Dinner: Wednesday, March 25, 2009

photo-1Trader Joe’s isn’t the end-all be-all, but when it’s good … damn. It’s good.

Take this meal: Start with one TJ’s Pizza Olympiad (2-pack, $3.99), which is not so much an attempt at an authentic, cheesy slice as a tasty, Greek-inspired flatbread (kalamata olives, roasted red peppers, feta and mozzarella cheese).

Pair it  with some fresh mesculn greens — tossed in olive oil, squeeze of lemon juice, sea salt and pepper — and Villa Maria Private Bin Chardonnay (unoaked out of New Zealand, vintage 2006), which goes for $8.99/bottle at the adjacent TJ’s Wine Shop.

Like I said, when it’s good … damn, it’s brilliant. 

COST: >$10, incl. 1/2 bottle wine
PREP TIME: 12 minutes

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Lunch: Wednesday, March 25, 2009

photo7Split pea soup. I just can’t get enough, just can’t get enough.

I try it everywhere I find it: Guess I’m searching for something like the one my father makes, which starts with a thick ham hock, or Pea Soup Andersen’s namesake, which is smooth and dense.

There’s just something special about a bowl of murky, mushy, yellowy-green goodness that even the mediocre versions  Cafe Metro’s “Organic Split Peas” soup falls into this category can’t mess up.

[Blue Spoon Coffee Co.’s Split Pea with Ham, a Monday special, is my favorite in NYC. Don’t wait until after the lunch rush they always sell out. ]

COST: $5.41 (large)
PREP TIME: N/A

Breakfast: Wednesday, March 25, 2009

photo6Channeling my inner Hawaiian.

Fried eggs? Check. Fried rice? Check. Grilled Spam? American-style bacon will have to do. Lush, temperate setting of the back porch at Oki Diner on a quiet weekday morning? … Zoning out while staring at a postcard of Kaua’i will have to do.

PRICE: >$5
PREP TIME: 5 minutes