Lunch: Making Something Out of Nothing (aka the Classy Croissant Sandwich Post)

I truly foraged along Eighth Avenue at lunch today:

photoStart. It began with the scavenged remains of last night’s antipasto feast, frisee and a bit of arugula tossed in a sweet balsamic vinegar; a couple of roasted pepper slices; a couple of slices of salami. Out of this bedraggled mess I saw the potential for a sandwich.

Stop no. 1. A local deli salad bar, Amici 36, which, by 2 p.m. the offerings here are looking pretty sorry themselves. I scavenged some red onion slices in a pesto sauce, some roasted asparagus spears, more roasted peppers, two fresh mozzarella slices, fresh greens and a few other stray vegetables that looked appealing. ($2.25) The deli was out of croissants.

Stop no. 2. Hot & Crusty for a croissant, the last in the case. I asked the clerk if she could slice is lengthwise, “like a sandwich.” No plastic ware is going to slice through a delicate, flaky thing like that and not rip it to shreds. ($2.20)

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Finish line. Back at the office, some assembly required, but look at the beautiful sandwich I turned out. A foraged masterpiece.

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Breakfast: Market Discovery, Tropicana’s “Healthy Kids” Juice On-the-Go (aka “Cute Straw” Post)

photoVery exciting discovery in the grocery store last night:

Tropicana now sells six-packs of these vitamin-fortified, 8 oz. servings of orange juice, complete with cute expandable straw. If you’ve read this blog with any regularity, you might have picked up on the fact that I like to drink my juice in the (recommended) 8 oz. serving size. Something really satisfying about that.

I’ve never seen orange juice commercially sold like this before; the smallest cartons are usually 12 oz. and up. I may not be the target demographic (the packaging is clearly labeled “Healthy Kids”), but I’ll be drinking up.

COST: On sale for $2.99 per pkg (6)

Dinner: A Wine Bar for Those with Appetites

When I saw that the food menu was buried at the back of a lengthy cocktail menu and wine list, I vaguely worried that Vero Panini & Wine Bar would turn out to be that type of place that overcharges for small portions and justifies its actions by calling them “tapas,” or “antipasti”: fingerling panini sandwiches, appetizer-sized salads, underwhelming charcuterie. Worse still, the food could be an afterthought entirely.

photoAnd then my antipasti plate ($14) arrived: Ultra-thin slices of proscuitto and salami virtually blanketed a generous bed of arugula and frisee salad; cubes of pecorino, tomato slices, pepperoncini bits, olives, small ribbons of roasted peppers were scattered everywhere; drizzled, dotted lines of aged balsamic vinegar zigzagged across the whole thing. This is no mere antipasti plate, but an antipasti salad of gargantuan proportions. Paired with one additional smallish appetizer, or maybe even just some extra bread (the plate comes with a container with about a dozen toast points) it’s easily enough for two.

photo(2)The panini my dining partner had was of an appropriate, sandwich size and won this giant compliment (paraphrase): “We had the most amazing paninis for lunch one day while we were touring wineries in Italy; our guide took us to a local little lunch spot. This is the closest thing I’ve had since — they make them exactly like this.”