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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.

Masteryap 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.

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  1. Ha I almost lived in an apt on 60th and 3rd. That’s funny, right across the street from Dylan’s Candy bar and around the corner I think from Serendipity. Still need to try that place out. I’m not positive where Dishes is exactly but I highly recommend them for delivery. We get them all the time and we’re right in midtown too. Check them out..their pumpkin corn bisque is out of control, as are their grilled sandwiches..

    January 30, 2006
  2. Ha! you don’t work far from Crafty (ABrooklynLife)… I agree, that area is a culinary wasteland. My office is down near Wall St. (not much better). I’m addicted to Sofie’s Cuban for lunch. Another favorite was Perl Stone Chinese, but they closed down this last week. They had this tasty Taiwanese Beef Stew with some sort of noodle similar to Udon and strong taste of star anise. I’ll miss that place.

    January 31, 2006
  3. Mona: I’ll have to look Dishes up. Anything using the word bisque is usually pretty tasty.

    Dennis: I think I envy the Wall St. area because at least it would be a quicker commute. Plus, you have weirdo stuff like that Hawaiian joint (L&H?). Midtown feels like a time waster. F train *plus* a transfer the the V. Yikes.

    January 31, 2006

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