Stalking Cafe Duke’s New Soup Special
At this point, I’ve come to terms with the maddeningly inconsistent schedule at Café Duke’s Korean counter (on 51st btw. 6+7th). As far as we can tell, their daily specials ($8.95) usually jive with the given meteorlogic conditions, and if you haven’t noticed, it’s getting nippy outside. So it should be no surprise that on a particularly bitter cold day, I stepped into Café Duke and found that they were serving a soup special that bites back. Yuk gae jang is a fiery, tangy, yet refreshing Korean soup, rich with slices of beef flank, crunchy bean sprouts, earthy fern shoots, and pungent scallions. This dish’s raison d’être is to warm the body and soul. Halfway through the peppery bowl of soup, I had loosened my tie, rolled up my sleeves, and had a sheen of sweat on my brow despite the blustery conditions outside. A side of adequately steamed white rice provides relief to the sting of the broth, and the obligatory side of kimchi is the ultimate cure-all for any and all ailments (sez my Grandmother). Baby it’s cold outside, but boy, this yuk gae jang has got me feeling warm inside.
The only downside? You never know when they’re going to have it!