Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Impromptu Road Trip to New York: 2 of 2

Again, photos are forthcoming.

Breakfast and Lunch?

I gave up on jogging for the morning – Central Park too far, don’t want to be bothered – and had breakfast at the little “natural foods” café called Naturally Yours. I almost walked out after waiting 10 minutes for the waiter to take my order. Turns out he had just forgotten to tell my waitress that I was over there, while she was all alone bussing tables on the other side of the place. Glad I didn’t leave. I got a low-carb (to make up for not jogging) egg white omelet with lox and onions in it, and tomato slices, which taste really good with a little salt on them. All this, with a horribly warm orange juice, was about $12.

I chatted with my bunkmates (one is Venezuelan – my Spanish is getting less rusty – and the other Québécois), checked out, and went out for lunch. And I got adventurous. On the previous advice of Charm City Cupcake, I hightailed it out to the Woodside section of Queens for some Thai food at Sripraphai. Whoever said that Queens is filled with lots of different ethnic eateries wasn’t kidding. There were so many nationalities and languages represented on a six-block stretch: Mexican, Colombian, Italian, Irish, Filipino, Paraguayan, Uruguayan, Chinese, Japanese, Cuban. I don’t think I saw a single hamburger between 61st and 69th St. But I wanted Thai so I headed to Sripraphai, on 39th Ave.

Guess which Thai restaurant on 39th Ave is closed on Wednesdays? Sorry CCC, I tried!

So I wandered around a bit more and wound up in a Uruguayan/Paraguayan bakery. Again, I flexed my Spanish muscles and ordered one large cookie and a Diet Pepsi for $2.50. That much for a coke and a cookie? Ah, but this was a big ass, double layer cookie, the top one dipped in chocolate, with a chocolate cream filling between them. Mmmm.

I then got lunch on a block featuring a solid line of Filipino restaurants. I set foot in the Perlas ng Silangan restaurant, only to be given a menu and then be ignored for ten minutes while the same waiter – one of four in the otherwise empty restaurant – instead helped a woman he knew and her two children who all came in after me. Maybe I was supposed to go up and order, but if so then why did he just go ahead and seat me? I don't know. I walked out and headed across the street to the Tipanan Restaurant, which had several full tables, from none of which was heard a word of anything but Tagalog. This time I just ordered at the counter, and got the most remarkable, fragrant pesang bangus fish soup with onion, ginger and whole peppercorns, served with a mountain of rice and a Diet Coke for all of $9. AND the waitress gave me a complimentary dessert, which was light and a little marshmallowy, and damn good. The tables, I must warn you, aren't the, um, cleanest, but it's something you just have to deal with if you want this good food.

Back on the train

A few more excursions later, I found myself heading back to the hotel to collect my things – they’ll hold it for you after you check out. On the way I hit Little Korea and went into Woorijip, a little cafeteria-style restaurant featuring racks of freshly made dishes - fish, meat, hot, cold, veggies, kimchi and also Korean groceries. For $10 I got a box of sweets, a kimchi dinner to eat on the train, a rainbow colored rice cake and a small can of cinnamon-flavored punch. This last one was tasty and a little hot going down. Who would’ve thought? A cinnamon soft drink?

I am writing this on the train, by the way. It’s going ridiculously slow and, because of the pungent smell of the kimchi, I am now afraid to eat it until I get back to Baltimore.

UPDATE: I ate the stuff from Woorijip on the train. Nobody seemed to mind. And it was hot. And yummy.


Fairfax said...

WOW! Just what I need to do - a road trip to NYC. However I think I will pass on the hostel. What adventure do you have on for the 4th?

John said...

Probably sleeping. I need to save my money and I have gotten so little sleep! But if I do go anywhere it would probably just be the Folklife Festival on the Mall.

charm city cupcake said...

oh man, that sucks that sripraphai was closed. i had NO idea that they're closed on wednesday! i feel bad! well, like you noticed, there's no shortage of great international cuisine in woodside, so i'm glad you found a decent substitute.

btw, i love that you're adventurous and take the subways to the outer boroughs! good for you!!! :)

John said...

I did notice! Wow, I'll have to get out to Queens more often when I visit NYC. That's just me, Mr. Adventurous!