We went to lunch at the Japanese restaurant, Ootoya. It seems to be popular. We waited over twenty minutes to be seated. They gave us hot towels when we sat down to wash our hands.
The carafe of sake came out pretty fancy in a bowl of ice. And we got to choose our own sake cup. I can’t stop drinking sake.
Looking at the menu, it looked pretty expensive. But when I saw the food we got, it actually seemed like a good deal. My grilled fatty Mackerel was $16, but came with Homemade Pickles, Steamed Egg Custard, Miso Soup and Rice (topped with Grated Japanese Yam for an extra $2). The Grated Japanese Yam was interesting. I don’t think it really had much of a flavor, but it sure made the rice all gooey.
I liked Ootoya. Next time, I feel like I should dress up like a Japanese businessman though.
Ootoya – 8 W 18th St (btwn 5th & 6th Ave) New York, NY 10011
I was really craving Roti Canai so I went to Laut near Union Square for lunch. Started off with the Roti Canai and a King Fisher beer ($7 each). The beer was kind of nasty. I guess that’s not the restaurants fault. But the Roti Canai wasn’t that good either. It looked cool because it was so big, but it wasn’t flaky or buttery and the curry sauce was just alright. No chunk of chicken in there.
I switched to a Singha beer and bowl of Curry Laska ($12). Big bowl and filling. I always like coconut milk based curry broths. Delicious.
The bill was interesting. I appreciate when they tell me how much I should tip, because I don’t want to do the math. But the numbers were different on the bill and when I got my credit card receipt to sign and add the tip to. I’m assuming one is including tip on the tax and the other not. Anyway, it feels sneaky even if you normally do tip on tax.
I overheard a lot customers having Groupon deals for this place. Which makes more sense. I spent $45 on lunch. I should have had a Groupon.
They gave me some ginger candy at the end. And then I was off to my dentist appointment –a little drunk and just had eaten candy. They told me I needed a root canal. I don’t think it was related to the Roti Canai.
Laut – 15 E 17th St (btwn 5th Ave & Union Square/Broadway) New York, NY 10003
Man, I haven’t haven’t had a breakfast-y type breakfast in a long time. Well I guess this was lunch, so I still haven’t. But I haven’t had breakfast-y food in a long time that’s not brunch-y. Sam and I went to Johny’s neaby work to get something breakfast-y for lunch. It’s the lunch counter where I got that tasty Melissa Munchie Sandwich (Hot Roast Beef, Sautéed Mushrooms, Onion Rings, and Melted Mozzarella on Garlic Bread).
We both went for the Big Man Breakfast (2 Eggs, 2 Pancakes or French Toast, Home fries, Bacon & Sausage, Toast, and Coffee or Tea $8.75). Sam went for the Pancakes and I went for the French Toast and we split it. Man, Pancakes looked great and was just what I was hungering for, but the French Toast was better. It had cinnamon or nutmeg on it to make it taste good. Overall, a great greasy breakfast-y meal.
Johny’s Luncheonette – 124 W. 25th Street (btw 6th & 7th Ave) New York City, NY 10001
They just opened up a Num Pang Sandwich shop in my work-hood (Flatiron area). They make Cambodian style sandwiches, which seem to be very similar to Vietnamese Banh Mi sandwiches for point of reference. The first time I walked by it was packed and the line was long. The guy handing out menus outside told me the line goes quick. I didn’t believe him and stood there staring at him.
So this time I came back with Sam and Chris and there were people, but not so packed. We walked in, turned around and instantly 15 people were behind us. It did go quick though. Even so much that right after I ordered, my food was ready. I couldn’t believe it. Sam was like “#230, that’s your number!” I didn’t believe him, but it was true. They must’ve had that sandwich ready already.
I ordered the Five-Spice Glazed Pork Belly sandwich (w/ Pickled Asian Pear $8.50). I took a little container of Sriracha hot sauce and waited for my friends to get their sandwiches and a corn on the cob. Dang, this sandwich was fantastic. I knew that they made pretty good sandwiches, but I was stunned how much I liked it. Definitely one of the best Banh Mi’s I’ve ever had. I don’t know, it was so good. Sam thought his pulled pork one was okay.
