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Brick Lane Curry House


I think this non-sixth street style, sixth street Indian has potential, but
much of its charm was lost on a busy Friday night. The wait was double the
20 minutes quoted, pushy angry patrons filled the tiny bar area, and once we
finally got a table (and stupidly agreed to sit in the same cramped bar
area) a group of people leaving knocked our papadums and sauce on to the
floor. This was the first bit of food we'd received in almost an hour, so it
was irksome. Even more irksome was the way the staff gave us dirty looks and
acted put out in cleaning up the mess, as if we were the ones who'd
knocked the plate off the table.

The vindaloo and saag were perfectly acceptable, but the pissy waitstaff
and unpleasant patrons will likely keep me from returning.

Brick Lane Curry House * 342 E. Sixth St., New York, NY

Master Grill

Master Grill is to rodizio as East Buffet is to Chinese. Over-the-top,
all-you-can-eat decadence with live entertainment, lights, neon, large
families. When it's a choice between quality or novelty, the latter tends to
win out with me.

I wanted meat, and I got it: beef, quail, bacon-wrapped turkey,
sausages, duck, lamb. Crab legs and salmon from the buffet rounded out my
low-carb frenzy.

It's not the sort of place you'd want to make a habit out of, and
located on that crazy industrial strip of Queens with a view of The Bronx,
it's unlikely you would unless you lived in the area.

MasterGrill * 3409 College
Point Blvd., Flushing,NY

La Bonne Soupe

Perhaps my last night of carbohydrate freedom shouldn't have been devoted to French food and loads of cheese, but a fondue craving's a craving.

I'd always meant to make it to Rotelle A.G., but it went out of business before I had the chance. Artisanal is nice, but I wanted something more downscale. La Bonne Soupe is a slice of '70s, midtown New York that I never experience. It's sort of shabby (not shabby chic) in a red checked table cloth, woody, rustic chalet way, and on a random street I swear I've never walked down in my 4.5 years living here.

It was the 25th hour in there. You'd think I'd be gorging myself on dumplings, cake, pasta, pork buns, fried rice and the like, but no, I went for the Atkin's friendly pot of cheese and pate plate. Oh well. If I had a time machine I might rectify the situation. (1/5/03)

See my Time Out NY Eating & Drinking Guide review

Yikes, despite the cramped, harried, faded nature of this narrow Gallic holdout, I'd enjoyed my previous three meals there. It's the go to place for no frills fondue, an anti-Artisanal. But my recent visit was just a mess. I had decided to check out the MoMA store because they were having a 20% off day for members and corporate affiliates. I have some deal through work, as well as half the city, apparently. I didnt end up buying anything since the only thing I kind of wanted were these acrylic rings and I didnt know my size and didnt want to wait in the snaking line for a $10 purchase. I figured fondue two blocks north would be a nice treat since the sale was sort of a bust.

But its tricky because is fondue a meal? Is it an appetizer? I felt like we should order something not terribly huge for each of us in addition to the pot of melted cheese. James got one of those chopped hamburgers and I opted for a charcuterie plate with salad. But I got my food instantly and then that was it. I was trying to pick at my food until Jamess arrived. It never did. We finally flagged down our waiter (who was getting it from all sides because either no one was getting their food, getting their orders taken, getting their water glasses filled or were missing items are given the wrong dishes) and asked where the rest of our meal was, and apparently, hed been waiting for me to finish. So, I guess that answered my question–charcuterie is considered appetizer and fondue and hamburger is entrée.

Now James had food and I was finished and trying not to hog all the fondue while he attempted eating two things at once. And the fondue was grainy like it had been sitting around cooling to room temperature, separating. The whole thing raised my blood pressure and lowered my appetite. I havent tried Mont Blanc yet, maybe Ill head there for my next fondue fix. Or not…$39 for fondue? Artisanal is only $24. Unfortunately, La Bonne Soupes is still the cheapest at $17, but I'm not sure thats necessarily a bargain. (11/3/05)

La Bonne Soupe * 48 W. 55th St., New York, NY



OK, this is like the holy grail of pizza, so I can't explain my chronic
reluctance to give it a try. People go nuts for Sripraphai as NYC's ultimate
Thai, and I've never had a problem giving into the mania — but pizza — I
don't know. On my final carbohydrate-eating weekend, it seemed like as good
a time as any to pay a visit. The thing with places like this is the
routine, like you're not a regular, and you know there's going to be a
procedure or unspoken rules. I mean, this is NYC. I was aware that
everything is handmade on the spot and that it's manned by an older
gentleman. This makes for a long wait, and everyone else seemed to be
ordering plain slices. I wanted an artichoke and an eggplant, while James
wanted pepperoni. This seemed to cause trauma, at least on our end. James
became convinced he was going to make an entire pie with each topping and
out of confusion we'd be charged for three whole pizzas. I didn't believe
this, but was confused on how they seem to make an entire pie for one unique
slice. See, I didn't know the procedure. We could've made it more efficient
by ordering the same toppings. I got nervous we weren't going to get pizza
at all because like 20 minutes had passed, but it all worked out in the end.
And the pizza was pretty damn good. A nice crispy crust, fresh mozzarella,
parmesan grated on the spot and vegetables sauted to order. I understand
the time involved, but it made me nervous because that's the way I am.

This time we thought we were being smart by calling ahead for a pizza
with eggplant and pepperoni, but I don't know that it makes any difference,
or that you're even able to do that. When we showed up 45 minutes later and
the pizza hadn't even been started. What can you do? Don't good things come
to those who wait? Maybe in the rest of the country, but that adage seems to
go against the grain of most New Yorkers. Once again, a very good pizza
resulted. Everything will be fine once I develop my patience building
skills. (2/15/03)

DiFara's * 1424 Avenue J, Brooklyn, NY