Over the course of an afternoon, we ate twelve foods from eleven places — which was still a mere fraction of the fifty-five restaurants showcasing their foods that day — so this should probably be broken down into more than one post. (Note: all the photos in these next posts will be clickable so you can see them up close and personal if you wish.)
Restaurant 1: Forlini’s, 93 Baxter St.
Food: Tripe with penne in milanese sauce
Now, I went here determined to try new foods, so when my first stop offered chicken, pork, tripe, and beef (I think), I said (in my brain, not aloud), you know what? fuck it, i’m getting the tripe.
I brought it back to my husband who immediately asked, “What is it?”
“Just try it,” I said, “then I’ll tell you what it is.”
“No, seriously,” he said, “what is it?”
He ate a bite, chewed, chewed again, and then spat it out in a napkin, exclaiming, “Oh, God, that is the worst thing I have ever eaten in my life.”
I ate some of the penne, which was remarkably bland, and then put a piece of tripe in my mouth. It was like… you ever get a really nasty piece of gristle that’s so bad you have to pull it out of your mouth and examine it in a dude, what the hell is this? manner? It was like that. Only a whole mouthful of that. I took that photo right before I dumped it in the trash and got the hell out of there.
Restaurant 2: Bo Ky, 80 Bayard St.
Food: Noodles with shrimp and fish balls (?)
I only tried a little of this one, as I was still kind of grossed out after the tripe incident. The noodles were good — firm, just the right amount of oily and a little fishy. The fish ball/dumpling was… odd. It had the consistency of a very dense matzo ball, but with fish. My husband finished it off and deemed it “just okay.”
Restaurant 3: Moon House Restaurant, 67 Bayard St.
Food: Fried buns and filled wontons
In truth, we only stopped at this place because the kid was clamoring for strawberry ice cream at Chinatown Ice Cream Factory and this was right outside their door. The buns were crispy outside and surprisingly light and fluffy inside with just a little hint of sweetness. The wontons were less surprising, and tasted like every crab rangoon I’ve ever eaten — which wasn’t bad, exactly, but there wasn’t anything especially remarkable about it.
Okay, I’ve got a feverish three year old on the couch and my husband’s in Washington until Tuesday, so I’m gonna end this post now and continue tomorrow.
It only gets better from here! Still to come: a bakery treat as mysterious as it is delicious, and quite possibly the best bÃ¡hn mi ever.