Monday, May 9, 2011
Yesterday, Mother’s Day, America’s Favorite Epidemiologist solidified her position as America’s Best Daughter-In-Law.
Congee Chinese Restaurant, 98 Bowery, lists 27 varieties of congee, the Chinese porridge I’ve never been attracted to. Fortunately, it has about another 150 dishes on its menu and it was easy to choose a lunch dish. Actually, I added one dish to the menu when I saw that it had Singapore style mei fun and several versions of ho fun (chow fun), and asked if they could whip up Singapore style ho fun ($6.95). I received a large, excellent serving of this wonderful dish, laden with shrimp, pork, chicken, scallions, bean sprouts, and eggs, giving off the aroma of curry. The portion could have served and delighted two people.
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Today’s favorite news report deals with Newt Gingrich’s impending announcement of his presidential candidacy. Quoth the Times: "Mr. Gingrich is presenting himself as a family man who has embraced Catholicism and found God." They got it so wrong. By displaying this much Chutzpah, Gingrich is proclaiming to the world, "I am Jewish."
Thursday, May 12, 2011
It’s going to be a good day. Thomas Keller, renowned chef, is opening Bouchon Bakery, 1 Rockefeller Plaza (49th Street), today. Now, this ain’t Chinatown, but if you are queueing up early to see the Christmas tree, you must stop in. It’s supposed to serve sandwiches, salads and soups for take-out. But, that’s beside the point. Clearly visible in the photograph accompanying the squib in yesterday’s New York Times are pistachio macarons. I was privileged to sample this divine treat when America’s Favorite Epidemiologist bought one at the original Bouchon Bakery in Yountville, California, in February. (You might recall that I was still calling it a macaroon back then.) You need not be reminded that New York City is far removed from Yountville, but I hope that Keller’s fabled fastidiousness will compensate for the continental drift.
I walked for about 30 minutes before going into Big Wing Wong Restaurant, 300 Grand Street (presumably related to the institution of the same name at 102 Mott Street), just for the sake of walking. Big Wing Wong is long and narrow, with a dozen tables. I ordered shrimp dumplings ($1.75) and orange chicken over rice ($6). The portion of chicken was generous for a lunch dish, and the mound of rice next to (not under) it was even larger. When the dumplings arrived about 15 minutes later, I had already paid the check, reduced accordingly. No harm, no foul.
Friday, May 13, 2011
A.A. Yawa Sushi, 187 Church Street, is far west of Chinatown, but it is an Asian restaurant south of Canal Street and north of Chambers Street, so I am including it in my inventory. It is also a helpful reference for those serving jury duty at 71 Thomas Street, where I spent my morning aiding a judge. I don’t think this is Alan Alda’s private restaurant, or a Japanese detox center, but otherwise the meaning of the name eludes me.
The restaurant is small, 10 tables, mostly for 2 people, and a small sushi bar. Service is friendly and quick, although all the sushi is prepared to order. I had a lunch special, 3 rolls and miso soup for $11. I ordered a tuna roll, spicy salmon skin roll and a yellowtail and scallion roll, and enjoyed them all.
I was so persuasive yesterday that, on the way home from work, I went to the inauguration of Bouchon Bakery. It was very busy, located diagonally across from the Rockefeller Center skating rink. There is a risk from the other side of the street, however, where the NBC studio broadcasting the Today Show sits. Until at least high noon, you might encounter Kathie Lee Gifford, neé Epstein, and sour the sweetest confection Thomas Keller concocted.
As a tribute to America’s Favorite Epidemiologist, who submitted an important grant proposal earlier in the day, I bought three macarons exclusively for her, pistachio, caramel and I forgot. Later in the evening, she consumed two of the three. I desisted entirely, except for the fabulous chocolate chocolate chip cookie I bought for myself.