On Saturdays, and the Loving of Food.

Today was one of those Saturdays. The kind where you have all the time in the world and nothing particular to do. These kinds of Saturdays are some of my favorites.

Since C was recently freed from the busiest time of the year at work, we decided that today presented a great opportunity to reintegrate her into normal society (a.k.a. the place where most of us get to eat and sleep based upon a regular schedule).

C and I being ourselves, of course, that could only mean one thing: food. Not necessarily a lot of it, but definitely the best of it. After lazing about reading the newspaper and staring at impossibly perfect Instagram photos for longer than was probably healthy, we stumbled out into the world for a little bargain shopping. After window shopping our way through the various New York department stores, we ended up only indulging a little at a 20-something’s-best-friend (also known as T.J. Maxx). All that shopping still made us hungry, so we stopped at our first venue of many: Joe’s Shangai.

Those of you not familiar with the New York City food scene may be unfamiliar with the restaurant. I could tell you about it, but it’s probably easier just to show you.

Soup dumplings

That’s right, my friends — soup dumplings! For those of you who’ve never had the pleasure of eating them, soup dumplings are thin and delicate wrappers stuffed with a pork or pork-and-crabmeat mixture. They also, when pierced, yield an unctuous and flavorful broth that is only enhanced by the ginger-and-vinegar sauce provided to accompany them. True soup dumpling connoisseurs know that it’s vitally important not to pierce the dumpling skins willy-nilly; they must be punctured neatly along the top or side, so that the flavorsome broth isn’t wasted on your plate.

These small-but-mighty dumplings were the perfect start to our culinary staycation, and fortified us for the next stop on our trip: Levain bakery!

Levain — an Upper West Side staple — offers what are considered by many to be the best cookies in town. Sure, they make bread and rolls too, but what does that matter in the face of chocolate-chip-walnut cookies and double-chocolate-peanut-butter numbers the size of hockey pucks? Thought we had to wait in line for 20 minutes, our patience yielded great rewards. This is a touristy destination that is definitely worth the trip.

Levain Cookies
Cookies that were worth the wait (plus very good coffee from a place with no wait at all).

Last but not least, we were ready for some vegetables (no one’s getting scurvy on my watch!). A trendy wine bar — also on the UWS — offered us the chance to nibble on some asparagus and get some green back into our lives.

Asparagus wrapped in prosciutto

Of course, I should probably mention that our asparagus was wrapped in prosciutto. Scurvy or no scurvy, most everything is better with bacon.

— S

Day 88: April 2, 2017


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