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* Well, that was short-lived. Apparently, the staff kept saying Mina had gone back to Bangladesh when really she was setting up shop at Angon in the E. Village. Mina is now shuttered due to months of rent non-payment and who knows what else. (8/20/04)

I threw up in my hat minutes after eating here, though I don't know that it was Mina's fault since I did have a pounding headache prior to entering the restaurant. But it's hard not to let the aftermath taint the dining experience. And what an experience it was. I'd heard how idiosyncratic a place this was, small staff, small kitchen, every dish different every time ordered, long waits for food, forgetful service, etc. The sort of quirks that tend to plague places revered by people in the know food-wise. I could deal. At least I thought so, but after almost an hour with no food and everyone around us antsy because they were also empty-tabled, I started to get nervous. And my stomach was starting to hurt, out of hunger I figured. And everything I tried ordering: a fish dopiaza, then a goat curry, not to mention anything made with eggplant, they were out of. I'm so easygoing when it comes to dining, particularly at the lower end of the price spectrum, I'm not going to bust anyone's balls over $6.95. But all the events would've driven a diner with average expectations bonkers. I honestly couldn't tell you what we ended up eating because by that point I was feeling very ill. There was some meat, some somosas and some rice. It's a blur. All I know is that by the time we made it the block to the car I felt sicker than I have ever felt in my life, no exaggerating. I've never been that sweaty, nauseous and consumed by severe head pain (and I'm used to migraines). This wasn't a migraine, it felt like a tumor was trying to free itself from my brain. So, yes, we made it all through back streets twisting from Woodside to Carroll Gardens (we had the darndest time finding the BQE) and made it to the industrial borderlands of Columbia St. before I lost my dinner (and probably my lunch). The amusing part (thought not at the time) was how earlier that week James told me he didn't like this particular winter hat, and I was like fuck that, I'm going to wear it more now just to spite you. But full of Indian-spiced spinach, there was no way that wooly barf bag was going back on my head. This wretched retching went on all night long. I was totally poisoned. But like I said, it couldn't have been from Mina because I was already starting to fade when we initially sat down. So, I don't want to write Mina off, but it might take me a little convincing for a return visit.

Mina * 48-11 43rd Ave., Sunnyside, NY


Brunch is not my thing. I partake maybe once every four months, if that. One, I can't get out of bed, and two, I'm scared of the stroller set that plagues practically every eatery in the neighborhood. Sunday, James suggested going to Hill Diner, but there was a crowd out front so we went for Lobo, across the street, instead.

I think they actually do a good breakfast and weren't packed to the gills either. I tend to admonish people who always order the same thing like they're afraid of change, but I've started realizing that I'm equally guilty. Lately, I've been noticing when I add my little write-ups here that on previous visits I'd eaten the exact same items. In this case, that would be the Texas breakfast.

I am not chaste on those rare occasions I actually do go out for breakfast or brunch. I don't want to choose between sweet or savory offerings, I want both (that's why IHOP is so genius). You need an egg, a meat and a treat, and that's what I got: two eggs over easy, a mess of bacon and two large buckwheat pecan pancakes. I don't even care much for pancakes (one would've been sufficient) but I wanted something to slather butter and drizzle maple syrup on. If I ever return, I will force myself to branch out. (11/13/05)

This is the old Harvest, which I never ate at anyway, so that doesn't mean much to me. Supposedly the brunch is the same (I mean, it's advertised as such on the window). I very, rarely brunch (did I just use brunch as a verb?). I'm just not up early enough, and if I am I'm not in the mood to deal with sitting near the type of people who do eat brunch.

