Lunchin’ Jodi

The ban on photographing food in public continues in full force and effect in my new neighborhood (see here for a previous mention), so until such time as I am elected (or appointed? how do these things work?) Grand Poobah of the Upper West Side, I will continue to photograph it in the privacy of my own home. My strange neighbor, Winston Smith, keeps writing me cryptic notes saying stuff like, “You’re not alone”, “He’s watching you”, and “BB is in your TV”. Whatever. Like I’m really going to pay attention to this guy when he can’t even get the year right on his notes. Please.
So, anyway, as much as I love eating lunch in public, I’ve decided if I want to continue to supply you with a colorful parade of pretty lunches, I’m just going to have to order delivery or bring takeout home. Which is what I did yesterday. Check out this fiesta, from Cafe Con Leche:


Vegetables in Spicy Red Sauce with Peppers and Onions,
Yellow Rice, Black Beans, and Vegetable Empanadas

Although I did not see any peppers in the dish, I consulted with my mom, who is from Cuba and grew up on this kind of food, and she told me this dish is traditionally prepared with a variety known as “pimientas invisibles”. She also told me the two hot sauces provided — one orangish and one white — would put hair on my chest. I am proud to say she was right! (I must admit that I like the hair, even though it’s styled like That Girl.)
I had a sneaking suspicion that the empanadas were not vegetable, but I convinced myself that the stuff inside, a beigish mash, was papas and not pollo. I did not want to trek back to the restaurant, in the snow/rain combo, to ask, “¿Excúseme, es este pollo?” Yes, you could say I was too chicken to find out the truth. And if you said that, you’d gain my admiration.
And I’m sure I would have gained yours if you’d seen me lick the plate clean. My neighbor, Winston, just crammed himself into a corner, out of sight of the TV, and shook his head in disgust and … fear?

This fabulous food foto, like all others, enjoys a permanent home in the Jodeats gallery.