(And if you're wondering, no, none of these meals were as over the top as our trip to Alinea)
On Thursday night, Andrew's first night in town, we went and tried out Corcoron, a soba place on Delancey I'd heard great things about. I liked it a lot and I'm glad it's in my neighborhood (or the neighborhood right next to my neighborhood.) It's got the feel of a great spot to drop in on at the end of a long workday for a little pick-me-up of a meal.
The one thing I don't get is why this Japanese restaurant has the same name as a giant New York real estate agency.
Then Friday night we went up to East Harlem to meet friends at La Cabaña (formerly La Casa), but decided to get two quick appetizers tacos at El Aguila first.
I should take some time to get to know the whole menu at El Aguila. It really knows its stuff. The tacos are just the small size I like and the salsas rather spicy.
Then it was over to La Cabaña for tortas, tostadas, and tacos.
I was very glad to see that the torta al pastor con queso won Andrew's immediate approval. It's really a spectacular torta, I don't know why it's so much better than almost every other torta. I think the secret might be butter?
Then after La Cabaña we couldn't resist the call of one more taco spot, Taco Mix.
It's one of the only spots I know where you can always find al pastor on a spit. This place knows how to party right.
One of the best desserts I could hope for!
These peppers? I couldn't resist trying one. Could have handled a few more, really.
Saturday we were headed to the Ssam Bar for lunch but first I made Andrew watch me get my haircut. Mercedes cut my hair at the Astor Place Barber Shop. Most haircuts there last seven minutes, but Mercedes took fourteen and the results were at least 200% better than usual.
At the Ssam Bar we had some ham . . . I think this was the Wigwam ham? Hard to remember. Very smokey.
We split the duck bun,
The duck bowl,
And the Duck Duck Noodles.
Saturday afternoon we spent at the Met and walking around a bit, then visited the Burger Joint. The line was very long, but the restaurant was nearly empty. A strange combination of situations. Whatever. The burgers are still great.
Sunday we had lunch at the Momofuku Noodle Bar. I don't have any pictures of it. But Carol does! Go check out her post! You'll see my new haircut. AND chips, pickles, chicken wings, buns, and noodles. And maaaybe someone drinking the leftover pickle juice. HEY! It's not just any pickle juice.
Did you read it? Really? No? Come on, just go read it!
For dinner Monday we stopped by Mission Chinese Food, a terribly popular SF-import (or export?) that recently opened on Orchard street.
The idea is they serve chefy spins on "traditional" American Chinese dishes . . . stuff you usually find on boards like this, but with higher quality or more interesting ingredients.
We beat the multi-hour waits by being there right when it opened. And we beat the food waits by ordering before anyone else.
We got lotus root,
Pork jowl with radishes,
Bacon with rice cakes,
And the pork shoulder Ma Po tofu,
This is how our table looked when we were done,
And by "done" I mean "had eaten all we possibly could" because it turns out those entrees were awfully big. And the Ma Po a little too fiery and oily to attack properly if you're not ready for it. So my official take on Mission Chinese is: Large portions, very reasonable prices (not too much more than you'd spend at your typical Chinatown restaurant . . . no, really), and quite spicy (although on my next visit, if my companions allow, I'll ask for the heat to be turned up even more). In other words: I think I'm crazy about this joint. I saw people ordering a lot of stuff I want to try sometime. I'll definitely be back. Definitely.
Monday Night Activity: If you don't now, you'll never know.
Tuesday, before Andrew took off, we grabbed sandwiches at Mile End Sandwich.
We got the Beef on a Weck, which is awesome.
Their eggplant, pepper, halumi sandwich.
And an amazing beast of a steak sandwich with asparagus and jalepeño.
I mean look at this thing!