I’m just getting the point where I can re-hash Christmas dinner and it’s already the day before New Year’s Eve. Sadly, I don’t even have an inkling of a plan yet. But that’s how Christmas was too. I didn’t do a single notable thing all day and didn’t leave the house until 8pm.
I met random mix of people at Pho Grand (Chinatown without the Chinese food) that included my friend Jane, her father who’d literally just gotten into town, her sister and boyfriend, and a mutual friend Heather. I was hesitant to tell Heather that we were doing Vietnamese but it turned out she’d been to Pho Grand before, coincidentally with the guy I’d ran into at Snacky a few nights before.
I forgot to take photos, that often happens when I’m with people I don’t know that well. We shared a few grilled pork chops, a large order of spring rolls, and everyone got some pho permutation except Heather, a.k.a baby palate (I’d nearly forgotten that I’d dubbed her that until she mentioned it) who ordered grilled beef over rice vermicelli and wouldn’t add the accompanying sauce. It pained me to watch her using soy sauce instead of hoisin or chile paste but the holiday spirit doesn’t allow for food nazism.
I couldn’t bear Williamburg drinks afterward, so Heather and I set off in the rainstorm looking for any place open and serving dessert. That limited our options to Little Italy where we found one restaurant that met our criteria. I couldn’t even tell you the name. Our shared black forest cake, cannoli and strawberry tart were anything but remarkable but sometimes you have to take what you can get.
Pho Grand * 277 Grand St., New York, NY
Pho Grand is my standard pre-Bowery Ballroom restaurant. For $5, the big bowl of pho is hard to resist. I’ve gotten other things there (despite what sietsema says, the shaking beef was just okay) but I always come back to the soup. The pho tai gan is my go-to bowl.
Hey, that’s me. Actually, it wasn’t good with the soy sauce, but I had already poured it all over the dish. Next time, I am going to get the dish that Jane’s sister’s boyfriend got. It had soup, noodles and grilled beef. Oh, and regarding 80s music, you’re fine as long as they play “Monkey”.
Yes, I’m all about George Michael and fish sauce. Really.
I’m sure I’ve told you the story about when I was in 8th grade these 6th grade girls were speculating over who’d written “I love George Michael” with Sharpie all of the locker room and said, “I bet it was Krista Garcia.” It wasn’t me.