Since I have been back in the country after being away for a month, and because the kids are back in school and for about a minute I have more time on my hands to go to lunch (until I start school-oy!), and I have been missing my favorite stand-bys, here’s a couple of the places I visited in one week. (Seriously, you have no idea how much you dream of Asian food and American sandwiches after three weeks in Italy and one in Greece).
First stop: Café Patachou. And while I sometimes vary my order, I knew exactly what I was going to get—my ultimate comfort food sandwich—egg salad on toasted sourdough with chips and an extra pickle (it’s about $10). Everything was going great until the server informed me they have stopped serving the pickles. Devastating. Apparently, they are composting a lot more these days and realized how much they are throwing away and didn’t like how many pickles they throw out (how could you not eat these pickles?). They have also stopped automatically serving the tomato and cucumber unless you ask as well. So, I think they should do the same with the pickles—only if you ask for them. Bring back the pickles!
Anyway, the sandwich was just as good as always (except I really like a bite of pickles mixed with every couple bites of sandwich). I also tend to eat my sandwich open-faced because I like a larger salad-to-bread ratio. Their egg salad is simple—eggs, mayo, salt and pepper, but they do it just right and it is delicious. Still, bring back the pickles! (please?).
Next stop a couple days later-- Jasmine Thai for my favorite sautéed eggplant with basil (and I add chicken—it’s normally a vegetarian dish) (also around $10). I normally like food a little spicy, but here I order this dish mild. First, they are serious about heat at Jasmine and second, when this particular dish is spicy at all, it seems to me it loses a little bit of the rich basil flavor—the heat just overpowers it.
The eggplant is nice and tender and the chicken is sliced thin and mixed it—I wish they would give just a little more chicken because I like a bit of chicken and a bit of eggplant in each bite for the texture variation, but other than that, this is one of my favorite dishes. And Asian flavors, because they are so different from what I had been eating were one of my top cravings in Europe (we did manage to get sushi twice in Italy, but that’s it).
Anyhow, those are just a couple of the favorites I have been in the last week or so…. I am sure I will be hitting up a few more here soon.
8697 River Crossing Blvd
Jasmine Thai Restaurant
4825 East 96th Street