I haven't done a highlights post in a while. Food has not been getting top priority, I am sad to say. Way too many Clif bars of late.
1. Redbones. In Somerville, Mass. this past weekend, checking out Choopville, I was brought to Redbones, a BBQ haven, by people who knew I can appreciate such a place. I didn't order ribs, so I cannot compare it to LC's, didn't even want to. Instead, we pounded down collard greens, corn bread, mac and cheese, pulled pork, and--god bless them!--corn fritters sitting in a gentle pool of maple syrup. We did what you do when you enter a spot such as this: you nauseate yoruself with gastronomic pleasure, eat til you drop, eat til you have to undo the top button, and groan groan groan all the way home.
2. Sesame Pancake. I took the Fung Wah bus back from Massachusetts, and was deposited, at lunchtime, on Canal and Bowery. Trooped my way over to Dumpling House at Eldridge and Broome, and bought myself a sesame pancake with beef. It's a bahn mi meets a scallion pancake, and one of my favorite things on earth. I decided to avoid a second course of fried-ness by not ordering the divine dumplings, and went for the $1 wonton soup instead. Big mistake, becasue the dumplings are insanely good, and the soup, I found out, is not.
3. El Deportivo (Hell's Kitchen). For 5 months I dated a fella who lived on 49th and 9th. Every time we walked by the dingy yet appealing El Deportivo restaurant, he would say: I love that place. Yet we never ate there. A metaphor? Perhaps. Last Friday night, my dinner date sick at home, I popped into El Deportivo after all this time. I sat at the counter and watched the ladies make cubanos, plate up rice and use big silver tongs to drag meat out of heaters. This place makes all their food at the beginning of the day, keeps it heated, then plates it up when it's ordered. There are daily specials, so it's not a huge menu. Not gourmet, but authentic (and cheap), nonetheless. I had roasted chicken, black beans and rice, with a side of tostones. the chicken and the tostones were awesome. The rice and beans were "eh." I'll definitely go back and finally be brave and try something radical, like mofongo, which caught my eye.
4. Hold the pasta. Two nights ago, home after a long night of tutoring, I looked into my fridge at the bowl of blanched broccoli rabe and the half used jar of decent tomato sauce and wondered what the heck I could eat that wouldn't be too filling (it was 10:45 pm). I made a bowl of broccoli rabe parmesan (pour fresh grated parm on top, heat in microwave) and fell in love. Last night I repeated the affair with the only decent vegetable I could find at Key Food at 10:30 pm--zucchini. I roasted the zucchini with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and then doused it in sauce, sprinkled parm...voila! a new favorite is born. It's a tasty pasta dish, hold the pasta.