Sam had a good joke about about my waiting number. “What time do you go to the dentist? …Tooth-hurty!” Little did I know that that joke would manifest into real life. My tooth hurts like a mother fucker right now. Unrelated to the sandwich. Although baguettes always scratch up the roof of my mouth.
Num Pang Nomad – 1129 Broadway (btwn 26th & 25th St) New York, NY 10010
I walked out of the office during lunch with one of my co-workers. I think we were talking about my shoes. Then I said, “Excuse me, I’m going in here.” He eyes got big. Yeah, I was going into the Irish pub downstairs, The Limerick House. They’ve been advertising a $10 lunch special that includes a beer and also a $12 Guinness Burger.
I was really tempted to get the $10 lunch special, which I could also get a burger with. But this Guinness Burger (Guinness infused cheddar, Irish Bacon, Stout Onions and Fries) $12 sounded temping too. I got that.
It was a decent burger. However I don’t know if I could really taste the beer. Maybe because I was also drinking a Guinness. Maybe that fucked it up. The toppings were dripping in dirty brown sauce, probably the Guinness infused-ness. Pretty good tasty greasy mess. However, I think I wouldn’t have done much worse with a regular burger. So the $10 lunch special with a beer is the way to go. You get a cheap beer with that, FYI.
Looking at that lunch menu again, maybe I’ll try the Traditional Irish Breakfast or the Smoked Irish BLT deal next time.
Limerick House – 69 W 23rd St (between 6th & 5th Ave) New York, NY 10010
I’ve been going to Sunac near my work a lot lately. It’s an easy way to go low carb through their food buffet bar ($6.99/lb). It’s not amazing food, but they usually have lots of meat –two types of fish, sometimes pork loin, roast beef, chicken.
I like to use my credit card, but you have to get over the $7 minimum. It sucks when I’m under, but then it suck more when I overestimate the weight by a ton. For a while, I thought the second scale on the right was rigged to weigh more, but I think I was just paranoid.
I like to pile on the meat and fish to get the most value. Then I put a thin layer of green vegetables on top to cover it up, so I don’t look like a complete asshole when I check out. I’ve told my friends this secret tip to maximize the value, but they think that the cashiers really don’t care.
I’ve also stop by here after work before my improv classes to get a beer and yogurt. You can drink in the deli. It’s cool. It’s so much cheaper and less crowded than a bar. I see a lot of blue collar workers drinking upstairs. I tend to sit at the front and watch people passing in the window.
The only trouble with eating yogurt and drinking beer with a straw is that things get foamy and gassy in my stomach. One time I had yogurt, a tall boy and NyQuil for dinner. I’m so glad I didn’t throw up in class.
Sunac – 765 Ave of the Americas (btwn W 26th & 27th St) New York, NY 10010
I haven’t been here in a while since I cut the carbs. But I was ready to eat some rice with Sam and Chris here at Latin American Restaurant (which I’ve written about many times).
We actually ate inside, which I’ve never done because it’s so close to work and I’m scared to used the metal utensils. It wasn’t that scary. The water maybe. But food was still good. Oxtail Stew is nice and tender and good mixed up with the rice with beans and hot sauce.
Chris’ iPhone 4S camera did pretty good in the low light. I was impressed.
Latin American Restaurant – 29 W 26th St (btwn 6th Ave & Broadway) New York, NY 10010
The legendary Pink Tea Cup reopened near 14th St, but it’s not the same old place. Someone bought the name and the Yelp reviews are scary as hell. Sam really wanted to go though. I was still scared, but I went anyway.
There was a bucket in the corner catching the water leak from the ceiling. There was smudges of something on the napkins in the rack. Still scared.
Sam got the Chicken and Waffles and I got the Fish and Grits. They looked decent. The food wasn’t so bad. Better than I expected. Although the breading to the fish was rubbery and hard to cut through –like if it was salmon skin. But I’m pretty sure it was just breading. Weird.
I felt like I was rooting for this place, even though I was scared to eat here …and I always prided myself in eating in the sketchiest of restaurants. I guess if you go in with really bad expectations, it’s okay. Not so scared anymore.
…In a weird way, I felt more assured that the tartar sauce was in packets here.
Pink Tea Cup – 538 6th Ave (btwn 14th & 15th St) New York 10011