Friday, March 24, 2006


Hey Sushi! (Clap! Clap!)

Sushi used to be my favorite food. I discovered the delectability of raw fish and sticky rice in high school, before it was a ubiquitous lunch staple and readily available in supermarkets. I then entered an extended Sushi Period for about eight years, spending more time and money on uncooked sea creatures and malleable dabs of green wasabi than any girl ought to.

And then, one day, approximately 1 year ago, I just GOT SICK OF SUSHI. I'd overdone it.

But tonight I CRAVED sushi! I just NEEDED TO EAT IT!
So I did.

I partook of my sushi dinner at a little place in my neighborhood called Ginger. It's on 1st Avenue between 6th and 7th Street, and while its ambience is all over the place and its proprietor appears to be an entirely caucasian middle-aged man, its sushi is ON POINT! In the interest of protecting my foodie integrity, I actually didn't eat any "sushi". I only ordered a couple of apps and some special "maki" rolls, but I'm not going to douche out on semantics on this blog, so I ask you not to, either.

Anyway, Ginger's special maki rolls are the tits and a half! I had one called The Dolce Banana, which is spicy tuna, crispy flakes, and BANANA! Believe me this is 100% delicious. Wowzers! I would never ordinarily combine tuna, banana, and mystery flakes, but when Ginger does it and charges $6 for it, I am ON BOARD. I also had the The Hot Wire, which is Yellowtail with jalapenos and tobiko. I don't remember what tobiko is, probably because it didn't seem to make an appearance in the roll. This roll really brought the HEAT, earning its nomenclature. Those were REAL jalapenos in there! NICE ONE, Ginger! Thank you for NOT UNDERESTIMATING my ability to take a little punishment with my pleasure. Next up, the S&M, a sexy-sounding and sexy-tasting spicy mango shrimp roll with an erotic dollop of pink mayonnaise...called tobiko. Right. That's what tobiko is. This roll made me feel dirty, but only because its shrimp was really very traif. I finished up the roll portion of the evening with the Red Head, an eel, avocado, and crispy flake roll topped with spicy tuna. This was probably my favorite roll, more due to texture than taste, as nothing beat the Dolce. I'm a mouth-feel gal; what can I say?

Will you be grossed out if I mention that I also had THREE appetizers before hitting those rolls? Well, I did. I started with something called a Wasabi Breeze, which tasted much more awesome than its name implies. It was julienned squid and cucumber in a perfectly spicy wasabi dressing, served in a cocktail glass. CLASSY, Ginger! THEN I cleansed my palate with some cold watercress in sesame dressing. A little heavy on the sesame dressing, but fresh and tasty nonetheless. The sesame dressing had a burnt nuttiness to it that was actually pleasant; sometimes when I get something that promises the taste of sesame I instead experience something sweet and cloying. AND THEN I had the piece d'resistence: sauteed mushrooms. Sounds simple, tastes INCREDIBLE! It was basically assorted mushrooms sauteed with plenty of garlic, wine, and butter, and served at the absolute correct temperature: HOT. I like my hot food hot and my cold food cold, except in the case of my maki rolls, which I like slightly cooler than room temperature. Raw fish shouldn't be cold -- it should have the heat of having been fondled by Japanese hands. Ginger gets this right. AGAIN!

And here's one final line from the mind of Ms. Captain Obvious: I really loved my dinner tonight!
I'm very lucky.

Thursday, March 23, 2006


Today's attempt at a cheap-yet-satisfying lunch pretty much hit the mark. And how could it not? I returned to my first food love, the food love from which I should never have strayed. It feels so GOOD to be reunited!

Let me explain:

My FIRST, my FAVORITE, my most SATISFYING food was, is, and will always be...



I started eating soup when I didn't have teeth, and I will continue to eat it should I lose them.

I was reminded of this love today with my $4 16 oz. cup of Jerk Chicken soup from the "Soup Guy," aka the Guy who sells Soup on the corner of my office building. He was such a good "Soup Guy" that he even threw in a free, fresh roll with my order. Which I used to sop up all my deliciously spicy, not-too-thick and not-too-thin Jerk Chicken soup. I've never ordered soup with this title, but it was damn tasty. So damn tasty that I ignored its steaming warning and burnt my tongue not once, not twice, but thrice in my overeager consumption of it.

I guess I got a little excited about getting back together with SOUP. But now I know where we stand, me and SOUP: it will always be there for me, and I for it.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


I probably deserved what I got; one should be wary when forced to order by number.

