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East Village food marathon

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East Village food marathon

Pete G. | Jan 20, 2006 12:04 AM

Met a friend in the city for the Knicks game tonight and had a couple of hours to kill, so we hit some spots in the East Village we wanted to try. Detailed synopsis for anyone interested:

Started with a pint of New Amsterdam and a very good round pie slice and comparable square at Vinnie Vincenzo's, then hit a near-empty Momofuku Noodle bar for roast pork buns and chili chicken wings. Both were very tasty, and the buns were about the best things I've put in my mouth in ages, but $50 for three apps and two beers seemed excessive, especially when you can eat the roast pork buns (two per order) in about three bites each. The Japanese beer (we tried the Red Rice ale and porter) was delicious, but again, $9 per 11.2-ounce bottle.

Next stop was Nicky's Vietnamese sandwich shop to split a pate, pork, and vietnamese ham hero. It was satisfying, but not spicy enough even though I asked for very spicy, and not nearly as good, in my opinion, as either Saigon Banh Mi or Bahn Mi So 1.

Then it was back up to St. Marks for a deep-fried hot dog at Crif Dogs (I got the "Chihuahua Dog" wrapped in bacon and topped with avocado, sour cream, and jalepeno). Really nothing special, I'd take Gray's Papaya or Papaya King anyday over that dog. It did fill my hot dog fix need for the day, that's about all. And the trackball on Missile Command didn't work.

Not quite done yet, we hit the Italian bakery on 11th and First for a cannoli, then walked down and across to 9th and Third to Otafuku for octopus balls topped with sweet sauce, mayo and bonito flakes. I thought these were really tasty and interesting, although I was reaching my food limit about four balls in (out of six).

Our last planned stop was at Saint Alp's Teahouse for some coconut bubble tea. Very refreshing, with tender, fresh tapioca pearls.

All this in about two hours. On our way to the subway to go up to MSG for the game, we passed Blue 9 Burger and 99 Miles to Philly right next door. We looked at each other questioningly, totally tempted, and shook our heads simultaneously - next time.

Then we watched the Knicks got blown out by 25 points. At least I didn't need to eat anything in MSG.

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