Well, it turned out to be pleasing in a hearty, satisfyingly stuffed to the gills way that you can't do on a regular basis. I get the same effect from Old Devil Moon's breakfast offerings. But here they have the Tex-Mex slant as opposed to the Southern thing. Country ham, grits, huevos rancheros, big omelets, it's the works. I opted for dense, pecan-laced, buckwheat pancakes, and normally I don't even like pancakes. It just sounded so toothsome and right. And it was. (1/24/04)

Lobo * 218 Court St., Brooklyn, NY

Flushing Food Court

Aw, it's been replaced by a book store. (11/7/05)

I'm not sure if this is called Flushing Food Court or if it's just Food Court, the latter is what it says out front. I had high expectations for the two-storied hodge podge of stands. I knew it'd be about as close as I could get to hawker style dining in NYC. But almost half of the stalls were closed. And there was some language trouble. I think I'm particularly bad at communicating with ESL's or NSL's (no second language, to be more precise), which wouldn't be surprising considering I'm not so hot dealing with born and bred Americans. There have been debates over whether invisibility or the ability to fly would be better super powers. However, I've always thought that being able to speak and understand any language or dialect at the drop of a hat would be the ultimate power skill. James and I wound up being served a double portion of a stir fried lamb noodle dish, when in actuality we attempted to order both that and a soup that I'd heard raves about. I'm not deterred though, I'll get it right one of these times.

FlushingFood Court * 36-58 Main St., Flushing, NY

Love See No Color

M&M’s have done it again. It wasn’t enough to create shades for every season and holiday (when did they start that anyway? It seems like a given now, but it was probably the ’80s), and to allow custom colors via their website. Now they’ve gone extreme (or simple, depending upon how you view it) with the introduction of the new black & white, i.e. colorless M&M’s. Since this seems to be some promotional/contest thing, I’m curious how long these hues will last. Even more curious is their recipe for baklava (they took the damn link down).


1/2 *Smith St. Baluchi's has been closed. (5/06)

Nothing really need be said about Baluchi's (I always want to say Balducci's, which just reopened in a new location and I can't say I really care). It's no great shakes, but I had the urge for Indian delivery in the neighborhood and we only had one menu in the house, Bombay Dream, which is practically next door to Baluchi's. I knew the latter had a website, so I peeked at it for price comparison.

Everything was about a dollar more, but I was highly impressed and taken aback by their order online feature. I recall doing this once with Domino's a few years ago. Yes, novelty trumps taste on some occasions. I love being able to pick and point using pull down menus and clicks. No need for human interaction (I jest, but I do and have always had a pointless phobia about ordering food over the phone. In college, my sister would force me to phone-in pizza orders knowing I was loathe to do so and quite frequently I would flat out refuse, preferring hunger over having to make the call) and the ability to pay with a credit card.

We both did the prix fixe (so fancy) where you get an appetizer, entre, rice, naan, raita and chutney for $13.95, a bit more than I'd normally spend on take out, but it's cheaper than buying everything outright and it easily makes three meals. I had aloo fried, which are fried potato cubes with masala chat, and lamb saag. Nothing was totally hideous, at least the potatoes were crisp and not sogged, though the spinach was on the salty side. But for Wednesday night it was more than adequate. (12/14/05)

I thought the food was alright, though admittedly I'm no Indian food expert. I mean it wasn't completely heinous and inedible like everyone seems to say about NYC Indian (Bangladeshi, or whatever passes as Indian). The lamb vindaloo was surprisingly spicy and a nice respite from the single digit temperatures (both inside and out-the restaurant was beyond chilly) and the mixed tandoori grill was adequate, though sometimes the meats all blended together and were on the withered side. It's about what I would've expected from Smith St. Indian. No surprises, but it worked. (1/9/04)

Baluchi's* 263 Smith St., Brooklyn, NY

The Year Low Carb Broke

It’s all so damn EDGY! I predict these links will be dead in no time.

T.G.I. Friday’s Atkins Approved Menu

Rock Green Light

Ben & Jerry’s Carb Karma Ice Cream

Doritos Edge and Tostitos Edge (not on

Pepsi Edge

Coke C2

Hershey’s Sugar Free

Coors’s Aspen Edge

Heinz One Carb

Oroweat Carb Counting 100% Whole Wheat