Friday, September 11, 2015

Don & Dick - Happy Warriors

Monday, September 7, 2015
No labor on Labor Day.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015
Since Labor Day is the symbolic end of summer, I planned to be finished with my exploration of Sesame Street by now. However, this week’s weather forecast is decidedly summer-like, hot and humid, so I will continue consuming and comparing cold sesame noodles for the next few days, at least. That means I finally put Wo Hop, 17 Mott Street, the Holy Temple of Chinatown, to the test. Well, a partial test, because, as I have so often written, Wo Hop represents the best in classic Chinatown cuisine, raising the ordinary to the heights of gustatory pleasure. Not everything they serve is perfect. I’ve noted that their beef is best prepared when sliced thin, beef chow fun or beef with scallions, for instance, while their beef in chunks, Szechuan orange flavored beef, for example, is often tough and stringy. Still, overall, Wo Hop is the place for won ton soup, fried won tons, spare ribs, chow fun (any flavor), fried rice (any flavor), egg foo young (any flavor), honey crispy chicken, beef with scallions, shrimp in lobster sauce and always starting with their incomparable crispy noodles dipped in the very hot mustard and the gooey duck sauce.

The cold sesame noodles ($5.25) were so pretty, as you can see for yourself.

The portion was very large, as is true generally at Wo Hop. There were sesame seeds and chives generously sprinkled on top. Unfortunately, the taste was bland (although hot mustard and soy sauce helped a lot, as it almost always does). That wonderful peanut butter flavor was missing, however, leaving us with a large plate of wet noodles. The sauce had the virtue of sticking to the noodles, though, posing no threat to shirt or tie. B+ for size and appearance.

Tom Adcock sends along this wise commentary on Stephen Colbert (you remembered to program your DVR?).

Wednesday, September 9, 2015
Kim Davis, Kim Kardashian, Kim Il Sung. Do you think that they might go on the road together?

For those of us of a certain age, thinking about how to greet the inevitable, the following is instructive.

The Boyz Club met at Jing Fong, 20 Elizabeth Street, the dim sum palace the size of a football field. Eight of us ate and ate. I tried to keep count of the number of items that we consumed, but the cart ladies surrounded us and kept pushing plates forward faster than I could tally. In turn, the plates were vacuumed clean at an equally fast pace. Fortunately, supply and demand were unaffected by China’s economic woes.

Headline: "Migrant Tide Bringing Out Europe’s Best and Worst"
Vying for the worst has been Hungary with the Prime Minister and a Roman Catholic bishop rejecting Pope Francis’s call for compassion and charity towards refugees. Contrast this response with what the Central Intelligence Agency reported about the Hungarian Revolution of October 1956; "in the months following, it is estimated that 188,000 Hungarians found refuge in Austria and 18,000 in Yugoslavia. As of 1 September 1957, approximately 35,000 of these refugees had accepted asylum in the US."

Thursday, September 10, 2015
Who has been starting the rumor that Donald Trump applied for a Purple Heart for the attack of acne that he experienced at New York Military Academy, which served as his functional equivalent to service in the US armed forces.

Wok Wok Southeast Asian Kitchen, 11 Mott Street, got my weekly visit today. By now, the hostess recognized me and I got tea in a nice cast iron pot, without any sign of a tea bag. Continuing my way through the menu, I ordered Soy Sauce Chicken w. Fried Egg Stone Rice ($8.75), described as slow-braised soy sauce chicken, mushroom, and Chinese sausage. I also found slivers of ginger in the sauce. These ingredients sit on rice and are baked in a stone bowl longer than it takes the ordinary dish to be prepared. Once arrived, the food stays hot (very hot) for as long as it takes to eat it. I was still blowing on every forkful more than ten minutes after I started eating. The portion wasn’t very big, but the care needed to handle each bite without hurting myself made it seem that much more food was in front of me. The pieces of chicken were odds and ends, with skin and bones included. Ultimately, the (Malaysian) authenticity of the dish was more memorable than the flavor.

The restaurant was very busy, an encouraging sign. I asked the hostess about the patrons, all Asian appearing to me. She confirmed that they all seemed to be, like her, Malaysian of Chinese lineage. I promised to return next week.

Dick "Mr. Wrong" Cheney has published a book harshly critical of Barack Obama’s foreign policy just in case you were sentimental for the years 2001-2009.

There will always be an England:
"Woman discovers ‘boyfriend’ of two years is woman when she removes blindfold during sex"

By the way, while Dick Cheney did not expose himself to the risks that Donald Trump did at New York Military Academy, Cheney had strong feelings about the American involvement in Vietnam. "Was it a noble cause? Yes, indeed, I think it was." Yet, "I had other priorities in the ‘60s than military service." And, in order to pursue those possibly-nobler-than-Vietnam priorities, Cheney sought and received five deferments from the draft during the Vietnam War, until he aged out. Fight on, Dick!

Friday, September 11, 2015
What better way to end the old year than with a new joint.  Formosa Café, 34 Eldridge Street, is primarily a beverage shop serving some snacks.  Its featured food item is a rice ball, actually shaped like a hot dog bun, filled with teriyaki beef or chicken.  I had instead Taiwanese popcorn chicken ($4) and shrimp shu mai ($3.25),  The chicken would have been very good if it were not very salty.  The shrimp shu mai resembled neither shrimp nor shu mai (normally a steamed wrapper around chopped shrimp and pork).  It looked and tasted like a scallop cylinder, lightly coated with rice flour and deep fried.  I bought a mango slush ($3.25) to off set the saltiness of the chicken.  

Every flat surface except the counter is painted matte black and the furniture is mostly black.  Yet, the full height and width front window brought in a lot of light.  There are two six-foot long high tables in the center of the room, with six stools each.  Along the opposite walls are banquettes covered with steel-gray, reptile-print leatherette.  Most of the customers were Chinese youth, dallying before going home to algebra. 

With that, we bid 5775 farewell.  If you choose to pray next week, consider requesting enlightenment for the Domestic Enemies of Sanity, the Stanley Cup for the Rangers and strength for those struggling to spread peace and justice.  We'll save the hard stuff for later.

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