The astute among you have noticed my lack of posts, and some of you have surely wondered if I perished during a food excursion somewhere. I haven’t, but I -have- moved to Switzerland. This being a rather expensive nation in which to dine out, the blog (which has always concentrated on NYC things, with the occasional travel piece, anyway) no longer is really maintainable.
I will give you, in parting, a few tips from my last few weeks in NYC and one from my first few in the vicinity of Zürich:
1. Get to Momofuku Sääm bar for their late night menu. I know it’s a splurge; just do it. I’ve probably never had an evening with so many new and unique flavors, textures, and categories of food, and it was all exceedingly delicious. Order one of everything with a few friends.
2. Also slightly more expensive than average (but totally reasonable for the category) is the first Mexican place in NYC that can compete with the Red Iguana et al in more than just the taco category. Ironically named Taqueria y Fonda, I had some kind of special (chicken enchiladas? note taking has never been a forte) involving the nogada sauce (cream and nuts with fruit). It was really damn good. They also have moles and pipian on the menu, which I would check out if I were you.
3. The last place I crossed off the list before I left was Upi Jaya. I didn’t think it was particularly great, but it could have been the excruciatingly bad teen television I was forced to sit through as the surly offspring of one of the staff members tried hard to forget their own teenage miseries for a moment. Should have gotten it to go.
Z. My favorite sector of Zürich so far is the Langstrasse south of the train tracks (sounds vague, but look at a map of the city if in doubt), where ethnic groceries and restaurants co-mingle with porn palaces, pseudo-casinos, and record shops. It’s like a little slice of the EV sans pretension (or, at least, sans NYC-pretension). On the Zwinglistrasse, which intersects Langstrasse a block or two south of the tracks, there is my favorite Thai grocery (Sala Thai – they make their own curry paste) and the restaurant that blew my head off, Keo Inn. Order the pork salad Thai hot and prepare to die.
Finally, if I can brag (and also explain why I haven’t gone through withdrawal), I’d like to share my dinner schedule for my last few weeks in NYC. This (with a few exceptions marked *) approximates something like a list of my top favorite restaurants in the whole city – those I wasn’t going to hightail it without sampling one last time. There are notable omissions, of course (off the top of my head, Corner Bistro, for instance) but the list is a pretty fair one.
11/27: dinner at Cheburechnaya
11/28: dinner at Spicy Mina
11/30: lunch at Snack Taverna*, dinner at Cafe Kashkar
12/1: dinner at Super Taste
12/2: lunch at Defonte’s heroes, dinner at Château Blanc*
12/3: lunch at Taqueria de Guerreros, dinner at White Mana (JC, NJ)
12/5: dinner at Upi Jaya*
12/6: lunch at Rare*, dinner at “A”*
12/9: dinner at Schnack
12/10: lunch at Nicky’s (Atlantic Ave.), dinner at Bedouin Tent
12/11: dinner at Spicy & Tasty
12/13: dinner at Taqueria y Fonda
12/14: lunch at Alidoro, dinner at Momofuku Sääm bar
12/15: lunch at Shopsins…the last meal before leaving.
Best to all, and take advantage of your cheap ethnic eats resources while you can – you never know when you’ll end up in a country where everything is calculatedly and perfectly bland.