I cannot say I have been cooking extremely well at home, but I have been cooking and creating.
Creation#1: Ham and Egg Sandwich with Side of Ham and Egg
Creation #2: Fake Skyline Chili (if you have just some pasta and just some chili this is a good way to fill yourself way up)
Remember real skyline? And, sigh, real roadtrips?
Creation #3: Roasted Cauliflower and Linguine in Faked Browned Butter Sauce
Cauliflower is my favorite thing to roast right now.
Something I really like is when good sandwich chains that aren't in New York finally come to New York. For example, we've finally got Potbelly now. You should see their Financial District operation in operation at lunch time. The line was about 30 deep when I got there and I had my sandwich in under five minutes? The secret: For one, a lady with a tablet takes everyone's order while they're in line, by the time you're at the counter your sandwich is ready for toppings. They've also got live entertainment, a lending library, and if you happen to be eating at a counter there's this person just in charge of the dining area that will offer to find you a seat. Plus these sandwiches are good.
One of my favorite things about my trip to Disney World in 2007 was eating at the Earl of Sandwich sandwich shop. I think it was the only Earl of Sandwich in the world at the time. Now there's one in midtown. It is not as charming as I remember the Downtown Disney one being, but they will make you a nice hot and horseradishy roast beef, that is for sure.
And great work getting my name right, cashier lady. Wow. Not something I'm used to.
But we all know what I really like are real restaurants. Last week I went with Vanessa to this Chinese place on 7th called Legend that Serious Eats said had Manhattan's best Sichuan food. "Sichuan" means "spicy Chinese" and that means I need it.
This dish of gelatinous bean noodles topped with spicy spicy sauce and chilies was called "Tears in Eyes"
From the not-spicy department we got strings beans in olive leaf sauce. (when I asked the waiter for "green beans in olive leaf sauce" he had absolutely no idea what I was talking about)
And the house ginger scallion lo mein.
Oh and the Chonqing diced chicken with chili peppers. Just a few. Actually not as spicy as you'd think, but it kind of stings the tongue though.
Verdict on Legend: Excellent. I don't know why I moved to the border of Chinatown if the best Chinese was going to turn out to be in Chelsea. Oh wait, I do know why: Noodletown. Those are your choices if you want to get Chinese with me: Great NY Noodletown and Legend.
I don't know why I'm acting so bossy about it, I'd be terribly lucky if you wanted to get Chinese with me. Wherever you want, we'll go. Panda Express? Fine. But we might have to go to Jersey City for it.
Then Friday night I went to Roberta's in Bushwick with Carol. As a space, Roberta's is amazing. Place looks like something right out of a really cool blog, no, right out of a really cool tumblr. Lots of rooms, a yard, a garden, a tent, stoves keeping you warm, 90s hip hop and speed metal on the playlist, you'll barely notice how long you're waiting for your table you're so sucked into it all. Really it's like a hipster Chuck E Cheese, just without any singing animals. Or skeeball. Yet.
Carol's blog has better photos of the space (like this one) and more refined words.
They gave us a handful of carrots to eat while we starved to death waiting forever to get our pizzas. Carrots and ricotta and tasty greens on a giant plate.
(by "gave" I mean after we ordered it)
(by "gave" I mean after we ordered it)
Two years later our pizzas arrived, the Banana Hammock . . .
And the Good Girl
The Verdict on Roberta's: It's so rad in there that it messes with your head and your perspective. While I was there I couldn't wait to come back and I do believe the pizzas (particularly the banana hammock) were very good but I'm kind of ticked that the waiter let us order two white sauce pizzas. He should have stepped in! He recommended them as his favorite two pizzas, so we ordered them, but now I have no idea what their red sauce tastes like. If I were a waiter and I wanted people to get a rounded idea of how good my cool pizza restaurant was I'd make sure they didn't get two white sauce pizzas. You get home and you have this feeling you didn't have any pizza at all because there's no memory of the taste of tomato.
That said . . . the place IS a total party and I can't hold that against it. I want to go back again and if they don't hold my dinner hostage this next time I might decide I love it there.