Nothing like a guilty conscience especially on a hot Saturday morning in New York's lower east side!
Finding myself with a 'wife free' day and a bloggers dilemma of finding some subject to talk about like a case of writers block. I initially was heading across to New Jersey for Mitsuwa in edgewater for a look at everything from exotic ingredients to housewares, perhaps a ramen or something for lunch? instead I started out at the Union Square Green Market where I set forth with the idea of photographing food and instead started buying cheese from some great cheese makers including Cato Corner Farm as well as a sheep milk cheese producer of Valley Shepard Creamery. I lazily walked by stalls snapping at ramps, potatoes, onions and of course that all so photogenic bread! The people of Flying Pigs Farms were amazed at the fact that I wanted to snap at some samples of their pork products and engaged in conversation about my previous guest Michael London's famous encyclopedic knowledge of anything food!
The market finished I started losing direction and my plan to go to Mitsuwa vanishing with the rising temperature, so much for it felt like summer already, I made my way to the subterranean transport intending now to see either Brooklyn Brewery or Una pizza Napoletana (even though I had forgotten the exact address!) I made a last minute jump from the L train and got off of first avenue and 14th street in the east village. Somehow I had forgotten how different New York city had changed or turned into a commercial hub of boutiques, Starbucks a legacy of the Giuliani years, white washing what was character in these neighborhoods. Crossing Houston street I decided to just pass some of the landmarks of Jewish culinary tradition, what is still left interspersed with new luxury development and New York University claiming land like the settlers buying Manhattan for 24 dollars and some glass beads just so they can say they are an Ivy league school!
Katz , Russ & Daughters along with Yonah Schimmels Knishes are what is left of a dead neighborhood and lost art of the Delicatessen's I remembered, no more Shmulka Bernstein's on Essex, Ratners or 2nd Ave. Deli it's not here anymore!
Crossing Delancy I made my way down Essex passing some old Synagogue padlocked, sighing a bit I looked ahead of me on Grand street at the Doughnut Plant next Kossars Bialy's, being Saturday I decided to stop in for a doughnut as Kossars observed Sabbath rules and were closed, I have to remember to stop by on a Sunday!
The Doughnut plant are the brain child Mark Israel who follows the recipe handed down by his Grandfather Herman who's picture hangs on the wall as you enter. Fretting a bit the sign above the counter calmed me when I noticed the dough nuts were trans fat free! The wafting smell of the yeasted dough nuts permeated and I ordered an iced chai tea and a phat raspberry filled dough nut, unorthodoxly square with a whole in the middle that had a heavenly vanilla glaze, all organic!
I skipped out making my way to the next corner ceremoniously chomping and licking my fingers, across the way the Pickle Guy's were shuttered as was Gertels probably one of the only Jewish bakeries left!
The neighborhood was turning into the periphery of Chinatown but I made my way down Eldridge street to look at the Old Synagogue that is being renovated, beautiful building! Across the road when my Brother made me aware of this jewel landmark when we were eating across the street in a Malaysian restaurant. Following the back streets near the Manhattan bridge I noticed the vegetable vender's selling Asian vegetables and seafood in the ad hoc fashion, still with a large clientèle.
Heading back north from Canal street I made my way up to see my friend at Public, Brad Farmerie. I first stopped to by some wine at Wine Therapy on Elizabeth street and chatted with it's amiable owner who made a suggestion what I should try with my Sister in-laws Salt cod dinner! (Seem to be eating a lot of the stuff of late!)
I stopped in to see if I could invite the Chef of Peasant for an interview but all I found in the window was a funny looking French Bulldog so I snapped a picture of the photogenic fella!
Brad was knee deep in brunch so I retired myself to having a snack of Dosa filled with potato masala and peanut chutney at Hampton Chutney co. before heading for dinner at the in-laws later that evening!