For some people the purpose of a diet is to lose weight and keep it off. For me the purpose is to reset my body weight for further pigging out. So, starting last Friday I made up for lost time.
I left work early for the holiday weekend and headed over to Mile End
, in Brooklyn, for a Montreal-style smoked meat sandwich. This was my third time there. When I wrote about it after my first visit I kvelled about the smoked meat, with minor reservations: sliced too thick and a tad too much black pepper. The second time I chatted with the owner and told him that I had written that review. He had seen it and agreed I'd made some good points. He said that they're always tinkering with the recipe, and that during weekdays, when they're less busy, they have the luxury to slice the meat thinner (it's hand-sliced). The second time around the pepper balance was much better and the slices perfectly thin and even. The third time was a disappointment, however. While still quite good, the slices were thick again, and the meat was much more heavily smoked--it tasted like a cross between Texas brisket and Montreal smoked meat. The owner had told me that the smoked meat was different every time, and he wasn't kidding.
Afterwards, as I detoured to Court Street for a walk through Cobble Hill and Carroll Gardens before crossing the mighty Gowanus back toward Park Slope, I stopped off at the Court Pastry Shop
, an excellent Italian bakery, and had a piece of their wonderful grain pie
, a Neapolitan Easter pastry made with ricotta and dried orange.
I had a light dinner.
The next day I took a walk to Sunset Park
and broke my noodle fast at Nyonya with a plate of chow kuey teow, a great Chinese-Malaysian
rice noodle dish. For dinner I had a mortadella sandwich. I love mortadella, and I love how it's proud to show its fat.
I took another walk to Sunset Park on Sunday and stopped at Tacos Matamoros
, my favorite Mexican restaurant in the neighborhood. I had two tacos grandes, which are served with excellent guacamole--one lengua (tongue) and one al pastor (Mexican pineapple-marinated pork shawarma). Matamoros makes the best al pastor I've had in New York. I also tried their seafood ceviche tostada for the first time, and that was also quite good.
Back in Sunset Park on Memorial Day I went to Pho Thanh Hoai III
, my favorite Brooklyn Vietnamese, where I had an order of spring rolls and bun rieu cua, a crabmeat noodle soup. Afterwards I had a delightfully flaky almond egg custard tart from Egg Custard King
, on the next block.
Dinner stops during the week included Chao Thai
, in Elmhurst and Cuba
, in the Village. I'm always blown away by Chao Thai. Cuba, on the other hand, didn't do much for me at all.
And an hour ago I had a gelato, downstairs from my office at Melt
. It's either a blessing or a curse to have a good gelateria so close to the office. Their flavors can be hit or miss, subject to individual tastes, but today they had one of my favorites, and one I've never seen elsewhere: mascarpone caramel pistachio.
I'm working up to another diet. I fear it may be sooner rather than later.