out at night and suck my blood. No thanks. I gladly took the new hotel suggested.

A cab driver hauled me over to the hotel. I think he drove probably faster than the airplane. We didn’t wreck, so it’s all good. I couldn’t wait to get to the city and look around, so the quicker the better.

The hotel was nice. I do suspect a hippie from the 1960s decorated. Things were shaped like I’ve never seen including the trashcan. And, they got rather interesting with the colors as well. Much better than dull I say. I get tired of everything looking just the same.

My room was up high. All the better to see the city. I can’t imagine why anyone would want a room on the first few floors. Lord I love a room where I can see what is going on.

Waiting on My Brother – My Bestest Buddy

My Mom does not like me off in big cities alone. Yes. I’m an adult. I think it is a momma thing. My brother is always glad to help out with such dilemmas like sis off gallivanting, so Matthew drove 8 hours from Ohio to make sure I did not get mugged.

Matthew’s not been to New York City, and he has friends who live there. So that was a win/win. I had a body guard (though I suspect I outweigh my brother – but I’m not getting on the scales to check that theory), and he got to see the city and his buddies.

My brother arrived just in time for us to head off to see the play Billy Elliot. It was a good show, but it was not near as good as Lion King. That’s the one I went to the only other time I went to New York City. I don’t care how old you are, that is one rocking Broadway show.  

We then walked all around, and we even got to see that naked dancing cowboy which I honestly thought was made up. No. He’s there. But, he’s not actually naked. He has on some underwear thankfully.

Off to Central Park Boathouse for the Weber Media Event

The next morning Weber sent a car out to get me in front of the hotel. They likely feared I would get lost en route, and that is a possibility, although I navigated New York City pretty well the other time I visited (long ago). It was, however, really nice not to get the maps out and spend a long time trying to figure out north and south.

I am surprised the paparazzi did not follow us in the car. The windows were blacked out in the back, so I looked like hot stuff (not that anyone could see me in there). The driver was rather stoic. He put me to mind of the men who play mafia characters on television. I did not mention this though, because I thought that might perhaps be rude.

At Central Park, the driver had an enter pass. Whoa. I am going to get the big head at this rate. Who drives right into Central Park and right up to the Boat House door? Well, we did. I’ll bet they don’t let me do that in my Jeep next time I’m up there. I think I should try it just to see, but I’m fearing I’d just get arrested for that.

The driver enquired as to when to arrive to fetch me, but I told him that I was hooking up with my brother and friends at the park after the Weber event. And, goodness knows when or where we’d be. I told him that I’d find my way back and thanked him.

The Weber Grill Media Event

When I walked in the back patio door (private party area) at the Boat House, Sherry recognized me. I guess my photos online do, indeed, look like me. Sherry was just as warm in person as she has been in emails and on the phone. I felt right at home, and it was terrific to meet her in person.

There were several Weber folks in the main room, and they were all super helpful in answering questions (even the moronic questions one gushy reporter was asking that all included the words “how cute” – like new knobs are just “so cute” - ugh).

The two things that really caught my eye at the Weber media event were the cast iron drop ins for the Weber Kettle and the grill kitchen items. There was a sear plate and wok that fit right in the center of the Kettle grate where you could lift out a circle in the grate and do lots of new outdoor dishes. The kitchen items were sold in modular units. You could build an outdoor kitchen with these pieces at the fraction of the price of stick built. Thumbs up on both ideas I say.

I don’t think I have enough porch room to do the kitchen thing (though I’d love to), but I may spring for the higher end grate with the wok pieces. Let me see how that next lottery ticket works out (-:

Yes. Weber Did Feed Us.

What is a Weber grill showcase event without grilled food? Some companies might roll that way (tease but not share) – but not Weber. They had several grills going on the patio, and they were making some heap delicious grilled food.

Everyone was going wild for the scallops, but that is one of my specialty dishes. So, I must say they were very good, but they weren’t my favorite. The grilled dish that I fell in love with was the oysters. I can’t get the boys to even talk about those, so it was a real treat to get oysters. And, these were top notch. The grilled trout was also wonderful, and I even loved the vegetarian dish which was some kind of topping on grilled bread.

Well Howdy There

While I was enjoying the Weber grilled foods, I started talking to Tripp Rion. He was the Weber chef and made all the arrangements on the food for this media event. He noticed right off (probably not too hard) that I was from the South. He is too. I must say it’s nice to hear a Southern drawl up in New York City, so we hit it right off. Now, we’re Facebook friends. Be sure to check out his Twisted Food blog. He’s one heck of a chef and funny on top of that.

Time to Call it a Wrap at the Weber Event

I must say I had a blast at the Weber media party. It was terrific to meet everyone, see the new products, and try out some new gourmet dishes grilled on the Webers.

Weber sent me off with a cute gift bag as well. I now have Weber salt and pepper shakers and a cocktail glass. They gave me a jar of olives stuffed with bleu cheese. Yum. I hadn’t checked a bag, so I knew I could not carry those on in my backpack. My brother’s friend loves olives, so I gifted her those. She’s young, so I know that will be a treat that she’d not usually get.

Off to See the Big Apple

After I made notes and got my backpack repacked, I called my brother on the cell phone. He found me at the sailboat pond, and then his friends found us too. I’m not huge on cell phones, but they did come in handy that day.

We looked all over Central Park. Matthew’s friend even took us to the weather station where they get the readings for New York weather. Matthew’s friend is a tad on the academic side. Well, it may be more than a tad. But, I thought it was cool to see the weather station.

After Central Park we just wandered around the city and then took a ride up on The Rock. I must say that’s one heck of a view. It was a great way to end the night as the sun set while we were up there looking around.

Start Your Engines – It’s Time to Head Home

Full of great food and lots of wonderful memories, I caught a cab back to the airport for the red eye flight. If you want to find the airport pretty quiet, that is the time to go.

I followed the guy in front of me who got patted down. The pat down guy asked if he could help me, since I was just standing there behind the guy who got tagged. I told the airport worker that I thought I was in the pat down line. He laughed and said that guys can’t pat down women but that he got off at 11 (this guy was young enough to be my son – by the way). Everyone waiting cracked up over that one. I told him that I’d take a rain check.

On the plane, I got to sit with the drunkest banker probably ever to be not passed out cold. Since he was over 6 feet tall, we ended up a tad cozy, since the only place his leg fit was over in my side. Fortunately he was the funny type drunk and not the jerky type. For a banker he could not count very well, so I had to help him count his money out of his billfold to pay for his drink. He offered to get me a drink too, but I passed.

About 20 minutes before we landed, I dozed off. We hit turbulence. I had one of those reflex jerk movements and nailed the drunk guy in the chest with the back of my hand - hard. If he was asleep or passed out, I’ll bet that was a surprise. I did apologize – of course. I’m not really big enough to do much damage fortunately.

Now – That was a Adventure

I’ll never forget my Weber media trip. From start to finish it was wonderful. I flew in one day and out the next. Bet you would never have guessed that. Give me a few hours, and I can make the most of them.

Thanks to Weber for inviting me and making it all super. Thanks to my brother for driving all that way to hang out. Thanks to Matthew’s friends for helping us find all kinds of neat stuff we would have missed. And, thanks to the people of New York City. You are gracious, friendly, and helpful.

 

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