Tuesday, January 31, 2012
I was back at work at the usual time this morning, although uncertain of how long I could sit upright. The first thing to work on was a matter that I had almost completed before taking off, so I was spared the need for original thinking or analysis. The only mental exercise I had this morning was deciding whether to eat Chinese, Vietnamese, Italian or American for my first lunch back. In honor of a successful trip, I chose Pho 88, 51 Bayard Street (April 18, 2011), a Vietnamese restaurant still in its first year. I had a big bowl of their house special Pho, beef noodle soup ($6.50), and fried shrimp dumplings ($4.75), not found on the menu. Both were excellent and served with tea at no extra cost, a practice unknown in Vietnam it seems.
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Kam Man, 200 Canal Street, the Zabar’s of Chinatown, opened a food counter recently in the rear of its ground floor (December 22, 2011). I returned for sushi, possibly to balance China, Vietnam and Japan among Asia’s culinary superpowers. I had three rolls, spicy tuna, salmon skin and eel ($9). Everything was fresh, made to order and amply-sized, 8 pieces about one inch wide to a roll. Right now, Kam Man is offering some incentives, such as dumplings or a drink for a little extra. With the understanding that seating is only on stools at a busy narrow counter, Kam Man is a good choice for sushi.
Thursday, February 2, 2012
Sam’s Deli, 30 Mulberry Street, opened about one year ago with a few tables, but mostly serving people running in to take a sandwich back to their desk. It is the closest eatery to several courthouses according to whether you emerge from a front or back door. I’ve stopped in a dozen or so times for a decent hand-carved brisket sandwich. Today, as I was on the way to Mott Street, I noticed a menu pasted in Sam’s window. It listed Chinese dishes, mostly noodles, in addition to its sandwiches, so I went in and ordered Singapore chow fun, not technically on the menu, but doable as they offered Singapore mei fun and beef chow fun. The portion was very large ($6.50), the noodles too mushy, the curry taste almost indistinguishable, but I liked it. Maybe because the portion was very large.
Last night was the first time I shopped in Fairway since returning home. In the past 2 ½ weeks they made a noticeable change to the area around their bakery, they opened up space. This follows small gestures in other parts of the store to introduce some room in their fabled narrow aisles. I’m not sure that I approve. Offering comfort to claustrophobes and others who feared rubbing elbows, tuchases and other body parts with complete strangers was never a goal of mine.
Friday, February 3, 2012
Boaz, the Super Bowl Baby’s birthday. Appropriately enough, his party will be on Sunday when we hope Big Blue does it again. We are going to Massachusetts for the party and the game, equipped with Giants gear, otherwise unavailable within 100 miles of Boston, to outfit our boys.
I was apprehensive when I saw the sign in the window of 69 Bayard Restaurant on Tuesday that it was closed until February 3rd. As a New Yorker, I seen such signs announcing vacations or renovations as the mark of the Grim Reaper. Alternatively, I considered that 69 Bayard might take the occasion of the coming of the Year of the Dragon to redecorate, easily funded by the currency pasted to its walls. That would allow them to start fresh with bare walls awaiting the affixing of pictures of George, Abe and others. That thought made me regret using all my Dong before leaving Vietnam, thus unable to include Ho among other national leaders. Well, none of the above. The restaurant closed simply to give its staff well-deserved time off for the holiday.
While one waiter was a little slow refilling my tea cup, the chef seemed to benefit from the respite and produced shrimp egg foo young ($7.95) of a high grade.