You’ve been ill at ease. (“To put it mildly!” you say with a wry shake of your head and a shaky grin.) You’ve felt out of sorts. Your days have been dull, your nights have been duller, and you’ve had this dark cloud of nagging dread floating above your head for so long you’re considering naming it. (May I suggest “Dana”?) You’ve wondered if you should seek professional help or if you should just let it all run its natural course without outside intervention.
I know the cause of your malaise: a sad lack of my food photos. And I’m happy to say I’m here with a cure. Take a lip-lickin’ looksee at several of my recent lunches (two even on the Upper West Side, despite the ban on public food photography I’ve recently documented):
Candle Cafe, Tempeh Lasagne
15 January 2005
When I go to Candle Cafe, I like to indulge my madcap sense of adventure and try something from the daily specials menu. Sometimes, however, in a rare moment of coy reserve, I order a dish that enjoys regular menu status. Such was the case last Saturday, when I was tempeh-ted by this pretty young thing. She was fun for the first few bites, but then began to bore me. What can I say? I am a cad.
Mana, Vegetable Gomaae
16 January 2005
The next day, at Mana, I fell in love with this dish. Sure, she’s a menu wallflower, and sure, she’s not the prettiest girl at the dance, but she sure woo’d me but good. I also appreciated her quiet but witty sidekick, a side of quinoa with carrot. “Quinoa”, by the way, is pronounced “keen-WAH”. “Gomaae” is pronounced “This” and is accompanied by a finger pointing to its name on the menu the same method I employ in foreign countries when I haven’t practiced pronunciation beforehand so I can sound “native” (like when I was in Italy and pronounced “carciofi” [artichoke] so perfectly that I was granted citizen status immediately upon ordering an artichoke pizza).
Sal’s & Carmine, Cheese Pizza
18 January 2005
Speaking of pizza … For the past few months, I have had intense cravings (no baby on board, kids, don’t worry!) for pizza. But I did nothing about it. I had not had real pizza in years. Yes, that’s right: years. A few years ago, I gave up dairy products after I learned, while being “rebirthed” during a very special episode of Oprah, that, during my original birth, I suffered trauma when the midwife mistook the umbilical cord for string cheese and … well, the details are just too harrowing and gruesome to recount. (Trust me. You don’t want to know.) So I rarely indulge in things dairy anymore, except for the occasional necessity of saag paneer, as a few archived entries involving my and Kyria’s PaneerQuest attest. In fact, I am dairy- and gluten-intolerant, so I shouldn’t have been eating pizza anyway. But when I passed by Sal’s & Carmine, and saw a newspaper article in its window declaring that its pizza is the best in the borough and then read on Citysearch (I spent even more time doing research for this than I did for emergency self-help when I accidentally drank rat poison a few weeks ago!), I knew it was time to give in. So I did. And mama mia, papa pia (baby made a …) am I glad I did (even though I suffered gastro-intestinal distress as a result).
Delhi Palace, Indian Buffet
20 January 2005
And speaking of Kyria (because, really, aren’t we always speaking about Kyria?) (or, if we’re not, we should), yesterday she and I partook of the bounty that is the Delhi Palace buffet in Jackson Heights, Queens. I continued the theme of potential gastro-intestinal distress by consuming mattar paneer (N.B. to the Blind: paneer is at “4:00” and “5:00” in the photo), along with cauliflower another item to which my “system” is intolerant. (My “system” is remarkably tolerant, however, insofar as race, religion, and sexual orientation are concerned, so at least there’s that.) The highlight of our lunch was witnessing a fat man complaining loudly about the “ice cold” temperature of some of the food, which prompted me to comment to Kyria, “There’s something so pathetic in watching a fat man complain about a buffet”. Indeed.
So there you have it. Four glorious portrayals of food consumption — to drive away your doldrums and keep you off the sauce.
And speaking of sauce … While in Queens yesterday, I went to Pacific Supermarket and bought a nice container of chili sauce. You’ve seen it before, I’m sure. Plastic, vertically-oriented jar with a nice “squish” factor when gripped lightly in the hand, green lid, intense lip-burnin’ sauce inside. Well, today when I opened it to use some on my hearty breakfast of Amy’s Scrambled Tofu (not pictured), I noticed that the safety seal was quite “domed”. When I pierced it with a fork, it burst open with a rather impressive *pop* and flecks of fiery sauce went every which way and loose. I was dying for the drama of hot sauce, but I would have preferred the drama in my mouth and not on the cabinetry. So what do you think I did? Please take the following poll. (Scroll down a bit for the poll. I do not know how to close the gap between this text and the poll. I am, after all, only one woman and can only do so much.)