An impulse buy

Whoever had the bright idea to pack the check-out lane and space right near a cash register with candy and sweet things definitely had people like me in mind. I’m rarely able to resist making a last minute purchase of something I don’t need like candy bars, packs of gum, and all sorts of other high-in-sugar goodies. Last week, while getting coffee one morning on my way to work, I was intrigued by something I saw in a big glass jar right as I handed my credit card to the guy behind the counter.

“Oh and add one of these to that!” I quickly threw in, waving the caramel-covered marshmallow I had pulled out of the jar.

It had seemed like a good idea. I like caramel and I like marshmallows so combining the two was brilliant. But like so many things that are a better idea in theory than in practice, this sticky sweet little blob of sugar just wasn’t the great idea I had hoped it would be. The caramel was super sticky and immediately stuck to the crevices in my teeth, probably immediately causing several new cavities. The marshmallow wasn’t even fluffy and soft either, trapped in it’s tar-like suit of caramel. Sure, I ate it, but believe it or not, I actually didn’t enjoy it.

You win this time, impulse buy.

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The deli’s unsung hero

Egg salad with Roquefort cheese

In my opinion, egg salad is the unsung hero of the deli. As people order their sandwiches, bagels, coldcuts and cheeses, they often overlook the egg salad. But not me. I love egg salad, and sometimes when I walk into a deli, that’s all I get.

“Anything else?” the person behind the counter will ask, waiting for the rest of my order.

“Nope. Just the egg salad, thanks.”

Today while at work, I was randomly struck by a craving for egg salad. Since my boyfriend is out of town and therefore not around to make sure I have a balanced meal, complete with protein, veggies and all the other things he often harps about, I thought, “Great. It’s decided. I’m having egg salad for dinner.” While I’ve had it at a few places between my office and my apartment, the place I had in mind was one I’d never been to. It wasn’t even technically a deli either.

Egg salad for dinner

Egg salad follows a pretty basic recipe: boiled eggs, mayo, mustard, salt, pepper. So when I read that Lamazou, a small cheese shop in Murray Hill, a block away from my apartment, adds Roquefort to their egg salad, I knew that was the one I wanted.

And sure enough, Lamazou’s version did not disappoint. It was just the right shade of pale yellow (too yellow means too much mustard… throws the whole thing off), and was the perfect creamy yet chunky consistency (too creamy means too much mayo…slimey and gross). The special ingredient, the Roquefort, gave it just a hint of that salty tanginess the moldy cheese is known for without overpowering the whole thing.

And while it might not have looked like much, my small container of egg salad and the hunk of baguette I ate it with, actually made for a very filling dinner. My boyfriend might not have approved, but for tonight, I was ok with egg salad hogging up the spotlight.

Go-to Thai

Pad thai, neighborhood comfort food

Everyone in New York has a favorite Thai place. It’s weird. Not their favorite burger joint, or preferred restaurant for chinese take-out, or even their go-to place for a slice of pizza. But everyone, it seems, has their favorite spot for Thai. It’s not always the best or the most authentic or even the most well known. Sometimes it’s just the one closest to home, or the one with the cheapest menu or the one with the fastest delivery.

I just moved into a new apartment, only about 10 blocks away from my old apartment, so pretty much still in the same neighborhood. The guy who lived here before us mentioned a couple of things about the places around our new home: which bars were good, where the nearest laundromat was and where his favorite Thai place was. “This will be your go-to Thai restaurant,” he told us matter-of-factly. It was literally across the street from the end of our block, about a 45 second walk from our front door.  Yet when we went, while it was nice and the food was decent, it just wasn’t my favorite Thai place.

My first night in the city, after just moving here from Italy, my then-roomate took me to Talent Thai, a small restaurant on 34th street in Murray Hill. Maybe it’s because eating there is now tied to the memory of moving to New York and all the excitement and anticipation of starting a new life in the city and everything that comes with it, but after that first night, Talent Thai became my go-to spot. Relatively cheap (most entrees, which are massive in size, cost around 10 bucks…a steal by New York standards), quick service, nice ambience, and delicious food, it’s everything I could ask for. Whenever I don’t feel like cooking, but I’m not sure what I feel like eating, I can always rely on Talent Thai. So even though there’s a much closer option, I’ll continue going to my old favorite, which thankfully is still only six blocks away.