The Un-Gentrified Deliciousness of the Garment District
Thanks to Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York for pointing out this one… On Friday the New York Times op-ed page published this great love letter to their surrounding neighborhood, the mostly un-gentrified Garment District. It wasn’t entirely about food, but the author did point it out as a big bonus of the New York Times’ short move from Times Square to 41st and 8th Ave:
I’ve found a Balkan cellar whose cevapcici (grilled lozenges of minced meat) take me back to Sarajevo days; a deli whose tongue sandwiches remind me of the tongue my mother prepared; a Chinese hole-in-the-wall with heartwarming oxtail on rice; and a Szechuan joint whose duck tongues on a bed of scallion, dressed in a scallion pesto, are a little miracle of many-layered succulence â€” the reddish-brown Szechuan pepper imparting a numbing-tingling heat, the duck tongues crunchy (about the consistency of frogs’ legs) and gelatinous and looking, in the pesto-green sauce, a little like asparagus tips. If you wish, you may follow that with a fish-head (carp) stew in spiced chili broth that’s hot enough to ease your eyes from their sockets.
Two blocks away they’re eating burgers and Bubba Gump shrimp and never dreaming of this other land just around the corner. You don’t have to travel far to change countries; and you can travel across the world and still find yourself in the globalized mall of bright lights, bland foods and brands.
I think I figured out most of the restaurants he’s talking about. Can you?
I’m thinking the Balkan Cellar must be Djerdan (on 38th btw. 7+8th).
The Deli is probably Ben’s (also on 38th btw. 7+8th).
I’m guessing the Chinese hole in the wall is Ying Du (on 38th btw. 7+8th)
And duck tongues must be Szechuan Gourmet (on 39th btw. 5+6th)
The Garment District does have some great food…