Today's L6 Lunch Special from Saigon 48 was only $5.75, but eating on the cheap is starting to make me feel really, really cheap.

My Sauteed Chicken with Mixed Vegetables, Extra Spicy, was just about the most depressed meal I've ever eaten. It came with a "free," unexpected spring roll which made me WAY TOO prematurely excited. I set my expectations WAY TOO HIGH for this freebie, because once it hit my mouth I knew EXACTLY why it was free. All the life had been sucked out of this spring roll! It was dry and devoid of anything resembling freshness or flavor. Saigon 48 basically wrapped up some garbage, flash-fried it THREE DAYS AGO and surreptitously added it to my lunch order today, FORCING me to eat the WHOLE THING because it was FREE and also it was (barely) FOOD. This "spring roll" clearly wanted to commit suicide, and its mission was accomplished inside my mouth.

That should have been enough to put me off the rest of my meal, but being the optimist (read: bonehead) that I am, I forthwith made for my entree. Oh, has there ever been a sadder looking sautee? I suppose the flattened and dejected beige chicken parts doing the dead-man's float in oil-sauce were white meat, but I am honestly not sure what part of what chicken they came from. The only word I can think to accurately describe this meat is FLACCID. It was very FLACCID chicken. Or should I say FLACCID "chicken"? I have a hard time imagining this flaccid flesh EVER belonged to ANYTHING that once was alive and pulsing with energy and blood.

And the vegetables were no better. The only thing the broccoli and button mushrooms and single zig-zag carrot cut-out needed were tiny pairs of black Nike sneakers as further evidence that they had all drunk poison Kool-Aid in a bid to enter some divine kingdom. These veggie corpses DID enter a divine kingdom, but it was my mouth, and the journey was not nearly sublime.

At least the brown rice I ordered was actually brown and actually rice and almost palatable.

Oh lunch! Why didn't you just ask for help? I would have been there for you...I would have told you all the ways to cope and hope and believe. It's too late for you, lunch, and I'm sad for that. It's sadder still that I will go on without you, and forget you were ever a part of my life.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006


What's your definition of a salad? I'm going to be presumptuous here and answer for you: I'd say you'd say, at its most basic level, a salad probably includes some sort of lettuce leaf (perhaps two or three varieties), carrots, cucumbers, tomato, mushrooms, and maybe -- maybe -- olives or cheese. Not too fancy, but certainly perfunctory. It makes the salad category at the very least.

So with that in mind, here is the ingredient list of my $4.95 Chicken Salad from Mama Familigia (home of New Yorker's Favorite Pizza*):

4 oz. of chopped Romaine lettuce.
18 oz. of soggy croutons.
12 oz. of soggy breaded chicken.
1 measly sprinkle of parmesan cheese.
3 dibble dabbles of cheap balsamic vinegar.

Guess what, Mama Familigia? YOUR DAYS ARE NUMBERED! Your Mama's so BAD AT MAKING SALAD I think she's a F*&$ing C$&*!

*According to the sign on the door. That sign is a lie. Everything about you is a lie, Mama Familigia. You probably don't even have a mother, because no woman would let you get away with the fraud that you pulled today. You're lucky I don't know the number to the Better Business Bureau and/or that I'm too lazy to look it up!

Monday, March 20, 2006


Crazy ladies have 1000 cats, right? You're NOT crazy if you DON'T have 1000 cats, right? It's OKAY if, instead of cats, you have 1000 BOXES OF CHEERIOS OR CHEERIO-TYPE CEREALS, right?!

This is not a hypothetical question.

I think have a problem.

I can't stop buying/storing/eating Cheerios or Cheerio-type cereals. Today I purchased a brand new box of Honey Nut Cheerios at Duane Reade for the bargain price of $3.99. That is a good deal in this town. I have been eating this box, in milk-moistened and dry varieties, ALL DAY. I swear to God a single Cheerio just rolled out of my sleeve. And I pulverized another single Cheerio with the heel of my boot a little while ago. It was an accident, little guy.

Meanwhile, I just bought Trader Joe's brand Honey-O's TWO DAYS AGO. And I have a half-eaten box of Healthy-O's from Whole Foods sitting in my pantry. And last night I ate some Golden Grahams. I know those aren't Cheerio's, but ARE THEY NOT A GATEWAY CEREAL TO HARDER grahams/pops/flakes?

I have a problem. And I am asking for help.