Saturday, January 1, 2011

Eating Until the End

Monday, December 27, 2010

The Great Blizzard kept me within the bounds of our upper West Side love nest. With no newspaper delivery, I didn’t even set foot in the hallway all day.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

English doesn’t make it through the door at Chinatown Snacks Inc., 26 East Broadway. After the name appears on the sign outside, it disappears. The menu is entirely in Chinese. When I saw that everyone (Chinese) at the 8 small tables was eating noodle soup with stuff in it, it simplified my choices. Soup was a good idea on this post-blizzard day, so I asked the waitress for soup with chicken. Well, she hasn’t gotten to animals yet in her English vocabulary lessons. Several customers, inspired by the sight of me flapping my arms and thrusting my beak forward, tried to interpret, but no chicken for the soup. Pointing to other tables, I was able to order plain soup with noodles ($3). This proved very satisfactory. The large bowl had very hot soup and lots of very thin rice noodles, mei fun. I did not put any of the six sauces that were on the table into the soup, because it had a pleasant mild taste of its own. On the way out, I noticed that the cook up front had containers of a dozen or so items that could be added to the basic broth. Since most appeared to be of the "don’t ask, don’t tell" variety, I didn’t feel that I missed out. None, after all, looked like chicken, that is the outside of chicken.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

If you look very carefully at the sign that extends over the triple-wide storefront at 195-199 Centre Street you can read Lunch Box Buffet. But, well before you try to discern this faded patch, you will see 5-Combination written in very large, still clear letters, several times. This is a bigger sister to the joint on Division Street, which I visited on September 14, 2010. For $4.50 I got a choice of 5 dishes, from about 50 set out cafeteria-style. If you wanted white rice, it would substitute for one dish. Soup is also included, but I passed, recalling how flavorless it was at the other place. I chose two chicken dishes, one maybe chicken dish, one roast pork dish and one egg roll, which might have been put to better use as a doggie toy. The place was very busy with Chinese, Latinos and tourists looking for cheap food. I was merely gathering data.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Jup She, the Korean Plate, 171 Grand Street, is at the corner of Baxter Street, just across from the wonderful Edwardian baroque building that used to be Police Headquarters. This is apparently the only Korean restaurant in Chinatown and it holds its own. Only about one third of the 50 or so customers were Korean. A cup of smoky tasting tea, a small dish of marinated shredded carrots, a small dish of kim chi and two slices of cold omelet were put down even before I ordered. The lunch menu was easily navigated. For $12.95 you got a stew (soup), a main dish and white rice. Miso soup instead of the more complex stews saved one dollar. I had seafood Soon Du Boo, a very peppery soup with lots of creamy tofu, onions, scallions and one complete shrimp, head to toe. This soup (stew) was served bubbling in a cast iron bowl which kept its temperature very hot. My main course was Dok Bulgogi Special, pieces of marinated chicken breast, stir fired with onions, scallions, carrots in a slightly sweet sauce (I chose mild over spicy). I haven’t had Korean food in at least 25 years and today it was a good choice for my last lunch in 2010.

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