Saturday, November 11, 2006

Hey, I just checked this book out of the library in anticipation of a post-Thanksgiving trip to NYC. I am always up for finding cheap food choices (the place I'm staying - the YMCA, if you can believe it - is cheap at $93 after taxes. 93 f*#%ing dollars is cheap!). So to my surprise I find this wonderful little book, the Chowhound's Guide to the New York Tristate Area. Since I will be there for a total of 36 hours, I won't have the time to sample many of the places in this book, I will have to be picky-choosy with where I choose to eat at. But for those who frequently get to New York City, it covers all five burroughs, not just the oft-traveled Manhattan (where I will probably be staying for the entire time, but I digress). What's more, the authors run a website heretofore unbeknownst to me,, which covers more than just New York. For instance, the "Alpha Hound," Jim Leff, is going around the country trying food (currently he is in Alabama), and reported on the wonderful-sounding dim sum buffet at Lucky Three Chinese Restaurant in Falls Church, VA, which is definitely in close commuting distance from Charm City. I'll have to log on to this site and investigate it. They sound less forgiving in their reviews than I am. To wit: Leff gave a deservedly tepid review of the Mitsitam Café in DC's gorgeous National Museum of the American Indian, the "best-of-evils" in the Smithsonian world of overpriced museum cafeterias. I agree, and I even found a hair in a duck, cranberry and field green salad (ewww). I highly doubt the hair is part of indigenous Eastern Woodland cuisine. Though there are some pluses, at least: not only are the recipes comprised of indigenous American ingredients, but most of Mitsitam's suppliers are American Indians, which puts money back into American Indian communities.

But this Chowhound website looks cool, and useful, too. I could get a few great ideas for my trip, and even for this blog!