Yapping About Noodles
S.O.S. I've been stuck in a culinary wasteland since starting a new job around E. 55th and Third Ave. a few weeks ago. I miss Yagura and Café Zaiya, where you could eat like an emperor for $4.50. (I'll also admit to missing a lighter workload, which meant more web posting).
Now I'm in the land of the mediocre $10 salad. If I weren't so thrifty I'd go for the tasty looking offerings from Starwich (despite a minute pay increase I'm still firmly in librarian compensation zone. I don't know what it'll take to get me to raise my $5 lunch budget. Well, I a few years ago I was a strict brown-bagger, so I have loosened up a bit). If I wasn't half-heartedly watching my weight I'd try these "cheeseburkers" at the newish Burke in the Box at Bloomingdale's.
To my amusement, I am one block from a peculiarly tucked away Outback Steakhouse. It just seems really out of place, I can't even imagine who goes there. "No rules, just right," right? What if I started eating Bloomin' Onions for lunch? That fits neither my healthy nor under five bucks requirements (ouch, the onion blob is $8.49 at this location–it's $6.29 in most of NJ, which I only know because they actually post menus by location on their site)
To get back on task, I was meaning to write about how on day one, I scoured menupages looking for a nearby noodle shop. So far, I've settled on Master Yap, which is Chinese rather than Japanese, which is fine, I love roast meats, but it's just not the same. I crave dashi broth and chewy udon, and while Yagura's chicken did include skin, it just somehow felt better for you than a heap of sliced pork.
Master Yap's meat is so red with dye that it stains the broth and noodles pinkish orange (if you get rice vermicelli or chow fun) which seems wrong. There is a little bok choy and bean sprouts tossed in so you can pretend it's counter balancing the pork fat. But the broth is ho hum, and at $4.99 it goes over my limit with tax, though only minutely. I spruce it up with a little chile oil. I'm still not in love with Master Yap, but it has saved me from Pax, Au Bon Pain and Houston's, the biggies around my block.