Monday, April 20, 2009

E. And G. Adventure In The E.V.

Around six, we put our names in at Ippudo, who claimed to have an hour and a half wait.  We walked down to St. Mark's and I saw the sign for Ramen Setagaya and couldn't be persuaded to wait for the city's best ramen.  So Setagaya it was. 

We had soy sauce eggs (ok, I found out my sister doesn't really love eggs the way that I do, so I had the soy sauce eggs by myself) and a bamboo salad that was dressed with soy, salt, and pepper.  Fatty rounds of barbecued pork melted in our mouths.  Oshinko was served traditional style: cucumber, eggplant, and whatever that sweet potato thing is.  

My sister's ramen came in a salty broth with toothsome noodles, a soy sauce egg, and roasted pork.  The broth lacked the depth of flavor that Ippudo's is known for (they use roasted pork bones as the base of their stocks), but it did have the brininess of fresh seaweed.  That may not appeal to all.  My noodle was a thicker variety--the name escapes me--and came separate from a gelatinous, fishy broth.  I liked the texture of the noodles, though the soup was a little too ocean-y for my taste. 

Ramen mission accomplished, we slipped across the street to the newest version of the Murray Hill hot spot Baoguette--the downtown plot is called Baoguette Cafe--for some takeout sandwiches.  The line is long and they only take cash, but, hey, the banh mi are pretty delicious.  I ordered the classic, topped with country pate, pickled cucumber, carrots, daikon, cilantro, and sriracha, as well as the 'sloppy bao,' made with curry beef.  Baoguette makes their baguettes in house.  I didn't eat the sandwiches until later, though they were lovely.  Next time, I'll be ordering the grilled corn with dried shrimp and scallions. 

Finally, sweets were in order.  We hiked (ok, drove) to 2nd Avenue and waited in the excessive line at Momofuku Milk Bar to see what the hype was all about.  A half hour later, once I could finally see the display case, I noticed that all the cookies were gone, with the exception of two.  Most of the cakes and breads were gone.  I had wanted to try the blueberry cream cookie that I watched Christina Tosi make on Martha Stewart.  Instead, I ended up with three compost cookies that tasted suspiciously like my Aunt Linda's mocha chip cookies, a slice of dulce de leche cake (too sweet), a slice of cinnamon bun pie (good concept, with the cream cheese frosting, but, again, too sweet) and a cup of donut-flavored soft-serve.  A note on the soft-serve: the chocolate donut flavor actually has the doughy consistency of the pastry, while the jelly donut flavor tasted more like mediocre sorbet.  I should have gone for a set of pork buns and the bavarian cream soft-serve, but, like the line, it would have been too much.  

Ramen Setagaya
34 St. Mark's Place
New York, NY 10003

Baoguette Cafe
37 St. Mark's Place
New York, NY 10003

Momofuku Milk Bar and Bakery
207 2nd Avenue
New York, NY 10003

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