A Year In Food

From New York to Costa Rica to Europe to California: 365 Days of Dining Out

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Apr. 9.


Russ and Daughters - 179 E. Houston St., Lower East Side
Sesame bagel with traditional belly lox, cream cheese and tomato

Someone once asked me what my ideal day would consist of. Without having to give it much consideration, I said that it’d start with me sleeping until noon. Once I did finally drag myself out of bed, the next very thing I’d do is walk down to Russ and Daughters for a sesame bagel with lox and cream cheese. Bagels and lox was something my family did every Saturday morning, and it’s a tradition I decided to continue this particular Saturday.

At this point (see Jan. 30), I’ve tried every lox that Russ and Daughters offers except for the traditional belly lox. It’s billed as salt-cured salmon and the counterman even warned me that it’d be salty. “Sounds good to me,” I said, always if nothing else a completist. Sure enough, the lox was saltier than usual, but between the tenderly juicy slices of tomato and the cream cheese, it brought the sandwich to life. It also helped that the fish was exceedingly fresh.

The rest of my day didn’t quite meet the highs of lunch. Now that I’m grudgingly an adult, I had to devote time to errands, to laundry, to cleaning, to returning library books, to getting my hair cut. But until about two p.m., my afternoon not only got off to a great start, but an ideal one. 9/10


Khushie - 139 Essex St., Lower East Side
Chicken curry, naan, aloo paratha

I dream about Khushie on the weekdays. The Indian food in the Financial District is mostly mediocre to put it politely, the spicing as one-note as a skipping CD. It’s soggy and dull, but sadly still a better alternative than many of the other options available.

The contrast is all the more apparent whenever I get the chance to visit Khushie, (see Jan. 16, Jan. 31) the small carryout on the Lower East Side. The flavors in every dish I’ve tried so far are more complex and subtle than I thought possible. Even something as routine as the chicken curry I chose this time received the royal treatment, livened up with a dark, potent sauce. Comparatively though, the curry still couldn’t compete with the more interesting kali mirch and vindaloo that I’d previously tried.

The naan, to which I’ve already devoted a lot of bandwidth, remained singularly excellent, so I decided to branch out with the aloo paratha. A thin bread filled with spiced potatoes (and flattened peas from the look of it), it added some extra kick to the meal. It tasted good, but not as special or revelatory beside the upstaging naan.

While this meal at Khushie wasn’t as phenomenal as the ones on previous visits, I think it also has to do partly with me getting used to greatness and adjusting my standards accordingly. It’s easy for me to take quality Indian for granted on a Saturday, but when I’m stuck in the doldrums of another bland Wednesday, I’m sure I’ll be dreaming about it once again. 7/10


Anonymous Roma said...

Oy vay! No wonder you haven't met a nice Jewish girl, you're too busy going out and eating at all these good restaurants! Tell your parents that a girlfriend would cut into your "going out" and writing time. Just kidding of course! I can just picture you three in that deli, discussing your love life!
On second thought to hell with your love life, just keep writing about food!

12:43 AM  
Blogger Linda said...

Just wanted to check in to say I really enjoy your blog. Isn't it great to live in a city with so many interesting and accessible food options? It's fun to follow along with you.

10:52 PM  
Blogger Lonesome Hero said...

Hey, thanks for reading and for all the kind words, guys. April is going to be a very food-filled month so keep checking for updates. I'm also going to try, if I can find the time, to put a dent in writing reviews for some of the old restaurants in my archives.

12:58 AM  

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