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NYC report - mostly cheap bites (June 2015)

beetlebug | Jun 26, 201506:44 AM

I've been in NYC for the week, although not eating as much as I'd hoped. The steamy weather earlier this week just kind of sapped a good portion of my appetite. I'm staying in the Chelsea/Penn Station area, very close to K-town.


Mei Li Wah - Chinatown. Apparently, there is an order out or table service. Not order at the counter and then sit down. After a brief reprimand and tip, I sat at a table to eat my pork and duck egg rice porridge. Good portion, nicely done and very cheap.

Brooklyn Bagels - this was a pretty good bagel. Huge. I ordered the mini bagel and it was more then enough for breakfast. Los cream cheese spread could have had more lox.

Petite Abeille - West 17th (?) by 6th - met a friend here, her choice. Meh. It's a Belgian cafe with breakfast offerings including bagels. The egg sandwich on ciabetta was fine but the waffles were a travesty. Tried two kinds, the liege and the bannofee on a regular Belgian waffles. The liege had no discernible sugar bits and had been reheated. But it was cooked through and had good color. The bannofee had caramelized bananas, toasted almonds and whipped cream on top a Belgian waffle. This waffle was bad. Pale and barely cooked. The banana was tasty and I ended up moving the banana onto the liege waffle.


Xi'an Fast Food - Chinatown - just as delicious as ever. The problem of being a solo diner is you can only order a limited amount of food. I ordered the lamb noodles and the cucumbers. I usually get the tiger salad but decided to try something different. The cukes were tasty but I prefer the tiger salad.

Joe's Shanghai - Chinatown - group lunch. This was good but it's been better. The pork xlbs were very good. The pork and crab could have been hotter. Shanghai fried noodles needed more wok time at a higher heat and the dried bean curd with pork (Xiang gam rou si) had an odd sweetness to it. Pea pod stems were delicious.

Num Pang - near Madison Sq Park - I wanted to take a look at the art installation at the park and stopped here for lunch. I wasn't in a sandwich mood so I tried their version of bun. I had the spicy pork over rice vermicelli. Vermicelli was great since it was more toothsome then other places. The pork was ok. It was well cooked and had a good level of spice. Unfortunately, it had a bit too much sweet in it, throwing off the balance.

Empanada Mama - 9th Ave near 51st. I wasn't that hungry but wanted to grab something before Fun Home. I had two empanadas. Fillings in both were excellent. One was spicy beef and chili with fried corn flour wrapper, the other was beef, potato and veg (Brazil) with wheat dough wrapper. I preferred the wheat dough wrapper. Both were fried.

BCD Tofu House - west 32nd street. I had two Korean places on my list and after an excruciating train ride, the three block closer one won out. I should have walked the extra three blocks. This place was fine, not bad, but not exciting. We both got soon dubu and I found the broth a bit bland. It was really crowded though but I've definitely had better.

Cho Dang Goi - west 35th street. This place was great. The homemade tofu was wonderful, especially in the tofu jigaes. I especially loved the tofu curds. The broths had great flavor and the tofu appetizer with sesame paste and soy scallion paste was also delicious.

Yakitori Totto - west 55th street. I love this place and I'm amazed that the quality hasn't gone down in all the years I've been coming here. And, the crowds also haven't died down. Of note, tiny fried sardines, chicken oysters, thighs, hearts and pork with ponzu sauce. I also preordered the rice and chicken pot as soon as I sat down since it takes about an hour to make. This time I also tried the Japanese fried chicken. It was good, well fried, but it ended up being a bit too much food. I love the extra order of fresh wasabi to go with many of my skewers.

Salumeria Rosi - upper west side on Amsterdam - late dinner with a local friend. Loved the tripe and rabe. Actually, I could have had the tripe by myself but I think I shared nicely. The porchetta sandwich was also fantastic as were the cured meats. They were a bit stingy with the salami as one order only had four slices.

Mu Ramen - Long Island City - report will be in outer borough board but it's a really short subway ride and well worth it.

Mei Li Wah,
Petite Abeille,
Num Pang Kitchen,
Empanada Mama - LES,
Yakitori Totto,
Salumeria Rosi,
Mu Ramen,
Joe's Shanghai,
BCD Tofu House
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