Dinner: The Fate of the Pita Chips … and More

photo(2)To resolve the second-lunch cliffhanger of: “Whatever happened to the pita chips,” they became a part of my triumvirate-scroungy dinner:

Part One: Said pita chips from Pita Pan Cafe. No way those freshly deep-fried bits of old pita would last even until morning. Paired with a newly-bought Sabra hummus and a fine Catalonian E.V.O.O.

photo(7)Part Two: Personal-sized repeat salad from simple steak salad night just last week. Minus the Parmesan, plus the radish slices. Not exactly even trade, but not crap, either. (I like radishes.)

Part Three: Vaguely more complicated. I start getting anxiety when I look in my fridge and there is no block of cheese — not even an end of block of cheese — in sight.

Separately, I also got mildly excited about The Food Emporium’s “Taste of Nature: Austria” circular that I discovered recently (clearly an Austria tourism-sponsored tourism plug; specials are on through July 2). So when I realized tonight that Austrian cheese happened to be on special, when I happened to stop in the Food Emporium nearest to my apartment tonight … well …

Let’s leave this with another to be continued. Surely, the cheeses will surface again soon.

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Lunch: The Lunch that Nearly Wasn’t (the “First and Second Lunch” Post)

photo(2)I was fairly positive that I was going to have to post this sort-of-awkward photo of an Apple Pie Larabar as my lunch post today. (It’s a long story, but the short story is that my lunching plans were foiled once again by work and miscellany, and I decided to eat the Larabar in my desk and strategize about “second lunch” — some friends actually have second breakfast, so why can’t I have second lunch, was my rationale — rather than willy-nilly spend money I should have spent on a different lunch on some mediocre first lunch.)

Hence, the emergency stop at Pita Pan Cafe in Chelsea at 6 pm on my way to the opening party of the X-Initiative‘s latest gig, “No Soul for Sale,” at which free Asahi beers were being given away because Mexico City-based artist Martin Soto Climent photoneeds 1,000 emtpies to build his musical sculpture. I needed: a.) sustenance, b.) on-the-go capabilities (did I mention the free beer?) and, most importantly, c.) to not spend more than $5, otherwise my rational for not eating lunch hours earlier would seem … even more irrational than it already seems.

I was in luck. The Pita Pan does a bunch of vegetarian pita sandwiches for under $5, but I came up with an even better, and possibly more portable, combo: Spinach pie ($3.25, fillo dough stuffed with spinach and onions) and a side of homemade pita chips, of which I could get a bowl for $1.50. Total with tax: $5.15.

I ate the spinach pie, which was very tasty, over the next few long blocks to get to the venue; stuffed the pita chips in my bag for later …

Breakfast: Lucky Charms, Revisited (aka the Sugar Crash post)

I was so excited that I had Lucky Charms for breakfast … photothat is, until now, two hours later, when I just crashed and burned, my sugar index plummeting, all my happy little heart, star, clover, horseshoe and rainbow-shaped marshmallows but a memory once again.

I think, maybe next time I indulge in a bit of nostalgia for Lucky Charms, it should be as some sort of dessert component. But what to make that doesn’t involve me purely picking out the marshmallows and using them as ice cream topping (been there, done that)?

Dinner: Bun Cha Gio (The “I’m Going To Try Something New at Pho Grand” Post)

Don’t get me wrong, I like pho. But sometimes, the quantity of rice noodles overwhelms me: They’re not enough, and too much, at exactly the same time.

photophoto(4)So, this time, “I am going to try something new,” I announced to my friend, as we photo(6)settled into our cozy, two-top right next to the window at Pho Grand in Chinatown. I was busy studying the photos on the backside of the take-away menu, and figuring out their corresponding menu numerals, when my friend pointed out to me: “I love that your idea of trying something new is picking something from the picture menu.”

photo(5)Hey, I sort of love that, too. Take the dish I chose, no. 45, the bun chao gio. Lovely photo, absolutely uninspired English translation: Bun Cha Gio, spring rolls with lettuce and rice vermicelli, $5.45. Who would read that and think a.) it’s enough for dinner and b.) oh, spring rolls, you mean dainty, delicious rolls stuffed with a savory mushroom-pork mix, wrapped in rice paper, and then deep-fried, but they’re miraculously not greasy? Yeah I wouldn’t have gotten that, either. But the picture was intriguing, and the bun chao gio were a hit.

Plus, as I pointed out to my friend, kind of cool that I picked the one dish that has a photo on the take-away menu and not on the regular in-house menu. Good thing I picked up that take-out menu at the start.

Pho Grand, 277 Grand St. (btwn. Eldridge and Forsyth), 212-965-5366

Gratuitous photo of table condiments, one of my favorite groupings to take pictures of, after the jump:

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