I think the true measure of whether you’re staying long enough in a foreign destination is having the luxury of returning again and again to the same restaurant, as I returned this week to No. 33 Café in Norwich, England to eat yogisha soup and will do before we leave.
A round up of eight under $10 snack sightings in Manhattan and Brooklyn--from Apulian Panzerotti bites to salted buttermilk biscuits, yet another cheese puff and a Korean pancake that inspired great hope, and then despair.
Ramen Thukpa in Greenwich Village is one of those rarities: a restaurant or café that serves inexpensive, delicious food in a high rent neighborhood. It’s the kind of place you fear is always on the brink of closing, because it’s just too good to be true.
It seems ironic that the best croissant I’ve had in recent memory comes from a British chain sporting a French name. Pret a Manger (Ready to Eat) or “Pret” as the Brits call it is a 350-store chain that opened a franchise in our Morningside Heights neighbourhood, much to my chagrin, at first.
It’s the end of February and thank goodness. Cold, bleak, February is the “hump month” of winter. All the more reason to find occasions for joy during it, as we did when, once again, we embarked on an ethnic snack journey to celebrate my sister Carol’s birthday--this time to Indonesian Elmhurst.
This past Friday I’d had a productive writing session at the green table, swam forty laps at my health club, and I felt I deserved to treat myself to a take-in dinner for a date night with myself. I decided on Mama's Too the new Sicilian pizza spot everyone on the upper Upper West Side (above 96th st.) has been raving about.
Perhaps because she was alarmed at the pictures of my lumpen breadsticks, but also because I was so insistent on wanting to learn how to make the ultimate in cheese puffery--the pão de queijo, Tina Luisa extended an invitation to learn in her home just a block from Scandinavia House, an hour before our meeting. I readily agreed, so taken, again, with the gemütlichkeit of our group, that a virtual stranger would invite me over to cook in her kitchen.
So when the chef passed a plate with two plump chicken livers, each the size of a large Medjool date, and said, “you’re not going to eat these tomorrow, are you?” gesturing toward the garbage bin, I said, "I sure am!" Ever one to take up a challenge, I told him I would put them in a "perfect sandwich." "Why not with hard-boiled egg?" he offered. Cheep + Cheep = Very Cheap indeed.