Monday, June 6, 2011
Happy Anniversary to (alphabetically) David & Irit.
On a long walk to a restaurant that wasn’t there when I got there, I discovered an architectural gem. Kehila Kedosh Janina is a compact, two-story building, covered with tan brick, built in 1926-27, at 280 Broome Street, just a few feet west of Allen Street. According to the landmarking plaque on the front, the building is the only Romaniote synagogue in the Western Hemishpere. While dictionary.com did not know from Romaniote, Wikipedia says that it means "a Jewish population who have lived in the territory of today’s Greece and neighboring areas with large Greek populations for more than 2,000 years . . . [whose] languages were Yevanic, a Greek dialect, and Greek." Most were murdered in World War II.
According to the synagogue’s web site (www.kkjsm.com), group tours with "a traditional Greek-Jewish kosher lunch, consisting of Greek salad, yaprakes, bourekas, kourlouia, seasonal fruit, hot and cold beverages" are available on Tuesday, Thursdays and Sundays for $18 a person. Are you coming with me?
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
With the temperature in the 90’s, I was not going to head off in new directions to discover another restaurant, but I got lucky. As I looked down Mott Street, I saw a new sign announcing Wo Hop City Inc., and saw about a dozen tall plants bedecked with red ribbons on the sidewalk, the Chinese sign of a simcha, where Wo Hop has stood for centuries at 15 Mott Street. Inside, there were more plants, balloons and freshly-printed menus with slightly higher prices, but still saying plain Wo Hop. On the preponderance of the evidence, I deem Wo Hop City Inc. as a new restaurant, added to my list.
I ordered crispy fried chicken half ($11.95), which, as in most Chinese restaurants, was roasted chicken, not breaded, deep-fat fried. The dish was pretty good, just above fair. Some of the joints were still a bit red, needing a few more minutes in the oven. The chicken was served with half a juicy lemon, but no spicy salt, a frequent accompaniment. I used the good mustard and watery duck sauce to add flavor.
Even with the new name and temporarily-unsoiled menus, Wo Hop City Inc. is going to lose its place as one of my go-to joints. Wo Hop downstairs, 17 Mott Street, has proved much more reliable recently as a source of delightful dishes.
Thursday, June 9, 2011
I was in court this morning, not so unusual you may say. However, today, I was a litigant. Gotthelf vs. 170 West End Avenue, an action to recover for property damage to Palazzo di Gotthelf, was heard in Small Claims Court at 111 Centre Street, just up the block. From March 2007 through November 2010, the bathroom attached to the Contessa’s chamber has had three serious leaks from the bathroom above. We accepted our building’s mealy-mouthed, weasel-worded disclaimers of responsibility on the first two occasions, even as it made cursory repairs each time. Now, contrary to Mae West’s adage, Enough is Enough. The case was heard by an arbitrator, who reserved decision. Let's hope that justice will prevail.
I ate lunch at Excellent Dumpling House, 111 Lafayette Street, which could be fairly renamed the Fast and Excellent Dumpling House. The scallion pancake ($2.25) was wonderful, though greasy, or maybe wonderful because it was greasy. The cold noodle with sesame oil ($4.95) was good, a large portion, but too soupy, leaving some nice sesame spots on my pale yellow shirt even though my face was only inches above the bowl. Next time a smock.
Friday, June 10, 2011
I started the morning stationed over at 71 Thomas Street and had scoped out at least two restaurant possibilities in West Chinatown a/k/a Tribeca. However, when I asked Super Clerk Marty to join me for lunch, he reminded me that today was the annual "Celebrating The Caren Aronowitz Unity in Diversity Program." As a practical matter, this means that the entire architecturally-distinguished rotunda at 60 Centre Street would be devoted to free food supplied by various organizations related to court activities, such as bar associations and employee affinity groups. As a result, the premises were jammed with appropriately diverse diversity proponents eager to honor and respect people unlike themselves as long as they could cook good.
I had some franks in blankets, potato knish, potato latkes, pork and chives buns, roast beef wrap, fried chicken, potato salad, egg roll, chicken tikka masala (a tiny portion from the bottom of the serving tray), Vietnamese summer roll, and a biscuit with turkey, or something similar doled out by a law school classmate whose business card accompanied the food. Out of concern for my carbohydrate intake, I skipped all the dishes based on rice or noodles. I managed to carry some random pastries back to my desk for the long afternoon of legal research.
I’ve just looked at last year’s report for this event, held June 4, 2010, and note a remarkable constantcy in my consumption, just like a true conservative.