It’s taken me nearly a week to fully recover from the week spent in New York City. I was there for a packed schedule of conference sessions, meetings, and good food. New York over-stimulates your senses the moment you set foot outside.
Food stylist Karen Shinto and I rented an apartment in the Gramercy Park area, located a couple of blocks away from the Flatiron building. (That's us above, famished enough to eat the Flatiron. Just kidding.) While we did graze at nearby Eataly, the Italian food emporium endorsed by Mario Batali, most of our meals were at Asian restaurants and snack shops. It was fabulously fun, inexpensive and overall very tasty. Here’s a recap:
Rhong Tiam Express – Our apartment was right next to this popular spot on East 21st. Karen and I had flown red eye flights so we somewhat discombobulated on our first day in the city. After settling into the apartment and going to Trader Joe’s for provisions, we needed lunch. Something spicy and jarring to jolt us from jet lag. We scanned the Rhong Tiam menu and ordered so much food that we couldn’t finish most of it.
The outstanding dish was fried yucca. The relatively light, wonderfully crisp pieces were accompanied by a Sriracha-like spicy mayonnaise. The khao soi noodle soup was gentrified with chicken breast but there was enough complex heat to satisfy. I still think about those yucca sticks, wondering how they got the starchy tuber so light...
Banh Mi Saigon – A couple of years ago, this favorite banh mi shop in Chinatown, NYC, relocated to Grand Street. Their lease had run out, the man behind the counter told me. I recognized the name of the joint but wasn’t sure because of the new location. The clue was the jewelry case, which they had at the original spot on Mott.