Friday, September 27, 2013

Cost Conscious

Monday, September 23, 2013
The most interesting thing at lunch today was not lunch, a tasteless, though cooked-to-order, plate of teriyaki beef over rice ($5.50) at the food counter at the side rear of Kam Man, 200 Canal Street, the Zabar’s of Chinatown.  After walking up Orchard Street almost to Houston Street in search of a new restaurant, I was merely interested in getting it over by then, not too concerned about the food.  However, I was rewarded when reading “House of Stew” on the cash register receipt, a name not used before on my prior visits.  This entitles me to count one more find in this (ad)venture, reinforced by yet another name on the menu, Kam Man Hibachi CafĂ©.

What made this occasion interesting was the young Frenchman, and his girlfriend, who tried to express in a language foreign to both me and the counterman what he was looking for.  It sounded to me like Essex, and, in the aftermath of the most serious days on the Jewish calendar, my mind did not immediately turn to thoughts of Sex.  Rather, I thought that he was looking for Essex Street, possibly to visit my mother’s birthplace at 13 Essex Street, still standing, but having recently awarded each apartment its own toilet.  Non, non, he said as he gestured to demonstrate his goal.  E-sex, e-sex, he repeated, as his hand creeped along the counter surface.  Aha!  Insects, the counterman and I called out together.  Yes, the Frenchman sought to dine out on insects.  With no regret, we told him that insects were not served in Chinatown, knowingly that is, and bid him adieu.
Tuesday, September 24, 2013
What a contrast with the scene yesterday when Blue Bloods was filming an episode of its cops and robbers/lawyers show.  This morning, real people were occupying the courthouse steps, union construction workers protesting a new project that was trying to avoid paying the going wage for its labor force.  Hard hats covered hair that was unlikely to have been fashionably styled; wind-burned faces replaced cosmetically-bronzed ones; and, Levi Strauss seemed to be the fashion designer of choice rather than Giorgio Armani.  If there were any television cameras around, the film footage would not survive past this evening’s news broadcasts.  Solidarity forever!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Currently, there is a case awaiting a military court martial involving a one-star US Army general accused of adultery and sexually assaulting a female captain under his command.  It seems that the two conducted their affair for several years before breaking up.  What interested me most was the disclosure of some intimate communications between them.  Notably, she called him “pappa panda sexy pants.”  This distresses me a bit because the best sobriquet for me heard around the Palazzo di Gotthelf is Grandpa Alan, a title that I am proud to bear, but one unlikely to appear on the cover of a Harlequin romance.  

On Wednesday, the New York Times includes a food and dining section.  Today, the story begins: “There are some who think a platter of bagels, cream cheese and lox is an ideal self-contained meal.”  Well, that’s me and often, throughout the year, we provide just that to favored guests.  When there are enough favored guests, America’s Favorite Epidemiologist goes to the trouble to cook up a world-class lukshen kugel (noodle pudding) to round out the meal.  So, if you have been invited only for a turkey dinner, take heart.  We have been watching your table manners and weighing your expressions of gratitude in order to determine whether you qualify for bagels and lox at a future date.

Lesson In Chinese Economics
Eight of us met at Royal Seafood, 103 Mott Street, for some dim sum today.  When we finally stopped eating, we found that we had been served 22 plates, duplicates in several cases, amounting to about a dozen discrete food items.  We paid a total of $80, $10 each, which included a 48% tip resulting from having a lawyer do the math rather than a businessperson.  However, no one complained about the quality or quantity of the food in his $10 lunch.

Thursday, September 26, 2013
I paid a visit this afternoon to my removers of old teeth and installers of new teeth in anticipation of our trip abroad next week.  Conscious of my experience with Greek and Bulgarian dentistry, extra-heavy layers of glue were placed on some of my temporary teeth in case the Sicilian pasta proves more than al dente.

Friday, September 25, 2013
After enjoying that very expensive sushi last week at Sushi of Gari, I wanted more sushi, but at a lower price.  So, I returned to Tokyo Mart, Inc., 91 Mulberry Street, a big Japanese supermarket full of imported goods and a tiny sushi bar just inside the entrance.  Almost all the sushi business is meant to go with a constant procession of buyers.  But, there is one low stool in front of the chef and a counter with three stools on the other side of the entrance.  The menu has attractive color pictures of 37 combinations and 5 large party platters with familiar ingredients.  The prices too are not surprising, not the lowest you’ve seen and far from the highest.  What commends Tokyo Mart is the quality and freshness, partly a result of its turnover.  I had nearly a #1, two pieces of yellowtail sushi replacing the two pieces of salmon pictured, along with two more pieces of salmon sushi and a tuna/avocado roll cut into seven pieces ($8.50), and a #4, seven pieces of eel sushi ($8).  This was a lot to eat, but no grain of rice was left behind.

No comments:

Post a Comment