St. Mark's Place Food Crawl
Danna informed me late in the afternoon that she was working late and grabbing a bite with a colleague. Naturally, I set my sights on snagging a suitable Restaurant Week reservation. Nothing whatsoever intrigued me, with the exception of Molyvos because it was close to my office. Eating alone is one thing. Eating alone for Restaurant Week is not what I had in mind. So I said the hell with Restaurant Week tonight and went for a stroll along St. Mark's Place.
First stop was Crif Dogs, though I'd be a liar if I said Paul's (Da Burger Joint) wasn't trying to pull me in its direction. I stuck to my plan.
I loved the Chihuaha dog so much last time that I had to order it again. A bacon wrapped dog with avocado and sour cream. I thoroughly enjoyed it. "Ya damn right you did" could be heard somewhere in the ether.
I also ordered a Pabst Blue Ribbon to wash it down. But that wasn't all. I went real strong this time and also ordered the Spicy Redneck: a hot dog wrapped in bacon and topped with chili, jalepenos and coleslaw. Damn. One of the best things I've eaten this year so far. Seriously.
Not including the two games of Ms. PacMan, the bill came to about $12.
Dumpling Man, across the street and closer to 1st Ave, was my next stop. And who was taking orders, my favorite Crif Dogs cashier, who apparently switched jobs or flip flops depending on the night. Either way, the girl's got the street wired. Love it. Plain and simple, I ordered some pork dumplings lightly seared.
A grabbed a spot at the end of the bar, watched the ladies making the dumplings, read some Dumpling Man propaganda (news clips from local papers) and got my sauces ready.
The dumplings were ready shortly thereafter...and I must say were piping hot. They were pretty good. Flavorful for sure, but kinda sloppy, not very attractive (they seamed to fall apart a bit) and just not my favorite. They were very good though, don't get the wrong idea. But the ingredient quality at Rickshaw and the craftsmanship of those at Mandoo Bar are superior. Still, a great place to get your dumpling fix and for only $6.
Next up, Crooked Tree Creperie. If I wasn't craving a piping hot crepe, I'd have never stopped into this place. Two remarkably blah people were working the darkly lit chamber with the moodiest music ever to be heard in a place serving food. They actually needed a day-glo orange and black sign on the door letting people know "Yes, We're Open". With only a couple sitting down inside, I can see why. Again, I went simple and ordered a traditional crepe with butter and sugar and you know what...it was fantastic. I ate it outside in the cold, crisp air...and I think it tasted even better because of it. Delicious. $4.
On my way back to the subway, I passed by BAMM, just as I had on the way to Crif Dogs. This time, however, I didn't stop in. And the reason was simple. Nothing whatsoever looked appetizing. Blech. I really wanted to scrounge up $2 and try something. But I couldn't. It looked like fun, but the sense of regret that seemed to permeate the place was far too great. And it wasn't just me. There were lots of people just looking.
So for less than what Restaurant Week dinners cost ($35.07), I filled myself up with three different dining experiences all within a stones throw of one another. Good times.